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1(Web.ku.edu)Physical Geography of Russia and the Republics: A Land of Extremes

From the frozen Arctic tundra of Siberia to the deserts of Kazakhstan, size and climate help define Russia and its former republics.





KazakhstanSection 1: Landforms and ResourcesFlat plains stretch across the western and central areas of the region. In the south and east, the terrain is more mountainous.Many resources in Russia and the Republics are in hard-to-reach regions with brutal climates.


Northern LandformsA Tremendous Expanse of TerritoryRussia and the Republics cover 1/6 of earths land surface8 1/2 million square milesthree times the land area of U.S.region crosses 11 time zonesNorthern 2/3 of region divided into four areas4Northern European PlainNorthern European Plain an extensive lowland areaStretches over 1,000 miles from the western border to the UralsChernozemworlds most fertile soil, abundant in area75% of regions 290 million people live on the Plaincities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kiev



http://www.torange.us/Objects/summer-residence-earth/Sowing-campaign-4016.htmlWest Siberian PlainUral Mountainsseparate Northern European, West Siberian Plainssome see them as dividing line between Europe and Asiasome consider Europe and Asia as single continentEurasiaPlain lies between Urals and Yenisey River (west to east)between Arctic Ocean and Atay Mountains (north to south)Plain tilts northward, so rivers flow to Arctic Ocean


http://thelastreel.blogspot.com/2012/02/renny-harlin-direct-as-yet-untitled.htmlCentral Siberian Plateau and Russian Far EastUplands and mountains are dominant landformsCentral Siberian Plateau between Yenisey, Lena rivershigh plateaus that average 1,000 to 2,000 feetEast of Lena River is Russian Far East and system of volcanic rangesKamchatka Peninsula has 120 volcanoes, 20 still activeSakhalin, Kuril islands at south of peninsulataken from Japan by USSR after WWII; still claimed by Japan


http://welcome2siberia.com/Southern LandformsThe Caucasus and Other MountainsCaucasus Mountains lie between Black and Caspian seasborder between Russia, TranscaucasiaArmenia, Azerbaijan, GeorgiaCentral Asia region includes stan republicsKazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, UzbekistanSouthern border a massive wall of mountains, including the Tian Shan


http://www.allcountries.eu/russia.htmThe Turan PlainBetween Caspian Sea and the mountains, uplands of Central AsiaVery dry, despite Syr Darya and Amu Darya riversTwo large deserts, Kara Kum and Kyzyl Kum


Kara Kum Deserthttp://www.pbase.com/image/99541888Rivers and LakesDrainage Basins and RiversMain drainage basins (areas drained by major river, tributaries)Arctic and Pacific oceans; Caspian, Baltic, Black, and Aral seasArctic basin is largestOb, Yenisey, and Lena rivers drain over 3 million square milesVolga River, longest in Europe, drains Caspian Sea basinflows 2,300 miles south from Moscowcarries 60% of Russias river traffic


http://www.blessedhopeacademy.com/Geoography/geography105.htmLakesCaspian Sea is 750-mile-long (north to south) saltwater lakelargest inland sea in worldAral Sea, east of Caspian, is also saltwaterhas lost 80% of water volume since 1960 due to irrigation


http://www.valuewalk.com/2011/11/russias-offshore-move-raises-tension-caspian-sea/Lake BaikalDeepest in world: a mile from surface to bottom at deepest point400 miles long, holds 20% of worlds fresh watervery clean lake, home to 1,200 unique plant, animal species


http://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g298526-Lake_Baikal_Siberian_District-Vacations.htmlRegional ResourcesAbundant ResourcesHuge reserves of coal, iron ore, other metalsRegion also a leading producer of oil and natural gaspetroleum deposits around Caspian Sea among worlds largestForests have 1/5 of worlds timberLarge producer of hydroelectric power due to rivers


Resource ManagementHard to get at, move resources due to climates, terrain, distancesmany resources are in Siberiafrigid, arctic, Russian area of AsiaMining, oil and gas production cause grave environmental damageHydroelectric plants damage animal and plant habitats through:dammingdischarge of unusually hot water (thermal pollution)Leaders must balance economic needs, environmental responsibilities



Section 2: Climate and VegetationMuch of Russia and the Republics lie in subarctic and tundra climate zones.In the regions southern areas, semiarid and desert climates feature warmer winters and hot summers.


