The Kamchatka Peninsula (Russian: полуо́стров Камча́тка, Poluostrov Kamchatka, IPA: [pəlʊˈostrəf kɐmˈt͡ɕætkə]) is a 1,250-kilometre-long (780 mi) peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of about 270,000 km2 (100,000 sq mi). The Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Okhotsk make up the peninsula's eastern and western coastlines, respectively. Immediately offshore along the Pacific coast of the peninsula runs the 10,500-metre (34,400-ft) deep Kuril–Kamchatka Trench.
The Kamchatka Peninsula, the Commander Islands, and Karaginsky Island constitute the Kamchatka Krai of the Russian Federation. The vast majority of the 322,079 inhabitants are ethnic Russians, but about 13,000 Koryaks (2014) live there as well. More than half of the population lives in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (179,526 in 2010) and nearby Yelizovo (38,980). The Kamchatka peninsula contains the volcanoes of Kamchatka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia. The pinkish red area is the Kamchatka Krai which includes some of the mainland to the north.
|Adjacent bodies of water|
|Area||270,000 km2 (100,000 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||4,750 m (15,580 ft)|
|Highest point||Klyuchevskaya Sopka|
|Federal subject||Kamchatka Krai|
|Capital and largest city||Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky|
Views of Kamchatka from space in early summer (left) and late winter (right). Note the sea ice paralleling the coastline.
Politically, the peninsula forms part of Kamchatka Krai. The southern tip is called Cape Lopatka (Lopatka is Russian for spade). The circular bay to the north of this on the Pacific side is Avacha Bay with the capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Northward up the Pacific side, the four peninsulas are called Shipunsky Point, Kronotsky Point, Kamchatsky Point, and Ozernoy Point. North of Ozernoy Point is the large Karaginsky Bay, which features Karaginsky Island. Northeast of this (off the displayed map) lies Korfa Bay with the town of Tilichiki. On the opposite side is the Shelikhov Gulf.
The Kamchatka or Central (Sredinny) Range forms the spine of the peninsula. Along the southeast coast runs the Vostochny Range or Eastern Range. Between these lies the central valley. The Kamchatka River rises northwest of Avacha and flows north down the central valley, turning east near Klyuchi to enter the Pacific south of Kamchatsky Point at Ust-Kamchatsk. In the nineteenth century, a trail led west from near Klychi over the mountains to the Tegil river and town, which was the main trading post on the west coast. North of Tegil is Koryak Okrug. South of the Tegil is the Icha River. Just south of the headwaters of the Kamchatka, the Bistraya River curves southwest to enter the Sea of Okhotsk at Bolsheretsk, which once served as a port connecting the peninsula to Okhotsk. South of the Bistraya flows the Golygina River.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the settlements in the central part of the peninsula are connected by highway leading to Ust-Kamchatsk. The road is asphalt in its southern part and near habitations, but changes to gravel about halfway north. Another highway connects the local capital with Bolsheretsk. Bus service is available on both roads. Most other roads are gravel-covered or over coverless ground, requiring off-road capable vehicles. There is semi-regular passenger transportation with aircraft.
The obvious circular area in the central valley is the Klyuchevskaya Sopka, an isolated volcanic group southeast of the curve of the Kamchatka River. West of Kronotsky Point is the Kronotsky Biosphere Reserve with the Valley of Geysers. At the southern tip is the Southern Kamchatka Wildlife Refuge with Kurile Lake. There are several other protected areas on the peninsula.
Kamchatka receives up to 2,700 mm (110 in) of precipitation per year. This is much higher than the rest of Eastern Russia, and is due to prevailing westerly winds blowing over the Sea of Japan and picking up moisture. This then rises as it hits the higher topography of the peninsula, and condenses into rain. The summers are moderately cool, and the winters are rather stormy, but the storms rarely produce lightning.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Although Kamchatka lies at similar latitudes to Scotland, cold arctic winds from Siberia combined with the cold Oyashio sea current keep the peninsula covered in snow from October to late May. Under the Köppen climate classification, Kamchatka generally has a subarctic climate (Dfc), but higher and more northerly areas have a polar climate (ET). Kamchatka is much wetter and milder than eastern Siberia. It is essentially transitional from the hypercontinental climate of Siberia and northeast China to the rain-drenched subpolar oceanic climate of the Aleutian Islands.
