Carpathian volcano

The Carpathians are known not only for dense forests, the highest mountains in Ukraine and picturesque corners, but also for rare geological natural monuments. The mud volcano is an unusual sight located in Starunia village.

volcano carpathians starunia

Ukrainian volcano

There are many natural surprises in this area, so it belongs to seismically active places. On the territory of the ancient ozokerite industry, not far from the settlement, the site “Chudo-Starunia” is located. Its area reaches 1.5 km2. It combines various neotectonic, hydrological, mineral-petrographic and stratigraphic characteristics.

The swamp volcano shows increased sensitivity to minor ground vibrations in the occurrence of sinkholes, cracks, and the formation of small waterfalls. It rises by almost 1 meter in 7 years. It is an underground “barometer” that functions continuously, and is even used by scientists to predict future earthquakes, study cases of mineral formation and earth dynamics. 

Near the Starunia mud volcano there are mineralized waters and hot mud, which have healing properties. On the river coast of Velikiy Lukovets, in the western part, near the foothills of Gorgana, a fold of geological rocks was formed. On its top there is a mud volcano with clay streams 10 to 60 m long and an elevated cone of almost 3 meters. 

The mud volcano in Starunia is the only rare, functioning natural monument in the Carpathians and Ukraine. The Ukrainian volcano arose thanks to human labor. There was a time when nitrogen and oil deposits were developed here. Groundwater penetrates deep into the earth’s crust, oxidizing oil at a depth of more than 600 meters. Thus, thermal energy begins to flow in, which acts as fuel for the volcano.

In 1977, there was an earthquake in the mountainous area of Vrancha, which caused the appearance of the Starunia volcano. On the mound, which has a diameter of almost 50 meters, craters spewing out gas, mud and liquid have formed. From the outside, the volcano resembles a breathing mud patch with twelve non-permanent and eight permanent mini-craters.

A swamp volcano emits oil, clay pulp, oil components, water, gas. Small cracks sometimes appear in the ground due to distant earthquakes, which completely close in a few days. The outward calm of the volcano is deceptive, as a boiling stream can erupt at any moment, accompanied by the sound of a boiling kettle.

Scientists say that the geological monument was formed on a relief surface that has cracks. At a depth of about 1,000 meters, complex physical and chemical processes began, which caused the release of brines, mineral waters, and mud masses. Zinc and lead compounds appeared, movements of the earth’s crust and the latest tectonics were revealed.

These spaces contain many different natural minerals. A 24,000-year-old rhinoceros, a beautifully preserved prehistoric mammoth, was found here in ozokerite layers. A salt well is located not far from the mud volcano. The water contains 70% salt, and the depth is almost 20 meters. In the past, residents of nearby settlements who mined salt came here. Today, the well has become wider and can become the basis for the formation of the lake. It can be used as health and therapeutic baths.

Volcano in Starunia: short facts

Such a miracle volcano can be seen only in this area, as there are no analogues not only in Ukraine, but also in the whole world.

  • appeared thanks to human labor, since 100 years ago oil and nitrogen deposits were developed here;
  • the cause of the formation of the volcano was an earthquake in Romania. The first small craters were formed on a cone-shaped mound, with a diameter of only 50 meters. Gas, dirt, and liquid began to spew from their mouths;
  • according to researchers, the swamp volcano “broke out” from the convex surface from several faults formed in the earth’s crust. At a depth of about 1,000 meters, complex physical and chemical processes began, which caused the formation of zinc and lead compounds;
  • externally, the swamp volcano resembles a “breathing” mud patch that has mini-craters. Nineteen craters appeared thanks to human “efforts”, and the rest – naturally. Each has its own composition, rich in various chemical elements: oil, water, clay or gas. When it erupts, it makes a sound that resembles the boiling of a kettle;
  • nearby is a man-made “eternal fire”, which is a remnant of a gas pipe set on fire by local residents 30 years ago to prevent increased gassing;
  • sensitive to earthquakes occurring within a radius of 3000-6000 km (Caucasus, Iraq, Germany, Italy, Romania, Central Asia);
  • the mud volcano is unpredictable, so it requires careful behavior near the craters, which can become active at any moment;
  • a salt well with a depth of 20 meters is located nearby. Water salinity reaches 70%;
  • increased seismic sensitivity is manifested in the formation of small dips, cracks, the development of thresholds, gas release activity;
  • It rises by almost 1 meter in 7 years.

The Transfer-Bukovel company will help you see the natural attraction. We are ready to organize individual or group passenger transportation to the village of Starunia. We cooperate with travel and excursion agencies, so we offer favorable prices and the most interesting options for a trip to the mud volcano. Book a transfer with experienced drivers in equipped cars to get to your destination quickly, safely and comfortably.

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