Physical Geography of Russia & The Repbulics A Land of Extrems Chapter 15 Section 1
Russia Largest country in the world (6,592,800 sq. miles) Population (300 million people) Spans 11 time zones World’s largest mineral and energy resources World’s largest forest reserves Its lakes contain approximately ¼ of the world’s unfrozen fresh water
Human Perspective • Russia and the Republics occupy a tremendous expanse of territory—approximately three times the land are of the United States. The region sprawls across the continents of both Europe and Asia and crosses 11 time zones. When Laborers in the western city of Kaliningrad are leaving their jobs after a day’s work, herders on the region’s Pacific coast are just beginning to awaken their animals for the next day’s grazing.
Northern Landforms • 1. The Northern Europe Plain:Extensive lowland area between the western border of Russia and the Republics and the Ural Mountains; Chernozem, one of the world’s most fertile soils, is abundant there. It is call black earth, three feet deep, many of agricultural done here. 75% of over 300 million people live here. Three of the largest cities are here: Moscow, Russia Capital; St. Petersburg; and Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. • 2. West Siberian Plain: Between the Ural Mountains and the Yenisey River and between the shores of the Arctic Ocean and the foothills of the Altay Mountains. It separate the Northern European and West Siberian plains. Its considered the dividing line between Europe and Asia. Other people consider both to be one single continent and they called it Eurasia. Since it tilted toward the north, its rivers flow toward the Arctic Ocean. • 3. Central Siberian Plateau:area of high plateaus between the Yenisey and Lena rivers; East of this region lies a system of volcanic ranges. Mountains & Upland are the dominant landforms with heights of 1,000-2,000 feet. Russian Far East & its volcanic ranges. Kamchatka peninsula contains 120 volcanoes and 20 are still active. Sakhalin & Kuril islands were size from Japan after WWII; Japan still claims ownership of the Kuril Islands.
Southern Landforms: mountains, barren uplands & semiarid grasslands • 4. Caucasus & other Mts.: stretch along the isthmus between the Black and Caspian Seas; Caucacsus forms the border between Russia and Transcaucasia; Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.They stretch across the land that separates the Black and Caspian sea. It form the border between Russia and Transcaucasia (Armenia, Azerbaijan & Georgia). Some of the mts. Are located in the SE border of Central Asia, in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan. They are so high they stop any moist air causing it to have arid climate in Central Asia. • 5. Turan Plain: Extensive lowland between Caspian Sea and the mountains and uplands of Central Asia: mostly arid land or desert.Two major rivers, the Syr Darya & Amu Darya, yet much of the lowland is very dry. Two large deserts, the Kara Kum & the KyzylKum.
Rivers and Lakes • 6. Rivers/basins:Arctic basin is largest; Volga River is the longest on the European continent and drains into the Caspian Sea basin. Other drainage basins are the Pacific Ocean, Baltic Sea, Black Sea, and Aral Sea basins. The Ob, the Yenisey, & the Lena rivers drain an area of over 3 million miles into the Arctic ocean. The Volga carries about 60% of Russia’s river traffic. • 7. Lakes:Caspian (a saltwater lake; world’s largest inland sea) and Aral seas in Central Asia. The Aral seas is also a saltwater lake, but since the 1960s, is has about 80% of its water volume. Irrigation from rivers that feed this lake. • 8. Lake Baikal: Oldest and deepest lake in the world with great diversity of species. North to South, it stretches 400 miles. Holds 20% of the world’s fresh water. Through some pollution, is remarkably clean. Thousand of spices of plants & animals.
Resources • 1. Abundant resources, including huge coal reserves, deposits of iron ore, and other metals; leading producer of oil and natural gas; has one-fifth of the world’s timber resources; large producer of hydroelectric power • 2. Harsh climates (especially in Siberia), rugged terrain, and vast distances make resources difficult to extract and move them to market. (Siberia) Resources that are extracted are often done so at great environmental cost.
