Considered to have potential as a future World Heritage Site
Location and Area: The Danakil Depression marks the northern end of the Great Rift Valley on the African mainland, the point where Earth’s forces are most actively tearing the continent apart. It is an extremely arid, hot desert area which stretches from the coastline of Eritrea through north-eastern Ethiopia and western parts of Djibouti (see map).
Inscription Status: Not yet included on Ethiopia’s Tentative List (2015), but Djibouti has included two areas within the Danakil (LakeAsal and LakeAbbe) in its draft Tentative List.
Important Values: The Danakil Depression is an area of outstanding geological interest, providing a unique window on the underlying processes which have created the Earth’s continents and land masses. Here, in relatively close proximity, geological features associated with the splitting of continental land masses are clearly seen, including intense volcanic activity (with one of the few permanent lava lakes on the planet - Mount Irtale), hot sulphur springs elaborately decorated with extraordinary coral-like formations, salt-encrusted lake beds, and vast limestone chimneys (Lake Abbe).
Slideshow of Danakil Depression
Comparison with other sites:
Possible constraints to world heritage listing: