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Dallol Depression

The Dallol is the northernmost portion of the Afar Depression in eastern Ethiopia. As part of the incipient rift, it is undergoing cracking and spreading and associated volcanic activity. In addition, it is in a large, closed depression (think Death Valley), so has thick sequences of evaporites. The combination of salts, sulfur, and fluids makes for a surreal and gorgeous landscape. On the edge of the salt flat we visited the salt mines, where Tigre workers mine slabs of salt and load them on camels and mules for the long trek up the hill (thousands of feet up and dozens of miles) to Mekele.

Here are my favorites (how do I pick?):

Salts and clays Pillars and lake Io part 1
Io part 2 Colors! Want a swim?
Pillars of salt We're well escorted Craftsmen

Some videos of the bubbling lake and the salt mining:

Look at GPS tracks of our trip overlain on Google Earth maps:

All pictures are below:

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Please credit Jani Radebaugh for all pics/vids, thank you!