Keli Mutu
Indonesia, Flores Island

Three colored, quiet lakes located a few feet apart lie in the crater of a large shield-shaped volcano on the island of Flores, the second largest among the Lesser Sund Islands. Two of them are painted in different shades of green, and the third is black and red. Such colors are caused by different mineral composition of the bottom rocks of these lakes. A shield-shaped volcano formed when liquid lava spilled out of the vent and spread over a large area. (Such volcanoes can occupy vast spaces: the diameter of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii is about 190 km. At the base.) Caldera - cauldron hollows - arose where the top of the volcano failed. It is the water that accumulated in such calderas that formed the lakes in Keli Mutu. All three lakes bear romantic names. Tivaya Ata Polo means "Lake of Enchanted People", it is dark dark red, now almost black. Next to it is Tivoe Noea Moori Koo Fai, which translates as “Lake of Boys and Girls”, it is a dull emerald green color. Third - Tivoe Ata Mboepoe - bright, juicy green, with clear and clear water. So why are these three lakes in Keli Mutu, although they are located very close, so different from each other? There is a solfatara in Tivoe Noea Moori Koo Fai, the so-called constantly smoking crack, as if warning observers that the volcano has not yet fallen asleep. The main components of volcanic gases are hydrogen sulfide and hydrochloric acid vapors, and they are constantly emitted by solfatar at the lake. When in contact with air, hydrogen sulfide reacts with atmospheric oxygen and turns into sulfuric acid. In the waters of Tivoe Noea Moori Koo Fai and Tivoe Ata Mboepoe, the concentration of free sulfuric and hydrochloric acids is high, and it is these acids that color the lakes in bright green. The nibble Ata Polo was once a luxurious flaming scarlet, but gradually grew darker and darker; its unusual color is caused by the iron contained in the rock. There are many silicates in molten magma, and some of them are characterized by a high concentration of iron. When iron reacts with atmospheric oxygen, a bright red iron oxide forms, which turns the water in the lake red. Green lakes formed by volcanic activity are found in other parts of the world, but nowhere else in the world can you see green and red lakes in such close proximity to each other.
It is possible that the solution to this puzzle is hidden in the bottom rocks of the Tivoe Ata Polo. Magma erupted from the same volcano may have a different chemical composition. The bottom rocks of Tivoe Ata Polo probably contain more iron than the bottom rocks of other lakes; on the other hand, it is possible that the acidity in the red lake is higher than in the green ones. Iron-containing rocks of the red lake are dissolved by strong sulfuric and hydrochloric acids, changing its color. The volcano Keli Mutu enters the "Ring of Fire" bordering the Pacific Ocean. There are many fire-breathing mountains in Indonesia, and geologists claim that at least 132 volcanoes have been active over the past 10,000 years.

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