There is considerable variation, however, between the rain-drenched and heavily glaciated east coast and the drier and more continental interior valley. In the heavily glaciated Kronotsky Peninsula, where maritime influences are most pronounced, annual precipitation can reach as high as 2,500 millimetres (98 in), whilst the southeast coast south of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky generally receives around 1,166 millimetres (45.9 in) of rainfall equivalent per year. Considerable local variations exist: southern parts of the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky metropolitan area can receive as much as 430 millimetres (17 in) more than the northern part of the city. Temperatures here are very mild, with summer maxima around 16 °C (61 °F) and winter lows around −8 °C (18 °F), whilst diurnal temperature ranges seldom exceed 5 °C (9 °F) due to persistent fog on exposed parts of the coast. South of 57˚N there is no permafrost due to the relatively mild winters and heavy snow cover, whilst northward discontinuous permafrost prevails. The west coastal plain has colder and drier climate with precipitation ranging from 880 millimetres (35 in) in the south to as little as 430 millimetres (17 in) in the north, where winter temperatures become considerably colder at around −20 °C (−4 °F).
The interior valley of the Kamchatka River, represented by Klyuchi, has much lower precipitation (at around 450 to 650 millimetres (18 to 26 in)) and significantly more continental temperatures, reaching 19 °C (66 °F) on a typical summer day and during extreme cold winter spells falling as low as −41 °C (−42 °F). Sporadic permafrost prevails over the lower part of this valley, but it becomes more widespread at higher altitudes and glaciers, and continuous permafrost prevails north of 55˚N.
The summer months, when maximum temperatures range from 15 to 20 °C (59 to 68 °F), are popular with tourists, but a growing trend in winter sports keeps tourism pulsing year-round. The volcanoes and glaciers play a role in forming Kamchatka's climate, and hot springs have kept alive dozens of species decimated during the last ice-age.
|Volcanoes of Kamchatka|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Inscription||1996 (20th Session)|
The Kamchatka River and the surrounding central side valley are flanked by large volcanic belts containing around 160 volcanoes, 29 of them still active. The peninsula has a high density of volcanoes and associated volcanic phenomena, with 19 active volcanoes included in the six UNESCO World Heritage List sites in the Volcanoes of Kamchatka group, most of them on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the most volcanic area of the Eurasian continent, with many active cones. The Kamchatka Peninsula is also known as the "land of fire and ice".
The highest volcano is Klyuchevskaya Sopka (4,750 m or 15,584 ft), the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere, while the most striking is Kronotsky: volcanologists Robert and Barbara Decker regard its perfect cone as a prime candidate for the world's most beautiful volcano. Somewhat more accessible are the three volcanoes visible from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky: Koryaksky, Avachinsky, and Kozelsky. In the center of Kamchatka is Eurasia's world-famous Geyser Valley which was partly destroyed by a massive mudslide in June 2007.
Owing to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench, deep-focus seismic events and tsunamis occur fairly commonly. A pair of megathrust earthquakes occurred off the coast on October 16, 1737, and on November 4, 1952, with magnitudes of ≈9.3 and 8.2 respectively. A chain of more shallow earthquakes were recorded as recently as April 2006. A significant 7.7 magnitude earthquake with a shallow depth of 10 kilometers occurred in the Pacific Ocean, 202 km ESE of Nikolskoye, on July 18, 2017.
When the Russian explorer Ivan Moskvitin reached the Sea of Okhotsk in 1639, further exploration was impeded by the lack of skills and equipment to build seagoing ships and by the harsh land to the northeast inhabited by the warlike Koryak people. Consequently, Russians entered Kamchatka from the north. In 1651, after having assisted in the foundation of the Anadyrsk ostrog, the explorer Mikhail Stadukhin went south and followed the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk from Penzhina Bay to Okhotsk. From about 1667 there were reports of a Kamchatka River to the south. Some time before 1700 a group of Russians were stranded and died on Kamchatka.
