ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Facts About Ural Mountains

Updated on April 7, 2014

Ural Mountains are a mountain system in the Russian Federation that forms the northern portion of the traditional frontier between Europe and Asia. The range stretches for about 1,600 miles (2,570 km) from the Kara Sea in the Arctic to the hot steppes of Kazakhstan. The mountains generally reach no higher than 3,000 feet (900 meters), and the range has an average height of about 1,600 feet (500 meters). The variety and extent of the range's mineral resources have led to immense industrial growth in the area, particularly during the Soviet period.

In the section known as the Northern (or Arctic) Urals, lying north of latitude 61° N, the range forms a comparatively narrow ridge, destitute of trees. Several peaks in this section exceed 5,000 feet (1,500 meters), and the highest, Mt. Narodnaya, reaches an elevation of 6,214 feet (1,894 meters). Average elevations are lower in the Central and Southern Urals, where numerous passes and river valleys facilitate east-west travel. The range spreads to a width of more than 200 miles (320 km) in the richly forested Central Urals and becomes even wider in the Southern Urals, which usually are identified as that part of the chain lying south of the Yekaterinburg gap. From the boundary that separates the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan, a southern outrunner known as the Mugodzhar Hills extends to the vicinity of the Aral Sea and the steppes adjacent to the Caspian depression.


The principal rivers fed by the Ural chain are the Pechora, which flows into the Arctic Ocean to the northwest of the chain; the Kama and its tributary the Belaya (Ukrainian, Bila), which flow westward into the Volga; the Ural and the Zhem, in the southwestern part of the chain, which, like the Volga, empty into the Caspian Sea; and, to the east of the chain, the various streams that feed into the Tobol and other tributaries of the northward-flowing Irtysh-Ob system, which empties into the Kara Sea, a gulf of the Arctic Ocean.


The range is rich in iron ore and in many of the metals employed in the manufacture of steel, including manganese, nickel, and tungsten. Coal is mined on both the western and eastern slopes; but the supply is insufficient for the area's steel industry, so coking coal is brought from Qaraghandy and the Kuzbas. The metallic minerals and the heavy industry dependent on them are concentrated on the eastern side of the Urals; it is on these slopes that the great steel cities such as Magnitogorsk, Nizhni Tagil, and Chelyabinsk are found. Among the Ural range's major nonferrous metals are copper, chrome, bauxite, lead, zinc, asbestos, chromium, potash, phosphates, and sulfur. Precious metals include platinum, gold, and silver; and emeralds, topaz, amethyst, and other gemstones are mined. Oil and natural gas are tapped near Perm and in the Orenburg region in the south.

By the beginning of the 18th century, an iron foundry had been put into operation in the Urals. Yekaterinburg, which today is the industrial center of the Urals economic region, was founded as a center for the copper and iron industries. Although the Urals grew in importance as a mining and industrial area under the czars, its rapid development dates only from the Soviet era, particularly during the World War II years when the Soviet Union expanded its industries there to compensate for the loss of plants that were overrun by the Germans on the west. Today the Urals form a vast economic complex based on extractive, metallurgical, and heavy machinery; and electrical engineering, chemical, and petrochemical industries.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, 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:

    Show Details
    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 or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    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)
    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.
    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)