June 5, 2023

For the first time I heard the word “blevaki” from the local residents of the Taman Peninsula. And when I saw what they call here such a funny word, I was once again amazed at the “great and mighty” – how accurately this term fit the local mud volcanoes. And indeed, when you watch how thick liquid mud flows out of the crater of such a miniature volcano with strained shocks, you are simply amazed at the accuracy of the characteristics of this process.

mud volcanoes

Such phenomena are widespread in many areas of the Earth, where, as a rule, they are developed in oil and gas regions. Currently, over 700 mud volcanoes are known on the globe. In Russia, they are found on the Kerch and Taman Peninsulas, in the Kerch Strait, in the Northwestern Caucasus, in the Stavropol and Trans-Baikal Territories, in the south of Sakhalin Island and on the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Eruptions of mud volcanoes begin with the explosion of gases in the crater, the destruction of the crater plug and the flow of semi-liquid mud breccias (a mixture of clay, water, oil, fragments of sedimentary rocks) to the surface. At the same time, solid fragments and blocks of rocks are ejected from the vent of the volcano, spontaneous combustion of hydrocarbon gases often occurs, and a burning flame appears above the crater. Masses of mud breccias, spreading over the area, build on the old cone.

In the south of the European part of Russia, mud volcanoes are localized mainly within the Taman Peninsula and the Kerch Peninsula in the Crimea, in the so-called Kerch-Taman mud volcanic region. The most prominent mud volcanoes have been declared natural monuments of regional significance. Some mud volcanoes are actively used for recreational and medicinal purposes, since volcanic mud has certain pharmacological properties.

So, let’s take a closer look at some of these unusual natural objects.

Karabetova mountain

A geological natural monument of regional importance, established in 1988 on an area of ​​150 hectares and located 4 km east of the village of Taman, Temryuksky district of the Krasnodar Territory. The largest active volcano on the Taman Peninsula.

Karabetova Sopka is one of the most erosionally dissected “mountains” of the Taman Peninsula: there are many ravines and gullies. This is due to the fact that the summit crater plateau and the adjacent slopes of the volcano are composed of hilly breccia, while the upper parts of the slopes are composed of clays that are easily subjected to water and wind erosion. The volcano, rising above the ridge, looks like a truncated cone. The crater plateau in the form of an oval is extended from the southwest to the northeast for 1380 m, the width of the crater field is 860 m.

On the surface of the plateau there are separate, relatively low cones of mud hills, frozen streams of mud, hollows and lakes, the largest of which is located in the northern part of the plateau. Witnesses of violent explosive eruptions of hill breccia, accompanied by fiery phenomena, are red burnt hill breccia and black slag-like rock.

The volcano is currently active, as evidenced by periodically erupting mud. There is a mud lake with an area of ​​50 m². The last volcanic eruption, which occurred on May 6, 2001, was accompanied by a strong rumble heard in the village of Taman, flames and columns of smoke and dust up to 100 m high! At the site of the center of the explosion, a loaf-shaped mass of solidified mud was formed up to 2 m high, with an area of ​​500 m² and a volume of about 800 m³. Blocks of clay with a diameter of up to 3 m, smaller volcanic bombs and burnt brick-red slags were thrown into the air. All this material was scattered by the explosion over an area of ​​24 thousand m². The vegetation around the volcano is quite characteristic: there are numerous thickets of salt-loving plants, polynyas.


A geological natural monument of regional importance, established in 1988 on an area of ​​150 hectares and located on the southwestern outskirts of the village of Akhtanizovskaya, Temryuk district.

The volcano’s cone-shaped hill, 67 m above sea level, rises 15–20 m above the surrounding area. At the top of the hill is the main crater in the form of an ellipse measuring 23 x 13 m.

On the southwestern side of the crater there is a hole where a dark gray silty mass is constantly bubbling, which from time to time rises and overflows over the edges of the crater, spreading along the slopes. The bubbles of gas (mainly methane) that are released at the same time give the impression that the mud is boiling, although its temperature does not exceed 20 ° C.

On one of the slopes of the hill there are several small parasitic volcanoes. They also periodically spew mud. One of these volcanoes in 1970 poured out a mud stream 200 m long and 10 m wide.

A deposit of mineral balneological raw materials, hilly mud, is connected with the Akhtanizovsky volcano. These are purely mineral muds with a low content of organic matter. Their therapeutic value is determined by the content of iodine, bromine and boric acid in the mud solution. As a result of studies of the Akhtanizovsky mud, it was found that, in terms of their physicochemical properties, they are suitable for the application method of treating many diseases: for example, in combination with the mud of the Kiziltash and Azov deposits – the organs of blood circulation, respiration, the nervous system, the musculoskeletal system, digestion, gynecological diseases.


Mud volcano Plevak is located west of the Akhtanizovsky volcano, on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov, on Cape Pyokla, 3 km from the central beach of the village of Kuchugury.

The volcano is active and popular with vacationers: here you can take a mud bath and, upon completion, wash off the mud in the warm waters of the Sea of ​​Azov.