In 1695 explorer Vladimir Atlasov became commander of Anadyrsk. In 1696 he sent the Cossack Luka Morozko south. Morozko got as far as the Tigil River and returned with reports and some mysterious writings, probably Japanese. In 1697–1699 Atlasov explored nearly the whole of the peninsula. He built an ostrog at Verkhny-Kamchatsk, rescued or captured a Japanese castaway, and went to Moscow to report. In 1699 the Russians at Verkhny-Kamchatsk were killed on their way back to Anadyrsk by the Koryaks. In 1700 a punitive expedition destroyed a Koryak village and founded Nizhne-Kamchatsk on the lower river. Bolskeretsk was founded in 1703. From about 1705 there was a breakdown of order. There were numerous mutinies and native wars all over the peninsula and north to the Koryak country of the Penzhina River and Olyutorsky Gulf. Several people were sent out to restore order, including Atlasov, who was murdered in 1711. Vasily Merlin restored some degree of order between 1733 and 1739. There was no significant resistance after 1756. A major smallpox epidemic that hit in 1768–1769 quickly decimated the native population; the roughly 2,500 Itelmens present in 1773 were reduced to 1,900 in 1820, from an original population of 12,000–25,000. Those who survived adopted Russian customs, and there was a great deal of intermarriage, such that "Kamchadal" (the original Russian name for the Itelmens) came to mean any Russian or part-Russian born on the peninsula.
In 1713 Peter the Great sent shipbuilders to Okhotsk. A fifty-four-foot boat was built and sailed to the Tegil River in June 1716. This one-week journey, later redirected to Okhotsk-Bolseretsk, became the standard route to Kamchatka. In 1720 Ivan Yevreinov mapped Kamchatka and the Kurils. The Danish-born explorer Vitus Bering left Nezhe-Kamchatsk for his first voyage in 1728 and, as part of his second voyage, founded Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky in 1740.
Vitus Bering's Second Kamchatka Expedition (ca 1733–1743), in the service of the Russian Navy, began the final "opening" of Kamchatka, helped by the fact that the government began to use the area to exile people, famously the Slovak explorer and rebel the Count de Benyovszky in 1770. In 1755 Stepan Krasheninnikov published the first detailed description of the peninsula, An Account of the Land of Kamchatka. The Russian government encouraged the commercial activities of the Russian-American Company by granting land to newcomers on the peninsula. By 1812 the indigenous population had fallen to less than 3,200 while the Russian population had risen to 2,500.
In 1854 the French and British, who were battling Russian forces in the course of the Crimean War, attacked Petropavlovsk. During the Siege of Petropavlovsk, 988 men with a mere 68 guns managed to defend the outpost against 6 ships with 206 guns and 2,540 French and British soldiers. Despite the heroic defense, the Russians abandoned Petropavlovsk as a strategic liability after the French and British forces withdrew. The next year, when a second enemy force came to attack the port, they found it deserted. Frustrated, the ships bombarded the city and withdrew.
On 24 May 1861, the ship Polar Star (475 tons), of New Bedford, wrecked on the west coast of Kamchatka during a dense fog and gale. The chief officer and a boat's crew perished while attempting to reach the shore. The rest of the crew were saved by the barque Alice, of Cold Spring, and the ship Oliver Crocker, also from New Bedford.
On May 21, 1865, the American Civil War came to the area: the Confederate States Navy steamer Shenandoah sailed past the southern end of the Kamchatka Peninsula on its way to hunt United States whaling ships in the Sea of Okhotsk. As a commerce raider, the CSS Shenandoah aimed to destroy Union merchant shipping and thus draw off United States Navy ships in pursuit, thereby loosening the US Navy blockade of Confederate coasts. The ship spent almost three weeks in the Sea, destroying only one ship due to the dangerous ice, before moving on to the North Pacific, where it virtually captured or bonded 24 whalers, sinking most of them.
The next fifty years were lean for Kamchatka. The naval port moved to Ust-Amur, and in 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the United States, making Petropavlovsk obsolete as a transit point for traders and explorers on their way to the American territories. In 1860, a Primorsky (Maritime) Region was established and Kamchatka was placed under its jurisdiction. In 1875 Russia ceded the Kuril Islands to Japan in return for Russian sovereignty over Sakhalin island. The Russian population of Kamchatka stayed at around 2,500 until the turn of the century, while the native population increased to 5,000. During the 19th century, scientific exploration of the peninsula continued. Karl von Ditmar made an important journey to the peninsula in 1851–1854.
