Our Beautiful World

The Geysers of Kamchatka

Flowers and grasses of Kamchatka
 Courtesy: http://www.kamchatka.org.ru 

7. The Geysers of Kamchatka

The Valley of geysers was discovered not long ago - in April, 1941 when a hydrologist
and a guide, went up along the riverbed of the Shumnaya, and, entering a narrow passageway
between the rocks, stopped not far from the mouth of an unknown tributary.

There is still snow everywhere in April. Somehow making themselves comfortable on a steep
snow-covered slope, exhausted travellers decided to have a snack. There was a thawed patch
on the opposite shore with a light steam over it, and suddenly a spurt of hot water bursted
straight towards them!

 Courtesy: http://www.kamchatka.org.ru
The scared people started off - time to save their souls! - but soon realised that the boiling
water could not reach them, and the rain of cooled splashes was not dangerous.
The gush stopped as abruptly as it started, so they realized that she saw an authentic geyser,
the first one in Kamchatka ever seen.They named it "Pervenets" (The First-Born).

There are over 20 big geysers in the Valley of geysers. Velikan(Giant), Zhemchuzhny (Pearly),
Sakharny (Sugary), Troynoy (Triple), Konus (Cone), Fontan (Fountain), Maly (Small),
Bolshoy (Big), Shchel (Slit) - here are some names. There are geysers that gush forth every
10-12 minutes, while others may erupt once in 4-5 hours.

 Courtesy: http://www.kamchatka.org.ru
The most dangerous spots in the Valley of geysers are covered with grass looking harmless:
you sometimes feel an irresistible temptation to step on the green meadow. It is difficult for
a person unaware of the Valley's perfidy to imagine that the attractive cover often conceals
burning mud, and the foot not gaining a support, will go deep down as if in butter.
It is dangerous not to wear boots, though not any pair of boots will protect you from burns -
the burning marshy ground is sometimes over 1m deep. The only thing you can trust in the
valley is wormwood. This well-known plain plant prefers absolutely reliable spots.
Where wormwood grows, you can pause with relief, sit or even lie down without a fear that
the ground will open wide under you.

Uzon Velley - Geyser
Courtesy: http://www.kamchatkapeninsula.com/

On October 4, 1981, the Valley of Geysers experienced a shock. Typhoon Elsa blowing over
Kamchatka, provoked such rains that the water level in the river Geysernaya went several
meters up. The swelled stream of mud and stones pulled 3-meter boulders along the river-bed
destroying everything in its way. Geyser Bolshaya Pechka (Big Oven) died.
Source Malakhitovi Grot (Malachite Grotto), the beauty and pride of the valley,
was badly damaged.

Nalychevo thermal springs
 Courtesy: http://www.kamchatka.org.ru
Nalychevo thermal springs are the biggest thermal carbonic acid springs at Kamchatka;
unloading between Goryachaya and Zholtaya rivers at square more than 2 km2.
At the foot of Kruglaya mountain deposits of springs created a big travers plate more than
50000 km2 with dome, which consist from carbonic and chalybeate-arsenic deposits
(dome was called "boiler"). Along the plate a lot of hot springs come out, which form brook.
Around the dome are thermal swamps.

Verchne-Zhirovski thermal springs
Courtesy: http://www.kamchatka.org.ru
Verchne-Zhirivski steam currents and springs are at the Upper Zhirovaya river.
Outlets of springs and steam currents are like difficult access gorges with very abrupt ages
(few hundreds meters in high). Thermal springs and steam currents dispensed at large territory.
Almost all of them are at the steep slopes. There is three part of slope, which like slopes of
Severo-Mutnovski therms, has steam currents and mud boilers, and warm plates with boiling
temperature; And also hot springs (60-72'C). Chemical structure of steam is sulfat-calcium-
sodium with general mineralization about 0,2-0,5 grams per liter.

The Valley of Death
This uncommon spot in the Kronotsky Biosphere Zapovednik, lies at the foot of the
Kikhpinych Volcano. Here, a high concentration of volcanic gases (carbon monoxide,
hydrogen sulfide, and carbon dioxide), a lack of wind, and an abundance of naturally
occurring heavy metals in the upper layers of the soil cause a variety of insects, birds,
and mammals to perish when they enter the vicinity.

more to follow
Text and pictures on this page:
 Courtesy: http://www.kamchatka.org.ru 

 0. Main menu
 1. Preface
 2. Where on Earth is Kamchatka?
 3. Animals - Wildlife
 4. Birds - Birding
 5. Flora - Flowers and Forests
 6. Sealife
 8. The Volcanoes of Kamchatka
 9. The Forests in Kamchatka
10. The Indigenous People of Kamchatka
11. Vitus Bering, explorer
12. Georg Steller, naturalist

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