Ecological Zone of Great Caucasus Range
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The zone of the Greater Caucasus slopes is situated in the northern part of the Republic. The zone is a mountainous area, edged from the east and south with the belt of foothills. The height varies from 25 to 4480m. The zone includes 5 natural geographic regions: Samur  Divichi, Gonag Kend, Zakatali  Lagich, Alazan  Agrichay, Shemakha and the mountainous area of the Gobustan  Apsheron regions (Guba  Khachmas, Shemakha  Gobustan, Sheki  Zakatali and Ajenaur  Jeyranchel natural  economic regions).

The Samur  Divichi region consists of the low  lying  plain area stretching from the Samur River mouth to the Bogaz lowland inclusively. From the Caspian to the north and north  east the relief gradually rises. The surface is formed by alluvial, alluvial  prolluvial and alluvial marine upper  quaternary sediments. The rivers coming out from the foothills form a range of cones, which create unevenness (protuberant central axial rising and intercone lowerings) and sharply broadening, flow together in an eastern direction. A reductinn in the number of rivers and their branches sharply decreases the linear breakdown of the relief from the north to the south. In the foothill

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part of the Shollarplain there are many springs, which feed the Shollar water supply system of Baku.

The Samur  Divichi lowland is charac  terized by the moderate warm climate of the steppes and semi  deserts. The average temperature of the coldest months depen  ding on the height of the relief fluctuates from  3oC to +18oC, and in the warmest months  exceeds 22oC. The annual precipitation constitutes 300 mm/year in the south, and 400 mm/year in the north. The number of snowy days per year makes up 10  20. In April and September the number of days with hot dry winds reaches up to 30 days, which influences Due to their frequency and destruction force they take one of the leading places in the Caucasus. The number of days with snow cover is more than 160 in the high  mountainous areas, and about 40 in the low  mountainous areas. Dominating winds are: northern, north  eastern and north  western. The topsoil is mainly represented by mountainous  timber brown, mountainous  timber brown typical as well as mountainoui  meadow turf soils. The whole region is covered with forests and moun 

The Greater Caucasus Ridge, Ismailli region. (photo - State Committee for the Environment)

tainous meadows with rich flora and fauna. On the territory with mountain  meadow landscape gar  dening, cattle  breeding is developed, and within the territories with mountainous  meadow land  scape, summer cattle  breeding is developed. Prior to the economic crisis of the 1990’s, light and food industries had rather rapid growth in this region.

The Alasan  Agrichay region is situated at the foot of the southern slopes of the Major Caucasus Ridge and Ajinaur  Jeyranchel low  mountainous area. In the west the region borders with Georgia, in the east it is limited by the Girdimanchay river. The relief altitude is 200  600 m. The climate is moderate  warrn with a dry winter. The average annual temperature is 12oC, its absolute maximum during a year is 16oC and absolute minimum  35oC. The average annual amount of precipitation is 600  900mm and snow remains for 20 to 40 days. The northern part of the region is represented hy alluvial  meadow  timber soils without carbonate, and the southern part by alluvial  meadow  timber carbonate soils. Within forest landscapes alder and Pterocarya, partially oak, Ulmus campes  tris, hornbeam, and others prevail. The Alasan  Agrichay region is one of the main agricultural zones ot’ the Republic. The main hranches are tobacco  growing, fruit  growing (nut  growing), silk  worm breeding, cattle  breeding, grain  growing and vine  growing. Farming is mainly irrigated.

The Shemakha region occupies the mountainous Shirvan, east of the Girdimanchay river and west of Gobustan. The region borders with the Major Caucasus Ridge in t.he north and the area of mud volcanoes ”Akhtarma  Pashalli” and the Gijaki mountains in the south. In the northern part of the region the relief has an altitude up Lo 2200m (Buhrar mountain), in the south it decreases down to 500m of absolute height. The climate of the region is of several types: moderate warm, semi  desert and dry steppes climate with a dry summer; moderate warm with a dry winter; cold with a humid winter. The annual average air temperature varies from 14oC in the south to 2oC in the north. The absolute minimum is  18’ and  26’C respectively and the absolute maximum is +40oC and +30oC respectively. The precipitation amount during the year rapidly increases from the south (300 mm) to the north (900 rnm). Western winds are dominant here with an annual average velocity up to 15 m/s. Within the mountainous Shirvan (from the south to the north) the dominating soils are chestnut and light chestnut, mountainous chestnut, mountainous grey  brown, mountainous low power chernozems, carbonate and mountainous  middle chernozem soils with dry steppe, steppe, mountainous  meadow and mountainous  timber vegetation. Vine  growing, cattle  breeding, grape  growing, fruit  and tobacco growing are widely developed in the region.

The ecological zone of the Greater Caucasus Ridge is characterized by a maximum reproductive indices: in oxygen production more than 30 million tons/year, with the average index in the physical  geographic regions from 5.6 in the mountainous Shirvan to 13 in the Zakatali  Lagich regions; reproductive capacity on surface waters  more than 3 billion m3. The whole foothill area of the Greater Caucasus is an area of low electric power consumption, which implies a low density of industrial enterprises in the zonc. The main industrial enterprises are concentratcd on the periphery of the ecological zone, Kuba  Khachmas and Sheki  Zakatali regions and are mostly r

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