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Random pictures

Nyiragongo volcano (DR Congo): expedition to the lava lake (June 2017)

A selection of photographs taken by Ingrid Smet during our June 2017 Nyiragongo lava lake and mountain gorillas expedition in the DR Congo which included a 3 days / nights stay on Nyiragongo volcano.
On 6 June the group completed their hike to the summit in dry weather (the people coming up in the next two days were not so lucky) but had to wait a few hours for a first glance onto the red hot lava lake until the clouds around the stratovolcano´s summit and the thick volcanic gasses inside the caldera had temporarily lifted. The next 2 days (7 and 8 June) visibility into the caldera was usually best in the mornings and at intervals during the night, with more clear circumstances in the early morning and right through to dawn and sunrise on the 8th of June. The world´s largest lava lake (about 220 m across) is situated some 400 m below the rim of Nyiragongo´s summit caldera (a diameter of 1.2 km). When visible, the surface of the active lava lake was continuously in motion as exploding gas bubbles create small degassing fountains that recycle the cold black crust back into the red hot liquid lava. Strong degassing also occurred from the edges of the lava lake, the 2016 hornito and along the southern fracture zone.

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