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The Info List - Kazakhstania



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KAZAKHSTANIA, also known as the KAZAKHSTAN BLOCK, is a small geological region in the interior of Asia
Asia
. It consists of the area north and east of the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
, south of the Siberian craton and west of the Altai Mountains
Altai Mountains
and Lake Balkhash
Lake Balkhash
. Politically, it comprises most of what today is Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
and has a total area of around 1.3 million km². The Junggar basin in Xinjiang
Xinjiang
, China
China
is also part of Kazakhstania, though sometimes referred to as the JUNGGAR BLOCK.

It is believed that present-day Kazakhstania is chiefly a mélange of early Paleozoic
Paleozoic
volcanic island arcs and some small continental terranes . These were joined together during the Ordovician
Ordovician
to form what was at the time an isolated continent of its own. During the Carboniferous
Carboniferous
and Permian
Permian
, Siberia collided with Kazakhstania to form the Altai Mountains
Altai Mountains
, later Baltica
Baltica
collided in the Ural orogeny , creating the basis for most of present-day Eurasia
Eurasia
.

Kazakhstania is mainly flat: only in the east near Karaganda are there mountains and these only rise to 1,565 metres (5,130 feet) in the Tarbagatay Range . Although most of Kazakhstania is arid and practically no water flows from the region to the oceans, there is extensive grazing of cattle , sheep and camels on the grasslands which cover most of the region today. Kazakhstania was too dry for extensive glaciation during the Quaternary
Quaternary
. Kazakhstania contains as much as a quarter of the world's proven uranium reserves and is also one of the world's major source of lead , zinc , and antimony ores. On the southern boundary in the Turan Depression
Turan Depression
are large deposits of natural gas .

SEE ALSO

* List of shields and cratons

.