ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Geography, Nature & Weather

Divisions and Structure of Caucasus

Updated on April 6, 2014
Source

Caucasus, one of the world's great mountain systems, is located in Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Republic of Georgia, and the Russian Federation. It occupies the isthmus between the Black Sea in the west and the Caspian Sea in the east. The Caucasus is considered by some geographers to be a natural boundary between Europe and Asia. The highest peak is the Elbrus, in the central part of the system, with an elevation of 18,481 feet (5,633 meters).

Divisions and Structure

Covering a territory of 170,000 square miles (440,000 sq km), including its piedmont, the Caucasus is a region of great natural diversity. The area can be considered as two mountain systems: the Greater and the Lesser Caucasus.

Greater Caucasus

Source

The main axis of the mountain system, the Greater Caucasus, extends about 700 miles (1,100 km) northwest-southeast from the Taman Peninsula, between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, to the Apsheron Peninsula on the Caspian Sea. The northern piedmont is an extensive region of lowlands and plateaus extending from the Greater Caucasus north to the Kuma-Manych river depression. This depression also runs northwest-southeast, parallel to the main mountain axis, between the lower reaches of the Don River and the Caspian Sea. The western part of the northern piedmont consists of the alluvial plains of the Kuban River and lesser streams draining into the Sea of Azov.

The central part of the piedmont is occupied by the Stavropol upland, a limestone and sandstone plateau rising to 2,730 feet (830 meters). To the southeast of the plateau, in the Beshtau region, is a cluster of laccoliths (dome-shaped hills) rising to 4,590 feet (1,400 meters). Some of the Russian Federation's best-known mineral springs (Pyatigorsk, Yessentuki, and Kislovodsk) are in these hills. The eastern part of the piedmont consists of a semiarid plain between the Terek and Kuma rivers and, farther south, the parallel Terek and Sundzha hill ranges, rising to 3,038 feet (926 meters). The anticlinal structure of these ranges is associated with the oil deposits of the Grozny area.

The Caucasus mountain system resulted from the Alpine mountain-making movement that took place in Europe in the Tertiary period. The northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus, in contrast to the steeper southern slopes, rise gently from the piedmont through a series of sloping plains and foothills to the main mountain ranges. The central ranges present a core of Precambrian and Paleozoic crystalline rocks amid Jurassic schists. The highest peaks are situated in the so-called watershed range and in the parallel lateral range, just to the north. In addition to the Elbrus, at the western end of the cluster of high peaks, are the Ushba (15,403 feet, or 4,695 meters); the Dykh-Tau (17,070 feet, or 5,200 meters); the Shkhara (16,594 feet, or 5,058 meters); and, on the east, the Kazbek (16,558 feet, or 5,047 meters).

The crustal upheaval that gave rise to the Caucasus was accompanied by volcanic activity. Both the Elbrus and the Kazbek are thought to be dead volcanoes. Mud volcanoes are still active at the Taman and the Apsheron ends of the Greater Caucasus ranges. Limestone plateaus and foothills frequently display karst forms.

Source

Lesser Caucasus

South of the central ranges is a longitudinal depression made up of a series of river valleys that separate the Greater Caucasus from a mountain region sometimes called the Lesser Caucasus. The longitudinal depression begins in the northwest on the Black Sea in the Colchis swamps. The swamps are associated with the Greek legend of the Golden Fleece. Across the Surami Pass (3,113 feet, or 949 meters), the depression continues southeast along the valley of the Kura River, which opens onto the broad Kura-Aras plain on the Caspian Sea.

Unlike the Greater Caucasus, the Lesser Caucasus does not have a well-defined northwest-southeast alignment. It consists of a system of short fold mountains and the Armenian volcanic uplands that link with the neighboring mountainous regions of Turkey and Iran. The highest point within the Armenian part of the Lesser Caucasus is Mt. Aragats, an extinct volcano rising to 13,420 feet (4,090 meters). Mt. Ararat, a similar cone that is 16,916 feet (5,156 meters) high, is nearby, across the border in Turkey. A prominent feature in the Armenian uplands is Lake Sevan, the largest lake of the Caucasus region.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)