This unique corner of the Earth, included into the List of Natural Objects of the UNESCO World Heritage together with active volcanoes served up to now as a visiting card of Kamchatka. Thousands of Russian and foreign tourists visited it every year. It is not accidental that the catastrophic events of June 3, 2007, attracted the attention of the domestic and foreign public. This is what happened.
At 02.20 p.m. local time one of the hills, 750 m high, suddenly started to slide and a stormy stream of water, mud and stones, debris of pumice tuffs rushed down along the valley, moving with a speed of 35 - 40 km/h, tearing out trees and bushes on its way. In the mid-current of Vodopadny brook it opened and washed away red clays of hydrothermal origin.
Simultaneously with the process of sliding of mud and stone mass in the course of 2.5 min, the collapse of benches near the watershed part of Geyzernaya river valley went on. Besides, this avalanche swept on its way a huge quantity of snow (in some places about 15 - 20 percent of the deposit volume) and enormous blocks (10 m long and more). All this formed a natural dike, 50 m high, partitioning off Geyzernaya river bed. As a result there has formed a lake, whose waterline made up 435 m above sea level in the period of the highest water rise. Its maximum depth is 30 m, length about 2 km. Later on these indicators have become somewhat lower.
As a result of these events, there has also appeared a shoe-like collapse amphitheater, consisting of 2 adjacent volcano craters, open to the north-west, with a subvertical wall, approximately 150 m high, and about 800 m long, with a gently sloping bottom 400 - 600 m long in the north-eastern direction. The volume of collapse and avalanche made up, according to preliminary estimates, 3 - 5 mln m3.
The scientists from the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the RAS Far-Eastern Branch were among the first to react to the tragic events in Kamchatka. They ... Читать далее