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Mud Volcanoes


 Mud volcanoes are pervasive within the Republic of Azerbaijan. In local language, mud volcanoes are also known as "pilpila", "yanardag", "bozdagh", "ahtarma", "gaynarja" etc. There are over 220 mud volcanoes in Azerbaijan (Absheron Peninsula, Gobustan, southeast Shirvan plain, Samur-Davachi plain terrane, both Absheron and Baku Archipelago. The biggest are Galmas, Toragay, Big Kanizadag etc. Most of them have a cone shape. Their height varies in the range from 20 to 400m, whereas base diameter may vary from 100 to 4500m.
NATURE | Views: 799 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



The coasts and islands of the Caspian Sea


 Caspian Sea coastal area consists of the Quaternary deposits, while its shoreline configuration varies in different places. The coasts are smooth and invariable in some places whereas in other places they are tortuous. There are such gulfs as Gizlar, Astrakhan, and Mangishlag, as well as a variety of bays. The peninsulars of Agrakhan, Buzachi, Tub-Karagan and Mangishlag are very interesting. Both Volga and Ural Rivers mouth shorelines are variable and consist of numerous small islands and distributary channels. Caspian middle sector shoreline configuration is characterized by smooth outline. The Absheron Peninsula is located on the western margin of the Caspian Sea, right where the middle and the southern sectors are bordering with each other. To the west of the Absheron Peninsula there are several islands and shoals of the Absheron archipelago. The largest Pirallahi and Chilov Islands. To the south of the Absheron Peninsula there are such islands of the Baku archipelago as Hara Zira, Gum, Chigil, Gil, Garasu, Zanbil, Sangi-Mughan, Dash Zira, Kur Dashy etc. Middle Caspian east shoreline is more tortuous. The most profound feature here is Kazakh gulf with Kandarly bay, as well as Peschany, Rakushechny and Sue spits. The biggest gulf of the sea east margin is Gara-Boghaz-Gol gulf. The origin of the listed islands and some shoals located within the Caspian south sector (Livanovo etc) is associated with the bottom-sea mud-volcanoes activity.
NATURE | Views: 826 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



The formation and physiography of the Caspian Sea


 Formation The formation of the Caspian Sea began 10M years ago, and during this period of time several changes of the sea water level as well as the recurring transgressions and regressions took place. During the Tertiary period (began about 70M years ago) the Ponto-Caspian basin was isolated from the Tethys Ocean and its southern seas and gradually transformed into a stand-alone inland basin. At the Late Pontian and Middle Pliocene time (10M years ago), the vast inland Sarmatian basin, which extended from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea, was divided into several parts with the stand-alone Caspian Sea. During the Quaternary period (500th years ago), the Caspian Sea was linked to the Black Sea by the Kuma-Manich depression. The fluctuation of the Caspian Sea water level ranged about 300m during the last geological period of time.

Sometimes, sea bottom in the entire North Caspian and partially Middle Caspian sectors underwent subaerial exposure, whereas South Caspian-Lankaran basins remained submerged under the water surface.

Physiography

The five littoral states have a shoreline of 6,500-6,700 km (7,000km with Islands) shoreline. The shoreline length in each of the littoral states is as follows: Republic of Azerbaijan - 955km, Kazakhstan - 2320km, Islamic Republic of Iran - 724km, Russian Federation - 695km and Turkmenistan -1200km.
NATURE | Views: 960 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



Forests


 Azerbaijan covers an area of 86.6 million hectares, of which 1213.7 thousand hectares are forests. Forestlands of 989.5 thousand hectares form 1.4% of the total land area of Azerbaijan. There is approximately 0.12 hectares of forestland per capita, which is four times (0.48 hectares) lower than the average figures worldwide.

Forests in Azerbaijan belong to group I for their important degree and are spread differently throughout the regions of the country. One of the specific features of these regions is the availability of various natural resources, such as mineral water, energy and fertile soil. The forests serve a function that no other natural components can. Forests are the natural matters that promote the stabilization of such important biosphere components as water, air and soil.

The forests of Azerbaijan (85%) mainly cover the slopes of the Major Caucasus, Minor Caucasus and Talysh Mountains.

