Formation of the Ural Mountains

img20Formation of the Ural Mountains. Ural Mountains they are made of rock, which arose at the bottom of a water reservoir millions of years ago. About 350 million years ago, powerful orogenic movements in the Carboniferous of the Paleozoic era (orogeneza hercyńska) caused uplift and folding of these sediments. The end of orogeny came in the Permian, in front of more or less 250 million years. During this time, up to the Tertiary, Ural, windswept and destroyed by water, kept getting lower. Were it not for the rejuvenation during Alpine Orogeny, the mountains would be rather monotonous highlands.

Ural – Mountain range, which crosses Russia from north to south, it is the border between two parts of the world and the two largest parts (macroregions) our country – European and Asian.

Geographic location of the Urals

The Urals stretch north to south, mainly along the 60th meridian. In the north, they turn north-east, towards the Yamal Peninsula, in the south, they turn south-west. One of their features is this, that the mountainous area widens as you move from north to south (this is clearly visible on the map on the right). Right in the south, in the region Orenburga , The Ural Mountains are connected to the nearby hills, such as General Syrt.

Regardless of, how strange it may seem, the exact geological boundary of the Urals (hence accurate border geographic between Europe and Asia ) still cannot be accurately determined.

To one degree or another, part of the Urals is occupied by the following regions (from north to south): Region Archangielsk, Republika Komi, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Autonomous Okrug of the Khanty-Mansiysk, Perm territory, Obwód Swierdłowski, Chelyabinsk region, Republic of the Basque Country, Orenburg region as well as part of Kazakhstan.

Professor D.N.. In the 19th century, Anuchin wrote about the diversity of the landscapes of the Urals:

"From the Konstantinovsky Stone in the north to the Mugodzhara Mountains in the south, the Urals have a different character at different latitudes. Wild, with rocky peaks to the north, becomes a forest, with more rounded contours in the middle, it takes on again rocky in the Kyshtym Urals, and especially near Zlatoust and beyond, where rises tall Iremel . And those lovely Trans-Ural lakes, surrounded on the west by a beautiful line of mountains. These rocky shores Chusovaya with his dangerous "warriors", these rocks Tagil with his mysterious "scribes", these beauties of the southern Bashkir Urals, how much material do they represent for the photographer, painter, geologist, geographer! ”

The origin of the Urals

Ural ma long and complex history . It begins in the Proterozoic era – such an ancient and little-studied stage in the history of our planet, that scientists do not even divide it into periods and epochs. About 3,5 a billion years ago, the earth's crust broke in the place of future mountains, which soon reached a depth of more than ten kilometers. In nearly two billion years, this rift widened, so that about 430 Millions of years ago, an ocean up to a thousand kilometers wide was formed. However, the convergence of lithospheric plates began shortly after; the ocean disappeared relatively quickly, and mountains were formed in its place. It happened around 300 million years ago – this corresponds to the era of the so-called. Hercynian folding.

But these mountains, most likely, should be considered the ancestors of the modern Urals. It is a fact, that for the next millions of years they were almost completely destroyed – only the plains and hills remained.

New large elevations in the Urals have only resumed 30 million years ago, during which the polar, subpolarna, the northern and southern parts of the mountains have been raised by almost a kilometer, and the middle Urals by approx 300-400 meters.

Currently, the Urals have stabilized – large movements of the earth's crust are not observed here. Nevertheless, they still remind people of their active history to this day: occasionally occur here are earthquakes and very large ones (the strongest had an amplitude 7 points and has been noted recently – w 1914 r.).

Guilds of structure and relief of the Urals

WITH geological point of view The Urals are very complex. They are made up of races of different types and ages. In many ways, the features of the internal structure of the Urals are related to its history, for example, traces of deep faults are still preserved, and even areas of the ocean's crust.

The Urals are of medium and low height, the highest point is Narodnaya mountain in the subpolar Urals, reaching 1895 meters. In profile, the Ural Mountains resemble depression: the highest ridges are in the north and south, and the middle part does not exceed 400-500 meters, so crossing the Middle Urals, you may not even notice the mountains.

View of the main Urals in the Perm Territory. Picture: Yulia Vandysheva

Despite its relatively low height, the Ural ridge is an obstacle to air masses moving mainly from the west. There is more rainfall on the western slope than on the eastern slope. In the mountains themselves, the nature of the vegetation is clearly expressed in the high-altitude zones.

Typical vegetation of the mountain tundra range in the Urals. The photo was taken on the slope of Humboldt Mountain (Main Ural, North Ural) On the height 1310 meters. Picture: Natalia Shmaenkova

Long, the constant struggle of volcanic forces with the forces of wind and water (the former are called endogenous in geography, a drugie – exogenous) created in the Urals a huge number of unique ones natural attractions : rocks, caves and much more.

The Urals are also known for their huge reserves of all types of minerals. It is primarily iron, copper, nickel, manganese and many other types of ores, Building Materials. The Kaczkanar iron deposit is one of the largest in the country. Although the metal content of the ore is low, it contains rare, but very valuable metals – mangan, wanad.

On the north, in the Pechora basin, coal is mined . There are also precious metals in our region – gold, silver, platinum. There is no doubt, that the precious and semiprecious stones of the Urals are widely known: emeralds mined near Yekaterinburg, diamonds, gems from the Negro range and of course the Ural malachite.

Unfortunately, many valuable old deposits have already been exhausted. "Magnetic Mountains", containing large deposits of iron ore, have been turned into quarries, and the malachite reserves survived only in museums and in the form of separate inclusions on the site of former buildings – even a three-hundred-kilogram monolith is hard to find today. Nevertheless, these minerals have largely provided economic strength and glory to the Urals for centuries.