Volcanologists warn tourists against swimming in Lake Boiling in Kunashir

Volcanologists warn tourists against swimming in Lake Boiling in Kunashir

Source: http://kurilskiy.ru/
The press service of the Kuril Nature Reserve reported that scientists from the Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences visited one of the most interesting and dangerous tourist sites in Kunashir - Lake Boiling in the caldera of the Golovnin volcano. They conducted an echo sounding survey and confirmed the presence of a funnel about 25 meters deep in the reservoir.

The bottom of Boiling Lake resembles a “witch’s hat.” It has wide fields 1-1.5 meters deep and a sharp cone-shaped dip in the central part, from where there is a powerful flow of volcanic gases.

Previously, scientists believed that the maximum depth of the lake was 16 meters. However, in recent years of research, the depth of Boiling turned out to be 9 meters greater.

Volcanologists remind that the lake is dangerous for swimming. Even in the shallowest place near the shore, carbon dioxide and sulfur-containing gases spread over the water. According to experts, gases that condense in the area of a reservoir in calm weather pose a particular danger. Carbon dioxide and sulfur-containing gases, which are heavier than air, are released in large quantities in the solfata fields adjacent to the lake and from sinkholes in the lake itself.

The message notes that going down to the boiling water and coming close to smoking solfatars is not recommended for people with respiratory problems and low hemoglobin levels in the blood. This rule also applies to other solfatara fields on the eco-tourist routes of the island.

Volcanologists recommend introducing a strict ban on tourists walking along the water’s edge of Boiling Lake. Attempts to go down to the reservoir can lead to thermal and chemical burns, gas poisoning, and can also cause the destruction of unique hydrothermal outlets.

This year, an application was submitted to the Ministry of Natural Resources from the Kurilsky Nature Reserve to allocate funds for the construction in 2024 of flat crossings across the channel flowing from Lake Boiling and up the slope of the extrusive dome in order to minimize the recreational load and reduce the risk for visitors when inspecting the existing solfataras.
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