Greater Caucasus (Azerbaijani: Böyük Qafqaz, Бөјүк Гафгаз, بيوک قافقاز; Georgian: დიდი კავკასიონი, Didi K’avk’asioni; Russian: Большой Кавказ, Bolshoy Kavkaz, sometimes translated as "Caucasus Major", "Big Caucasus" or "Large Caucasus") is the major mountain range of the Caucasus Mountains.
The range stretches for about 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) from west-northwest to east-southeast, between the Taman Peninsula of the Black Sea to the Absheron Peninsula of the Caspian Sea: from the Western Caucasus in the vicinity of Sochi on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea and reaching nearly to Baku on the Caspian.
The range is traditionally separated into three parts:
In the wetter Western Caucasus, the mountains are heavily forested (deciduous forest up to 1,500 metres (4,900 ft), coniferous forest up to 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) and alpine meadows above the tree line). In the drier Eastern Caucasus, the mountains are mostly treeless.
Mountainous landscape of Arkhyz
|Elevation||5,642 m (18,510 ft)|
|Length||1,200 km (750 mi) NW-SE|
|Countries||Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia|
|Parent range||Caucasus Mountains|
|Borders on||Lesser Caucasus|
The watershed of the Caucasus is also considered the boundary between Eastern Europe and Western Asia. The European part north of the watershed is known as Ciscaucasia; the Asiatic part to the south as Transcaucasia, which is dominated by the Lesser Caucasus mountain range and whose western portion converges with Eastern Anatolia.
The border of Russia with Georgia and Azerbaijan runs along most of the Caucasus' length. The Georgian Military Road (Darial Gorge) and Trans-Caucasus Highway traverse this mountain range at altitudes of up to 3,000 metres (9,800 ft).
The watershed of the Caucasus was the border between the Caucasia province of the Russian Empire in the north and the Ottoman Empire and Persia in the south in 1801, until the Russian victory in 1813 and the Treaty of Gulistan which moved the border of the Russian Empire well within Transcaucasia. The border between Russia and Georgia still follows the watershed almost exactly (except for Georgia's western border, which extends south of the watershed, and except for a narrow strip of territory in northern Mtskheta-Mtianeti and northwestern Kakheti where Georgia extends north of the watershed), while Azerbaijan in its northeastern corner has five districts north of the watershed (Davachi, Khachmaz, Qusar, Siazan, Quba).
The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.Europe's highest mountain, Mount Elbrus, at 5,642 metres (18,510 ft) is located in the west part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range. On the southern side, the Lesser Caucasus includes the Javakheti Plateau and grows into the Armenian highlands, part of which is located in Turkey.The Caucasus region is separated into northern and southern parts – the North Caucasus (Ciscaucasus) and Transcaucasus (South Caucasus), respectively. The Greater Caucasus mountain range in the north is within the Russian Federation, while the Lesser Caucasus mountain range in the south is occupied by several independent states, namely Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the partially recognised Artsakh Republic.
The region is known for its linguistic diversity: aside from Indo-European and Turkic languages, the Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian, and Northeast Caucasian families are indigenous to the area.Caucasus Mountains
The Caucasus Mountains are a mountain system at the intersection of Europe and Asia. Stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, it surrounds the eponymous Caucasus region and is home to Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe.