World War II (1939–1945) hardly affected Kamchatka except for its role as a launch site for the invasion of the Kurils in August 1945. After the war, the Soviet authorities declared Kamchatka a military zone: it remained closed to Soviet citizens until 1989 and to foreigners until 1990.
Kamchatka boasts abundant flora. The variable climate promotes different flora zones where tundra and muskeg are dominant, succeeded by grasses, flowering shrubs, and forests of pine, birch, alder and willow. The wide variety of plant forms spread throughout the Peninsula promotes a similar diversity in animal species that feed off the flora. Although Kamchatka is mostly tundra, deciduous and coniferous trees are abundant, and forests can be found throughout the peninsula.
Kamchatka boasts diverse and abundant wildlife. This is due to many factors, including a wide range of climates; diverse topography and geography; many free-flowing rivers; proximity to the highly productive waters of the northwestern Pacific Ocean, the Bering, and the Okhotsk Seas; low human population density; and minimal development. The peninsula also boasts the southernmost expanse of Arctic tundra in the world. However, commercial exploitation of marine resources and a history of fur trapping has taken its toll on several species.
Kamchatka is famous for the abundance and size of its brown bears. In the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, there are estimated to be three to four bears per 100 square kilometres. Other fauna of note include carnivores such as tundra wolf (Canis lupus albus), Arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) Anadyr fox (Vulpes vulpes beringiana), East Siberian lynx (Lynx lynx wrangeli), wolverine (Gulo gulo), sable (Martes zibellina), Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra), East Siberian stoat (Mustela ermine kaneii) and Siberian least weasel (Mustela nivalis pygmaea). The peninsula hosts habitat for several large ungulates including the Kamchatka snow sheep, reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), and Chukotka moose (Alces alces buturlini) one of the largest moose in the world and the largest in Eurasia; and rodents/leporids, including mountain hare (Lepus timidus), marmot, and several species of lemming and squirrel. The peninsula is the breeding ground for Steller's sea eagle, one of the largest eagle species, along with the golden eagle and gyr falcon.
Kamchatka most likely contains the world's greatest diversity of salmonid fish, including all six species of anadromous Pacific salmon (chinook, chum, coho, seema, pink, and sockeye). Due to its uniquely suitable environment, biologists estimate that a fifth of all Pacific salmon originates in Kamchatka. Kuril Lake is recognized as the biggest spawning-ground for sockeye in Eurasia. In response to pressure from poaching and to worldwide decreases in salmon stocks, some 24,000 square kilometres (9,300 sq mi) along nine of the more productive salmon rivers are in the process of being set aside as a nature preserve. Stickleback species, particularly Gasterosteus aculeatus and Pungitius pungitius, also occur in many coastal drainages, and are likely present in freshwater as well.
Cetaceans that frequent the highly productive waters of the northwestern Pacific and the Okhotsk Sea include: orcas, Dall's and harbour porpoises, humpback whales, sperm whales and fin whales. Less frequently, grey whales (from the eastern population), the critically endangered North Pacific right whale and bowhead whale, beaked whales and minke whales are encountered. Blue whale are known to feed off of the southeastern shelf in summer. Among pinnipeds, Steller's sea lions, northern fur seals, spotted seals and harbor seals are abundant along much of the peninsula. Further north, walruses and bearded seals can be encountered on the Pacific side, and ribbon seals reproduce on the ice of Karaginsky Bay. Sea otters are concentrated primarily on the southern end of the peninsula.
Seabirds include Murrelets, northern fulmars, thick and thin-billed murres, kittiwakes, tufted and horned puffins, red-faced, pelagic and other cormorants, and many other species. Typical of the northern seas, the marine fauna is likewise rich. Of commercial importance are Kamchatka crab (king crab), scallop, squid, pollock, cod, herring, halibut and several species of flatfish.
