The Crimean mountains.

The Crimea’s mountain area occupies a quarter of the peninsula. It begins not far from Simferopol, where the plain gradually transforms into foothills. The Crimean Mountains are a part of the Alpine-Himalayan belt of folded mountains.

They are not very high — 1000-1,500 meters above sea level. They extend from East to West for about 150 km along the south coast. The relief of the Crimean mountains consists of three well-defined parallel ridges Southern, Internal and External.

The Southern Ridge runs along the coastline in a close proximity to it. Its altitude is from 580 to 1,500 m while several peaks of Babugan and Chatyr-Dag exceed the mark of 1,500 m.

This ridge begins from the point to the North from Cape Aya («Saint») and extends to the East to Mountain At-Bash («Horse Head»). Then it turns to the North-East and from the Mountain Karatau («Black Mount»)  runs eastward gradually losing its height. In the vicinity of Feodosia it doesn’t exceed 300 m.

The Southern Ridge is like a kind of a climatic separation line. It protects the Southern Coast from cold winds from the North and retains the warmth of the sea, creating a hotbed effect. The Internal Ridge is considerably lower than the Southern one, with its maximum height of 540 m. It begins near Sevastopol and runs through Bakhchisarai, Simferopol, up to Stary Krym.

The External Ridge is quite low. Its height is 140-330 m. Its northern gentle slope gradually merges into-the steppe land. It runs north of the railway linking Simferopol with Sevastopol.

The highest peak of the Crimean Mountains is Roman-Kosh, which is 1545 meters high. Situated in the central part of the mountainous Crimea it is not seen from the Southern Coast. It is not seen from the north either. The top of the mount is woodless. Among the plants growing on Roman-Kosh you can see one of the Crimean endemics-the Crimean edelweiss. Other 1500 mffc high mountains are Eklizi-Burun on Chatyr-Dag, Kemal -Egerek and Demi-Kapu on the crossroads of Nikita and Gurzuf mountain pastures, Zeitin-Kosh on Babugan.

Most of the peninsula mountains are covered with forests. It should be said that the Crimean forest owes its existence entirely to the mountains with its cool and humid climate. The mountain forests are important for water conservation and anti-erosion. They are a reliable barrier in the way of mud streams. Their balneological role is also very important. They are the Crimea’s green lungs. Together with the Black sea they form the particular climate of the Southern Coast. That’s why the problem of preserving natural landscape in the Crimea is one of the greatest problems of nowadays.





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