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Kamchatka geysers: the death and revival of

the Valley of geysers are the tiny ground sated with miracles as if the museum - a treasury and deeply hided in the mountains of Kamchatka. Here do not conduct are expensive, tracks, and not every day weather favors to flight by helicopter. People did everything possible to keep this place, to protect it from human barbarity. They managed it. But the Nature decided to destroy the masterpiece.

the Awful news which was born on Kamchatka bypassed all information channels: On June 3, 2007 the well-known Valley of geysers is destroyed. The first certificates which arrived from eyewitnesses were terrible. The terrible mudflow generated by collapses in the top floors of the gorge buried under tens of meters of dirt, stones and snow there are more than a half of hot springs of the Valley. Besides: the mudflow partitioned off the river Geyzernuyu and caused prompt rise in water level, having flooded the escaped part of the Valley. Fortunately, people did not suffer. The group of tourists which appeared there with helicopter excursion at the time of a mudflow descent was evacuated and safely returned home. But to restore a picture of an event and to estimate the scale of destructions, there was not enough information. One was clear: a situation for the Valley of geysers critical.

This area - one of the most seismoactive on the peninsula. It is located between two active volcanoes - Kikhpinych and Uzon, in the abrupt gorge where often there are earthquakes, collapses and landslides. Gorge length - about 4 kilometers, on its bottom flows the river Geyzernaya, and in it due to erosive processes there was such chaos of ridges and raspadok that even to the skilled traveler no wonder to get lost. In general the Valley occupies the space about 4 km ². In it more than 30 large geysers which have own names are located. Small geysers and other thermal sources there hundreds. In 66 years which passed from the moment of its opening this surprising object of the nature was seen own eyes by several tens of thousands of people. Millions of inhabitants of Earth only dreamed of there to get.

knows to

Of formation of the Valley little. Most likely, it no more than 1 of 500 - 2 000 years. Approximate age can be estimated proceeding from the growth rate of a geyzerit (1 - 2 millimeter in ten years) and the maximum thickness of geyzeritovy boards (15 - 20 centimeters). Geyzerit - the rock entirely put to disgraces is deposited from boiled water which the geyser periodically pours over itself. The form and the invoice of geyzeritovy deposits are individual for each source, and color depends on the mineral impurity and thermophilic organisms living on its surface.

according to volcanists, in the middle of the 3rd century on Kamchatka surge in seismic activity happened. The most powerful volcanic eruption of Ksudach in 260 polluted the atmosphere of all globe, approximately at the same time the Pacific coast from Cape Lopatka in the south to the present settlement of Pakhachi rose in the north. The raising was sharp and was followed by numerous collapses. Perhaps, then as a result of tectonic motions in the gorge the bottom of a volcano of Kikhpinych had those conditions which are necessary for the birth of geysers.

Valley Value - not only in them, but also in an uncountable set of other boiling sources: mud coppers, fumarol, steam streams. And also in unique community of thermophilic microorganisms. It is difficult to call other place which verbal description so would resemble the image imprinted by memory a little. It is poor not only language - all means of display, including the photo and cinema are poor, alas.

Who saw

how from the burst pipe the boiled water stream beats, that without effort will make idea of a geyser. To imagine a mud copper, it is necessary to remember how pitch boils or thick porridge cooks. Begin to flow paints on a canvas and a palette of the artist will remind multi-color interlacings of thermophilic seaweed around sources. Possibly, each piece of the Valley can find an explanation or similarity, but all Valley - is inexplicable and matchless.

the person who Got here at some moment begins to catch himself on thought that observes a strange performance. A performance with fantastic scenery, for a second not interrupted action, tireless and bright actors whose game submits to will of unknown, but infinitely talented Director.

of the Earthquake in day of a descent of a mudflow in the Valley was not. There was neither especially warm weather, nor plentiful rains. Perhaps, the collapse in the left part of a slope weakened by tectonic cracks became the reason of a mudflow. From the strongest blow of breed about soil the next hills one by one began to fall. The mud stream as counted later, weighing about five million tons, consisting of clay fragments of different flowers and the sizes was quickly formed: from five-meter blocks to small crushed stone and friable weight in which it is possible to fail on a belt. During a descent all this mixed up with the ice and snow thawing from blows and friction. As a result there was an effect of water “pillow“ and the speed of the movement of a mudflow sharply increased.

Valery Tsypkov is the only eyewitness of origin of a mudflow. The Kamchatka radio engineer, all life dreaming to get to the Valley of geysers, got a job the state inspector to the reserve (as before - the forester) and arrived to the Valley exactly one week prior to accident.

the Mudflow descended on Sunday June 3 in 14. 20. The night before Valery went down in a raspadok on which less than in a day there passed the mudflow: there, on the bank of a stream Waterfall, the bath with hot water supply from a natural source was arranged. Tsypkov was the last who used this bath.

