Photos of the Famous Salt Deposits in Ethiopia, the Lowest Sub-Aerial Volcanic Area in the World

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Dionys Moser shares his stunning photographs of the alien-like landscape found on the Ethiopian Dallol hydrothermal field, located in an isolated portion of the northern Danakil Depression in North Eastern Ethiopia. It is the lowest sub-aerial volcanic area on record in the world. It is an immense area of uplifted thick salt deposits famous for being the only known volcanic area below sea level.

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Dallol is easily one of the world’s most magnificent landscapes with its enormous area of uplifted thick salt deposits influenced by concentrated fumarolic activity. This is possibly caused by an active volcanic system beneath numerous kilometers of evaporation salt deposits. Dallol is thought to be the hottest place on earth, with average annual temperatures measuring well over 30 degrees C.

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The vicinity usually referred to as Dallol volcano contains the approximately 1.5 x 3 km wide Dallol “mountain,” which rises some 50 m above the great salt lake near the border with Eritrea, and close by warm springs that comprise the Black Mountain, the Yellow Lake, and the Blue Lake, believed to be an explosion crater from a hydrothermal eruption that occurred in 1926. The only known volcanic activity was a phreatic explosion during that year which produced a 30 m wide crater at the foot of the Black Mountain.

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Dallol is renowned for its searing brine, and multi-hued pink, white, green, red, yellow, gray and black salt deposits, boiling springs and minuscule geysers. These strange structures form in an intricate interaction of solution and recrystallization process caused by hydrothermal waters and rapid evaporation.

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Moser has taken many photographs of this most unusual hydrothermal field. The place, as can be observed from Moser’s shots, is covered with hot sulfur and ferrous salts, coloring the landscape in vibrant yellow and red hues that look deceptively harmless. Engulfed with a multiplicity of colors, this remarkable landscape proves once again that the Earth is full of endless and magnificent wonders.

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ethiopia volcanic salt deposits

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ethiopia salt volcanic deposits

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See the amazing images of the Dallol hydrothermal field here.

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.