Home » Articles » Kawah Ijen Volcano the Largest Acidic Lake in the World

Kawah Ijen volcano (2386m) may be a lively stratovolcano located within the eastern neighbourhood of Java Island. the very best of the Ijen volcano is characterized by a very acidic crater lake containing 27.5 million m³ of turquoise-coloured water. This lake is that the most important reservoir of hot and acidic water on Earth.


On the southern neighbourhood of the lake, fumaroles are ejecting many sulfurs each day. At night, this site is one of the only spots on Earth where it’s possible to see blue fires.

kawah ijen volcano

This is due to extremely popular gas coming from the volcanic conduits burning the sulfur, which ends up in extremely beautiful scenery. On the western neighbourhood of the crater, a dam was built hundred years ago upstream of the Banyu Pahit river.

kawah ijen volcano

The water within the crater lake features a pH of not up to 0.3 on a scale of 0 to 14 (7 is neutral). For comparison, juice features a pH of 2; battery acid features a pH of 1. That acidity affects the chemistry of nearby river ecosystems, including the river Banyupahit.

kawah ijen volcano

Originating at the lake, the Banyupahit delivers acidic water to populated areas downstream. according to a 2005 research paper, the river water that local farmers use to irrigate crops features a pH between 2.5 and 3.5. the normal range for stream water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, is between about 6 and eight. ( read earth observatory. nasa.gov )

Kawah Ijen Volcano Location

Kawah Ijen is a composite volcano located at the easternmost part of Java island in Indonesia and hosts the largest natural acidic lake in the world. The border between Banyuwangi Regency and Bondowoso Regency, Java, Indonesia, Mountain type is Stratovolcano.

kawah ijen volcano

Kawah Ijen Volcano | eruption

The volcano remains active. The last magmatic eruption occurred in 1817. Phreatic eruptions occurred in 1796, 1917, 1936, 1950, 1952, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. These have caused very little damage but present a danger to anyone mining sulfur or visiting the caldera.

kawah ijen volcano

kawah ijen volcano

Sulfur mining at Ijen

The sulfur, which is deep red in colour when molten, pours slowly from the ends of these pipes and pools on the ground, turning bright yellow as it cools. The miners break the cooled material into large pieces and carry it away in baskets. Miners carry loads ranging from 75 to 90 kilograms (165 to 198 lb), up 300 metres (980 ft) to the crater rim, with a gradient of 45 to 60 degrees and then 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) down the mountain for weighing. Most miners make this journey twice a day.

kawah ijen volcano

kawah ijen volcano

A nearby sulfur refinery pays the miners by the weight of sulfur transported; as of September 2010, the typical daily earnings were equivalent to approximately $13 US. The miners often receive insufficient protection while working around the volcano and complain of numerous respiratory afflictions. There are 200 miners, who extract 14 tons per day – about 20% of the continuous daily deposit.

kawah ijen volcano

Blue Fire

As with every natural sighting, its height and intensity depends on various conditions and cannot be predicted. The flames have been known to reach more than 5 meters in height but this is not always the case. No matter what, it is always a unique experience and you are guaranteed to get some pretty amazing photographs!


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