The Caucasus Mountains include the Greater Caucasus in the north and Lesser Caucasus in the south. The Greater Caucasus runs west-northwest to east-southeast, from the Caucasian Natural Reserve in the vicinity of Sochi on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea nearly to Baku on the Caspian Sea. The Lesser Caucasus runs parallel to the Greater about 100 km (62 mi) south. The Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges are connected by the Likhi Range, and to the west and east of the Likhi Range lie the Colchis Plain and the Kur-Araz Lowland. The Meskheti Range is a part of the Lesser Caucasus system. In the southeast the Aras River separates the Lesser Caucasus from the Talysh Mountains which straddle the border of southeastern Azerbaijan and Iran. The Lesser Caucasus and the Armenian Highland constitute the Transcaucasian Highland, which at their western end converge with the highland plateau of Eastern Anatolia in the far north east of Turkey. The highest peak in the Caucasus range is Mount Elbrus in the Greater Caucasus, which rises to a height of 5,642 metres (18,510 ft) above sea level. Mountains near Sochi hosted part of the 2014 Winter Olympics.Climate of Azerbaijan
The climate of Azerbaijan is very diverse. Nine out of eleven existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan.Geography of Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is situated in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Three physical features dominate Azerbaijan: the Caspian Sea, whose shoreline forms a natural boundary to the east; the Greater Caucasus mountain range to the north; and the extensive flatlands at the country's center. About the size of Portugal or the US state of Maine, Azerbaijan has a total land area of approximately 86,600 square kilometers, less than 0.5% of the land area of the former Soviet Union. Of the three Transcaucasian states, Azerbaijan has the greatest land area. Special administrative subdivisions are the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, which is separated from the rest of Azerbaijan by a strip of Armenian territory, and the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region, entirely within Azerbaijan. The status of Nagorno-Karabakh was under negotiation in 1994.
Located in the region of the southern Caucasus Mountains, Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea to the east, Georgia and Russia to the north, Iran to the south, and Armenia to the southwest and west. A small part of Nakhchivan also borders Turkey to the northwest. The capital of Azerbaijan is the ancient city of Baku, which has the largest and best harbor on the Caspian Sea and has long been the center of the republic's oil industry.Geography of Georgia (country)
Georgia is a country in the Caucasus region. Situated at the juncture of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the east by Azerbaijan. Georgia covers an area of 69,700 square kilometres (26,900 sq mi).Geology of the Republic of Artsakh
The geology of Artsakh is primarily part of the Kussary-Divichi Foredeep—the northern foredeep of the Greater Caucasus. The trough is filled with Oligocene to Quaternary age deepwater, molasse and marine sedimentary rocks.Glaciers of Georgia
The glaciers of Georgia are mainly located along the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range.Kur-Araz Lowland
The Kura-Aras Lowland, Kura-Aras Depression or Kura-Aras Basin (Azerbaijani: Kür-Araz ovalığı) is a vast depression in central-southern Azerbaijan defined by the valleys of the Kura River and Aras River. It is situated by the West shore of the Caspian Sea and is part of the Aral-Caspian Depression. It is delimited by the Greater Caucasus from the North, Lesser Caucasus from the West and the Talysh Mountains from the South. The name is derived from the names of the two rivers in the area: the Kura and the Aras.Kura (Caspian Sea)
The Kura (Turkish: Kura; Azerbaijani: Kür; Georgian: მტკვარი, Mt’k’vari; Armenian: Կուր, Kur; Ancient Greek: Κῦρος, Cyrus; Persian: کوروش, Kuruš ) is an east-flowing river south of the Greater Caucasus Mountains which drains the southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus east into the Caspian Sea. It also drains the north side of the Lesser Caucasus while its main tributary, the Aras drains the south side of those mountains. Starting in northeastern Turkey, it flows through Turkey to Georgia, then to Azerbaijan, where it receives the Aras as a right tributary, and enters the Caspian Sea at Neftçala. The total length of the river is 1,515 kilometres (941 mi).
People have inhabited the Caucasus region for thousands of years, and first established agriculture in the Kura Valley over 4,500 years ago. Large, complex civilizations eventually grew up on the river, but by 1200 CE, most were reduced to ruin by natural disasters and foreign invaders. The increasing human use, and eventual damage, of the watershed’s forests and grasslands contributed to a rising intensity of floods through the 20th century. In the 1950s, the Soviet Union started building many dams and canals on the river. Previously navigable up to Tbilisi in Georgia, it is now much slower and shallower, as it has been harnessed by irrigation projects and hydroelectric power stations. The river is now moderately polluted by major industrial centers like Tbilisi and Rustavi in Georgia.Lesser Caucasus
The Lesser Caucasus, also called Caucasus Minor, is the second of the two main mountain ranges of Caucasus mountains, of length about 600 km (370 mi). The western portion of the Lesser Caucasus overlaps and converges with the high plateau of Eastern Anatolia, in the far northeast of Turkey.
