Russia’s Yellowstone – Uzon Caldera
In the far east of Russia lies a truly unique phenomenon of the Uzon Caldera. The caldera was formed in the place of collapsed volcano in the mid-Pleistocene period. The volcano was destroyed 40,000 years ago by a series of eruptions that occurred on the Kamchatka Peninsula.
First to Visit the Caldera – K. Von Ditmar
The first researcher to visit the caldera was geologist K. von Ditmar in 1854. The first studies were conducted in 1933 by B.I. Piip.
“Narzan” Hot Springs
The unique phenomenon here is like a natural laboratory it provides a live demonstration of thermal ecosystem processes. Uzon Caldera’s hydrothermal system is one of the most powerful in all of Kamchatka. Within the Caldera there are over 1,000 hot springs of different sizes and shapes, many vapor-gas springs, mud cauldrons, small volcanoes, and a number of thermal lakes are concentrated within a narrow 200–350 meter-wide strip on five thermal fields. There are even a few “Narzan” (mineral) springs. Visit here to get a 360 degree aerial panorama of the Caldera.
Wildlife of Uzon Caldera
The uniqueness of Uzon Caldera’s natural ecosystems is in the variety of its components, their unusual combination, in the role of nutrients, and in the cycling of matter. Arboreal vegetation is found next to mountain vegetation and alpine meadows. Nesting birds are found here in abundance. Animals and plants have found ways to adapt to the thermal environment.
Finally, a variety of heat-loving microorganisms adapted to the extreme conditions have evolved here with very distinct characteristics. This is one of the most interesting areas of future biotechnological research.
Uzon’s thermal Oil fields
Another peculiarity of Uzon’s thermal fields is oil — the high optical activity of which proves that it is biogenic in nature (i.e., a substance produced by life processes). See more here