Dallol, Ethiopia

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Dallol
Dallol is located in Ethiopia
Dallol
Dallol
Location in Ethiopia
Coordinates: 14°14′N 40°18′E / 14.233°N 40.300°E / 14.233; 40.300Coordinates: 14°14′N 40°18′E / 14.233°N 40.300°E / 14.233; 40.300
Country Flag of Ethiopia.svg Ethiopia
Region Afar Region
Zone Administrative Zone 2
Elevation -130 m (−430 ft)

Dallol (Amharic: ዳሎል) was a settlement in the Dallol woreda of northern Ethiopia. Located in Administrative Zone 2 of the Afar Region in the Afar Depression, it has a latitude and longitude of 14°14′19″N 40°17′38″E / 14.23861°N 40.29389°E / 14.23861; 40.29389 with an elevation of about 130 meters below sea level. The Central Statistical Agency has not published an estimate for this settlement's 2005 population; it has been described as a ghost town.

Dallol currently holds the official record for record high average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth, where an average annual temperature of 35°C (96°F) was recorded between the years 1960 and 1966. Dallol is also one of the most remote places on Earth. There are no roads; the only regular transport service is provided by camel caravans which travel to the area to collect salt.

Nearby is the Dallol volcano, which last erupted in 1926.

History[edit]

A railway from the port of Mersa Fatma in Eritrea to a point 28 km from Dallol was completed in April 1918. Built from 1917-1918, using the 600 mm gauge Decauville system ("Decauville" describes ready-made sections of small-gauge track which can be rapidly assembled) it transported salt from the "Iron Point" rail terminal near Dallol, via Kululli to the port.[1]

Mining[edit]

Potash production is said to have reached about 50,000 metric tons after the railway was constructed. Production was stopped after World War I owing to large-scale supplies from Germany, USA, and USSR. Unsuccessful attempts to reopen production were made in the period 1920-1941. Between the years 1925-29 an Italian company mined 25,000 tons of sylvite, averaging 70% KCl, which was transported by rail to Mersa Fatma.[1] After the Second World War, the British administration dismantled the railway and removed all traces of it.[2]

The Dallol Co. of Asmara sold a few tons of salt from this site to India in 1951-1953. In the 1960s, the Parsons Company of the USA, a mining company, conducted a series of geological surveys at Dallol. By 1965, about 10,000 holes had been drilled at 65 locations.[1]

Dallol became more known in the West in 2004 when it was featured in the Channel 4/National Geographic documentary Going to Extremes. As of 2004, some buildings still stand in Dallol, all built with salt blocks.

Climate[edit]

Dallol currently holds the record high average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth, where an average annual temperature of 35°C (96°F) was recorded between the years 1960 and 1966. Dallol is also one of the most remote places on Earth.[3]


Climate data for Dallol
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 36
(97)
36.4
(97.5)
39.1
(102.3)
40.7
(105.3)
44.3
(111.8)
46.4
(115.6)
45.6
(114.0)
44.1
(111.4)
43
(109.4)
41.6
(106.8)
39.3
(102.8)
36.5
(97.7)
41.08
(105.97)
Average low °C (°F) 24.6
(76.3)
24.6
(76.3)
26
(78.8)
27.1
(80.8)
28.5
(83.3)
30.4
(86.8)
31.8
(89.2)
31
(88)
31.6
(88.8)
29.6
(85.3)
27.1
(80.8)
25.7
(78.3)
28.17
(82.72)
Source: D.E. Pedgley, "Air Temperature at Dallol, Ethiopia," Meteorological Magazine v.96 (1967): 265-271

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Local History in Ethiopia". The Nordic Africa Institute website. Retrieved 1 May 2008. 
  2. ^ Wrong, Michela (2005). I Didn't Do It for You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation. New York: HarperCollins. p. 149f. ISBN 978-0060780920. 
  3. ^ D.E. Pedgley, "Air Temperature at Dallol, Ethiopia," Meteorological Magazine v.96 (1967): 265-271

External links[edit]