Erta Ale ranks as one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attritions anywhere in Ethiopia.
Rising from below sea level to an altitude of 613, Erta Ale is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30km and 1km 2 caldera at its summit.
Nestled within the caldera are two pit craters: the more northerly one, though currently inactive, held a lava lake in 1968 and 1973, while the smaller ellipsoid central pit contains the world’s only permanent lava lake, which measures about 60m across and is 100m long.
Scientists think the lake must have a continuous link to a shallow magma chamber, which is itself fed on a regular basis by magma associated with the formation of the rift. Significant changes in activities were noted at Erta Ale over flank, as well as a fresh breach on the southern crater that has caused the lava to overflow its' terrace and rise up to within 20m of the crater rim. Several earthquakes have also been recorded in the vicinity of Erta Ale in recent years, suggesting that a major eruption may be imminent.
Travel photography shared by israelhgs