Ijen Blue Lava

October 22, 2016

Ijen Blue Lava

There are enough of natural treasures hidden away in the most unsuspecious places on Earth. One of them is in Indonesia, Kawah Ijen. Kawah Ijen produces stunning, spectral blue lava. Kawah Ijen is a piece of the Ijen volcano complex, a group of stratovolcanoes in East Java, Indonesia. It has an active crater that is 200 m deep.  Many people that have been visited Kawah Ijen said that Kawah Ijen Is known by the blue lava. They visited Kawah Ijen to see the blue lava directly.

The lava is molten rock that appears  from the Earth at ultra-high temperatures — isn’t colored significantly differently than the lava at other volcanoes, which all differ slightly based on their mineral composition but appear a bright red or orange color in their molten state. But at Kawah Ijen, extremely high quantities of sulfuric gases appear  at high pressures and temperatures (sometimes in excess of 600°C) along with the lava.

Uncovered to the oxygen present in air and sparked by lava, the sulfur burns, and its flames are bright blue. There is so much sulfur, that at times it flows down the rock face as it burns, making it seem as though blue lava is overflow  the mountain side. But because only the flames are blue, rather than the lava itself, the effect is only seen at night. During day time, the volcano looks like roughly any other.