Saturday, June 09, 2007

Geyser site in Russia buried - mostly

One of the few sites in the world with geysers and surface thermal effects was buried in a landslide this week - Valley of Geysers on the Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia - 54°26' N, 160° 8' E. The only other sites are in Iceland, Chile, New Zealand and the big one - Yellowstone NP in the US. National Geographic
In Kamchatka more than 20 large jets and 200 smaller thermal springs punch through Earth's crust in a 2.7-square-mile (7-square-kilometer) area. "We've lost one of the great natural wonders of the world," Laura Williams, director of WWF Russia's Kamchatka office, said in a statement. The landslide was likely caused by an earthquake, as Kamchatka is located on the tectonically unstable "Ring of Fire" circling the Pacific Ocean, said Margaret Williams of WWF's Alaska office. Much of the peninsula, including the Valley of the Geysers, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the presence of almost a hundred volcanoes. Unless the new river blockage is breached, the area will probably turn into a large heated lake....
Update 6/11/07: Wikipedia reports that the largest geyser, Velikan (Giant) Geyser, was not buried and been seen erupting. Johnson's archive Geyser and Yellowstone Resources is excellent.

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