We have been deep inner piton de la fournaise, an energetic guard volcano on reunion island. It’s a part of réunion country wide park, a unesco heritage web page.
Earlier our organization explored the desolate red landscape on pinnacle of the volcano at la plaine des sables, which appears very similar to nasa photographs i’ve visible of mars. Bizarre rock formations in many colorings of crimson laid out across rolling hills and craters in all instructions.
The unexpected exchange of surroundings from lush inexperienced forests to pink apocalyptic desert is quite shocking.
Piton de la fournaise
Reunion is a tiny french island off the east coast of africa. The end of a massive underwater volcano that rises 4000 meters from the lowest of the indian ocean. It’s one of the most energetic volcanic hot-spots inside the world with over 150 recorded eruptions since the seventeenth century.
In fact the “peak of the furnace” erupted only some days earlier than we arrived.
However those specific lava tubes we had been exploring are left over from an eruption in 2010. The lava cooled off and stopped flowing via them years ago, we weren’t in any threat.
The june 2014 eruption happened on a specific facet of the volcano.
Inside the earth
Kneepads and helmets are strapped on before following our laventure publications over a hardened black lava field dotted with inexperienced flora. Volcanic soil is highly fertile due to the large amounts of iron, magnesium, potassium, and other minerals that it incorporates.
The doorway to the caves is thru a small hollow in the crust.
It looks a bit like a gaping mouth. We switch our headlamps on and climb down into the darkness.
Lava tubes are fashioned while ribbons of pink warm lava drain from a volcano, the edges settle down and thicken into an insulating crust, growing a roof over the still-flowing lava.
Eventually the waft receives diverted or stops altogether, leaving tunnels.
Exploring lava tubes
Lava tube partitions are very vivid, nearly glass-like, reflecting the light of our headlamps. Frozen stalactites of lava drip from the ceiling to create “lavacicles” of various sizes and styles.
The passageway is eight-10 feet huge, and 5-6 feet tall for lots of the hour-lengthy hike. But some sections are lots smaller — making it essential to crawl for your hands and knees.
Quantities of the ceiling often erode and fall in, consequently the importance of carrying a helmet while exploring these veins of the earth. Brightly colored mineral deposits of iron & sulfur line the crumbled basalt in colorations of crimson, orange, and yellow.
From time to time you’ll discover small holes main up to the floor, the dying-mask of a tree burned away by means of the lava leaving in the back of a hollow tube.
Reunion volcano adventure
At one point we all flip off our headlamps and keep directly to each different, trying to transport forward in overall darkness. It’s clumsy and tough, a few folks hit our heads on the ceiling.
It’s exquisite to consider the ribbons of warm lava that flowed via those tubes just a few years ago. Volcanoes are tons greater than dying & destruction, in addition they bring rebirth.
Coughing up minerals from the middle of the earth and creating new land mass on which plants & animals will ultimately thrive.