Mud volcano Tizdar, located in the village of Za Rodinu on the hills of the Golubitskaya ridge, is the most visited on the Sea of ​​Azov. It is also called Blue Balka or Azovskaya Sopka. After the last eruption of the volcano, which occurred more than 100 years ago, a crater 25 m in diameter was formed, filled with greasy clay mass of gray-blue color. According to the medical report, the content of mineral substances (iodine, bromine, boric acid, etc.) in Tizdar mud is several times higher than the therapeutically active content in therapeutic mineral waters.

Tizdar hill mud, due to its physical and chemical properties and biologically active components, is recommended for the prevention and treatment of various diseases, including diseases of the female and male reproductive systems, with primary and secondary infertility. Mud therapy helps with chronic inflammatory diseases of the pelvic organs. Also, mud effectively treats diseases of the musculoskeletal system.

The territory of the mud volcano belongs to a private boarding house, so the place is equipped with everything you need, and here you can take spa treatments in a mud bath on your own, and then wash off the mud in sea water. A visit to Tizdar is paid.

Hephaestus, or Mount Rotten

This is the oldest explored volcano on the Taman Peninsula used for mud therapy. It is located on the outskirts of the city of Temryuk. On the plateau of the volcano with a diameter of about 500 m there are volcanic cones, from which mud erupts, and mud lakes of various sizes.

Infrastructure is developed on the territory of the volcano: showers, a locker room, a dining room work. Some craters are artificially expanded and equipped with wooden ladders to make it more convenient to swim in them. Mud of the volcano is effective in the treatment of diseases of the nervous system, polyarthritis, sciatica, pyelonephritis.

A bowl

A geological natural monument of regional importance, established in 1983 and located in the center of Temryuk. The area of ​​the volcano crater reaches 22 hectares, height – 75 m. The rampart surrounding the crater rises to a height of 10-13 m above the bottom, which is filled with a shallow lake up to 1 m deep. The length of the lake is 500 m, width – 350 m, the banks are overgrown with reeds.

Catastrophic volcanic eruptions, accompanied by emissions of hilly breccia, vapors, smoke and flames, were noted in 1812, 1843 and 1860. The most powerful of them occurred in 1843 and was accompanied by thunder and ejections of a large column of flame. After this eruption, the crater filled with liquid mud and sank, forming a depression.

Currently, the volcano is in a state of relative rest, however, more than 10 small griffins function within the museum site with military equipment from the Great Patriotic War.


A geological natural monument of regional significance, established in 1988 and located in the Krymsky district of the Krasnodar Territory, 5 km southeast of the village of Varenikovskaya and 43 km from Anapa.

Mud volcano Shugo is the largest in the Kerch-Taman volcanic region. It is hidden in a ravine among low wooded mountains. The crater of a volcano is a huge bowl, the bottom of which is lowered by 4–6 m from the upper edges of the crater shaft. The diameter of the volcano bowl is about 450 m. Craters of small volcanoes rise on its surface. From the vents of the craters, dark gray mud flows out, pulsing and gurgling. One of the main components of a volcanic eruption are gases. The waters of the volcano are of the chloride-hydrocarbonate-sodium type. Volcanic mud is recommended for the application method of treatment. Its reserves are 36 thousand m3. The mud solution contains a high content of iodine and bromine and a small amount of organic matter.

Large eruptions of the Shugo volcano occurred in 1903 (terrible noise, ejection of a column of flame and violent eruption of hill breccia), in 1908 (explosions, ejection of mud to a height of 5–7 m, strong noise) and in 1959 (explosions, ejections of mud on height up to 5 m, in total, during the eruption, 1500 m3 of hillock silt was ejected from the bowels). Currently, another volcanic eruption is taking place, accompanied by ejections of mud flows to a height of more than 1 m.

Jau Tepe

The mud volcano is located in the Crimea, in the southwestern part of the Kerch Peninsula, 10 km south of the village of Leninskoye, 1 km north of the village of Vulkanovka. This is the largest mud volcano in the Crimea, its height is 119.6 m above sea level (the height of the hill is 60 m).

In the lower part it is cut by numerous ravines. To the south of the volcano is a hydrogen sulfide source. The area of ​​mud deposits is 1.5 km², the volume is 85 million m³. Dzhau-Tepe is translated as “enemy mountain”. In the 20th century, eruptions were observed in 1925, 1927 and 1937.

Valley of Volcanoes

Another name for the place is the Bulganak field of mud volcanoes. This is the largest cluster of mud volcanoes in the Crimea, consisting of seven active craters. It is located on the Kerch Peninsula, 7–9 km north of Kerch, north of the village of Bondarenkovo, Leninsky district.

The basin with volcanoes covers an area of ​​about 4 km². In the center of the basin is the Central Lake, which is a crater with a diameter of about 25 m, into which the products of the eruption of neighboring volcanoes flow. Basically, volcanoes are constantly active, but are more active in winter. Boron deposits are confined to the mud volcanoes of the Bulganak group.

The eruption of a mud volcano is a mesmerizing sight that can be watched for hours. And if you also have a camera in your hands, then there is a passion to capture the climax of the ejection of dirt, lasting literally moments. And if this was done, there is no limit to delight …

Vladimir Gorbatovsky

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