Saturday, October 17, 2009

Ural Mountains


The Ural Mountains (also known as the Urals) are a mountain range that runs roughly north-south through western Russia. They are usually considered the natural boundary between Europe and Asia.
In Greco-Roman antiquity, Pliny the Elder thought that the Urals correspond to the Riphean Mountains mentioned by various authors. They are also known as the Great Stone Belt in Russian history and folklore.
The Urals extend 2,498 km from the Kazakh steppes along the northern border of Kazakhstan to the coast of the Arctic ocean. Vaygach Island and the island of Novaya Zemlya form a further continuation of the chain. Geographically this range marks the northern part of the border between the continents of Europe and Asia. Its highest peak is Mount Narodnaya (Poznurr, 1,895 m). Erosion has exposed considerable mineral wealth in the Urals, including gems such as topaz and beryl. The Virgin Komi Forests in the northern Urals are recognized as a World Heritage site. 68% of the Ural Mountains are located in Russia, whilst the remaining 32% are located in Kazakhstan.[1][2] Geographers have divided the Urals into five regions: South, Middle, North, Subarctic and Arctic. The tree line drops from 1,400 metres to sea level as progressing north. Sections of the south and middle regions are completely forested.
Alice

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