Volcanoes & hot springs - Sumatra 2012

The Sinabung volcano seen from the more quiet Sibyiak volcano in North Sumatra.  Only one crater is now active on this 2451 meters high volcano, which is rumbling more ore less constantly at the moment.      A few epiphytic orchids are growing on a dead tree on Sibyiak.  Here, the so-called protected rainforrest of these mountains has been cut down by farmers to simply make a living, as no social secutrity exists in Indonesia - and the authorities simply just turn the blind eye, while the jungle dissappears!   The Sibyiak volcano is quite silent for the moment - only a few fumerolles show, that the volcanic activity is still there. Noone doubts, that an eruption is bound to come within a forseeable space of time.   The crater lake is almost dry now.    The noise from this fumerolle is immense - and the steam can blow stones several meters high!    Sulfur deposists left by the steam on the stones placed by humans over the fumerolle.  Fine sulfur crystals. No commercial collections are undertaken any more, as it was in the past.  This is normally not adviced - as the sulforous fumes actually are toxic and can cause severe respiratoric problems - even pulmonary oedema, that can be life-threathening!         This hot spring on the slopes of Mt. Belirang on the western coast of Lake toba is a baren cut in the side of the mountain, where plants cannot grow.  In these two holes at the size of a fist, the water just under a crust of only a few inches are constantly and vividly boiling! - Only 15 cm lelow the surface! - How thick is the crust, I was standing on, when I took this picture?  Sulfur deposits form at every fumerolle.        This is a view into the original chamber of a large fumerolle, that were cracked open by an earthquake years ago - fantastic formations of stalactites and some stalcmitets are seen in the small cave now present.  The original chimney og the fumerolle cracked during an earthquake, and the new hot string flow opened and created new small streams of boiling hot water - and laid down fantastic and colorfull mineral deposits.             

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