Petropavlovsk-
Kamchatsky
09:01 22.10.2017
 
petropavlovsk-kamchatskiy °C

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The Valley of Geysers

The Valley of GeysersOne of the world wonders – the Geyser Valley – is located amongst the mountains of the Eastern Volcanic Belt at more than 500 meter height, in the basin of one of the inflows of Shumnaya River.

The basin of an ancient lake which disappeared many centuries ago with the bottom deeply dissected by a mountain river is called the Geyser Valley. Geysers are boiling water jets erupting from the incandescent earth entrails – Kikhpinych Volcano branches.

The Geyser Valley was discovered in 1941. The pioneer Tatiana Ustinova (geologist of the Reserve) together with the guide Krupenin, trying to find an answer to the question why water in one of the rivers was warmer than in the others, has got under a geyser jet. This geyser was later named “Pervenets” (Firstborn). Thus one of the major geographical discoveries of the 20th century was made.

What does the Geyser Valley represent? It is a mountain river canyon where over twenty large geysers act on seven square kilometer area. Each of these geysers is exceptional and unique. Each of them has its own name and character.

“Velican” erupts thirty tons of water per one minute up to nine-storey house height, while “Troinoi” (Triple) pulsates from three holes simultaneously; “Bolshoi” creates a unique water cascade from a huge gryphon-like cavity, while “Pervenets” throws a boiling jet from under a stone block directly into the river.

“Sakharny” (Sugar) pulsates upwards with a crown sparkling in the sunshine, and “Fontan” (Fountain) creates a narrow “milky” jet. “Leshiy” (Sylvan) groans in semi-underwater condition, “Khrustalny” (Crystal) glitters, while “Grot” (Grotto) keeps silent for years in order to once cave tens of thousands of turbid water from the slope to the river. The spectacle of fountain geysers is supplemented by more than two hundred pulsating hot and steaming springs, steam and gas jets, bowls with red boiling clay, steaming cavities whooing like owls, hot and warm lakes and brooks with waterfalls.

The Valley of GeysersThe Geyser Valley is a unique ecosystem and a special microclimate for plants and animals. Spring comes to thermal sites a month earlier than usual, at the end of April. Having left their winter bedrooms, tens of brown bears get together near the geysers: they eat the first fresh greens, rest on spring snowdrifts, have their mating games and estrus. There is no other place like the Geyser Valley in Kamchatka where so many bears get together on such a limited area during estrus.

The Valley is also inimitable during late fall and in the beginning of winter. Snow is slowly falling on the ground, and boiling water jets are erupting from underground with a loud noise!
The Geyser Valley is a unique facility for ecological tourism. Presidents, cosmonauts, prime ministers, artists and businessmen were amongst the Geyser Valley’s famous visitors. Scenes of the movie “Sannikov Land” were shot against the background of Kamchatka geysers and waterfalls.

Vladimir Mossolov,
Deputy Director for Science
of the Kronotsky Reserve.

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