A Climate of ExtremesMajor Climate RegionsHumid continental and subarctic climates dominate regionContinentalityeffect the regions enormous size has on its climatesDistance from sea decreases precipitationmoisture from Atlantic Ocean is lost further inlandDistance from sea also creates extreme temperaturesaverage Siberian temperatures are usually below 50 degrees FSiberian temperatures can drop below 90 degrees F


Major Climate RegionsCold weather has impact on daily lifeSiberians use frozen lakes and rivers as roads for part of yearRegion has layer of permafrost that can reach depths of 1,500 feetWarmer, semiarid and desert climates in Central Asiasoutheast mountain wall blocks moist Indian, Pacific ocean airMoist Mediterranean air creates subtropical climate in Transcaucasiaregions health resorts were once tourist destinations


Vegetation RegionsFour Major RegionsThe 4 major vegetation regions run east to west in wide strips


TundraMostly in Arctic climate zone; only specific vegetation can survivemosses, lichen, small herbs, low shrubs


ForestSouth of tundra:taigalargest forest on earth, mostly coniferoussable, fox, ermine, elk, bear, wolvesdeciduous trees dominate lower latitudes


http://www.knowledge.allianz.com/environment/climate_change/?669/ten-most-important-forests-worldwide-gallerySteppeTemperate grassland from southern Ukraine to Altay Mountainshighly fertile chernozem soilregion is major source of grain for Russia and the Republics


http://secondthoughts.typepad.com/second_thoughts/2008/05/m-linden-the-ne/comments/page/2/DesertWide plains in west and central areas of Central AsiaTwo main deserts together cover 230,000 square milesKara Kum (Turkmenistan)Kyzyl Kum (Uzbekistan)22

http://www.superhqwallpapers.com/2011/12/23/landscapes-hq-wallpapers/kyzyl-kum-desert-1920x1200/Section 3: Human-Environment InteractionThe regions harsh climate has been both an obstacle and an advantage to its inhabitants.Attempts to overcome the regions geographic limits have sometimes had negative consequences23

The Shrinking Aral SeaA Disappearing LakeAral Sea gets water from Amu Darya and Syr Darya riversIn 50s, rivers are drawn on to irrigate Central Asian cotton fieldsflow from rivers becomes a trickle, sea begins to evaporate



http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/04/100402-aral-sea-story/The Effects of AgriculturePesticides and fertilizers for cotton are picked up by runoffrunoffrainfall not absorbed by soil, runs into streams and riverschemicals carried into Aral kill all 24 native species of fishRetreating sea waters expose fertilizers, pesticides, saltwindstorms blow them onto nearby populationsSubstances increase diseases: throat cancer, typhoid, hepatitisCentral Asia child mortality rates are among highest in world


Saving the AralTo maintain present lake level, 9 of 18 million farm acres have to gowould cause great hardship for farmersmany argue only such drastic measures can save the Aral26

http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2009/world/europe/new-project-resurrects-hope-for-dying-aral-sea/The Russian WinterCoping in Siberia32 million Siberians live with the earths most variable temperaturescity of Verkhoyansk can be -90 F in winter, 94 F in summermost of the time it is coldWarm weather melts ice, forms pools, swamps that become breeding grounds for mosquitoes, black fliesBuildings on permafrost sink and fall when their heat thaws groundbuildings must be set off ground on concrete pillars


http://www.ozzienews.com/news/world-news/a-pack-of-four-hundred-wolves-terrify-russian-town/War and General WinterHarsh climate has helped Russia fight off invadersIn early 1800s, French leader Napoleon Bonaparte conquers EuropeBonaparte invades Russia from Poland in 1812arrives in Moscow in September, as winter beginsMuscovites burn the city leaving no shelterNapoleon retreats; cold helps doom 90% of his 100,000 men


http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Everyone%20Else/pages-5/Russian-military-on-high-alert-after-string-of-icicle-deaths-Scrape-TV-The-World-on-your-side.htmlRussian ship covered with ice in Moscow!Crossing the Wild EastThe Trans-Siberian RailroadIn late 1800s, Siberia is like U.S. Wild Westtravel is dangerous, slowEmperor orders 5,700-mile Trans-Siberian Railroad builtlinks Moscow to Pacific port of Vladivostok29

http://www.us-passport-service-guide.com/trans-siberian-railroad.htmlAn Enormous ProjectFrom 1891 to 1903, 70,000 workers move 77 million cubic feet of earthclear 100,000 acres of forest; bridge several major riversResource Wealth in SiberiaRailroad helps populate area so resources can yield profitin first 10 years, 5 million people use railway to settle Siberiabegin mining coal, iron ore


http://www.worldtopjourneys.com/2011/03/trans-siberian-railway.htmlBibliographyMcdougal Littell, World Geography. Hough