Landscape in the northern part of the Ural Mountains
|Highest peak||Narodnaja ( )|
The Urals ( Russian Урал , Уральские горы ; also called Ural Mountains ) is a mountain range up to 1895 m high and almost 2400 km long , which extends north-south through central western Russia and forms part of the Asian-European border.
The Ural Mountains, which have high and low mountain character, are located between the Eastern European Plain in the west and the West Siberian lowlands in the east. It extends from the north from the south coast of the Kara Sea , the part of the Arctic Ocean is initially to the southwest, turn around 500 km towards the south, reached at Yekaterinburg its greatest width and ends at the Ural knee between Orenburg and Orsk at the Kazakh Northern border.
The northern third of the Urals runs roughly parallel to the Ob , a large Siberian river that approaches the Ural Mountains at Labytnangi around 100 km from its confluence with the Obbuses of the Arctic Ocean on only 50 km. The Urals crosses three climate zones and is very narrow with an average width of around 50 km, despite being almost 2400 km long. It is the headwaters of many rivers (see below), for example the Ural River .
Environment of the Urals
To the north-west of the northern end of the Ural Mountains, the Pai-Choi Mountains connect , which reach as far as the narrow Jugor Strait , on the northern side of which the Waigatsch Island extends. To the north of this island is the Kara Road , to which the double island of Novaya Zemlya connects. Waigach and Novaya Zemlya can be seen as the northern continuations of the Urals and Pai-Choi Mountains.
As the southern continuation of the Ural Mountains, the Mugodschar Mountains in Kazakhstan , which adjoin the aforementioned Ural knee near Orsk, can be considered. Further south is the Kazakh steppe , to which the Aralo-Caspian lowlands with the Aral Sea and Caspian Sea connect.
Inner Eurasian border
Since Vasily Nikititsch Tatishchev , the Ural Mountains, together with the Ural River, have formed a large part of the border between Europe and Asia . The “two Urals” thus divide the major continent of Eurasia into two unequally large continents (area 10.2 and 44.5 million km²).
The almost 2400 km long Ural Mountains are divided into five parts or mountain ranges that merge directly into one another , viewed from north to south:
- Polarural (Polyarny Ural) : B = 69 ° to 65 ° 40 'North, L = 67 ° to 62 ° East; north of the Chulga source
- Subpolarural (Pripoljarny Ural) : B = 65 ° 40 'to 64 ° North, L = 62 ° to 59 ° East; north of the Ural breakthrough of the Shchugor
- Northern Ural (Severny Ural) : B = 64 ° to 59 ° North, L = approx. 59 ° East; north of the upper reaches of the Koswa
- Middle Ural (Sredni Ural) : B = 59 ° to 55 ° 40 'North, L = 58 ° to 61 ° East; north of the upper reaches of the Ufa
- Southern Urals (Juschny Ural) : B = 55 ° 40 'to 52 ° North, L = 60 ° to 57 ° East; south of the upper reaches of the Ufa up to the level of the city of Orsk
In the middle north of the Urals is the highest peak of the mountains with 1895 m, the Narodnaya . 169 km south of the Arctic Circle , the part of the Ural Mountains there is not only a high mountain range from a climatic point of view .
