Mud Volcanoes near Buzau, Romania
by Alexis Merlaud, Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy, Brussels, Belgium
The Berca Mud Volcanoes are a geological and botanical reservation located in the Berca commune in the Buzău County in Romania. Its most spectacular feature is the mud volcanoes, small volcano-shaped structures typically a few metres high caused by the eruption of mud and natural gases.
As the gases erupt from 3000 metres deep towards the surface, through the underground layers of clay and water, they push up underground salty water and mud, so that they overflow through the mouths of the volcanoes, while the gas emerges as bubbles. The mud dries off at the surface, creating a relatively solid conical structure resembling a real volcano. The mud expelled by them is cold, as it comes from inside the Earth's continental crust layers, and not from the mantle.
The reservation is unique in Romania. Elsewhere in Europe, similar phenomena can be observed in Italy (northern Apennines and Sicily), Ukraine (in the Kerch Peninsula), Russia (in the Taman Peninsula) as well as Azerbaijan.
Taken on 13
Submitted on 13 March 2014
Credit: Alexis Merlaud (distributed via imaggeo.egu.eu)
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