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Southern Tip of Kamchatka Peninsula and Nearby Kuril Islands, Russia – October 1st, 2009

50.8N 156.6E

October 1st, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

Russia - September 19th, 2009

Russia - September 19th, 2009

Cape Lopatka is the southernmost point of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, about 11 km north of Shumshu, the northernmost island of the Kuril Islands. Upon opening the full version of this orthorectified image, Shumshu can be seen in is entirety and most of Paramushir Island, below, is visible as well.

The peninsula itself has many volcanic features, including crater lakes and volcanic peaks. Here, Kurile Lake, a large caldera containing a crater lake, can be identified as a light grey area near the top.

The lake has an area of 77 square kilometres (30 sq mi), an average depth of 176 metres (580 ft), and a maximum depth of 306 m (1,000 ft). On the northeast coast is the dormant volcano Ilinskaya.

Souhwest of the lake are two other volcanoes: Kambalny, a stratovolcano (right), and Koshelev, a complex stratovolcano (left). The latter consists of four stratovolcanoes, from which the central Koshelev is the highest.

While many volcanic peaks pierce the image, the most notable is Ksudach Volcano (also known as Voniuchi Khrebet Volcano), visible in the upper part of the full image. This stratovolcano has a summit area comprising overlapping calderas in which two lakes, Balshoe and Kraternoe, are located.

Ice Floes Off the Coast of Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk

59.3N 143.2E

March 14th, 2010 Category: Rivers

Russia - February 24th, 2010

Russia - February 24th, 2010

The terrain of Russian Siberia near the city of Okhotsk (shoreline, left, near the mouth of the Okhota River) appears white due to snow cover, as does much of the Sea of Okhotsk below, due to ice. Many large ice floes are visible off the coast.

The Sea of Okhotsk is a part of the western Pacific Ocean, lying between the Kamchatka Peninsula on the east, the Kuril Islands on the southeast, the island of Hokkaidō to the far south, the island of Sakhalin along the west, and a long stretch of eastern Siberian coast (including the Shantar Islands) along the west and north.

The Sea covers 611,000 sq.mi. (1,583,000 km2.), with a mean depth of 2,818 feet (859 metres). Its maximum depth is 11,063 feet (3,372 metres).

In winter, navigation on the Sea of Okhotsk becomes difficult, or even impossible, due to the formation of large ice floes, because the large amount of freshwater from the Amur River lowers the salinity and raises the freezing point of the sea. The distribution and thickness of ice floes depends on many factors: the location, the time of year, water currents, and the sea temperatures.

Volcanoes Along the Length of Iturup Island

45.0N 148.0E

November 4th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Japan - October 5th, 2009

Japan - October 5th, 2009

Iturup Island, belonging to the southern Kuril Islands, but disputed by Russia and Japan, runs diagonally across this  orthorectified image between the Sea of Okhotsk (left) and the North Atlantic Ocean (right). A chain of volcanic massifs stretches northeast to southwest along the length of the island.

Here, from bottom to top,  are the Berutarube stratovocano (at the tip of the island), the submerged caldera rim of the Lvinaya Past volcano, the Atsonupuri stratovolcano (west coast), the Bogatyr Ridge stratovolcano (center), the Grozny Group complex volcano (just northeast of the bay on the east coast), and the Baransky stratovolcano (near the east coast, just northeast of the previous).

Lvinaya Past and Other Volcanoes of Southern Iturup Island

44.6N 146.9E

October 12th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Japan - August 31st, 2009

Japan - August 31st, 2009

The topography of Iturup, the largest of the southern Kuril Islands, disputed by Russia and Japan, includes a chain of volcanic massifs running northeast to southwest. This image focuses on the volcanoes on the southern part of the island.

The most distinctive is the Lvinaya Past (literally “Lion’s Jaw”) volcano, located on the western shore. The volcano derives its name from a rock resembling a sleeping lion that breaches the surface at the center of the submerged caldera rim.

A shallow 5-km-wide passageway on the northwest side allows access of the Sea of Okhotsk into the caldera basin, whose floor is 550 m below sea level and lies almost 1 km below the caldera rim. From above, the caldera looks like a circular bay on the west coast.

Also visible in this orthorectified image are Berutarube and Atsonupuri, both stratovolcanoes. The former is seen here at the very tip of the island, while the latter is located on a peninsula on the west coast near the top of the image.

Mountain Ridges and Volcanic Massifs of Iturup

45.0N 147.7E

September 3rd, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Iturup - August 31st, 2009

Iturup - August 31st, 2009

Iturup is the largest and northernmost island of the South Kuril Islands. It is presently controlled by Russia, although it is also claimed by Japan.

Iturup is located near the southern end of the Kuril chain, between Kunashir (19 km to the southwest) and Urup (37 km to the northeast). It has an area of 3,139 km², a length of 200 km and a width that ranges from 7 to 27 km. This image focuses on the central and northern parts of the island.

Iturup consists of volcanic massifs and mountain ridges, whose contours are clearly visible in this orthorectified image. A series of a dozen volcanoes running northeast to southwest form the backbone of the island, the highest being Stokap (1,634 m) in the central part of Iturup. The shores of the island are high and abrupt.

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