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Caucasus mountains

     

Caucasus mountains - a mountain range between the Black, Azov and Caspian seas.

Divided into two mountain systems: the greater Caucasus and the Lesser Caucasus. The Caucasus is often divided into Northern Caucasus and Transcaucasia, the border between them is carried out on the Main, or Watershed, the ridge of the greater Caucasus, occupying a Central position in the mountain.

     

The greater Caucasus stretches more than 1100 km from North-West to South-East, from the area of Anapa and the Taman Peninsula to the Absheron Peninsula on the Caspian sea coast, near Baku. Maximum width greater Caucasus reaches near Meridian of mount Elbrus (up to 180 km). In the axial part is the Main Caucasian (or Dividing) the ridge to the North from which extends a series of parallel ridges (mountain ranges), including the monoclinal (Cuesta) character (see the greater Caucasus). The southern slope of the greater Caucasus consists mainly of echelon ridges, adjacent to the Main Caucasian ridge. Traditionally the greater Caucasus is divided into 3 parts: the Western Caucasus from the Black sea to mount Elbrus), the Central Caucasus (Elbrus to Kazbek) and the Eastern Caucasus, Kazbek to the Caspian sea).

     

The most famous peak, mount Elbrus (5642 m), Kazbek (5033 m) covered with eternal snow and glaciers.
The greater Caucasus is a region with a large modern glaciation. The total number of glaciers is about 2 050, they occupy an area of approximately 1 400 km2. More than half of the glaciers of the greater Caucasus is concentrated in the Central Caucasus (50 % of the number and 70 % of the area of glaciation). Major centers of glaciation are mount Elbrus and Bezengi wall (with the Bezengi glacier, 17 km). In the Caucasus, 6350 species of flowering plants, including 1600 local species. 17 species of mountain plants originated in the Caucasus. The biodiversity of the Caucasus falling with alarming speed. Mountain region from the point of view of nature protection is one of the 25 most vulnerable regions on Earth.

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