Indonesia 2015

  Karangetang Volcano, Kawa Ijen  

24rst of August to 03th of September: M. Szeglat, M.Rietze, Th.Boeckel



The motive for this trip were the previous activities of the stratovolcano Raung since late June in the indonesian East Java. The Gunung Raung reaches a height of 3332m and in the province of East Java. During the first violent eruption on 10 July a 3800m high ash column rose and went towards Bali. Unfortunately for the tourism hence the airport in Bali was closed,inter alia 4 more on the island of Lombok. Already written the reason of our trip were previous eruptions! However, a few days before the departure, the activity began to decline rapidly, and during our arrival in Banyuwangi it went to zero. Not a measly watts of thermic radiation was registered by the satellites. Now somehow the Eyjafialla effect had to occure.

The Kawa Ijen, blue flames by sulphur burning

After we began slowly to recover ourselves from the zero-activity-shock, we visited the sulfur fires of the sulfur mine at Kawa Ijen before. The aim was to photograph and film the aesthetically blue flames in the mine at night. Already in 2009 the attempt failed miserably becuse the light intensity of the lenses and the camera technology was not sufficient.

kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel

But it must be said that the burden of sulfur gases was so high that even severe damages to man and camera equipment had to be feared. Even good gas masks got weaken here at this place.

kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel   kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel

As you can see from the pictures and videos we got quite a positive result.

kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel   kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel   kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel

Nevertheless !! This blue flames are just so impressive that you could not get enough. Also the details are very impressive. Throughout in the whole 'Canyon' liquid burning sulphur stepped out. By the way, sulfur ignites from a temperature of about 250 C° in the air, and burns to form sulfur dioxide with a blue flame. The melting point is 119.6 ° C.

kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel  kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel  kawa ijen blue flames by boeckel

Very interesting was the process of finishing the sulfur recovery. In an exhausting handwork sulfur was boiled out in woodfired pots, than got filtered and cooled down at the floor. The cooled sulfur was crashed with sliding covers in shards, and for the transport filled in bags and then got weighted. So with this nice action our mood was a little more cheerful. However, only a volcanic event shoud occur. Promptly the Karangetang on Siau Palau in North Sulawesi promised a thermal radiation and let suggest an acceptable activity. In connection with Andi we received the information that already pyroclastic flows went off. Now up and away!


Fireworks by glowing rock-avalanches at Karangetang, Palau Siau.

Arrived on Siau Island in the town of Ulu we were positively surprised about the volcanic activity. At the first day the glowing dome has been registered with its big lava tongue. From the edge of the lava flow, however car/house large glowing rocks broke out and devided themselves into hundreds of smaller chunks. When the high-speed projectiles hit a dormant rock at the slope, firework similar fireballs up to 100m diameter were the result. In a simultaneity of about 30 fireballs in the glowing avalance it was quite a higly impressive show.

  Karangetagng 2015 by boeckel 

  Karangetagng 2015 by boeckel

In the subsequent night at the volcano observatory strombolian activity was observed twice times.

Karangetagng 2015 by boeckel  Karangetagng 2015 by boeckel

To observe this phenomenon was something new and I thought myself, the facettes of volcanic appearence even don't stop.

Karangetang 2015, Boeckel 

In a distance of 15km the city of Ulu with appx. 25.000 inhabitants appears tiny in comparision of this mighty volcano.

Time lapse animations

Glowing avalanches 1 (8MB) Strombolian (6MB) Summit cloud cap (23MB)
Glowing avalanches 2 (8MB) Movement of the lavaflow (8MB) Glowing avalanches 3 (41MB)


Tarsier Sulawesi by Boeckel

Another highlight was the visit of the Tarsier monkeys in Tangkoko Batuangus Nature Reserve. This nature reserve is located in North Sulawesi and is the home to many endemic species. During daytime the only 10cm poured monkeys entrench in an oversized root tree. The nocturnal Tarsier begin the hunt for insects and small animals with nightfall, where they instantly disappear in the treetops.

Tarsier Sulawesi by Boeckel    Tarsier Sulawesi by Boeckel

Unfortunately to bounce afterwards was not possible because of the thin branches. But we were lucky and already in the late afternoon this Gremlins appeared in a deep hollow tree. Sometimes a Maki ventured further forward, of course the Ranger lured the hopper with grasshoppers more forward.

At least photographing and filming was quite good possible.

 Tarsier Sulawesi by Boeckel    Tarsier Sulawesi by Boeckel



Carnival Indonesia 2015 by Boeckel     Carnival Indonesia 2015 by Boeckel      Carnival Indonesia 2015 by Boeckel   

Finally, a special colorfull presentation at the driveway to Kawah Ijen took place. Like in the village of Kalipuro celebrations to the 70th anniversary of the Indonesian indepen-dence were held nationwide. This celebration has been referred here as a Carnival.

Carnival Indonesia 2015 by Boeckel   Carnival Indonesia 2015 by Boeckel

Carnival Indonesia 2015 by Boeckel   Carnival Indonesia 2015 by Boeckel
Very impressive the handmade colorful costumes and performances of all kinds, togehter with the cheerful Indonesians a lively atmosphere.


Vulkan Batu Tara und Anak Krakatau im August 2011, Boeckel Vulkan Batu Tara und Anak Krakatau im August 2011, Boeckel

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