Most of the forests have rather valuable tree types (iron tree, beech tree, hornbeam, lime, maple, etc). The characteristic trees of the forests and their diversity are determined by the climate, soil and topography of the region.

The forest policy of the country is managed by the Department for Forests Development under the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

The department takes care of the protection and preservation of forests, restoration and planting of forests, preparation of planting stocks, storage of forest trees and bushes, preservation of forests and other forestry actions, which includes the efficient and purposeful utilization of forest reserves and related spheres of agriculture. It also works on the improvement of the protection of forest soil, water preservation, a clean environment, sanitarian and hygienic actions, preservation of species of animals in the forests, ensuring biodiversity, the establishment of cultural, scientific and recreational complexes throughout nature, as well as the protection and expansion of the gene pool in the growth of forest seed.

The Department for the development of forestry controls 34 establishments for regional forest protection and restoration, 3 institutions of forestation and 3 establishments for forest seeding (The scientific research of forestry institute and the center of struggle against pests and diseases.).

Since the establishment of the Ministry March 2001, the number of measures conducted for restoration of forests, forestation, cultivation of planting stock, seed storage and others have increased.

NATURE | Views: 539 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



Mountain


 The Republic of Azerbaijan is typified by relief of different kinds and complexity. Over half of the country's area consists of the mountain ridges, crests, yailas and plateaus rises up to hypsometric levels of 400-500m, (or up to 800-1000m within the Middle and Lower Araz lowlands), in some places (Talis, Jeyranchol-Ajinohur and Langabiz-Alat foreranges) up to 100-120m, as well as 0-50m up (Gobustan, Absheron) the rest part of which are plains and lowlands. Hypsometric marks within the Great Caucasus region vary in the range from about -28m at the Caspian Sea shoreline up to 4466m, (Bazardyuzi peak).

Quantitative area distribution according to their hypsometric levels is as follows: 18% of the area are located below the Ocean level, 24%-has hypsometric marks ranging from 0 to 200m, 15.5% is covered by areas which elevation ranges from 200 to 500m, another 15.5% are covered by areas which elevation marks ranges from 500 to 1000m, 19.5% are covered by areas which elevation ranges from 1000 to 2000m high, 6.5% are covered by areas which elevation ranges from2000 to 3000m, and only 1% is the areas which elevation marks are over 3000m high. Average elevation is 384m high. Principle orographic units of Azerbaijan Republic consists of the Great Caucasus mountain system, Samur-Davachi lowland (in conjunction with Gusar inclined plain), Kur River lowland, Minor Caucasus and Talish mountain systems.

 Only southeast part of the Great Caucasus mountain region is located within Azerbaijan Republic. The basic orographic elements of this part of Great Caucasus system are Major Caucasus system (or watershed ridge) and the Lateral ridge. Major Caucasus ridge constitutes large portion of the Great Caucasus system and extends southeast off Tinov-Rosso elevation (3385m) is located at Azerbaijan State border with Georgia and Daghistan AR. Only southern flank of the ridge between Tinov-Rosso and Bazar-Dyuzu (the northern flank of the ridge belongs to Daghistan AR), where both flanks of that part belong to Azerbaijan. The Major Caucasus watershed ridge is not crossed with any river valleys (and therefore it is also called Watershed ridge). Most part of the ridge elevation is over 3000m high, and only in its central part it exceeds 4000m height (Bazar-Dyuzu - 4466m, Tufandagh-4191m, Bazaryurd- 4126m). Beginning from Babadagh peak (3629m) the same ridge elevation gradually goes down and becomes wider. Starting from Dubrar elevation (2205m) Major Caucasus ridge plunges northeastward towards Caspian Sea like expanded fan having been cut by river valleys into separate ridges like Gadi-Kurkachidagh, Aladagh, Kemchi and others.

