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Russian territory expands by 4.5 square kilometres after seismic activity

Saturday, November 14, 2009

According to scientists, the land territory of Russia has expanded by about 4.5 square kilometres within the last few years in the Far East due to seismic and volcanic activity.

The gained land was recorded in the Sakhalin Peninsula. Boris Levin, head of the Institute for Sea Geology and Geophysics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that the increase happened primarily due to two seismic events.

The first, in August of 2007, was when a heavy 6.8 earthquake near the city of Nevelsk in the Far East raised about three square kilometres of seabed above the level of the water. The second was in June of this year, when the Sarychev Peak volcano on the Matua Island erupted. GPS trackers on the Matua island were used to monitor the eruption, and the volcano changed its shape, adding 1.5 square kilometres of land, scientists said.

Geologists also reported that the Kuril Islands nearby were slowly moving towards mainland Russia at an estimated rate of eighteen milimetres per year.

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