NASA reveals rise in lava levels near Ethiopia's Etra Ale (

It is known as the 'smoking mountain' and the 'gateway to hell'.

Erta Ale, a shield volcano near the Ethiopian and Eritrean border, is famous for its long-lived lava lake that has gurgled and spattered in its caldera for decades.

Now, NASA images have revealed new cracks in the are, spilling large amounts of lava, while researchers have also found at least one of the lava lakes has experienced large changes in the level of its lava that have led to overflows and intense spattering.

The incredible geological phenomenon is caused by three tectonic plates tearing themselves apart in spectacular fashion in Africa's Danakil (or Afar) Depression. [...] MORE