Salt Stalactites. August 2003
Among tens of other activities, Stephane is a speleologist, so that he was able to find the most wonderful stalactites also on an active volcano! Lengai's deposits are rich of salt: steam from fumaroles condenses on these salt walls, and the resulting water melts the salt. The subsequent percolation builds up stalactites with exactly the same process followed in usual limestone caves. These volcanic stalactites have nothing to envy to their most known limestone sisters: neither colours, nor shapes...
Stephane is inviting us to follow him in the wonders of volcano stalactites.
The first group he is showing us is dominated by usual warm colours: brown, yellow, white.
These colours are by far more unusual: the sweetest pink is transformed into a dreaming blue.
Stalactites are often building up stalagmites at their feet: here we see white, green and yellow.
Zoom on pink-blue stalactites: they are empty inside, and are releasing water drops.
Air streams force many of these stalactites to take non-vertical shapes.
The same streams draw these phantastic laces at the stalactite roots.
In the shadows, the pink colour takes the warmest tonalities.
Probably, the water percolating along the empty stalactites becomes rich in clorates, producing this dream green colour.
The most phantastic shapes in a curtain of white stalactites.
Air streams are turbulent, of course: this stalactite records in its spyral shape the turbulence of its environment.
Stephane descends into the vent of T49F, fiery active on 2002. The stalactites on the top vent look like monster's teeth: we hope Stephane will be able to exit from the monster's stomach to join us on other volcanoes.