Ol Doinyo Lengai.jpg (37049 bytes)

Ol Dionyo Lengai, a sodium carbonatite volcano in the Rift Valley of East Africa. Note how the glow from this lava lake is only dull red rather than bright red or orange. The reason for this is the nature of the lava which is so rich in sodium that it has an unusually low melting temperature -- somewhere in the range of about 1000 degrees F (about half that of basaltic lava). This copyrighted photo by Jeffrey Brown is used with his permission. See his website for for photos and comments on the expedition to Ol Doinyo Lengai. Active carbonatite volcanoes are very rare -- this is the only known example.

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