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The Physical Geography of Russia

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1 The Physical Geography of Russia
Unit 5 – Chapter 14 The Physical Geography of Russia


3 I. Section I The Land


5 A. A Vast and Varied Land Russia is the world’s largest country
Covers 6.6 million sq. miles Stretches over two continents--What major land feature divides the continents? Spans 11 time zones

6 Mountains and Plateaus
Ural Mountains Caucasus Mountains Mount Elbrus – extinct volcano – highest point Central Siberian Plateau Mt. Elbrus

7 Ural Mountains: “The Great Divide”
1500 miles Divides the European and Asian sections of Russia.

8 The Ural Mountains

9 A. (cont) Plains Areas North European Plain West Siberian Plain
Chernozem – rich black soil About 75% of Russia’s population lives here West Siberian Plain

10 Coasts, Seas, and Lakes Longest coastline in the world
Caspian Sea – largest inland sea in the world (salt water) Lake Baikal – deepest freshwater lake in the world Contains about 20% of the earth’s total supply of freshwater Lake Baikal

11 B. Rivers The Volga River (“Mother Volga”)
Vital to Russia (transportation, hydroelectric power) Frozen ½ of the year Provides 33% of Russia’s usable water Very polluted

12 The Volga River The river is so polluted that the sturgeon catch has been decreased by 60%.

13 Siberian Rivers Ob, Irtysh, Yenisey, & Lena Amur
Lena River Siberian Rivers Ob, Irtysh, Yenisey, & Lena Flow north to the Arctic Ocean Amur Flows eastward

14 C. Natural Resources Minerals & Energy
Russia has a huge reserve of mineral resources Petroleum Coal Natural Gas Nickel Aluminum, gemstones Hydroelectric Power – leader in the world

15 -Russia’s Fishing Industry
-Soil and Forest Land 10% land – agriculture – permafrost Black Earth Belt 1/5 of remaining world forests in Russia – Siberia 2nd to the Amazon for oxygen returned to atmosphere -Russia’s Fishing Industry Fish important to Russian diet & economy


17 II. Section II Climate & Vegetation

18 Former Soviet Region Compared in Latitude & Area with the United States

19 A. Russia’s Climates & Vegetation
Most of Russia is characterized by a harsh climate of long, cold winters and short, relatively cool summers. Coldest winter temps. = E. Siberia

20 B. High Latitudes Climates
Tundra – vast treeless plain Almost all of the places with this climate lie north of the Arctic Circle About 10% of Russia Subarctic Dominate climate region Some of the world’s coldest temperatures occur there For days a year, snow covers the ground Taiga – forest belt Living in a Cold Climate What adjustments would you have to make?

21 Siberia --> Permafrost
Average temperatures of January vary from 0 to -50°, and in July from 1 to 25°C 150,000,000 population. A former “gulag” Soviet prison camp.

22 C. Mid-Latitude Climates
Humid Continental Most of Russia’s N. European Plain War & Winter Cold winters have played a key role in wars (pg ) Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow German POWs at Stalingrad

23 Steppe Small area Temperate grassland area

24 Steppes: “Soviet” Breadbasket

25 The Steppes 25% of the old Soviet Union’s food supply.


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