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Southern Kuril Islands - Some Facts From The History
22.04.2010 17:55
Southern Kuril Islands - Some Facts From The History

A long time ago Southern Kurils were a part of a bridge between Smaller Kuril chain, Kunashir Island and Hokkaido Island during the last ice age, Russian scientists say.
      Russian geographers studied sections of peatlands, located at southern territories of Smaller Kuril chain, and reconstructed landscapes, which prevailed there 10-12 thousand years ago.
      Landscapes have changed may times due to rapid climate changes, which took place between Pleistocene and Holocene. Last ice age was characterized by cold and dry climate, which promoted tundra and sparse larch forests with rare fur-trees and dwarf pines.
      Later, 14.5 thousand years ago climate became warmer and damper, peat moss bogs formed between forests, and sparse birch woods appeared. Dramatic cooling followed 12 thousand years ago, bringing dwarf birches, which are now present only at Northern Kurils. Another warming brought to life mixed coniferous-broad leaved forests with oaks and elms, but soon these trees disappeared due to following cooling.
      Beginning of Holocene at Kuril Islands was notable for dark coniferous forest with lots of ferns, however, ocean went up, forming islands, which later became covered with meadows and wetlands. Volcanoes promoted bog reclamation, giving almost all lands to various meadows.
      Source: Science News


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