Natural Zones and Landscape of the South Kamchatka Sanctuary

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The entire territory of the preserve lies within the borders of the Eastern mountain-volcanic region. As a whole, the preserve can b echaracterized as mountain forest tundra.

The preserve is bordered by the Pacific Ocean to the East, and by the Sea of Okhotsk to the West; Lopatka Cape is bordered by Kuril Bay, which connects ocean and sea.

The lowlands along the Sea of Okhotsk side are found: in isolated and small plots; in narrow strips in the interflow of the Pervaya and Tretiya rivers; in the lowlands of the Kambalnaya River south from the Moshkovskaya Mountain; and on Lopatka Cape itself.

Here low-lying tundra alternates with 20-50-m high hills. The coastal terraces along the Sea of Okhotsk are mainly low, occupied by vegetation, and in some places have sandy, pumice, or rocky outcrops. The rockiest part is situated near Sivuchy Cape. The eastern oceanic side is occupied by spurs of nearby mountains. Terraces here are higher and rockier, and the coast has bays, coves, and cliffs.

The volcanic region is a high hilly dale with a variety of reliefs, formed by volcanic eruptions. It is slashed with deep lake-filled crevasses and circled by volcanoes, including Kambalny (2,156 m) — the southernmost volcano on Kamchatka at the tip of the Eastern Volcanic Ridge; Koshelev Volcano (1,812 m) — a ridge-like mass of joined volcanic structures; and the elegant Ilyinsky stratovolcano (1,578 m). All these volcanoes are active. The first two have thermal fields with active hydrothermal and fumarole processes.

The Lopatkinsky, Plosky,and Belyayeva ranges rise to only 415–897 meters above sea level.

Did You Know

The Valley of the Geysers, like a few other unique natural landscapes, was not even known at the time of the Reserve's establishment in 1934