Russia is a country with a vast territory. Ural region plays an important role as it forms country's appearance. Ural region spreads over the Ural Mountains, western and eastern parts near the Ural Mountains and the great part of the Western Siberian Plane.
The region's territory extends 1,3 thousand km along meridian and 1 thousand km along latitude. Its length is about 195 thousand square km. Thus Ural region occupies about 1,2 % territory of Russian Federation. To be more precise, it occupies the central, the northern part of the Ural Mountains and the western part of the Western Siberian Plane. The region's state land frontier stretches 1300 km, and there is also the maritime boundary in the North. The Ural Mountains, together with plains of the Preural, stretch from Arctic Ocean in the North to the steppes of Kazakhstan in the South. They present a narrow stripe about 100 km, somewhere 400 km in breadth. This 2500 km stripe divides the Eastern European and the Western Siberian Planes.
The central part of Ural region, the Ural Mountains, consists of low mountain range and massifs.
Geologically, the Urals are old mountains of an ancient range that appeared at the end of the Palaeozoic era, 250 million years ago.
consist of Paleozoic sedimentary and crystalloid rocks. The highest peaks are more than 1200-1500 meters. Mountain Narodnaya (1875m) is in the Prepolar Urals, mountain Telnosiz ( 1617 m) is located in the North Ural and mountain Jamantau (1640 m) is in the South Ural. Peaks of the Middle Ural are not so high; they are only 600-800 meters. Though, the Urals are not so high, nevertheless, this mountain range serves as an important climatic border. Climate of the Preural region differs from the climate of the Postural region a lot. Air current from the west is blocked with the mountains. Atmospheric precipitates make 600-800mm on the western slope, and 400-500 mm on the eastern slope of the Postural. On winter season, the Urals protect the western part from cold Siberian air. That's why climate of the western region is more continental with hard frosts and less snow.
There are many rivers in the Ural. Totally, they make up 150 cubic meters per year. The deepest rivers flow down from the western slopes into the rivers Kama and Pechora, shallow rivers flow from the eastern slope into the river Ob.
The great region's length along the meridian defines the climate changes and landscape variety. The system of native zones can be clearly traced on the Preural planes. Native zones vary from tundra in the North to steppe in the South. Landscapes in the mountain area vary depending on altitude and relief. These landscapes make the system of altitude zones. The variety of these zones can be seen in the mountains of the South Ural clearly, where attached planes and lower parts of slopes are covered with steppe and partially wooded steppe, they followed by the zone of mixed forest and taiga. They interchange with tundra, meadows and rocky surface on the altitude of 1000-1100 m. These zones move downward northward border.
Taiga prevails on the Urals. Fir and silver fir grow in the Preural and on the western slopes. They are substituted with mixed wood in the South. Deciduous wood, especially birch wood as well as pine wood grow on the eastern slopes. Black earth of steppe predominates on the plains of the southern Postural.
The Ural region
is one of the richest regions of Russian Federation. It is marked out for the variety of natural resources. More than thousand types of minerals are found there, including rich deposits of oil and precious metals. The number of mines exceeds the number of twelve thousand. The most important are the fields of iron ore, nickel, copper ore, chromite, bauxite, platinum, gold, asbestos, graphite, gems. Mostly, they are located on the western slope of the mountain range.
In addition, there are deposits of salt, coal, oil, gas, limestone and dolomite on the western and southern slopes of the mountain range, as these slopes are built of sediments.
Moreover, in the South, the Urals are rich with timber and fertile soil necessary and sufficient for agriculture.
are divided into 5 main divisions: the Prepolar Ural, the Postpolar Ural, the North, the Middle and the South Ural.
First settlements of the Ural
First settlements appeared on the Ural at the beginning of the Middle Stone Age (about 75 thousand years ago). Different ancient tribes from Europe and Asia came here. Gradually, these tribes mixed enriching each other cultures. Thus, Ural is considered to be the important link between two parts of Eurasia.
When the lands became free from the ice shelf, first settlements appeared on the vast territory from Postvolga region till the Baltic seashore on the eastern slope of the Middle Ural. First settlers were hunters and fishers, with the time, farming appeared. Those tribes, which lived in the region near the Kama River, knew the secret of copper melt. Farming and cattle-breading developed in the South Ural. Finally, the main peoples of the Preural settled here by the beginning of Iron Age (1-2 centuries), the period of feudal structure forming. Nowadays, one can find unique places in the Ural forests. They are called "sites of ancient people".
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