The Major Mountain Ranges In Siberia

The treacherous winter landscape of the Altai Mountains in Siberia.
The treacherous winter landscape of the Altai Mountains in Siberia.

Siberia is a vast geographical area located in Russia. It covers 77% of Russia’s land area. However, only 27% of Siberia is inhabited by the human population since the climate there is quite brutal.

What Are The Major Mountain Ranges In Siberia?

The Ural Mountains

The Ural Mountain Range extends from the Arctic Ocean to Kazakhstan’s northern border. It is part of the continental border between Asia and Europe. The highest peak on the Urals is Mount Narodnaya which is 6,217 feet high. The Urals span through a distance of 1,600 miles. The mountains in this range were formed about 250 to 300 million years ago which makes them some of the oldest mountains in the world. The region is rich in mineral resources such as coal, copper, iron, alexandrite, gold, malachite, semi-precious and precious stones. Consequently, these natural resources are among the most important economic drivers in Russia. Several deep lakes are also located in the Urals such as Tavatuy, Uvildy, Turgoyak, and Itkul. The deepest lake found in the polar region of the Urals is Lake Bolshoye Shcuchuye which is 446 feet deep. The western region receives more rainfall than the eastern region due to the nearness to the Atlantic Ocean.

Altai Mountains

The Altai Mountains stretch across Siberia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan. The Ob and Irtysh rivers trace their headwaters in this range. “Altai” is derived from the Mongolian word “altan” meaning “golden.” Mount Belukha is the highest peak in the Altai Mountain Range. It is 14,783 feet high. The mountains of this range formed about 500 to 300 million years ago. The region is highly susceptible to earthquakes indicating the existence of a fault zone beneath the mountains. Temperatures in this mountain region are tolerable during the summer but are bone-chilling in winter. Rainfall is very rare as the mountains are located near the Gobi Desert.

Verkhoyansk Range

The Verkhoyansk Range spans across a distance of around 1000 km in the Sakha Republic of Russia. The region has rich deposits of coal, zinc, lead, and silver. The mountains in this range remain snow-covered for most of the year. The temperatures here are extremely frigid. Some of the lowest temperatures in the world have been recorded here. Alpine tundra covers the lower slopes of the Verkhoyansk Range which supports several species of lichens and mosses. 


More in Environment