Fire Volcano

Friday - 16/10/2020 13:06
Gieng Tien Volcano, known as Fire Volcano—located here in West village, An Vinh Commune—is the second largest volcano on Ly Son Island. It’s 90 meters high, 500 meters in diameter, and once exploded ash and debris over an area of about 0.45 square kilometers.  Fire Volcano has a very round and sharp mouth that looks like a coin (tien means coin in Vietnamese).

Similar to Thoi Loi (Water Volcano), Gieng Tien’s northern edge is being eroded, creating a cliff where ancient people made steps for climbing up the crater. These people carved a group of three caves in the cliff as places to worship Buddha. These caves form the Duc Pagoda, and local people believe this was the place where Guan Yin Buddha once dwelled, defending the people from natural disasters and invaders. In 2010, Buddhists and island residents built a 27-meter-high statue of Guan Yin in the pagoda.

The cliff of Gieng Tien Volcano tells many fascinating stories about its geologic formation. Falling ash and debris accumulated in layers on the ring of its slope, without any signs of sea sedimentation. Also, there are no sea level marks on the cliff. These implies that Gieng Tien, similar to Thoi Loi’s smaller ring, formed on land, most likely at the same time, about 3,000-4,000 years ago. 

Craters are rarely rounded but often have an annular shape, waning at one side. Volcanic activity usually begins with explosive blasting, which shoots up ash, dust, and gas creating a round mouth. The lava rises and partially destroys the mouth in the subsequent eruption. This destroyed section is usually the lowest part of the crater’s bottom. Here, it’s where the cliff forms. The cliff is subject to further destruction caused by others processes, including waves, tides, rains, storms, groundwater, the growth of trees’ roots, or human activities. The flow of fresh water coming out of the crater has formed large beach rocks on the coast.

There are many other interesting stories related to Gieng Tien Volcano, such as the tale of islanders using the volcano’s clay soil to make the dummies used in the feast of Paracel Flotilla soldiers. There are also stories of two fairies playing chess on its top and of seagoing ships anchoring here to buy fresh water.

Gieng Tien Volcano was granted a National Monument Title by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2020.
 
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