Russian Journal of Pacific Geology

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 65–76 | Cite as

Active tectonics and geomorphology of the Kamchatsky Bay coast in Kamchatka

  • T. K. PineginaEmail author
  • A. I. Kozhurin
  • V. V. Ponomareva


Kamchatsky Bay is the northernmost bay at the Pacific Kamchatka coast. It is located at the junction between the Kamchatka segment of the Pacific subduction zone and the dextral transform fault of the western Aleutians. The combination of the subduction and collision processes in this region results in the unique set of tectonic controls influencing its geological and geomorphological evolution.

The Kamchatka River estuarine area is located on the northern coast of Kamchatsky Bay. The modern Kamchatka River valley, its estuary, and an aggradation marine terrace some 30 km long and up to 5 km wide were formed in this area during the Holocene. A vast area in the rear part of the terrace and in the Stolbovskaya lowlands is now occupied by the peats deposited directly above lacustrine-lagoonal and fluvial facies. These aggradational landforms record traces of tsunamis and vertical coseismic deformations associated with great subduction earthquakes, as well as strike-slip and thrust faulting associated with the collision.

The results indicate that the average recurrence interval for major tsunamis in the Kamchatsky Bay is 300 years. The recurrence interval on individual fault zones associated with the collision between the western Aleutian and Kamchatka arcs is a few thousand years for earthquakes of magnitude between 7 and 7.5. For the entire region, the recurrence interval for major crustal earthquakes associated with motions along faults may be equal to a few hundred years, which is comparable with that for subduction-zone earthquakes.


