I'm Erika. Kawah Ijen volcano, East Java - blue sulfur flames Our expedition leader Andi visited Ijen crater during a period of elevated activity in May 2012, when lots of sulfur from the fumaroles was burning at night with blue and reddish flames, creating abstract photos. Pallister described the miners' daily routine as "tough duty." The display was spectacular. "I've never seen this much sulfur flowing at a volcano," she said. It is the world's largest highly acidic crater lake. Cynthia Werner, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) at the Alaska Volcano Observatory, told National Geographic that Grunewald's photos show an unusual phenomenon. Grunewald has also documented the blue glow on the Dallol volcano in the Danakil Depression, in the Afar region of Ethiopia near the borders of Eritrea and Djibouti. Taylor Rae. Sulfur mining in Kawah Ijen In East Java, Indonesia lies Kawah Ijen volcano, 2,600 meters tall (8,660ft), topped with a large caldera and a 200-meter-deep lake of sulfuric acid. It is a 2-hour hike to the rim of the volcano, followed by a 45-minute hike down to the caldera. The Kawah Ijen Volcano is famous for its lakeside solfatara that emits sulfuric gases. After we took a short nap at our hotel, our van driver picked us up at midnight and brought us to the trailhead. At times they work at night under the eerie blue light to escape the heat of the sun, and to earn extra income, Grunewald said. Mount Ijen is one of the most unique and unconventional tourist attractions in Indonesia which makes it an incredible adventure for those seeking an experience beyond lazing on the beach in Bali. ", Pallister added, "I have been told that the miners sometimes ignite the sulfur and/or sulfur gases to produce the blue flames that are so prominent in nighttime photographs.". Needless to say, we were ready for a few relaxing days on the island of Bali. Kawah Ijen is an active volcano on the east side of Java, that last erupted in 1999. The Kawah Ijen volcano 2799 m high, is famous because of the acid crater lake and the sulphur pit. Sulfur mining. All rights reserved. The Afar region is famous for having the world's highest average temperature of 93°F (34°C), thanks in part to the volcanic activity. "I have also seen the miners spraying water from a small pump onto the pipes to promote cooling and condensation," said Pallister via email. Kawah Ijen Volcano: Blue Fire and Sulfur Miners Last modified on August 18th, 2020 at 10:21 A few years ago, while watching an episode of the BBC’s Human Planet, I remember being struck by a scene that featured sulfur miners undertaking a treacherous journey into Indonesia’s active Kawah Ijen Volcano. Paradoxically, the unusually high sulfur concentrations that feed Kawah Ijen’s mining industry also result in brilliant blue flames that erupt from … Literally. These are collected and sold to tourists. Kawah Ijen Crater Lake is green because of the hydrochloric acid in the water. The burning happens day and night, but it's visible only in darkness. Today, most of the world's sulfur is produced as a byproduct of oil refining and natural gas processing. Mount Ijen is like no other volcano in the world! Grunewald did not use any filters to capture his images of the blue fire. As the burning gases cool, they deposit sulfur around the lake. Kawah Ijen.You’ve probably seen pictures of miners carrying baskets of sulfur from the crater of a volcano. In fact, it's the acid that makes the water green. "The powder of sulfur could burn for a few days.". Sulfur combusts on contact with air to create stunning blueÂ lava-like rivers of light in the Kawah Ijen crater onÂ the island of Java. It is home to the world’s largest acidic crater lake, the site of a dangerous sulfur mining operation and of course, it radiates the natural phenomenon known as the electric blue flames! "It is very rare to see that," said Grunewald. Its pH is 0.5 (the closer to zero the more acidic). Kawah Ijen Volcano - Indonesia: Boating on a Lake of Sulfuric Acid - July 2008: Kawah Ijen is one of the most incredible and surreal places I've ever visited. An executive with the sulfur mining company PT Candi Ngrimbi says with the help of miners like Mistari, it produces some 13 tons of raw sulfur a day from the Ijen volcano. And yet, the miners often descend into the crater with little more than a rag over their mouths and noses. A few years ago, while watching an episode of the BBC’s Human Planet, I remember being struck by a scene that featured sulfur miners undertaking a treacherous journey into Indonesia’s active Kawah Ijen Volcano. 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