Russia’s Top 10 Physical Features
Mineral Resources: Russia is very rich in mineral resources, especially fossil fuels. It holds large petroleum deposits and 16% of the world’s coal reserves. Russia also leads the world in nickel production and ranks in the top 3 producers of aluminum, gemstones, and platinum-group metals.
10% of Russia’s land can support agriculture: Because of Russia’s cold weather, it can barely support agriculture. However, this is enough to support the population with farming. [Include permafrost] Below is Russian permafrost. As you can tell it would be very inefficient to farm on this land and this is why only a small part of their land can support agriculture.
Volga River: The picture below is the Volga River. The Volga River is located in Western Russia and is the fourth-longest river in the country with the nick name “Mother Volga.” It provides hydroelectric power, drinking water, and irrigation. 2/3 of Russia’s water traffic travels along The Volga. This causes challenges like how it supplies about 1/3 of Russia’s usable water, but half of it returns to the river carrying waste.
Most of Russia is located in High Latitudes: Most of Russia is located in the high latitudes and has a harsh climate with long, cold winters and short, cool summers. The picture below shows the high latitudes in Russia and how it affects their usually cool temperatures.
Tundra: The tundra is a vast, treeless plain in northern Russia. In this region the average temperature is below freezing and the sky stays dark for many weeks.
Caspian Sea: The Caspian Sea, a salt water lake, is the largest inland body of water in the world. It is southeast of the Black Sea and South of the Baltic Sea. Many rivers, for example the Volga River and the Don River, flow into the Caspian Sea; however, it has no outlet into the ocean and the only way its water levels can stay low are due to evaporation.
Subarctic: Russia’s largest climate region is the subarctic which lies south of the tundra. For 120-250 days each year, snow covers the ground. This climate supports the taiga, a Boreal forest belt that covers two-fifths of western Russia. The Russian taiga is the world’s largest coniferous forest, containing about one-half of the world’s softwood timber.
Humid Continental: Most of Russia’s Northern European Plain have a humid continental region. Soils are more fertile and farming methods and fertilizers are more productive.
Steppe: This grassland area has dry summers and long, cold, dry winters. The soil is rich in organic matter and grass is everywhere. Sunflowers, mint, and beans flourish here. However, foreign plants and grazing animals have damaged the steppe ecosystem resulting in the native grasses and soil fertility declining
Ural Mountains: The Urals are an old, worn-down series of mountain ranges with an average height of about 2,000 ft. It is rich in iron ore and mineral fuels.
Middle West: farm. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Web. 20 Feb. 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/100135/Like-much-of-western-Russia-and-parts-of-Eastern-Europe>.