Alaska Peninsula Mountains

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Location: This region is primarily a peninsula extending to the southwest from the mainland, dividing Bristol Bay from the North Pacific Ocean. It also includes a large portion of Kodiak Island.

Climate: A cool marine climate prevails, with moderate seasonal temperatures; fog and clouds are common. The mean annual temperature ranges from approximately 1°C to 4°C. There is abundant year around precipitation, mean annual amounts ranging from about 600 mm in the lowlands to over 4,000 mm at highest elevations.

Vegetation: Dwarf scrub communities of alpine tundra occur at higher elevations and on sites exposed to the wind. Low scrub communities are at lower elevations and in more protected sites with willow, birch, and alder interspersed with ericaceous heath and Dryas-lichen communities.

Hydrology: The region features numerous glacially-fed streams, mostly of high-gradient. Along northern boundary, several large lakes have filled behind glacial end moraines.

Terrain: Rounded, folded and faulted sedimentary ridges are intermittently surmounted by volcanoes. Elevations range from sea level to over 2,600 masl. The mountains were heavily glaciated during the Pleistocene epoch. Smooth glacial moraines and colluvial shields occur on the north side of the region, and rugged, deeply cut fjordlands are on the south side. Many soils formed in deposits of volcanic ash and cinder over glacial deposits and are highly erodible. The region is generally free of permafrost. Earthquakes and active volcanoes are common.

Wildlife: Moose, brown bears pink, chum, and silver salmon, sea mammals such as whales, sea otters, and Steller sea lions, numerous shorebirds.

Land Use/Human Activities: Subsistence and recreational hunting and fishing, commercial fishing and processing. Mineral mining, coal and petroleum extraction are also important activities in the region. Many small communities are found along the coast, including Kodiak and Chignik.