A selection of mountains (sorted from north to south) at a glance:
|Surname||Russian name||Height [m]||Coord.||Mountain range|
|Konstantinov came||Константи́нов Ка́мень||492||()||Polarural|
|Tulýmski Kámen||Тулымский камень||1496||()||Northern Urals|
|Deneschkin came||Де́нежкин Ка́мень||1492||()||Northern Urals|
|Konshakovsky came||Конжаковский Камень||1569||()||Northern Urals|
|Koswinski Kamen||Косьвинский Камень||1519||()||Northern Urals|
|Shirokaya||Гора́ Широкая||746||()||Middle Urals|
The most important rivers in the Urals are:
Originating or flowing towards Europe:
- In the north of the Urals:
- In the west of the Urals:
- In the south of the Urals:
Originate or flow towards Asia:
- In the northeast of the Urals:
- In the east of the Urals the rivers that meander strongly over the bordering swamps:
- in the Ekaterinburg area :
The Eurasian River:
- in the southeast and south of the Urals:
- the south-flowing Urals, which runs on the Inner Urasian border; one of its source rivers forms a reservoir called Energetik
The cities and larger towns in or in the Urals include:
In the west (European side):
- North to center: Vorkuta , Inta , Pechora
- Southwest: Solikamsk , Berezniki , Perm , Zlatoust , Ufa , Salawat
In the east (Asian side):
- Middle: Serov , Nizhny Tagil , Yekaterinburg (until 1991 Sverdlovsk), Kamensk-Uralsky
- Southeast: Chelyabinsk , Miass , Magnitogorsk
In the south:
Mining and industry
A number of ores are mined in the central and southern Urals, including iron (note the name Magnitogorsk ) and the precious metal platinum . Half and precious stones are also extracted. In addition, rich malachite deposits were found here , for which the Urals were very famous. This mineral was also processed into high-quality jewelry in the surrounding cities, which thanks to its high quality is also well known. Along with Zaire, Shaba Province (formerly Katanga), the Urals had the most abundant and purest occurrences of malachite in the world.
As in Central Europe (see Genesis and Zechstein above ) there are large deposits of mineral salts including very large potash salt deposits in the western foreland (Solikamsk), and due to the warm climate during the mountain formation, there are also coal, crude oil and natural gas.
The ore wealth has also led to the development of some large centers of heavy industry, such as the names Perm , Yekaterinburg and Magnitogorsk. These heavy industry locations have been struggling with economic problems since the 1990s, the end of the Soviet Union . Irbitski Motozikletny Sawod in Irbit (Sverdlovsk), which was founded in 1939 and still produces motorcycles and motorcycle sideboards, and the Uralsky Avtomobilny Sawod in Miass (Chelyabinsk), known for its military trucks , were named after the Ural region.
The history of the Urals goes back to the early Paleozoic ( Cambrian ; around 540 million years before today). At that time, ocean basins opened up between the "primordial continents" Sibiria and Fennosarmatia (European craton, parts of today's northern and eastern Europe) in which sediments were deposited over millions of years , which subsequently solidified into sedimentary rocks and then folded (see also Chanty- Mansi Ocean ).
The last and most important folding phase in the Permian (from around 290 million years before today) is related to the final phase of the formation of the supercontinent Pangea , i.e. H. with the collision of Siberia and the small continent of Kazakhstan with the eastern edge of the European craton, which is already part of the Pangea Association. Sometimes this last folding of the Urals, as well as some Late Permian-Early Triassic mountain formations in East Asia, is counted as part of the Variscan mountain range , in the course of which the most recent folds in the Appalachians and the French Massif Central took place. However, the term “Variscan” (or “Hercynian”) is mostly only used for late Paleozoic folds in what is now the North Atlantic and the last fold in the Urals is called Ural orogeny . Various forms of magmatism , which occurred in and on today's Ural crust before the Ural orogeny, are responsible for the ore wealth of the region.
Today's Ural Mountains, i.e. today's mountain range, only emerged in the course of the last few million years from the Pliocene when the old, folded rocks were lifted out of the underground. The cause of the uplift was probably the plate tectonic processes on the southern edge of Eurasia ( Alpidic mountain formation ).
- WW Ez, DJ Gaft, BI Kuznesov: Morfologija i uslowija obrasowanija geolomorfnoj skladtschatosti na primere: Zilairskogo sinklinerija Južnogo Urala. Published Moskva: Nauka 1965
- Structure of the Ural chain , on welcome-ural.ru (English)
- Cliff D. Ollier: Mountain Uplift an the Neotectonic Period. Annals of Geophysics. Supplementum to Vol. 49, No. 1, 2006, pp. 437-450