The Berca Mud Volcanoes are a geological and botanical reservation located in the Berca commune in the Buzau County in Romania. Its most spectacular feature is the mud volcanoes, small volcano-shaped structures typically a few meters high caused by the eruption of mud and natural gases.
As the gasses erupt from 3000 meters-deep towards the surface, through the underground layers of clay and water, they push up underground salty water and mud, so that they overflow through the mouths of the volcanoes, while the gas emerges as bubbles. The mud dries off at the surface, creating a relatively solid conical structure, resembling a real volcano. The mud expelled by them is cold, as it comes from inside the Earth's continental crust layers, and not from the mantle.
The reservation is unique in Romania. Elsewhere in Europe, similar phenomena can be observed in Italy (northern Apennines and Sicily), Ukraine (in the Kerch Peninsula), as well as Azerbaijan.
The mud volcanoes create a strange lunar landscape, due to the absence of vegetation around the cones. Vegetation is scarce because the soil is very salty, an environmental condition in which few plants can survive. However, this kind of environment is good for some rare species of plants, such as Nitraria schoberi and Obione verrucifera.
The phenomenon can be observed on two separate locations near the Berca commune, dubbed the Little Mud Volcanoes and The Big Mud Volcanoes.
Rezervatie naturala de tip geologic pe cca. 30 ha. Vulcanii noroiosi sunt localizati în Subcarpatii de Curbura, in localitatea Berca, jud. Buzãu, fiind formati datoritã eruptiilor de gaze din pamînt, care antreneza spre suprafata nãmol si apã. Cunoscuti în zona sub denumirea de pâcle, vulcanii noroiosi au aceiasi structurã ca si vulcanii adevarati, în interiorul lor producându-se procese similare. Altfel spus avem de-a face cu niste vulcani in miniaturã la care conurile nu depãsesc 5- 6m înaltime, iar adâncimea de la care este aruncatã spre suprafata "lava" este mult mai mica. In final acelasi rezultat , adica o suprafatã în mare parte aridã dar in celasi timp spectaculoasã.