Clouds movingfrom the Okhotskoye More (Sea of Okhotsk) in the upper left to thenorthern Pacific Ocean in the lower right are strained by theKuril’skiye Ostrova (Kuril Islands) in this true-color Terra MODISimage from September 17, 2002. The Kuril’skiye Ostrova are a chainof volcanic islands that connect the northern Japanese islands to theRussian Sredinnyy Khrebet Mountains on the Kamchatskaya Oblast (KamchatkaPeninsula), shown in the image’s upper right.
These islands are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a zone of frequentearthquakes and volcanic eruptions that runs from New Zealand, aroundAustralia and through Indonesia, up the eastern coast of Asia, along theAleutian Islands, and down the western coast of the Americas. Besidesbeing a highly active geothermal area, this region is well-known for itsabundant and diverse wildlife. These islands are home to densepopulations of sea birds, sea otter, Orcas, minke whales, sea lions,seals, fish, crabs, and many other types of marine life.