Erta Ale—Compact Fury of Lava Lakes

The Great Courses
Show More

If you are a student or a professor:

Watch now

If you are a librarian or a professor:

Related videos

Planetary Wonders—Out of This World
Tour some of the amazing geological features beyond Earth, among them planet-circling lava flows on Venus and the solar system's largest volcano and canyon on Mars. Close with the hydrocarbon lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, proving that there is no end to geological wonders throughout the cosmos.
African Rift Valley—Cracks into the Earth
Visit the African Rift Valley, a mid-ocean ridge in the making. From the Red Sea to Mount Kilimanjaro, tectonic forces are splitting Africa apart, forming a new ocean in the process. This impressive valley is also the site of many fossil discoveries relating to early humans.
Volcanoes of Alaska: Katmai and Lake Clark
Travel to Alaska to explore the vast national parks at Katmai and Lake Clark. Katmai was the site of the 20th century's largest volcanic eruption, while Lake Clark is unusual among national parks for having no roads and being accessible only by boat or small plane.
National Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments
Continue your underwater adventures by touring America's national marine sanctuaries and monuments, spread over more than a dozen locations up and down the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, plus the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, Hawaii, and beyond.
Kawah Ijen—World’s Most Acid Lake
Imagine a place where steam is so acidic that it burns your lungs, where flaming, liquid sulfur condenses from that steam, and a turquoise-colored lake is filled with the equivalent of battery acid. This hellish place is the crater lake of Kawah Ijen on the island of Java in Indonesia.
Galapagos Rift—Wonders of Mid-Ocean Ridges
Continue your study of phenomena associated with plate tectonics by visiting the Galapagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin. This magnificent archipelago is on a volcanic hotspot near a mid-ocean ridge, formed by moving tectonic plates. Natural wonders abound in the region, both above and below water.
A Montage of Geologic Mini-Wonders
In an entertaining change of pace, watch a countdown of 10 geological wonders that are hard to classify, from number 10--the White Cliffs of Dover--to number 1--a geological mystery in Death Valley that would seem like a hoax if it weren't true.
Fiordland National Park—Majestic Fjords
Visit the stunning fjords of Fiordland National Park in New Zealand, focusing on the most famous of these flooded glacial valleys, Milford Sound. The drama of the landscape is matched by tumultuous tectonic forces that are slowly ripping New Zealand apart.
Hawaii Volcanoes: Earth’s Largest Mountains
Compare the lessons of hotspot volcanism at Yellowstone with the very different landscape at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, which is also stoked by upwelling magma from Earth's mantle. Professor Cochran describes rivers of fire on the Big Island of Hawaii and suggests distinctive lava formations to visit.
Salar de Uyuni—Flattest Place on Earth
Travel to the world's largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia. Almost the size of Connecticut, Uyuni is the flattest place on the planet. When it gets a very thin layer of water, it becomes the world's largest mirror. Uyuni contains the world's largest reserve of lithium--should it be…
Borderland: Sea Kayaking Croatia
Croatia is Border Land. The country lays on the geographic margin between central Europe and the Balkans, between the Adriatic and the Continent. Its very shape speaks of the divide. There is nothing compact, square or secure. Instead it curves around Bosnia and Herzegovina in a narrow arc, like a…
Tulare, The Phantom Lake
Tulare, The Phantom Lake explores the landscape of what was once the largest lake in America west of the Mississippi River, a lake that disappeared by the year 1900 due to water diversion and land reclamation for agriculture. The Tulare region in California's Central Valley is home to the most…