by Andrei IVANOV, Cand. Sc. (Geogr.), M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Geographic Department
Colonies of waterfowl nesting on hundreds of small Northern Pacific islands have a very strong effect on their nature by introducing changes in it. Special ornithogenic geosystems, probably playing a special role in the structure and functioning of the biosphere, are formed on those islands and in the adjacent waterbody.
TERRA INCOGNITA FOR RESEARCHERS
The Yamskoy Archipelago is nothing but several small rock islands, located in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk at a distance of 10 - 15 km from the mainland. Matykil Island is the largest among them (up to 697 m above sea level, with an area of 6.1 km) and the rest are much smaller. As a part of the Okhotsk-Chukotsky vulcanogenic belt stretching for almost 3,200 km along Northeastern Asia's outlying regions, the islands are closely bound up with the mainland shore located nearby, and they must have been separated from the mainland some 13,000 years ago. Geological deposits are represented here by granite intrusions, Jurassic sandstone and shale.
In 1982 the archipelago was included in the Magadan National Reserve. The nature here is really unique owing to the innumerable colonies of waterfowl on the islands that are not to be found anywhere else in the Northern Pacific.
The sea was calm when we first approached the Yamskoy shores. We were at once stunned by the view before our eyes: the entire water surface surrounding the island was simply packed with waterfowl. It's only natural, for the area has abundant stocks of food for them owing to the special features of hydrological circulation in the Sea of Okhotsk.
It is a fact that conditions are created for increased biological productivity in sections where several local streams meet or where there is a considerable difference in the sea depth. By flowing up the steep slope of the sea bottom deep wate ... Читать далее