The Alyutors (Russian: Алюторцы; self designation: Алутальу, or Alutal'u) are an ethnic group (formerly classified as a subgroup of Koryaks) who lived on the Kamchatka Peninsula and Chukchi Peninsula of the Russian Far East. Today most of them live in Koryak Okrug of Kamchatka Krai.
The name also occurs as Olyutorka, a settlement where many of the Alyutor people formerly lived.
There is no precise data on the number of Alyutor people, but it is estimated that there are approximately 2,000 to 3,000 of them living in Russia in the present day.Avacha Bay
Avacha Bay (Russian: Авачинская губа, Авачинская бухта) is a Pacific Ocean bay on the southeastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. It is 24 km (15 mi) long and 3 km (2 mi) wide (at the mouth), with a maximum depth of 26 m (85 ft).The Avacha River flows into the bay. The port city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the closed town of Vilyuchinsk lie on the coast of the bay. It is the main transport gateway to the Kamchatka region. The bay freezes in the winter.
It was first discovered by Vitus Bering in 1729. It was surveyed and mapped by Captain Mikhail Tebenkov of the Imperial Russian Navy in the 1830s.Avachinsky
Avachinsky (also known as Avacha or Avacha Volcano or Avachinskaya Sopka) (Russian: Авачинская сопка, Авача) is an active stratovolcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia. It lies within sight of the capital of Kamchatka Krai, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Together with neighboring Koryaksky volcano, it has been designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of particular study in light of its history of explosive eruptions and proximity to populated areas.
Avachinsky's last eruption occurred in 2008. This eruption was tiny compared to the volcano's major Volcanic Explosivity Index 4 eruption in 1951Bering Island
Bering Island (Russian: о́стров Бе́ринга, ostrov Beringa) is located off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Bering Sea.Kamchatka earthquakes
Three earthquakes, which occurred off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula in far eastern Russia and the Soviet Union in 1737, 1923 and 1952, were megathrust earthquakes and caused tsunamis. They occurred where the Pacific Plate subducts under the Okhotsk Plate at the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench. The depth of the trench at the point of the earthquakes is 7,000–7,500 m. Northern Kamchatka lies at the western end of the Bering fault, between the Pacific Plate and North American Plate, or the Bering plate There are many more earthquakes and tsunamis originating from Kamchatka, of which the most recent was the 1997 Kamchatka earthquake and tsunami originating near the Kronotsky Peninsula.Karymsky (volcano)
Karymsky (Russian: Карымская сопка, Karymskaya sopka) is an active stratovolcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. It is the most active volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula, as well as the most active volcano of Kamchatka's eastern volcanic zone.
It is named after the Karyms, an ethnic group in Russia.Klyuchevskaya Sopka
Klyuchevskaya Sopka (Russian: Ключевская сопка; also known as Klyuchevskoi, Russian: Ключевской) is a stratovolcano, the highest mountain on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia and the highest active volcano of Eurasia. It is the highest mountain in Siberia (Asian Russia). Its steep, symmetrical cone towers about 100 kilometres (60 mi) from the Bering Sea. The volcano is part of the natural Volcanoes of Kamchatka UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Klyuchevskaya appeared 6,000 years ago. Its first recorded eruption occurred in 1697, and it has been almost continuously active ever since, as have many of its neighboring volcanoes. It was first climbed in 1788 by Daniel Gauss and two other members of the Billings Expedition. No other ascents were recorded until 1931, when several climbers were killed by flying lava on the descent. As similar dangers still exist today, few ascents are made.
Klyuchevskaya Sopka is considered sacred by some indigenous peoples, being viewed by them as the location at which the world was created. Other volcanoes in the region are seen with similar spiritual significance, but Klyuchevskaya Sopka is the most sacred of these.Koryaks
Koryaks (or Koriak) are an indigenous people of the Russian Far East, who live immediately north of the Kamchatka Peninsula in Kamchatka Krai and inhabit the coastlands of the Bering Sea. The cultural borders of the Koryaks include Tigilsk in the south and the Anadyr basin in the north.
The Koryaks are culturally similar to the Chukchis of extreme northeast Siberia. The Koryak language and Alutor (which is often regarded as a dialect of Koryak), are linguistically close to the Chukchi language. All of these languages are members of the Chukotko-Kamchatkan language family. They are more distantly related to the Itelmens on the Kamchatka Peninsula. All of these peoples and other, unrelated minorities in and around Kamchatka are known collectively as Kamchadals.
