GPY 235 – Russia

Geography
Russian Plains
*gental rolling topography
*Volga River
*Don River
The Ural Mountains
*North to South – covers 2,000 miles
*High in North, wider in South
*Forests and Minerals
*20 commercially usable minerals
*Basis for Russian Industrialization
*low because of erosion
West Siberian Plain
*world’s largest unbroken lowland
*unsuitable for agriculture
*harsh winters + poor soils + permafrost + swampy
*Ob River and Yenisey River = spring flooding
*world’s largest peatlands
*oil and natural gas
Central Siberian Plateau
*hilly uplands
*harsh climate
*permafrost
*Lena River = spring flooding
*low population
*rich mineral sources
Yakutsk Basin
#5
Eastern Highlands
*rugged terrain
*Verkhoyansk Mts and Yablonovy Mts
*many volcanoes
*coldest region
*Bering Strait
*Kamchatka peninsula
*Sakhalin Island
*Lake Baikal
*Kalyama River and Amur River
Central Asian Ranges
*glaciated mountains
*source region for rivers Ob & Yenisey
*Sayan
*Altai
Caucasus Mountains
*extension of the European Alpines
*btw Black sea and Caspian Sea
*border b/w Russia and Georgia/Azerbaijan
*aka Caucasus Region
*strategic location in oil pipelines
*prone to earthquakes
Volga River
*national river of Russia
*lies entirely in Russian Federation
*origin = Valdai Hills
*mouth = Caspian Sea
*length = 2,300 miles
*basin combined size of the UK, France, Germany, and Italy
Don River
*origin = SW Russia
*mouth = Sea of Azov
*length = 1,200 miles
*basin countries = Russia, Ukraine
*linked to the Volga River by the Volga-Don Canal
Ob River
*origin = Altoy Mts.
*mouth = Kara Sea (Arctic Ocean)
*length = 3,400 miles
*problem = spring flooding
Yenisey River
*origin = NW Mongolia
*mouth = Kara Sea (Arctic Ocean)
*length = 2,500 miles
*problem = spring flooding
The Lena River
*origin = Baikal Mountains
*mouth = Arctic Ocean
*length = 2,700 miles
*huge delta ~250 miles wide
*delta is frozen tundra for 7mo/year
*spring flooding = a huge problem
Sakhalin Island
*largest island of Russia
*Strait of Tartar
*Soya Strait; mountainous
*Ainu+Nivkh; Russia, Japan, China
*oil and natural gas
Vladivostak
“Ruler of the East”
*most important Pacific port for Russia
*on the coast of Sea of Japan
*close to China and North Korea
*humid cold climate; cool summer, dry winter
*east end of Trans-Siberian Railroad
Lake Baikal
*the deepest lake (5,300 ft.) >1mile
*20% of all fresh water on earth
*at least 25 million years old
*unique ecosystem with more than 2500 recorded plant and animal species, 75% of which are found nowhere else
*plentiful fish – omul
*Selenga River supplies ca. 50% of water flow into lake
*designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO
Why is the majority of Western Siberian Plain ot suitable for agriculture?
*cold climate
*poor soils
*swampy/marsh land
What causes spring flooding of the major rivers in Siberia?
*rivers break up in reverse; upper streams (in the south) melt first
*the mouths of most Siberian rivers remain frozen thru the spring = ice jams that cause backed-up meltwater to flood extensive areas
Where are the major oil & natural gas fields in Russia?
*West Siberian Plain
*Yamal Peninsula
What indigenous peoples live in the Russian Far EastWhere do they live?
*Chukchi, Kerek, Koryak, Alyutor, Kamchadal
*live on far Eastern coast of Russia, btw Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea
What makes Vladivostok unique? Why is it important to Russia?
*on the coast of Sea of Japan
*shipping and commerical fishing good
*Russia’s most important Pacific Ocean port
*the home port of Russia’s Pacific Fleet
Trans-Siberian Railroad
*main route runs from Moscow to Vladivostok
*3rd longest single continuous service in the world
*built btw 1891-1916, spans 8 timezones
*takes about 7 days to go whole way
What makes Lake Baikal unique?
*unique ecosystem, with more than 2500 recorded plant and animal species, 75% of which are found nowhere else
What countries do the Altai Mountains border?
*Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan
What makes the Caucasus region unique?
*numerous ethno-national groups
*strategic location in oil pipelines
*border btw Russia and Georgia/Azerbaijan
What is a biome?
*ecosystems defined by major vegetation type
*warmer temp + higher rainfall = more abundant vegetation
What are the 4 major zones of biomes of Russia? Where are they? What are the key features of each
*continued on other slides*
*Tundra
*Taiga (wooded Tundra)
*Mixed Forest
*Steppe/grassland (wooded steppe)
Tundra
*location: fringes entire Artic ocean coastline
*climate: permafrost, short summer
*nat.veg: mosses, lichens, hardy grasses
Taiga (wooded tundra)
*location: Gulf of Finland to Kamchatka Peninsula
*climate: no dry season, short cool summer
*nat. veg: spruce and larch trees
Mixed Forest
*location: Belarus – Rus.Fed Urals
*climate: very cold winter, no dry season
*nat. veg: firs, pines, larches, birch and oak trees
Steppe/grassland (wooded steppe)
*location: West Siberia
*climate: dry winter, short cool summer
*nat. veg: feather-grass
Russian Physiographic Regions
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