- Riphean redirects
here. For the time period, see Riphean
The Ural Mountains
( , Uralskiye gory
(also known as the Urals
) are a mountain range
that runs roughly north-south through western Russia
. They are usually considered
the natural boundary between Europe
In Greco-Roman antiquity
Pliny the Elder
thought that the
Urals correspond to the Riphean
mentioned by various authors. They are also known as
the Great Stone Belt
in Russian history and
extend 2,498 km from the Kazakh steppes
along the northern border of Kazakhstan to the coast of the Arctic ocean. Vaygach Island and the island of Novaya Zemlya form a further continuation of the chain.
Geographically this range marks the northern part of the border
between the continents of Europe
. Its highest peak is Mount Narodnaya (Poznurr, 1,895 m).
Erosion has exposed
considerable mineral wealth in the Urals, including gems such as
Forests in the northern Urals are recognized as a World Heritage site. 68% of the Ural
Mountains are located in Russia, while the
remaining 32% are located in Kazakhstan.
divided the Urals into five regions: South, Middle, North,
Subarctic and Arctic. The tree line
from 1,400 metres to sea level as one progresses north. Sections of
the south and middle regions are completely forested.
The Village of Kolchedan in the Ural
Mountains in 1912
The Urals were named after the Uralian tribe that was once native
to the northern region of Asia. The Uralians were hunter-gatherers;
however the lack of plentiful resources in the area forced them to
relocate, spreading throughout the Asian region. According to
another explanation, the word Ural is of Turkic origin and means a
The Urals are among the world's oldest extant mountain ranges
. For its age of 250 to 300
million years, the elevation of the mountains is unusually high.
They were formed during the late Carboniferous
period, when western Siberia
collided with eastern Baltica
(connected to Laurentia
) to form the minor supercontinent of Euramerica
) and Kazakhstania
to form the supercontinent of
. Later Laurasia and Gondwana
collided to form the supercontinent
, which subsequently broke itself apart into
the seven continents known today. Europe and Siberia have
remained joined together ever since.
were first studied in a systematic way by Russian mineralogist
Ernst Karlovich Hofmann (1801-1871) of St. Petersburg University.
During his tireless research,
which began in 1828, Hofmann travelled thousands of miles in the
Urals and gathered a vast collection of minerals, like gold
, among others.
The Urals have large deposits of gold, platinum, coal
, oil and other
Flora and Fauna
The Urals are considered the backbone of Russian wilderness, with a
diverse plant and wildlife population.
- Ural Mountains - Peakbagger.com
- Ural Mountains - MSN Encarta
- The Urals and Western Siberia in the Bronze and
Iron Ages - Cambridge University Press
Image:Maksimovsky rock Chusovaya
River in the Ural Mountains.Image:Polar
Urals.jpg.jpg|Polar Urals, Vorkuta, Komi
in the Ural Mountains, 1910