It runs parallel to the Greater Caucasus, at a distance averaging about 100 km (62 mi) south from Likhi Range (Georgia) and limits the Armenian Highland from the north and north-east.
It is connected to the Greater Caucasus by the Likhi Range (Georgia) and separated from it by the Kolkhida Lowland (Georgia) in the west and Kura-Aras Lowland (Azerbaijan) (by Kura River) in the east.
The highest peak is Aragats, 4,090 m (13,420 ft).The borders between Georgia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan run through the range, although its crest does not usually define the border.List of Ultras of West Asia
This is a list of all 102 of the ultra-prominent peaks (with topographic prominence greater than 1,500 metres) in West Asia. It includes peaks on the islands of Cyprus and Socotra. It also includes the 10 ultras of the Caucasus (also listed under Europe) as they are geographically more connected to the mountains of West Asia. Two of these peaks (Mount Aragats and Kapudzhukh Lerr) are on the Asian side of the ridge of the Greater Caucasus, which forms the usual boundary between Europe and Asia, and four more are on the border itself and so in both Europe and Asia.List of mountains of Russia
This is a list of mountains of Russia.Mount Bazardüzü
Mount Bazardüzü (Azerbaijani: Bazardüzü dağı, Azerbaijani pronunciation: [bɑzɑrdyˈzy]; Lezgian: КичIен сув [kiˈtʃʼe suv]; Russian: Базардюзю, Russian pronunciation: [bəzərdʲʉˈzʲu]) is a mountain peak in the Greater Caucasus range on the border between Russia and Azerbaijan. At 4,467 metres (14,656 ft) above sea level, it is the highest peak in Azerbaijan and is located in Qusar region. The southernmost point of Russia is located about seven kilometers southwest of the peak.North Caucasus
The North Caucasus (Russian: Се́верный Кавка́з, IPA: [ˈsʲevʲɪrnɨj kɐfˈkas]) or Ciscaucasia is the northern part of the Caucasus region between the Sea of Azov and Black Sea on the west and the Caspian Sea on the east, in Russia. Geographically, the Northern Caucasus (territory north of the Greater Caucasus Range) includes the Russian republics and krais of the North Caucasus. As part of the Russian Federation, the Northern Caucasus region is included in the North Caucasian and Southern Federal Districts and consists of Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and the constituent republics, approximately from west to east: the Republic of Adygea, Karachay–Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia–Alania, Ingushetia, Chechnya, and the Republic of Dagestan.Geographically, the term North Caucasus also refers to the northern slope and western extremity of the Caucasus Major mountain range, as well as a part of its southern slope to the West (until the Psou River in Abkhazia). The Forecaucasus steppe area is often also encompassed under the notion of "Ciscaucasus", thus the northern boundary of the Forecaucasus steppe is generally considered to be the Manych River.Ossetia
Ossetia (; Ossetian: Ир, Ирыстон, romanized: Ir, Iryston; Russian: Осетия, romanized: Osetiya; Georgian: ოსეთი, translit. Oseti) is an ethnolinguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians. The Ossetian language is part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages family. The Ossetian-speaking area south of the main Caucasus ridge is recognized by most countries as within the borders of Georgia, but under the control of the Russian-backed de facto government of the Republic of South Ossetia. The northern portion of the region consists of the republic of North Ossetia–Alania within the Russian Federation.Ossetian music
Ossetia is a region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. The folk music of Ossetia (Ossetian: Ирыстоны музыкæ/Irystony musykæ) began to be collected and recorded in the late 19th and early 20th century. After the Revolution of 1917, professional music appeared in Ossetia and in the following decades, a number of symphonies, ballets, operas and other institutions were formed. There is an Ossetian State Philharmonic. The first Ossetian opera was Kosta, by Christopher Pliev. Ilya Gabaraev is a famous Ossetian composer.Racha
Racha (also Račha, Georgian: რაჭა, Račʼa) is a highland area in western Georgia, located in the upper Rioni river valley and hemmed in by the Greater Caucasus mountains. Under Georgia’s current subdivision, Racha is included in the Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti region (mkhare) as the municipalities of Oni and Ambrolauri.
