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Russian Terrain Visible as Snow Thaws

April 15th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Russia - April 2nd, 2009

Russia - April 2nd, 2009

Gradual thawing in chilly northern Russia creates interesting patterns of snow amidst valleys and hills to the south of  a large mountain range.

The Russian Federation stretches across a large extent of the north of the super-continent of Eurasia. Because of its size, Russia displays both monotony and diversity. As with its topography, its climates, vegetation, and soils span vast distances. Russia possesses 10% of the world’s arable land.

From north to south the East European Plain is clad sequentially in tundra, coniferous forest (taiga), mixed and broad-leaf forests, grassland (steppe), and semi-desert (fringing the Caspian Sea) as the changes in vegetation reflect the changes in climate. Siberia supports a similar sequence but is taiga.

Most of Russia consists of vast stretches of plains that are predominantly steppe to the south and heavily forested to the north, with tundra along the northern coast.

Mountain ranges are found along the southern borders, such as the Caucasus (containing Mount Elbrus, Russia’s and Europe’s highest point at 5,642 m / 18,511 ft) and the Altai, and in the eastern parts, such as the Verkhoyansk Range or the volcanoes on Kamchatka. The Ural Mountains, rich in mineral resources, form a north-south range that divides Europe and Asia.

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