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Matua, Kuril Islands, Russia Overview

Matua is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) across Golovnin Strait from Raikoke. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “hellmouth”.

Matua is roughly oval, with a length of 11 kilometres (6.8 mi) with a width of 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi), and an area of 52 square kilometres (20 sq mi). The island is a complex stratovolcano with two main peaks.

Matua, Kuril Islands, Russia Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from

Detailed Map of Matua, Kuril Islands, Russia

Matua, Kuril Islands, Russia Detailed Map Ports of Call Cruise Discounts from


Although it is located at the same latitude as Paris or Seattle, the Oyashio current on the western flank of the Aleutian Low gives Matua a subarctic climate (Koppen Dfc) that is close to a polar climate (ET). Unlike the quintessential subarctic climate of Siberia or Mongolia, however, Matua has very heavy precipitation as rain, snow and fog. It also has much milder winters than corresponding latitudes in Manchuria: the mean temperature of the coldest month in Matua is −6.1 °C (21.0 °F) as against −17.8 °C (0.0 °F) in Qiqihar in Heilongjiang. Seasonal lag, like in all the Kuril Islands, is a major feature of the climate, with August being the mildest month and February the coldest.