On June 3rd, 2007 at 2:20PM local (Kamchatka) time a landslide followed by debris flow happened in the Valley of Geysers. It has drastically changed the landscape and the look of the Valley, blocked the flow of Geyzernaya River and created a dammed lake. As a result, about a half of the geysers and other sites of the Valley were either flooded or buried by debris.
The landslide started in the upper stream of Vodopadnyy creek on the left slope of Geyzernaya River canyon. The cause, it seems, was a natural geological process of gradual slope erosion. There were no earthquakes registered at that time. Landslide volume per evaluation performed by the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology was 21 million cubic meters. It was the biggest landslide in Kamchatka in the historical observation period and one of the biggest in Russia.
The fallen rock went down stream of Vodopadnyy creek, reached Geyzernaya River and went down the canyon, reaching the point where Geyzernaya flows into Shumnaya River. A 60-meter dam was formed on Geyzernaya River, leading to a rise in water level and formation of a lake. In the lower part of Geyzernaya River canyon, 30-meter high cliffs called Triumfalnyye Vorota (triumph gate) significantly hampered the progress of a landslide and after them the flow has noticeably lost its momentum. One end of a landslide have reached Shumnaya River canyon, but it was already too weak to dam the river flow. The length of the landslide was about 2 kilometers and maximum deposit thickness — about 70 meters.
One end of the landslide got really close to the Valley of Geyser visitor's center. Some sheds got damaged or buried but three main buildings — the hotel, inspector's building and scientists' building were not damaged. Landslide stopped less than a meter from the hotel's wall. Tree branches brought by the landslide have blocked, but not damaged the blades of the helicopter standing on the helipad. It is an amazing coincidence, almost a miracle, that no people got killed or injured during the 2007 landslide.
As a result of the landslide geysers Troynoy (triple), Sakharnyy (sugary), Sosed (neighbor), as well as all small geysers and thermal grounds along Vodopadnyy Creek and a 30-meter waterfall were buried under debris. The dammed lake flooded geysers Malyy (small), Konus (cone) and Skalistyy (rocky) and it seems like we never will see them again. By 2009 the gravel spit completely buried under it the geyserite shield of Malakhitovyy Grot pulsating spring as well as Leshiy pulsating spring.
Pervenets (firstborn) geyser was covered with rocks from the landslide and after that with more debris that Geyzernaya River carried over from the surface of the landslide while trying to cut a new course for itself. However the layer covering Pervenets was only about 6 meters thick and the geyser soon broke a hole though gravel layer and started to function as a pulsating spring. Currently, Shumnaya River slowly washes away the landslide deposits and there's a hope that Pervenets will get rid of rocks covering it and will start once again to function as a geyser.
Geyzernaya River has cut a new course through the body of the landslide, and so did Vodopadnyy creek. Several small lakes, as well as new springs and thermal areas have formed on the surface of the landslide.
The landscape of the Valley of Geysers continues to change in front of our eyes and you never know what new interesting features can appear here.