What looks like a light show in a crater is actually a lava lake. Long-lasting lava lakes are extremely rare because they require active volcanoes with eruptions that produce enough active lava. Currently, there are only five lava lakes in the world: Erta Ale in Ethiopia, Nyiragongo in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kilauea in Haiwaii, Mount Erebus in Antarctica and Villarrica in Chile. Let’s take a closer look at these natural wonders.
Lava lakes can form in the vent or crater of a volcano or a broad depression. They contain large amounts of lava in either molten, partly solidified or completely solidified states. Explosive eruptions can also be caused when ground water hits hot or molten rock and flashes into steam.
1. Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo
This volcano has probably the most violent lava lake in the world as it continues to be fuelled by frequent eruptions of Nyiragongo Volcano, which are caused by the rifting of the Earth’s crust where a part of the African Plate is breaking apart.