 The same ridges are further divided into smaller and lower ridges to pass into low elevation mountain region named Gobustan, and further on into Absheron Peninsula. North off and parallel to the Great Caucasus ridge there is a southeast trending ridge called Lateral, of which Azerbaijan section starts from the Shahdagh (4243) extending and getting lower southeastward and terminates at Beshbarmag (546m) pinnacle. Lateral ridge is divided into stand alone blocks-Plateaus (Shahdagh, Gizilgaya, Budugh etc) by river valleys that begin from Great Caucasus ridge.

Northeast off and parallel to the Lateral ridge there is Talabi-Gaynarja elevation (which elevation ranges from 1000-1100m in the west down to 150-200m in the east). Ridges and elevations are divided fron each other by valleys and intermontane troughs (Shahnabad, Khinalig, Erphee, Gonagcand, Kaltan, Gilgilchay,Tigchay, Rustov, Perebedil etc).Southern flank of the Great Caucasus ridge descended down to Alazan-Ayrichay valley(in some sources Alazan-Haftaran valley, whereas in others it is considered as one of the Kur River valley parts) that in some places is parallel to the mentioned ridge. Said above valley begins from Georgia Republic and is 210km long and 30km wide in Azerbaijan. Nialdagh ridge which elevation reaches up to 2100m high is extended parallel to the Great Caucasus one apart through Lahidge valley
NATURE | Views: 649 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



GENERAL INFORMATION

Hydrographically, the Republic of Azerbaijan belongs to the Caspian Sea basin. The water systems of Azerbaijan (rivers, lakes) were formed over a long geological timeframe and changed significantly throughout that period. This is particularly evidenced by remnants of ancient rivers found throughout the country. The country's water systems are continually changing under the influence of natural forces and human introduced industrial activities. Artificial rivers (canals) and ponds are a part of Azerbaijan's water systems.

Rivers

Rivers form the principal part of the water systems of Azerbaijan. There are 8,359 rivers of various lengths within Azerbaijan. Of them 8,188 rivers are less than 25 kilometers in length. Only 24 rivers are over 100 kilometers long. Kur, Araz, Qanix (in Alazan), Qabirri (Iori), Samur, Terter, Turyan, Agstafa, Hekeri, Vilesh and others are the largest rivers that flow through the country.

The country's rivers are divided into three groups:

1) The Kur basin rivers (Qanix, Qabirri, Turyan, Agstafa, Shekir, Terter, Khachin, etc.);
2) The Araz basin rivers (Arpachay, Nakhchivan, Okhchu, Hekeri, Kondelenchay, etc.);
3) Rivers, flowing directly into the Caspian Sea (Samur, Gudyal, Velvele, Vilesh, Lenkeran, etc.).


NATURE | Views: 446 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



ETYMOLOGY

The world's largest lake - the Caspian Sea is situated within the vast continental depression settled over bordering areas of a single Euro-Asia continent.

The most ancient inscriptions related to the Caspian Sea were encountered upon an Assirian ceramic pot, mentioned as the Southern Sea. The Hekatey of Milet's historical and geographic books (VI BC) mentioned this sea as Caspy and Hirkan. The first ethnic name is associated with the name of the Caspy people who were dwelling in southwest coastal areas of the current territory of Azerbaijan. Its second name was originated from Hircan country, which was located in the southeast coastal areas (translated from Persian as "the country of wolves"). These two names of the Caspian Sea were also mentioned by Herodotus (5th century BC).
NATURE | Views: 400 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



THE CLIMATE-FORMING FACTORS

Azerbaijan is situated on northern extremity of the subtropical zone, south-eastern Caucasus and north-western part of Iran plateau. Its climatic diversity is caused by the complicate geographical location and landscape, the proximity of the Caspian Sea, the effect of sun's radiation, air masses of different origin, etc.


NATURE | Views: 1222 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011


TECTONIC SETTING

The territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan forms a constituent geological part of the Alpine folded belt. Sedimentary deposits embracing the southwestern parts of the Major and Minor Caucasus, including the intermountain Kur-River trough, as well as the Mid- and South Caspian basins consist of diversity fold systems. The Earth's crust thickness in Azerbaijan varies in the range from 38 to 55 km. Its maximum thickness is observed in the Minor Caucasus area, while its minimum thickness is typical for the Talysh foothills. Geological setting of the area consists of sedimentary, volcanic-sedimentary, volcanic and terrestrial deposits embracing almost entire stratigraphic range beginning from pre-Cambrian period up to Holocene time.

