Geography and Nature

The Chelyabinsk region is mainly situated on the eastern slopes of the South Urals and in mountainous wooded area in the northwest. The is located at the border of Europe anf Asia. Its territory comprises two areas, which represent the imaginary border: the mountainous area that covers almost 150 km along the eastern slope of the Ural ridge and the fluvial area stretching for nearly 220 km along the Ural river. The main part of the territory is situated in Asia; another part, located in Europe, is much smaller.

The whole region’s area stretches from south to north for about 290 km, from west to east for about 400 km.

Natural Resources

Natural resources

 

Legend

Legend

 

The Chelyabinsk region possesses various natural resources including a wide range of unique deposits. One of the world biggest deposits is magnesite occurrence in the Satka region. Besides, there are such deposits as white marble occurrence in Koelga; unique kaolin deposits of Zhuravlinovolzhsk. Kaolin is widely used for manufacturing ceramics, porcelains, china articles and paper. More than 300 deposits comprise the mineral resources of the region. The deposits of iron ore, copper and zinc ore, gold, quartz, titan and magnetite, manganese and chrome, kaolin, barite, phosphorite, glauconite are of great industrial importance. The Chelyabinsk region is the Russian monopolist in the sphere of extracting and reprocessing graphite (95% of the whole Russian volume), magnesite (95%), talc (70%), dolomite for metallurgy (71%). The region has practically unlimited resources of building and facing stones of wide colour range as well as granite and marble (which surpass the famous marble deposits of Carrara).

Time

Time in Chelyabinsk is two hours ahead of the Moscow time.

Climate

Due to its location deep in the Eurasian continent, the Chelybinsk region has continental climate with long cold winters, short but warm summers and very short transitional autumns and springs. The region’s territory occupies three natural areas: mountainous woodland, woodland and steppe; each of these areas is distinguished by its own climate.

Peculiarities of the continental climate are connected with the region’s location in the depth of the Eurasian continent, far from seas and oceans. The Urals play a substantial role in the formation of the local climate: the mountains form the obstacle for currents of western air masses from the Atlantic Ocean. The winter season lasts 5 months – mainly from November till March, in the mountainous areas it begins 1 or 2 weeks earlier and ends 1 or 2 weeks later than in the wooded or steppe area. As far as the main watershed ridges are concerned, snow cover melts there only in May. In the mountainous areas winter is snowy and not as severe as in the steppe, where it usually snows lightly.

Summer in the region is mostly characterized by the low atmosphere pressure. Due to the air masses coming from Kazakhstan and the Middle Asia, hot and dry weather prevails on the whole territory. The average temperature in January is –15/17o C, in July - + 16/18o C.

The average amount of precipitations is about 350 mm per year on the plain and 600 mm per year in the mountains. Vegetation period lasts 130-150 days.

Landscape

Western foothills of the Urals gradually descend to the Eastern-European plain, eastern foothills, on the contrary, run to the Western-Siberian low-lying area. That is why the South Ural is definitely the place, where one can easily find all the natural climatic areas and geographical zones of Russia.

The northwestern territory of the region is traversed by the Ural Mountains. The highest peak reaches 1406 meters above sea level. In the east the hilly terrain alternates with valleys. In the highland part of the region there are a lot of scenic landscapes amid forests and lakes.

On the mountain peaks there are tundra and forest tundra zones, though one can also meet taiga, broadleaf and mixed forests. Forest steppe, steppe and half-desert areas stretch in the south.

Relief

The Chelyabinsk region is famous for its unique relief. For millions of years it has been changing and forming. There are various types of relief: low-lying areas and hilly plains alternate ridges, the highest peaks of which reach 1000 m. Mountainous area consists of steep eastern slopes and gentle western slopes. The main ridges are: Taganay, Zifalga, Urenga, Nurgush, Bolshaya Satka. These ridges are covered with stones (stone deposits). There are more than 113 karstic fields, the depths of which harbor caverns and noisy underground rivers. The biggest karstic plateaus are Shalashovsko– Miniarskoe (situated in the Ashinsky district) and Shemachinskoe (situated in the Nyazepetrovsky district). The Ignatievskaya cavern is situated on the river Sim near the Serpievka village. This cavern is often called “the picture gallery of the Stone Age”. There are, on the whole, 320 caverns on the territory of the Chelyabinsk region. Almost all of them are unique, many are considered to be natural monuments.

Rivers

There are many picturesque mountain rivers on the territory of our region. Starting from mountain slopes they are struggling their way through valleys and ridges. In spring and summer rocky banks, stony beds, quick flows and clear waters of our rivers attract hundreds of tourists.

Lakes

Geographers consider the Chelyabinsk region to be the depository of lakes. There are over 3000 lakes in the Chelyabinsk region. The deepest lakes of the region are: Uvildi, Irtyash, Turgoyak, Chebarkul, Zyuratkul and Bolshoi Kisegach, their depth reaches 30-40 meters. The smallest depth is 70 sm. These lakes are mineralized.

Many of the Ural lakes possess balneological qualities. The Chelyabinsk region is the first in Russia obtaining the widest variety of muds (from organic to sapropelic silt).

Organic lakes are situated in the foothills area (Svetlenkoe, Akachkul, Sabanai), their muds are widely used in such health resorts as Uvildi, Bolshoi Kisegach, Elovoe.

The lakes Tuazatkul, Gorkoe, Podbornoe, Solenoe, Sladkoe, Bolshoi and Malyi Shantropai are also famous for their mineral muds.

Animal World

The region’s territory is the natural habitat of more than 60 species of mammals and 232 species of birds. The most widespread among them are: wolves, foxes, moose, roe deer, squirrels, moles, hedgehogs, beavers, martens, minks, ferrets, badgers, rodents, ducks, geese, cranes, woodpeckers, seagulls, chaffinches; less widespread are bears, lynxes, spotted deer, capercailzies and swans. Hunting for marketable species of animals and birds is rather popular.

Reserved Areas

There are over 200 hundred reserved areas in the region. At the eastern slope of the Urals there is the Ilmen Mineralogical Reserve where 260 minerals and 70 rock types have been discovered; scenic archeological museum “Arkaim”, one of the settlements of the “The country of towns”, the discovery of which was recognized the most important archeological event in the twentieth century. There are also national parks “Taganay” and “Ziuratkul”.

Nowadays, the network of alpine sports complexes such as “Abzakovo”, “Zavyalikha” and “Adzhigardak” is being developed.