Neighbors of the Koryaks include the Evens to the west, the Alutor to the south (on the isthmus of Kamchatka Peninsula), the Kerek to the east, and the Chukchi to the northeast.
The Koryak are typically split into two groups: the coastal people Nemelan (or Nymylan) meaning 'village dwellers,' due to their living in villages. Their lifestyle is based on local fishing and marine mammal hunting. The inland Koryak, reindeer herders, are called Chaucu (or Chauchuven), meaning 'rich in reindeer.' They are more nomadic, following the herds as they graze with the seasons.According to the 2010 census, there were 7,953 Koryaks in Russia.Koryaksky
Koryaksky or Koryakskaya Sopka (Russian: Коря́кская со́пка) is an active volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East. It lies within sight of Kamchatka Krai's administrative center, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Together with neighbouring Avachinsky, it has been designated a Decade Volcano, worthy of particular study in light of its history of explosive eruptions and proximity to populated areas.Kronotsky Nature Reserve
Kronotsky (Кроноцкий) Nature Reserve (also: Kronotsky Biosphere Zapovednik) is a nature area reserved for the study of natural sciences in the remote Russian Far East, on the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula. It was created in 1934 and its current boundary contains an area of 10,990 km2 (4,240 sq mi). The largest lake in the reserve is Lake Kronotskoye, which covers an area of 246 square kilometres (95 sq mi). It also has Russia's only geyser basin, plus several mountain ranges with numerous volcanoes, both active and extinct. Due to its often harsh climate and its mix of volcanoes and geysers, it is frequently described as the Land of Fire and Ice.Kronotsky is mainly accessible only to scientists, plus approximately 3,000 tourists annually who pay a fee equivalent to US$700 to travel by helicopter for a single day's visit. It is part of Volcanoes of Kamchatka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.Kuril–Kamchatka Trench
The Kuril–Kamchatka Trench or Kuril Trench (Russian: Курило-Камчатский жёлоб, Kurilo-Kamchatskii Zhyolob) is an oceanic trench in the northwest Pacific Ocean. It lies off the southeast coast of Kamchatka and parallels the Kuril Island chain to meet the Japan Trench east of Hokkaido. It extends from a triple junction with the Ulakhan Fault and the Aleutian Trench near the Commander Islands, Russia, in the northeast, to the intersection with the Japan Trench in the southwest.The trench formed as a result of the subduction zone, which formed in the late Cretaceous, that created the Kuril island arc as well as the Kamchatka volcanic arc. The Pacific Plate is being subducted beneath the Okhotsk Plate along the trench, resulting in intense volcanism.List of large volcanic eruptions
This is a sortable summary of the pages Timeline of volcanism on Earth, List of Quaternary volcanic eruptions, and Large volume volcanic eruptions in the Basin and Range Province. Uncertainties as to dates and tephra volumes are not restated, and references are not repeated. Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) values for events in the Miocene epoch sometimes lack references. They are given as VEI-equivalent, as orientation of the erupted tephra volume.List of volcanoes in Russia
This is a list of active and extinct volcanoes in Russia.Okhotsk Plate
The Okhotsk Plate is a minor tectonic plate covering the Sea of Okhotsk, the Kamchatka Peninsula, Sakhalin Island and Tōhoku and Hokkaidō in Japan. It was formerly considered a part of the North American Plate, but recent studies indicate that it is an independent plate, bounded on the north by the North American Plate. The boundary is a left-lateral moving transform fault, the Ulakhan Fault. On the east, the plate is bounded by the Pacific Plate at the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench and the Japan Trench, on the south by the Philippine Sea Plate at the Nankai Trough, on the west by the Eurasian Plate, and possibly on the southwest by the Amurian Plate.Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport
Yelizovo Airport (Russian: Аэропорт Елизово) (IATA: PKC, ICAO: UHPP) is an airport located in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Kamchatka Krai. Its 3,400 m (11,200 ft) runway is long enough to accommodate a fully loaded Ilyushin Il-96 or Boeing 707 aircraft. The main apron contains 34 parking spaces, 18 of which can service large wide-body airliners, such as Ilyushin IL-96; additional 8 paved spaces for smaller aircraft and 12 unpaved parking spaces.Shiveluch
