Smoking Hills

Most people perceive the Arctic as a clean, pristine environment, but the Smoking Hills, located 350 km east of the Mackenzie Delta, are a natural source of air pollution. The shale rocks in this area are rich in sulphur and coal. A chemical reaction between these two substances results in spontaneous combustion – the ground is on fire! The Hills have been smouldering for hundreds of years, emitting columns of thick smoke. Burning sulphur is transformed into sulphur dioxide, a chemical which has acidified the neighbouring soil and ponds.

Smoking Hills