subduction arccollision active fault tsunami Holocene Kamchatka River’s lower reaches marine terrace Kamchatsky Bay 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    A. A. Godzikovskaya, Catalogue of Macroseismic Descriptions of the Kamchatka Earthquakes during Pre-Instrumental Observation Period (18–19 centuries) (GS RAN, Obninsk, 2009) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    E. I. Gordeev, A. A. Gusev, V. I. Levina, et al., “Crustal seismicity of Kamchatka,” in Complex Seismological and Geophysical Studies. A Collection of Papers on 25th Anniversary of the Kamchatka Experimental-Methodical Seismological Party, GS RAN, Ed. by E. I. Gordeev and V. N. Chebrov (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii, 2004) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    State Geological Map. 1: 200 000. Kamchatskaya PSE, Ed. by M. E. Boyarinova (Moscow, 1999) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    A. A. Gusev, “Strong earthquakes of Kamchatka: location of focus during the instrumental period,” Vulkanol. Seismol., No. 3, 39–42 (2006).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    V. A. Ermakov, E. E. Milanovskii, and A. A. Tarakanovskii, “Significance of rifting in the formation of Quaternary volcanic zones of Kamchatka,” Vestn. Mosk. Gos. Univ., No. 3, 3–20 (1974).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yu. Ya. Zayakin and A. A. Luchinina, Catalogue of tsunami on Kamchatka (VNIIGMIMTsD, Obninsk, 1987) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    A. I. Kozhurin, V. V. Ponomareva, and T. K. Pinegina, “Active fault tectonics of the southern central Kamchatka,” Vestn. KRAUNTs. Nauki O Zemle, No. 2, 10–27 (2008).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    A. I. Kozhurin and T. K. Pinegina, “Active fault tectonics of teh Kamchatsky Peninsula as,amofestation of the collision between the Kamchatka and Aleutian island arcs,” in Problems of seismotectonics: Proceedings of 16th International Conference, Moscow, Russia, 2011 (Moscow, 2011), pp. 260–263 [in Russian].Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    M. M. Pevzner, V. V. Ponomareva, and I. V. Melekestsev, “Chernyi Yar-the reference section of the Holocene ash markers in the northeastern Kamchtaka coast,” Vulkanol. Seismol., No. 4, 3–18 (1997).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    T. K. Pinegina, L. I. Bazanova, I. V. Melekestsev, et al., “Prehistoric tsunami on the Kronotsky Bay coast, Kamchatka, Russia,” Volcanol. Seismol., No. 2, 66–74 (2000).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    T. K. Pinegina, E. A. Kravchunovskaya, A. V. Lander, et al., “Holocene vertical movements of the Kamchatsky Peninsula Coast from marine terrace data,” Vestn. KRAUNTs. Nauki O Zemle, No. 1, 100–116 (2010).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    T. K. Pinegina, A. I. Kozhurin, and V. V. Ponomareva, “Estimate of seismic and tsunami hazard for the Ust’-Kamchatsk settlement (Kamchatka): evidence from paleoseismological data,” Vestn. KRAUNTs. Nauki o Zemle, 19(1), 138–159 (2012).Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    N. I. Seliverstov, Structure of the Near-Kamchatka Sea Bottom and Geodynamics of the Kuril-Kamchatka-Aleutian Junction Zone (Nauch. mir, Moscow, 1998) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    N. I. Seliverstov, Geodynamics of Junction Zone of the Kuril-Kamchatka and Aleutian Island Arcs (KamGU im. Vitusa Beringa, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii, 2009) [in Russian].Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    F. Antomoli, E. Bard, E. Potter, et al., “215-ka history of sea-level oscillations from marine and continental layers in Argentarola Cave Speleothems (Italy),” Global Planet. Change 43, 57–78 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    J. Bourgeois and V. V. Ponomareva, et al., “Holocene tsunamis in the southwestern Bering Sea, Russian Far East, and their tectonic implications,” Geol. Soc. Am., Bull. 118(3–4), 449–163 (2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    J. Bourgeois and T. Pinegina, “Reconstructing the tsunamigemc earthquakes on the northern Kamchatka subduction zone: the 1997 Kronotsky earthquake and tsunamic and their predecessors,” in 7-th Biennial Workshop on Japan-Kamchatka-Alaska Subduction Processes: Mitigating Risk through International Volcano, Earthquake, and Tsunami Science (JKASP-2011), Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Russia, 2011 (IViS FEB RAS, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, 2011), P. 197–198.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    O. A. Braitseva, V. V. Ponomareva, L. D. Sulerzhitsky, et al., “Holocene Key-Marker Tephra Layers in Kamchatka, Russia,” Quat. Res. 47, 125–139 (1997).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    SAPB 6.0 program and documentation:
  20. 20.
    C. DeMets, R. G. Gordon, D. F. Argus, et al., “Current plate motions,” Geophys. J. Int. 101, 425–178 (1990).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    B. C. Douglas, M. S. Kearney, and S. P. Teatherman, Sea Level Rise: History and Consequences (Acad. Press, San Diego, 2001).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    R. Freitag, C. Gaedicke, B. Baranov, et al., “Collisional processes at the junction of the Aleutian-Kamchatka arcs: new evidence from fission track analysis and field observations,” Terra Nova, No. 13, 433–142 (2001).Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    C. Gaedicke and N. Seliverstov, et al., “Structure of an active arc-continent collision area: the Aleutian-Kamchatka junction,” Tectonophysics 325, 63–85 (2000).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    E. L. Geist and D. W. Scholl, “Large-scale deformation related to the collision of the Aleutian arc with Kamchatka,” Tectonics 13, 538–560 (1994).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    A. Gorbatov, V. Kostoglodov, and G. Suarez, “Seismicity and structure of the Kamchatka subduction zone,” J. Geophys. Res. 102, 898 (1997).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
  27. 27.
    A. I. Kozhurin, “Active faulting at the Eurasian, North American and Pacific plates junction,” Tectonophysics 380, 273–285 (2004).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    A. I. Kozhurin, “Active faulting in the Kamchatsky Peninsula, Kamchatka-Aleutian Junction,” in Volcanism and Subduction: The Kamchatka Region, Ed. by J. Eichelberger, E. Gordeev, M. Kasahara, et al., Amer. Geophys. Union, Geophys. Monogr. Ser. 172, 263–282 (2007).Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    A. I. Kozhurin, “A Dangling slab and arc-normal extension: the case of Kamchatka, Russia,” in Amer. Geophys. Union, Fall Meeting, San Francisco, US, 2009 (San Francisco, 2009).Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    J. P. McCalpin, Paleoseismology (Academic, London, 2009), Int. Geophys. Ser 95 (2009).Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    B. C. Papazachos, E. M. Scordilis, D. G. Panagiotopoulos, et al., “Global Relations Between Seismic Fault Parameters and Moment Magnitude of Earthquakes,” Bull. Geol. Soc. Greece 36, 1482–1489 (2004).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    J. Park, V. Levin, M. Brandon, et al., “A Dangling slab, amplified arc volcanism, mantle flow and seismic anisotropy in the Kamchatka plate corner,” in Plate Boundary Zones, Ed. by S. Stein and J. Freymuller (Am. Geophys. Union. Washington, 2002), Geodynam. Ser., 30, 295–324 (2002).Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    K. Pedoja, J. Bourgeois, E. Pinegina, et al., “Does Kamchatka belong to North America? An extruding Okhotsk block suggested by coastal neotectonics of the Ozernoi Peninsula, Kamchatka, Russia,” Geololgy 34(5), 353–356 (2006).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    T. K. Pinegina and J. Bourgeois, “Historical and paleotsunami deposits on Kamchatka, Russia: long-term chronologies and long-distance correlations,” Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 1(4), 177–185 (2001).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    T. Pinegina, J. Bourgeois, L. Bazanova, et al., “Millennial-scale record of Holocene tsunamis on the Kronotskiy Bay coast, Kamchatka, Russia,” Quat. Res. 59, 36–47 (2003).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    M. Stuiver and P. J. Reimer, “Extended 14C database and revised CALIB radiocarbon calibration program,” Radiocarbon 35, 215–230 (1993).Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    D. L. Wells and K. J. Coppersmith, “New empirical relationships among magnitude, rupture length, rupture width, rupture area, and surface displacement,” Seismol. Soc. Am., Bull. 84(4), 974–1002 (1994).Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Worldwide Tsunami Database, 2000 B.C. to present. Boulder, Colorado, NOAA/NGDC.

Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. K. Pinegina
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. I. Kozhurin
    • 2
  • V. V. Ponomareva
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far East BranchRussian Academy of SciencesPetropavlovsk-KamchatskyRussia
  2. 2.Geological InstituteRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

Personalised recommendations