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Kawah Ijen, The Volcano That Spews Blue Lava

This article is one of the interesting facts that not everyone already knew. We all know that the common color of lava is red but Kawah Ijen Volcano is different. This volcano that spews blue lava. Let us know further.

What Is The Kawah Ijen Volcano?

The Ijen volcano is a group of composite volcanoes located on the border between Banyuwangi Regency and Bondowoso Regency of East Java, Indonesia. It formed in a caldera with a diameter of 16 km. With this diameter the collapse crater belongs to the large calderas. 

Kawah Ijen is mainly known for its sulfur mining. In the almost 300 m deep crater, there is not only a 180m acid lake, but also a mighty fumarole field. Due to its easy accessibility, turquoise lake and unique sulfur mining operation, the crater is regularly visited by tourists. 

The Ijen is a dangerous volcano: phreatic eruptions from the bottom of the acid lake occur again and again. In 1976, the volcano erupted which caused 49 sulfur workers to die. Unlike tourist groups, miners do not go near the volcanoes with respiratory equipment, instead they are dangerously putting their lives at risk to make a wage. many miners experience lung diseases and chest infections due to the volcano being surrounded by issues of exploitation, child labour, inadequate equipment, and health issues. 

Kawah Ijen Volcano
Kawah Ijen Volcano spews blue lava

Why Does Kawah Ijen Volcano Spews Blue Lava?

The crater of Kawah Ijen is the world’s largest blue flame area. The high temperatures from the underground volcanic heat frequently ignite the sulfur on the surface of the volcano, producing the blue fires. When sulfur reaches the surface from the volcano, it can reach up to 600 celsius, and the sulfur encounters the lower temperature and pressures at the surface, then the sulfur immediately ignites and erupts blue flames up to 5 meters or 16 feet into the air. At high temperatures, the sulfur melts, which sometimes flows down on the volcano while carrying the flames with it, and making it appear as if blue lava is flowing down the volcano. Since the flames are colored blue, the fires are basically visible only at night, as they are difficult to tell apart at daytime. 

SULFUR MINING

The active vent at the edge of the lake (acid lake) is a source of elemental sulfur which supports a mining operation. Volcanic gasses escape through a network of ceramic pipes, resulting in condensation of molten sulfur. The sulfur when molten is deep red in color, and it pours slowly from the ends of these pipes and pools on the ground, turning bright yellow as it cools. The miners break the cooled material into large pieces and carry it away in baskets. 

A nearby sulfur refinery pays the miners by the weight of sulfur transported, the typical daily earnings were equivalent to 13 US dollars. The miners often receive not enough protection while working around the volcano and complain of numerous respiratory diseases. There are about 200 miners extracting 14 tons per day and about 20% of the continuous daily deposit. 

CONCLUSION

Tourists often visit the volcano and its lake for their beautiful scenery but we cannot disclose the fact that it is very dangerous and might harm the tourists themselves. Overall, Kawah Ijen volcanic fires and Kava Ijen Lake have some of the most remarkable natural activity in the world making them a must-see destination for many travelers in Indonesia and for people who are visiting Indonesia. Despite the volcano being dangerous, people are still willing to pay money and to visit the famous Kawah Ijen Volcano. The Kawah Ijen Volcano is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and interesting things we have seen on Earth. From the volcano itself along with the lake, Ijen is very breathtaking to look at. 

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