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The Smoking Fumarole fields of Djibouti

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Posted on Fri, Nov 07 2014 15:22:46

The strange natural chimneys – fumaroles - are openings in the ground, which form near volcanoes and emit steam and gases. Fumaroles are often present on the volcanoes that are active. They can stay on the fields for decades or centuries.

Garbes fumarole field is located in the province of Dikhil. It was formed out of ancient basaltic volcanic rocks more than 12 thousand years ago, and is covered with cracks and crater at the foot of the 1000 meter tall volcano. In the local language the field is called "Smoking Mountain". 

The length of the fumarole field Garbes, which is a part of East African Rift Valley, is 400 meters, its width is a few tens of meters. The field is always active, however no serious eruptions were observed lately. 

The Boina volcano fumarole field is located at the border of Djibouti and Ethiopia. The volcano is 300 meters tall, and the fumarole funnels reach the depth of 7 meters. This field is located north of Lake Abbe and you can hear the hissing noise of cracks emitting gases from far away.

There are different ways to see the fumaroles, by hiking around them or from high up, and enjoy the sunset  in this primordial – looking landscape. Boina fumarole fields and the Lake Abbe were chosen to be the filming location of the first Planet of the Apes movie in 1968. Despite the hellish climate and the gases being emitted from the ground, there are flamingos living in the vicinity of the lake and this location is also home for the nomadic Afar tribes.

Gallery: The Smoking Fumarole fields of Djibouti

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