- Day was very good, solar, - Valery Tsypkov remembers. - The helicopter with tourists came. Well, we met them, and Volodya Zlotnikov led them down, to geysers on excursion, and I remained to make a lunch, then left to a porch, I sit and I smoke. And pilots here nearby go and argue: one speaks, to go perhaps to a bath to take a steam bath, and another to it: and so the back hurts you, will rise back - wind still prokhvatit. Generally, that pilot changed mind to go to a bath. And here, I look: as if the collapse went on a hrebtika that on the top, on the left side, and silently, as in silent cinema.

it was visible to

that dirt, dust shot up, and the next board, at the left - to the right, one hill for another as dominoes began to pour further! Here I shouted: “The mudflow went!“ Pilots turned back, too look. Interestingly. But when this board all - that failed also a hill which is already closer to us, too collapsed, I jumped. Here and the roar was distributed and the earth shuddered. Everything on a roar from houses of a povyskakivala, and I watch how the mudflow fills the gorge, and I think: nothing supposedly will fill, depth of meters hundred there... The second pilot was thrown to the helicopter, and the commander shouts to it: “Let`s not manage to fly up! We go to a hill!“ And here, when already the shaft was meters in twenty - thirty, all of us jerked in a hill. On the run I turned back: I see, the green car of diesel power plant ahead of this shaft goes, that pushes it before itself(himself) as if a wheelbarrow, and - directly on Sanki`s lodge, our inspector! And in this lodge the dog remained with it, and here it still managed to be thrown in a lodge, jumped out with this dog, rejected her aside and ran for us. The car straight off drove in a lodge, and at this moment everything stopped. Enormous blocks stiffened at the threshold of hotel. Second the shaft stood, then as though someone sighed, the shaft was a little rolled away and stood!

the route the mudflow laid

on an old tourist track. Once above a canyon there was a shelter “Plateau“. The tourists coming from Zhupanovo spent the night and went down to the Valley in the morning. They went on the course of a stream Waterfall, then took away to the right, rising aboard a raspadka, to a lodge. The part of torrential masses passed this track. It is surprising, but blocks stopped in meter from a timbered wall, and trees, vyvorochenny with a root, nearly reached a tail of the helicopter standing on the platform! To pilots, to start motors, it was necessary to cut off branches around the tail screw. Meanwhile group of tourists, having finished survey of geysers, rose to a lodge. There below, in line with the river Geyzerna, they as it became clear, heard nothing. By miracle the escaped helicopter urgently evacuated all group. It was necessary to estimate accident scales next day.

the Main torrential weight went on the course Waterfall. In its mouth there were thirty-meter falls under which warm massing streams not one generation of guests of the Valley froliced. Having left from falls only reminiscence, the mudflow crashed into the course Geyzerna and was distributed in the parties. Having buried under blockages three most beautiful geysers - Threefold, Sugar and the Neighbour, - the mud stream went further - down Geyzerna. Its blow was assumed by the Lower gate - two picturesque rocks squeezing the bed of the river from sides. Here the mudflow slowed down and created a dam from 10 to 40 meters high and extent several hundreds of meters. Water level in Geyzernoy began to rise quickly. Already next day the warm lake which flooded geysers the Cone was formed, Big and Small and approached the Giant and Pearl. Under water there was also a source the Malachite Grotto - beauty and pride of the Valley, water closely approached the Big Stained-glass window - the steep slope of the river turned by geysers, sources and thermophilic seaweed into something exclusive on expressiveness and color. These days it seemed that some devil scenario on total destruction of the Valley is realized.

However the water level which rose in total by 30 meters unexpectedly fell. On June 7 in 18. Broke through the 30th dam, and in two hours water fell on 7, and then by 2 meters. In these hours torrential weight moved ahead to the place of merge Geyzerny and Noisy and covered the Firstborn - a geyser which was opened for the first. Several days later the Firstborn punched a decent hole in a five-meter layer of dirt, than and proved the resilience. In diary entries of the state inspector Vladimir Zlotnikov one more curious event was celebrated: the birth and death of a new geyser on the right coast Geyzerna. It was thrown up each three hours, beat on height 3 - 4 meter and existed two days.

the top of the Malachite Grotto seemed to

After dumping of water. Geysers Big and Small still were under water, but Big was significantly closer to a surface and started up from - under waters large bubbles. Now around them the warm lake about a kilometer long and up to 20 meters in depth was formed. It already became bright sight of the Valley of geysers. The lake, quiet unlike former rapids site, allows to float by the boat and to observe what was impossible: at the same time both coast Geyzerna with their soaring pink slopes and smoking, as if beginning to boil, water. The lake was already chosen by ducks, and, despite a frightening torrential dam, it obviously took a reserved form.

Accident changed

the image of the Valley of geysers, places considerably. Something, perhaps, will be restored, something is lost forever. There was also something new, the new object without which the Valley cannot already be presented is the mud stream which took the predominating position in a landscape. It is still anonymous. Perhaps, it should name the Knight - for terrible shape, a neuderzhimost of an impact and tremendous generosity in relation to people.

Really if the front of a mudflow promoted everything several meters farther... If its speed appeared on tiny shares more... If the mudflow descended when somebody went to a bath... If... But for all the history Valley of Geysers did not demand to herself in the victim of any person. It did not change this rule also that fatal Sunday.

What it is possible to tell about the near future of the Valley? The river Geyzernaya was already engaged in formation of the new course, slowly sawing through the clay mass of a mudflow. As far as it will manage to deepen itself and by that to lower lake level, will show time. Geysers if they act on a surface, can resume the activity though their mode sensitive to a water pressure in the river, will be probably another. It is possible to speak about the geysers covered with torrential weight, apparently, already in the past tense. The layer of dirt and stones over such handsome as Sugar and Threefold is too big. Their channels, of course, are pressed. It is possible, the only thing to hope that the layer of earth which pulled hard on geysers did not damage them griffins (mouths through which the fountain beats) - strong breed geyzerit - and they were preserved for indefinite time. The mudflow is occupied with self-arrangement too: streams lay on it channels, on a surface lakes are formed. “At night the Knight turns, - the inspector complains, - sighs and knocks stones“.