Home Nature Why Does This Indonesian Volcano Emit Blue Lava?

Why Does This Indonesian Volcano Emit Blue Lava?

The eruption of electric-blue lava from the Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia was a hauntingly stunning sight to see. A large number of visitors and nature photographers go to this area to shoot the blue lava that flows down the mountainside at night.

Api Biru is the name given to it by the locals (Blue Fire). And the mountain certainly lives true to its name. The blue flames that erupt from its crater may reach up to about five meters (16 feet) in height.

What’s that? Blue lava? Yup, that’s right.

Occasionally, Indonesia’s Kawah Ijen volcano spews out blue lava. Sulfuric gas levels are quite high on the mountain. They are capable of reaching temperatures of more than a thousand degrees Fahrenheit. It will cause them to combust when they seep through the cracks and come into touch with the air. Occasionally, these gases condense as sulfuric acid. Due to the effects of this, they have taken on an otherworldly tint of blue and are streaming down the volcano-like lava.

image credits : DoesItDjent

This breathtaking scene is the outcome of the process.

Take a look at how the region looks throughout the day. This region is clearly marked by sulfur mining activities. This is a group of miners risking their lives in order to earn enough money for their families.

On the edge of the lake’s crater, there is an active vent that offers support for mining operations. In addition, it is a rich source of elemental sulfur. A system of ceramic pipes directs the escaping volcanic gases, culminating in the condensing of molten sulfur.

Slowly cooling molten sulfur from these pipelines and pools changes from a deep reddish hue to a brilliant yellow. Afterward, local miners split the material into huge pieces and transport it in baskets. Carrying weights of 75–90 kilos (165–198 pounds) up 300 meters (980 feet) at a 45–60 degrees gradient is no easy task for these guys. After that, they have to trek another 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) down the mountain to be weighed. The majority of miners make the trip twice a day, on average.

image credits : Tiomax80

Miners are compensated based on the weight of sulfur they bring to a neighboring sulfur refinery. In the United States, a normal day’s wage was around $13. While working on the volcano, they lack adequate safety measures. Numerous respiratory issues have come from this as well. Approximately about  200 miners who labor on the mountain remove 14 tons of sulfur every day. Approximately 20% of the daily deposit is made in this manner.

image credits : Okkisafire
image credits : Ti Yab

Following the publication of National Geographic’s report on Ijen’s electric-blue burning volcano, the number of tourists to the volcano has increased. Despite the fact that the phenomenon has been around for quite some time, night hiking has only lately gained popularity. It takes around two hours to walk around the crater’s edge.  In addition, the journey down to the crater’s edge took around 45 minutes.

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