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Kawah Ijen Crater Lake (East Java, Indonesia)

Mapping

 

Source: India Today

 Context: Kawah Ijen Crater Lake in East Java, Indonesia, is the world’s largest acidic lake,  as it contains high concentrations of sulphuric and hydrochloric acids, making it unswimmable.

It’s easily visible from space (turquoise blue waters) and has a pH as low as 0.5, similar to car battery acid. The lake also emits hot, flammable sulphurous gases that burn with an eerie blue flame, blue fire, creating a mesmerizing nighttime spectacle. Despite its harsh conditions, there is life in the form of microbial communities (mainly Archaea) in the lake and its acidic river.

It’s a UNESCO Global Geopark with unique geological, biological, and cultural features. The active vent at the edge of the lake serves as a significant source of elemental sulfur, supporting a rigorous mining operation.

 

About Copernicus

It is the EU’s Earth observation program, providing data from satellites and non-space sources for Climate/Environment/Disaster Services. The European Commission oversees it. As a part of it, the Copernicus Sentinel series of Satellites provides optical images of Earth’s surface.