The Full Wiki

Kamchatka Peninsula: Map

  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:





The Kamchatka Peninsula ( ) is a 1,250-kilometer long peninsula in the Russian Far East, with an area of 472,300 km². It lies between the Pacific Oceanmarker to the east and the Sea of Okhotskmarker to the west. Immediately offshore along the Pacific coast of the peninsula runs the 10,500 meter deep Kuril-Kamchatka Trenchmarker.

The Kamchatka Peninsula, the Commander Islandsmarker, and Karaginsky Islandmarker constitute the Kamchatka Kraimarker of the Russian Federationmarker. The majority of the 402,500 inhabitants are Russians, but there are also about 13,000 Koryaks. More than half of the population lives in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskymarker (198,028 people) and nearby Yelizovomarker (41,533).

The Kamchatka peninsula contains the Volcanoes of Kamchatka, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Kamchatka receives up to of precipitation per year. The summers are moderately cool, and the winters tend to be rather stormy with rare amounts of lightning.

Geography



Politically, the peninsula is part of Kamchatka Kraimarker. The southern tip is called Cape Lopatkamarker. The circular bay to the north of this on the Pacific side is Avacha Baymarker with the capital, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskymarker. North up the Pacific side, the four peninsulas are called Shipunsky Point, Kronotsky Point, Kamchatsky Point and Ozernoy Point. North of Ozernoy is the large Karaginsky Baymarker and island. The spine of the peninsula is the Kamchatka or Central Range. Along the southeast cost is the Vostochny or Eastern Range. Between these is the central valley.

The Kamchatka Rivermarker starts northwest of Avacha and flows north down the central valley, turning east near Klyuchimarker to enter the Pacific south of Kamchatsky Point at Ust-Kamchatskmarker. In the nineteenth century a trail led west from near Klychi over the mountains to Tegil river and town which was the main trading post on the west coast. North of Tegil is Koryak country, which is described as a desolate snow-swept plane. Just south of the headwaters of the Kamchatka, the Bistraya River curves southwest to enter the Sea of Okhotsk at Bolsheretsk.

There is a road from Bolsheretsk to Petropavlovsk and another from this road up the central valley (with a bus service) to Ust-Kamchatskmarker. The northern end of the road is of poorer quality. Apart from the two roads, transport is by small plane, helicopter, four-wheel drive truck and army truck.

Klyuchevskaya Sopkamarker is an isolated volcano group west of Kamchatsky Point, southeast of the curve of the Kamchatka River. West of Kronotsky Point is the Kronotskymarker Biosphere Reserve with the Valley of Geysersmarker. At the southern tip is the Southern Kamchatka Wildlife Refuge with Kurile Lakemarker. There are several other protected areas: Palanamarker is located in the Koryak area on the northwest coast and Tilichikimarker is located far up the Pacific coast.
Image:kamchatka peninsula topo.jpg|Topography of the Kamchatka Peninsula.Image:Kamchatka three brothers rdfr.jpg|Kamchatka three brothers.Image:Kamchatka Peninsula.jpg|The Kamchatka Peninsula as seen from space.


Volcanoes

List of volcanoes in Russia has a list of most Kamchatka volcanoes with links.

The Kamchatka Rivermarker and the surrounding central 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 being included in the six UNESCOmarker World Heritage List sites in the Volcanoes of Kamchatka group, most of them on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

The highest volcano is Klyuchevskaya Sopkamarker (4,750 m or 15,584 ft), the largest active volcano in the Northern Hemisphere , while the most striking is Kronotskymarker, whose perfect cone was said by celebrated volcanologists Robert and Barbara Decker to be a prime candidate for the world's most beautiful volcano. Somewhat more accessible are the three volcanoes visible from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskymarker: Koryakskymarker, Avachinskymarker, and Kozelsky. In the center of Kamchatka is Eurasia's world famous Geyser Valleymarker which was partly destroyed by a massive mudslide in June 2007.

Owing to the Kuril-Kamchatka Trenchmarker, deep-focus seismic events and tsunamis are fairly common. A pair of megathrust earthquakes occurred off the coast on October 16, 1737, and on November 4, 1952, in the magnitude of ~9.3 and 8.2 respectively. A chain of more shallow earthquakesmarker were recorded as recently as April 2006.

Terrestrial flora

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 just as wide a variation in animal species that feed off them.

