Nov 14, 2014 • [by Adam Voiland, NASA Earth Observatory] Explorer Stepan Krasheninnikov first pointed it out in 1755: “Perhaps there is no other region in the world where so many volcanoes and hot springs are to be found in so small a space as here on Kamchatka.” There may not be another land mass on Earth where so many volcanoes and hot springs are crammed into so little space. Situated along the Pacific Coast of Russia, the Kamchatka Peninsula is part of the Ring of Fire, one of the most geologically active zones on the planet. More than 300 volcanoes dot the peninsula, including 29 active ones. And the volcanoes are as diverse–in shape, size, geologic formations, and eruptive styles–as they are numerous.

In September 2014, Landsat 8 captured six clear images that were stitched into a mosaic of Kamchatka’s often cloudy east coast. Five volcanoes displayed plumes of steam, gas, or ash that day. From north to south, they are: Shiveluch, Bezymianny, Kizimen, Karymsky, and Zhupanovsky. The logistics of maintaining ground-based sensors in this rugged region make satellites a necessity for monitoring the volcanoes.

Further Reading:
+ “Volcanoes of Kamchatka,” NASA Earth Observatory
+ “Kamchatka: The Erupting Peninsula” on YouTube