Active volcanoes / Aktive vulkaner:

Ijen, Indonesia


Ijen, East Java; 83.5' S, 11414.5' E, consists of a group of small strato-volcanos, within the 20 km Ijen (Kendeg) caldera. The northern volcano-wall is a typical ridge, while the rest of the craterwall is covered by older volcanoes,
including Gunung Merapi, which reaches 2.799 m asl, and are the highest in the Ijen-complex.
This is, however, not the same at the much more active Merapi-volcano in the central part of Java..

Gunung Merapi at2.799m asl. Behind the ridge to the right is the Ijen Craterlake.

Just west of Gunung Merapi, we find the famous Kawah Ijen volcanon, which has an almost
1 km wide sulphourous turqouise-colored craterlake. The walls around reaches 200m up, and the lake itselv 200 m deep.

Sulfurmining-workers, left on the picture, scrapes sulfur from the crater-walls, og bring it down to the
industry in Jambu, near Banyuwangu.

6 small moderate phreatic eruptions has come from Ijen during the last 100 years..

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

On the 18th of December, alert level at Ijen was raised from 2 to 3 on a scale from 1 to 4.
Visual observations on the 17th showed that the colour of the lake has changed to white. The smell of sulfur is
strong, and it has been difficult to measure the temperature in the lake, which on the 14th was 34° C.
The seismic activity has also raised during December.
Please look into our web-camera page and if you do see changes, please copy the picture and let us know!
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Bildene, og en del tekst denne side: Photo and some text this page:
Kimberly, P., Siebert, L., Luhr, J.F., and Simkin, T. (1998). Volcanoes of Indonesia, v. 1.0 (CD-ROM).
Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program, Digital Information Series, GVP-1.

After three major eruptions 3,500 years ago that created a caldera measuring 22 by 25 kilometers, the Ijen volcano rose to world fame for its crater lake with the most acidic water in the globe.

Against the risk: Mining activities are seen in the famous Ijen crater in Bondowoso, East Java.
The Ijen volcano rose to world fame for its crater lake with the most acidic water in the globe.

Photo by JP/Indra Harsaputra

Looming behind the natural beauty and geothermal energy potential of the Ijen crater or Kawah Ijen, however,
is a threat to millions of people settling around the East Java volcano.

At also has a very large sulfur mining activity. Miners were carrying 75-90 kilograms (kg) of sulfur, covering a distance
of 300 meters from the bottom of the crater to its rim, with a gradient of 45 to 60 degrees. They have to do it for hours
without wearing masks.

Once out of the crater, the workers still had to carry their sulfur chunks three kilometers (km) from Ijen’s summit
to the Paltuding valley to get paid. The sulfur they mine is eventually sold on to cosmetic firms.
With about 200 miners operating in the crater each day, the sulfur they extract reaches 14 tons daily.

According to the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG), the amount of sulfur
being mined is only 20 percent of the total potential in the Ijen crater. Such traditional mining, also found on
Mount Welirang in East Java, is only found in Indonesia. Situbondo and Banyuwangi.

The Ijen crater boasts a magnificent crater lake, which is over 182 meters deep and has 32 million cubic meters
of beautiful turquoise green water. The high acidity of the water gives it a unique, bitter flavor. The crater rim
encircles the lake, measuring 960 by 600 meters at its lower portion and 1,600 by 1,160 meters and its top.

Javan Hawk Eagle, Spizaetus bartelsi
Location:Gunung Gede, Java, Indonesia, 27th August 2006
This photo belongs to Lip Kee's photostream
License: Some rights reserved

The crater area is also the habitat of Javan hawk-eagles, with a wingspan of 150 centimeters (cm).
These hawk-eagles have a body length of 70 cm, and feature two crests and mostly dark brown feathers.
This rare species was named the national bird in 1993 for having inspired the creation of the national coat
of arms called the Garuda Pancasila.

Wildlife conservation activist Rosek Nursahid, also the founder of ProFauna, said that a survey revealed only two Javan hawk-eagles remained in the Ijen crater, while in 1996, 10 pairs of the species could still be found.

“The drop in the eagle’s population has been due to forest conversion into farmland and intensive use of pesticides, which disturbs their reproduction,” he said. The other endemic animals are wild boars, fowl and black monkeys.

Javan Hawk-eagle “National Bird of Indonesia”
This photo belongs to Lip Kee's photostream
License: Some rights reserved

The Javan Hawk-Eagle, Nisaetus bartelsi (earlier placed in Spizaetus) is a medium-sized, approximately
61 cm long, dark brown raptor in the family Accipitridae. Its head and neck are rufous and it is heavily barred
black below. It has a long black crest with a white tip. The sexes are similar. The young is duller and has
unmarked underparts.

An Indonesian endemic, the Javan Hawk-Eagle occurs in humid tropical forests of Java. Its range in East
Java includes Sempu Island, Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, Meru Betiri National Park and
Alas Purwo National Park. It can also be seen in captivity in zoos like Kebun Binatang Bandung.

The Javan Hawk-Eagle is believed to be monogamous. The female usually lays one egg in a nest high on
top of a forest tree. The diet consists mainly of birds, lizards, fruit bats and mammals.

Live hard, work hard: Miners carry sulfur from the bottom of the crater
Photo by JP/Indra Harsaputra

The Ijen volcanic zone is also a source of geothermal energy for power generation. PT Medco Power Indonesia
planned to conduct a geothermal exploration in Kawah Ijen after a survey pointed to the area’s potential to
generate 110 megawatts.

Several geologists have indicated dangers the volcano poses to the local population. Primarily these dangers
are a result of the permeation of highly acidic crater water into other water supplies rather than its volcanic activity.
On its way to the sea, the highly acidic water passes settlements, paddy fields, plantations and sugar mills.

Based on research conducted by Soegijapranata Catholic University in Semarang, Central Java in 2007,
the lake’s acidic water has polluted rivers and local people’s wells. Consequently, the residents are facing
tooth and bone damage, while agricultural production is reduced.

The polluted water is still used to irrigate 3,564 hectares of paddy fields, considerably affecting the lives
of millions of people in the vicinity of the Ijen volcano.

The above article: By Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Bondowoso, East Java | Mon, 12/19/2011 9:32 PM

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