Terrestrial and aquatic fauna



Kamchatka boasts diverse and abundant wildlife. This is due to climates ranging from temperate to subarctic, diverse topography and geography, many free-flowing rivers, proximity to highly productive waters from the northwestern Pacific Oceanmarker and the Beringmarker and Okhotsk Seasmarker, and to the low human density and minimal development. It also boasts the southernmost expanse of Arctic tundra in the world. Commercial exploitation of marine resources and a history of fur trapping has taken its toll on several species.

Among terrestrial mammals, Kamchatka is best known for the abundance and size of its brown bears. In the Kronotsky Nature Preserve there are estimated to be three to four bears per 100 square kilometres. Other fauna of note include carnivores such as wolf, arctic and other fox, lynx, wolverine, sable, several species of weasel, ermine and river otter; several large ungulates, such as bighorn sheep, reindeer, and moose; and rodents/leporids, including hares, marmot, lemming and several species of 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 contains probably the world's greatest diversity of salmonid fish, including all six species of anadromous Pacific salmon (chinook, chum, coho, seema, pink, and sockeye). Biologists estimate that a sixth to a quarter of all Pacific salmon originates in Kamchatka. [69552] Kuril Lakemarker 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 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 Seamarker include: orcas, Dall's and harbor 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 seal reproduce on the ice of Karaginsky Baymarker. Sea otters are concentrated primarily on the southern end of the peninsula.

Seabirds include 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, scallop, squid, pollock, cod, herring, halibut and several species of flatfish.

History and exploration



Muscovite Russia claimed the Kamchatka Peninsula in the 17th century. Ivan Kamchaty, Simon Dezhnev, the Cossack Ivan Rubets and other Russian explorers made exploratory trips to the area during the reign of Tsar Alexis, and returned with tales of a land of fire, rich with fish and fur.

In 1697, Vladimir Atlasov, founder of the Anadyrmarker settlement, led a group of 65 Cossacks and 60 Yukaghir natives to investigate the peninsula. He built two forts along the Kamchatka Rivermarker which became trading posts for Russian fur trappers. From 1704 to 1706, they settled the Cossack colonies of Verkhne- (upper) and Nizhne- (lower) Kamchatsky. Far away from the eye of their masters, the Cossacks mercilessly ruled the indigenous Kamchadal.

Excesses were such that the North West Administration in Yakutskmarker sent Atlasov with the authority (and the cannons) to restore government order, but it was too late. The local Cossacks had too much power in their own hands and in 1711 Atlasov was killed. From this time on, Kamchatka became a self-regulating region, with minimal interference from Yakutsk.

By 1713, there were approximately five hundred Cossacks living in the area. Uprisings were common, the largest being in 1731 when the settlement of Nizhnekamchatsky was razed and its inhabitants massacred. The remaining Cossacks regrouped and, reinforced with firearms and cannons, were able to put down the rebellion.

The Second Kamchatka Expedition by the Danishmarker explorer Vitus Bering, in the employ of the Russian Navy, began the "opening" of Kamchatka in earnest, helped by the fact that the government began to use the area as a place of exile. 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 fewer than 3,200, while the Russian population had risen to 2,500.

In 1854, the Frenchmarker and Britishmarker, who were battling Russian forces on the Crimean Peninsula, attacked Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskymarker. 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 defence, Petropavlovsk was abandoned as a strategic liability after the Anglo-French 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.

The next fifty years were lean ones for Kamchatka. The naval port was moved to Ust-Amur and in 1867 Alaskamarker was sold to the United Statesmarker, making Petropavlovsk obsolete as a transit point for traders and explorers on their way to the American territories. In 1860, Primorsky (Maritime) Region was established and Kamchatka was placed under its jurisdiction. In 1875, the Kuril Islandsmarker were ceded to Japanmarker in return for Russian sovereignty over Sakhalinmarker. The Russian population of Kamchatka stayed around 2,500 until the turn of the century, while the native population increased to 5,000.

World War II hardly affected Kamchatka except for its service as a launch site for the invasion of the Kurils in late 1945. After the war, Kamchatka was declared a military zone. Kamchatka remained closed to Russians until 1989 and to foreigners until 1990.

See also



References

  • Diana Gealdhill, 'Kamchatka', Odyssey Books, 2007


External links




Embed code:






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message