Erta Ale

The volcano Erta Ale (EA ), taken from a space shuttle

The Erta Ale ( Afar ' Ertá'alé or ' Irtá'alé " mountain that smokes ") is a basaltic shield volcano in the Afar Triangle ( Danakil ) in north- eastern Ethiopia, the 613 m rises above the sea level.

It lies on the rift zone of the East African grave breach, a continental seam that runs through East Africa, to a length of 6000 km to Mozambique. The volcano rises above the bottom of a dried-up sea, which had emerged as the Danakil block was lifted by plate tectonics and in the Afar triangle separated from the Red Sea.

The Erta Ale is one of the six volcanoes around the world, in its caldera an active lava lake is located. The crater has a diameter of 50 m and is 85 m deep, halfway down there is a terrace that has emerged of solidified lava. The lava lake is also solidifies the surface, by convection it breaks into thin sheets, drifting across the lake. The processes that control the formation and movement of these plates meet, on a very small scale to those of the continental drift and plate tectonics.

The Erta Ale is part of the eponymous Erta Ale volcano chain, the highest volcano is 1,031 m ale Bagu.