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CAUCASIAN MOUNTAINS

KAVKASIONI IS A NEW MOUNTAIN SYSTEM of sublatitude direction which stretches on 1100 km from Black sea to Caspian sea. Its highest peak from the sea level - 5642 meters on Mount Elbrus – is registered in Kabardino-Balkaria. Kavkasioni is one of the important geographic objects in Europe due to which many piculiarities of geographic developments in the Caucasus took place. It has also a function of fundamental barrier (both
natural and political). It separates from each other: moderate and subtropical belts, rivers of Azov, Black and Caspian sea basins; northern and southern Caucasus; Russia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. The highest part of Central Kavkasioni is structured from oldest, 600 million-year granites and crystal tiles. In its western and eastern parts geological structure becomes simpler that is the indicator of the development of mountain range.

Along with decrease of height the age of buttress rocks goes down. In middle mountains we come across 200-130 million year mountains (Jurasic era) and 130-70 million-year mountains (limestone), in lowland and foothills – 70-30 million year (paleogenic) rocks. Process of mountain-building
in Kavkasioni continues. High-swing earthquakes often happen here that proves intensity of modern mountain-building. It is established that Kavkasioni is gaining in height 10 mm per year which is a rather high indicator.

Kavkasioni crests are covered with permanent glaciers and snow. There are up to 800 glaciers with general space of 550 sq. km. By this indicator Kavkasioni is rather close to Western Alps, therefore, French and Georgian glaciers occupy roughly the same space.

Kavkasioni is a mountain system distinguished with its effective landscapes, biological and ethnic diversity. There are several historical and geographic provinces remained here which are chatacterized with unique cultural and economic traditions. Here is located also the hamlet of Ushguli which is the highest human settlement in Europe.

Copyright © 2017. N. Elizbarashvili, B. Kupatadze
Copyright © 2017. “Dani” Publishing

 




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