Chapter 15 : Section 2 • Areas in a Siberian town of Oymyakon has reported temperatures of -95 degrees. It can crack steel and cause tire to explode. When you exhale, your breath freezes into crystals that fall to the ground and make a noise that Siberians call “the whispering of the stars.” Some of the region’s native believe that words are frozen during winter and in the warmer climates “the air fills with out-of-date gossip, unheard jokes and cries of forgotten pain.
Climate & Vegetation • 1. Distance from the moderating influence of the sea • 2. Moisture travels such a long distance from the Atlantic Ocean that by the time the moist air arrives, it has lost much of its capacity for precipitation. • 3. These are extreme as a result of distance from the sea.
Vegetation Region of Russia and the Republics • 1. Mostly in the Arctic climate zone: Only plants such as mosses, lichens, small herbs, and low shrubs can survive there. • 2. the taiga, largest forest on earth, composed primarily of coniferous trees; Deciduous trees found farther south. • 3. fertile, temperate grassland extending from southern Ukraine through northern Kazakhstan to the Altay Mountains. • 4. In west and central areas of Central Asia; the Kara Kum and Kyzyl Kum deserts occupy large areas of Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan respectively.
Section 3: Human-Environment Interaction • Since the 1960s, irrigation policies in Central Asia have had a dramatic impact on the Aral Sea. The dried-up seabed had become a graveyard for abandoned ships. Thousands of people have left the region and those who remain risk illness, or even death.
The Shrinking Ara Sea • 1. Diverting water from the Aral Sea’s two main tributaries. • Aral sea receives its water from two rivers, the Amu Darya & the Syr Darya. In the 1950s, officials began to irrigate Central Asia’s cotton fields and large scale projects. • 2. About 80 percent, with a trend toward total loss. It took so much water that the Aral slowed to a trickle. It began to evaporate. • 6. Sharp rise in diseases, including cancer, respiratory diseases, dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis. Cotton growers have used pesticides and fertilizers. Runoff picked up chemicals. Runoff carried the chemicals into the rivers that feed the Aral. The retreating water exposed fertilizers and pesticides as well as salt. Windstorms dump them on nearby population. • 4. Large-scale projects such as the 500-mile-long Kara Kum canal.In order to keep the lake at the present levels, they would have to remove 9 of the 18 million acres that are used for farming. • 5. all fish killed • 6. High child mortality rate are among the highest. This pollution has caused a sharp increase in diseases. The incidence of throat cancer and respiratory diseases has risen dramatically. Dysentery, typhoid, and hepatitis have also become more common.
The Russian Winter • 1. Most variable temperatures on earth.32 million people make their home in Siberia. Winters are -94 and summer around 95 degrees. Most of the time is cold. Unbearable for the people. • 2. extremely harsh winters, summers that bring swamps and swarms of insects. Because of snow melting, it creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes and black flies. • 3. Permafrost means it’s hard to build, or buildings sink, tilt, or fall during thaws. The ground is hard to built on and with heated buildings will thaw the permafrost, but will sink, tilt or make building falls. To stop this problem, builder raise their structure a few feet off the ground on concrete pillars. • 4. Seasons helped cause the defeat of napoleon. Napoleon in 1812; he left with 100,000 troop and came back to Poland with 10,000. The winter defeated him as well as Germany march to Russia.
Crossing the “Wild East” • 5. Tamed the “Wild West” of Russia: 5,700 miles of tracks over seven time zones. Travel through the region was dangerous & slow. The Trans-Siberian Railroad link Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. Between 1891 to 1903, approximately 70,000 workers moved 77 million cubic feet of earth, cleared more than 100,000 acres of forest and built bridges over major rivers. • 6. coal and iron ore. Russian officials speed up this project to populated Siberia in order to profit from resources. In 1904, 5 millions peasant farmers moved to Siberia. Within years the railroad aid the political and economic development of Russia.