Landslide Activity and Landslide Hazard in Geyser Valley (Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia)
Geyser Valley (valley of the Geysernaya River) is located on the territory of Kronotsky State Natural Biosphere Reserve (Kamchatka, Russia) and is one of the most unique nature objects in Russia. The valley is known by numerous geysers and other hydrothermal manifestations and is a tourist attraction. A big landslide formed on June 3, 2007, in Geyser Valley. It dammed up the river affecting more than half of all thermal objects. Some of them were destroyed; some changed their regime.
Formation and the displacement of landslide in the left side of the Geyser Valley occurred in the upper part of Vodopadniy creek. According to witnesses the main displacement looked flow-like movement of ground masses and lasted for 2.5 min. As a result of slope deformations, a landslide tongue was formed with length up to 3.4 km and width 800–900 m in the upper part and 0.2–0.4 km in the lower part. The mechanism of displacement of landslide was complex. Comparative analysis of models of relief after and before sliding has shown that the whole volume of landslide deposits is 22.6 million m3 (including secondary block slide).
Different-scale landslides in Geyser Valley occurred before. Many slope failures induced by cyclone Elsa in 1981 were noted. The mapping of the area under consideration made it possible to identify over 650 landslides, rockfalls, and other slope phenomena. On January 4, 2014, large-scale rock avalanche also formed in the left side of the Geysernaya River valley.
The Geysernaya River cuts massif composed by lacustrine-volcanic hydrothermally altered deposits. These rocks contain a large number of clay minerals that are broken by tectonic and sedimentary fractures and unstable to humidifying. Geological and geomorphologic factors such as high seismicity, contrast relief, steep slopes, rainfalls, intense snowmelt and inflow of thermal water also control formation of different slope processes – landslides, rockfalls, taluses, debris flows, mudflows, etc.
Slope displacement in the region is very intense that can be hazardous for tourists and also causes damage to geysers and hot spring regime.
KeywordsLandslides Hazards Disaster Geyser Valley Kamchatka
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