Mutnovsky volcano in Kamchatka: fire and ice inside the crater
Mutnovsky volcano is located to the south of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Located at a distance of 75-80 km, it is clearly visible from the city to the locals and experienced travelers. It is difficult to identify it in the mountain range and is easily confused with normal mountain to other people. Sopka does not have a well defined cone shape, and consists of multiple, become one single mountain range. The height of 2322 meters above sea level.
This is one of the liveliest volcanoes of Kamchatka. If you look through Avacha Bay, to the left Viluchinsky volcano, in good weather can be seen constantly rising columns of steam. Volcanic activity is represented mainly by fumarole activity and often columns of steam above the range reach a kilometer in height.
The area of Mutnovsky volcano is partially located in a protected natural park "South Kamchatka", which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1996 in the category "Volcanoes of Kamchatka". In the neighborhood are located other interesting volcanoes - Gorely, Vilyuchinsky and Zhirovsky.
A small distance from the city center and the opportunity to see volcanic activity make this place the most popular for tourists from around the world. Fantastic views, which conceals crater of Mutnovsky volcano, will long remain in your memory.
Mutnovsky volcano - a volcano with a complex structure and an interesting history. Now it is a mountain range formed by 4 united cones. The strongest are two craters - southwest and northeast. They were formed in several stages during the explosion and now reaches about 2 km in diameter, with a depth of about 400 meters.
Southwestern crater is occupied by a glacier at this time. The slopes of the volcano are covered with numerous of cinder cones and lava frozen flows.
To the west of the main craters is located active crater. It is the youngest and most active crater of Mutnovsky volcano. The last eruption occurred in 1960-1961.
Here, as in the north-east crater, you can see volcanic activity. Nowadays fumaroles, hot springs, steam jets and boiling cauldrons form over the place clouds of steam that can be seen for many kilometers. Fumaroles are cracks, from which volcanic gas rises to the surface.
Carbon dioxide, methane, sulfur dioxide and water evaporation from the cracking can reach enormous temperature. Thus, in 1983 it was recorded temperature of 540 degrees. Along the edges of the fumaroles it can see the so-called sulfur domes of typical yellow color, which are formed by sulfur condensing from the gas. They are very fragile and crumble in hands.
The glaciers of blue ice enveloping the crater occasionally fall under the influence of hot vapors and form small lakes. If water accumulates above a crack by which the gas comes out, there appear unique boiling mud pots. They can be of different colors, including red, depending on the presence of minerals.
To date, "The Black Cauldron" is most attracted the attention in the crater of Mutnovsky. The gas coming out of the ground in a small lake, made the water very acidic. This water dissolves rocks, and because of the high content of sulphides looks very black. To date, in the crater of Mutnovsky "The Black Cauldron" most attracted attention. The gas coming out of the ground in a small lake, made the water very acidic. This water dissolves rocks, and because of the high content of sulphides looks very black. If you add here intense bubbling you imagine the whole unique picture.
Under the constant action of fumaroles, for many thousands of years, the walls of the crater of volcano Mutnovsky get bright colors. And now, when travelers come to the crater in front of them appears a riot of color: blue glaciers, red and black mud pots, yellow sulfur deposits, walls painted with all sorts of colors.
The eruption of the volcano Mutnovsky
Mutnovsky volcano is still active. Recently eruptions occur mostly from the active funnel. Over the past hundred years have seen about 10 eruptions of different capacity. Last seen in March 2000. As a result of underground explosions of hot gas there formed a crater with a diameter of 200 meters.
Mass of gases and debris ejected by the explosion from the volcano cloud reached a height of 2.5 kilometers. Hot mud flows down the slope of the volcano 600 meters in a northeasterly direction. Later crater filled with water from melted glacier. To date, the lake froze and almost doesn’t melt, indicating the termination of the thermal activity at this location.
Is also interesting the fact that a similar eruption was observed in the 60s. As well a lake was formed with warm water, which gradually cooled and completely filled the crater by glacier. It can talk about the process of explosive eruptions as typical for this place and expect in the future similar situations. Dangerous territory is also basin of Falshivaya and Mutnaya rivers.
Waterfall at the Mutnovsky volcano
River Vulcannaya begins from a continuous process of melting glaciers and snowfields. Dissolving a large number of minerals, sulfuric acid, arsenic and other elements, it flows into the Mutnaya river, which is to the ocean remains lifeless. Perhaps the name of this river gave the name of Mutnovsky volcano.
Coming out of the crater, the river Vulkannaya rushes through the riverbed formed by hardened lava and falls from 80 meters height in the canyon called "Dangerous Ravine". The edges of this ravine is steep and in some places were ready to come crashing down.
Ice Caves of Mutnovsky
Heating under the influence of volcanic activity, water flows down the slopes of the volcano Mutnovsky and sometimes bizarre forms labyrinths from glaciers and snowfields.
If you go to one of these labyrinths, you can marvel at the beauty of penetrating through the roof of the cave sunlight.
This miracle of nature is not always possible to see, it depends on the temperature in this time of year and amount of snow.
Geothermal power Station
Near the volcano, in the northeastern part is located Mutnovsky geothermal power station. Using the natural warmth of the earth station produces electric energy with power of 50 MW. On the peninsula is located a few geothermal power plants, which cover up to 30% of energy needs. This saves fuel, which are imported to the Peninsula.
Close to Mutnovsky volcano, at the foot of the hill Skalistaya is located another place for visit - is a Dachnye Hot Springs. This is fumarole field, its gases are partially heated water. You can swim in these springs, and some sites specifically ennobled for this. You can often hear the name of this place as the "Small Valley of Geysers," but this is wrong. There are no geysers here. Despite this, the proximity to the Mutnovsky volcano makes them popular to visit.
Alpine tundra surrounds the volcano.
Climbing to the volcano Mutnovsky
Ascent to the Mutnovsky is very popular among tourists coming to Kamchatka and locals. Ascent is not difficult, and the time is just a few hours. The main goal - not to conquer the summit, the highest point, but to explore of the ruined crater. Coming to the area of the plateau of Mutnovsky tourists make the ascent to another volcano, located in the neighborhood - Gorely.