Racha occupies 2,854 km2 in the north-eastern corner of western Georgia. Spurs of the Greater Caucasus crest separates Racha from the Georgian historical regions of Svaneti and Lechkhumi on the north-west and from Imereti on the south, while the main Caucasus ridge forms a boundary with Russia’s North Ossetia. On the east, Racha is bordered by breakaway South Ossetia, officially part of Georgia’s Shida Kartli region.Shkhara
Shkhara (Georgian: შხარა), is the highest point in the nation of Georgia. Located in the Svaneti region along the Georgian-Russian frontier, Shkhara lies 88 kilometres (55 mi) north of the city of Kutaisi, Georgia's second-largest city. The summit lies in the central part of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range, to the south-east of Mount Elbrus, Europe's highest mountain. Shkhara is the third-highest peak in the Caucasus, just behind Dykh-Tau.
Shkhara is the high point and the eastern anchor of a massif known as the Bezingi (or Bezengi) Wall, a 12-kilometre-long (7.5 mi) ridge. It is a large, steep peak in a heavily glaciated region, and presents serious challenges to mountaineers. Its north face (on the Russian side) is 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) high and contains several classic difficult routes. The significant sub-summit Shkhara West, at 5,068 m (16,627 ft), is a climbing objective in its own right, and a traverse of the entire Bezingi Wall is considered "Europe's longest, most arduous, and most committing expedition."The peak was first climbed in 1888 via the North East Ridge route, by the British/Swiss team of U. Almer, J. Cockin and C. Roth. This route is still one of the easier and more popular routes on the mountain. The first complete traverse of the Bezingi Wall was in 1931, by the Austrians K. Poppinger, K. Moldan, and S. Schintlmeister.Transcaucasia
Transcaucasia (Russian: Закавказье, tr. Zakavkaz'ye), (Armenian: Անդրկովկաս, Andrkovkas), also known as the South Caucasus (Georgian: სამხრეთ კავკასია), (Azerbaijani: Cənubi Qafqaz), is a geographical region in the vicinity of the southern Caucasus Mountains on the border of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. Transcaucasia roughly corresponds to modern Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Total area of these countries is about 186,100 square kilometres (71,850 square miles). Transcaucasia and Ciscaucasia (North Caucasus) together comprise the larger Caucasus geographical region that divides Eurasia.
Transcaucasia spans the southern portion of the Caucasus Mountains and their lowlands, straddling the border between the continents of Europe and Asia, and extending southwards from the southern part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range of southwestern Russia to the Turkish and Armenian borders, and from the Black Sea in the west to the Caspian Sea coast of Iran in the east. The area includes the southern part of the Greater Caucasus mountain range, the entire Lesser Caucasus mountain range, the Colchis Lowlands, the Kura-Aras Lowlands, the Talysh Mountains, the Lenkoran Lowlands, Javakheti and the eastern portion of the Armenian Highland.
All of present-day Armenia is in Transcaucasia; the majority of present-day Georgia and Azerbaijan, including the exclave of Nakhchivan, also fall within the region. Parts of Iran and Turkey are also included within the region of Transcaucasia. Goods produced in the region include oil, manganese ore, tea, citrus fruits, and wine. It remains one of the most politically tense regions in the post-Soviet area, and contains three heavily disputed areas: Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Nagorno-Karabakh. Between 1878 and 1917 the Russian-controlled province of Kars Oblast was also incorporated into the Transcaucasus.