Mesozoic and Cenozoic eugeosynclinal, miogeosynclinal and molasse deposits are most ubiquitous among the others. As for Paleozoic sub-cratonic and the Alpine pre-Cambrian-Paleozoic metamorphic deposits occupy much smaller areas.

The Great Caucasus meganticlinorium, the Kur River intermontane trough and the Minor Caucasus megasynclinorium constitute the principle structural systems in Azerbaijan. The Major Caucasus meganticlinorium has very intricate structural architecture embracing ancient geologic features along with those generated recently. All constituent structures of the Major Caucasus meganticlinorium abruptly plunge towards the Caspian basin and terminate entirely within the coastal area.

The Yavandag-Sangachal gravity maximum is suggested to be a buried extension of the Vandam anticlinorium within the Shamahy-Gobustan synclinorium. Here, within Girdiman and Aghsu River interfluve Maykop deposits are overlain by thick (1500m) Cretaceous (Dibrar facies) deposits, referred to as the Baskal nappe with a 10km horizontal offset. Westward, within Mazim and Girdimanchay Rivers interfluve most of the southern part of the Vandam anticlinorium consists of sheet-like pebble deposits.



NATURE | Views: 440 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011



OROGRAPHY AND VERTICAL MOUNTAIN ZONING

The Republic of Azerbaijan is typified by relief of different kinds and complexity. Over half of the country's area consists of the mountain ridges, crests, yailas and plateaus rises up to hypsometric levels of 400-500m, (or up to 800-1000m within the Middle and Lower Araz lowlands), in some places (Talis, Jeyranchol-Ajinohur and Langabiz-Alat foreranges) up to 100-120m, as well as 0-50m up (Gobustan, Absheron) the rest part of which are plains and lowlands. Hypsometric marks within the Great Caucasus region vary in the range from about -28m at the Caspian Sea shoreline up to 4466m, (Bazardyuzi peak).

Quantitative area distribution according to their hypsometric levels is as follows: 18% of the area are located below the Ocean level, 24%-has hypsometric marks ranging from 0 to 200m, 15.5% is covered by areas which elevation ranges from 200 to 500m, another 15.5% are covered by areas which elevation marks ranges from 500 to 1000m, 19.5% are covered by areas which elevation ranges from 1000 to 2000m high, 6.5% are covered by areas which elevation ranges from2000 to 3000m, and only 1% is the areas which elevation marks are over 3000m high. Average elevation is 384m high. Principle orographic units of Azerbaijan Republic consists of the Great Caucasus mountain system, Samur-Davachi lowland (in conjunction with Gusar inclined plain), Kur River lowland, Minor Caucasus and Talish mountain systems.

Only southeast part of the Great Caucasus mountain region is located within Azerbaijan Republic. The basic orographic elements of this part of Great Caucasus system are Major Caucasus system (or watershed ridge) and the Lateral ridge. Major Caucasus ridge constitutes large portion of the Great Caucasus system and extends southeast off Tinov-Rosso elevation (3385m) is located at Azerbaijan State border with Georgia and Daghistan AR. Only southern flank of the ridge between Tinov-Rosso and Bazar-Dyuzu (the northern flank of the ridge belongs to Daghistan AR), where both flanks of that part belong to Azerbaijan. The Major Caucasus watershed ridge is not crossed with any river valleys (and therefore it is also called Watershed ridge). Most part of the ridge elevation is over 3000m high, and only in its central part it exceeds 4000m height (Bazar-Dyuzu - 4466m, Tufandagh-4191m, Bazaryurd- 4126m). Beginning from Babadagh peak (3629m) the same ridge elevation gradually goes down and becomes wider. Starting from Dubrar elevation (2205m) Major Caucasus ridge plunges northeastward towards Caspian Sea like expanded fan having been cut by river valleys into separate ridges like Gadi-Kurkachidagh, Aladagh, Kemchi and others.


NATURE | Views: 1134 | Added by: shamsi_84 | Date: 10.05.2011

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