Shiveluch (Russian: Шивелуч) is the northernmost active volcano in Kamchatka Krai, Russia. It and Karymsky are Kamchatka's largest, and most active and most continuous erupting volcanoes.Tolbachik
Tolbachik (Russian: Толбачик) is a volcanic complex on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far east of Russia. It consists of two volcanoes, Plosky (flat) Tolbachik (3,085 m) and Ostry (sharp) Tolbachik (3,682 m), which as the names suggest are respectively a flat-topped shield volcano and a peaked stratovolcano. As Ostry is the mountain's highest point, the entire mountain is often referred to as "Ostry Tolbachik", not to be confused with Ostry, a separate volcano to the north also on the Kamchatka Peninsula.Vitus Bering
Vitus Jonassen Bering (baptised 5 August 1681, died 19 December 1741), also known as Ivan Ivanovich Bering, was a Danish cartographer and explorer in Russian service, and an officer in the Russian Navy. He is known as a leader of two Russian expeditions, namely the First Kamchatka Expedition and the Great Northern Expedition, exploring the north-eastern coast of the Asian continent and from there the western coast on the North American continent. The Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, the Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge were all named in his honor.
Taking to the seas at the age of 18, Bering travelled extensively over the next eight years, as well as taking naval training in Amsterdam. In 1704, he enrolled with the rapidly expanding Russian navy of Tsar Peter I (Peter the Great). After serving with the navy in significant but non-combat roles during the Great Northern War, Bering resigned in 1724 to avoid the continuing embarrassment of his low rank to Anna, his wife of eleven years; and upon retirement was promoted to First Captain. Bering was permitted to keep the rank as he rejoined the Russian navy later the same year.
He was selected by the Tsar to captain the First Kamchatka Expedition, an expedition set to sail north from Russian outposts on the Kamchatka peninsula, with the charge to map the new areas visited and to establish whether Asia and America shared a land border. Bering departed from St. Petersburg in February 1725 as the head of a 34-man expedition, aided by the expertise of Lieutenants Martin Spangberg and Aleksei Chirikov. The party took on men as it headed towards Okhotsk, encountering many difficulties (most notably a lack of food) before arriving at the settlement. From there, the men sailed to the Kamchatka peninsula, preparing new ships there and sailing north (repeating a little-documented journey of Semyon Dezhnyov eighty years previously). In August 1728, Bering decided that they had sufficient evidence that there was clear sea between Asia and America, which he did not sight during the trip. For the first expedition, Bering was rewarded with money, prestige, and a promotion to the noble rank of Captain Commander. He immediately started preparations for a second trip.
Having returned to Okhotsk with a much larger, better prepared, and much more ambitious expedition, Bering set off for an expedition towards North America in 1741. While doing so, the expedition spotted Mount Saint Elias, and sailed past Kodiak Island. A storm separated the ships, but Bering sighted the southern coast of Alaska, and a landing was made at Kayak Island or in the vicinity. Adverse conditions forced Bering to return, but he documented some of the Aleutian Islands on his way back. One of the sailors died and was buried on one of these islands, and Bering named the island group Shumagin Islands after him. Bering himself became too ill to command his ship, which was at last driven to seek refuge on an uninhabited island in the Commander Islands group (Komandorskiye Ostrova) in the southwest Bering Sea. On 19 December 1741 Vitus Bering died on the island, which was given the name Bering Island after him, near the Kamchatka Peninsula, reportedly from scurvy (although this has been contested), along with 28 men of his company.Volcanoes of Kamchatka
The volcanoes of Kamchatka are a large group of volcanoes situated on the Kamchatka Peninsula, in eastern Russia. The Kamchatka River and the surrounding central side valley are flanked by large volcanic belts containing around 160 volcanoes, 29 of them still active. The peninsula has a high density of volcanoes and associated volcanic phenomena, with 29 active volcanoes being included in the six UNESCO World Heritage List sites in the Volcanoes of Kamchatka group, most of them on the Kamchatka Peninsula.