Ijen VoLCANo Photos

Volcanoes of Java: Ijen volcano and Kawah Ijen sulphur lake

Crater of Ijen volcano, containing the most acid volcanic lake in the world.

The legendary sulphur miners carrying baskets with up to 50kg of solid sulphur blocks. For most visitors, breathing is near impossible without gas masks.
Deeply eroded and altered crater wall of Ijen volcano. Markus taking panoramic shots of the crater. VolcanoDiscovery group 8/2004.
The surface of the lake is steaming. Nobody would like to take a bath in there... Near the lake, large quantities of sulphur are produced by violent fumaroles and quarried with primitive tools. Richard at work.

The sulphur mining at Ijen volcano

Pipes are thrust into the fumaroles, concentrating sulphur steam. Part of the sulphur steam sublimizes on the surrounding rocks, on the pipes - and if you are not very careful, in your lungs and on your camera lens...
... the rest condenses inside the tubes, forming small red rivolets of liquid sulphur...
...that form miniature stalactites and deltas of sulphur, piling up on the ground.
These deposits are broken into blocks that the miners carry out of the crater.
From time to time, the tubes become plugged with sulphur and need to be taken out and cleaned...To cool and condense the agressive sulphur steam, the miners do like fireman with smoke: spray it with water.

See also: Ijen in 2005