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The West Siberian Plain, also known as Zapadno-sibirskaya Ravnina, (Russian: За́падно-Сиби́рская равни́на) is a large plain that occupies the western portion of Siberia, between the Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
in the west and the Yenisei River
Yenisei River
in the east, and by the Altay Mountains
Altay Mountains
on the southeast. Much of the plain is poorly drained and consists of some of the world's largest swamps and floodplains. Important cities include Omsk, Novosibirsk, Tomsk
Tomsk
and Chelyabinsk.

Contents

1 Geography 2 Geology 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

Geography[edit] The West Siberian Plain
Plain
is located east of Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
mostly in the territory of Russia. It has been described as the world's largest unbroken lowland—more than 50 percent is less than 100 metres (330 ft) above sea level[1]—and covers an area of about 2.6–2.7 million square kilometres (1.0 million square miles) which is about one third of Siberia,[2] extending from north to south for 2,400 km (1,490 mi), from the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
to the foothills of the Altay Mountains, and from east to west for 1,900 km (1,180 mi) from the Ural Mountains
Ural Mountains
to the Yenisei River. The plain has eight distinct vegetation regions: tundra, forest-tundra, northern taiga, middle taiga, southern taiga, sub-taiga forest, forest-steppe, and steppe. The number of animal species in the West Siberian Plain
Plain
ranges from at least 107 in the tundra to 278 or more in the forest-steppe region. The long Yenisei
Yenisei
river flows broadly south to north, a distance of 3,530 km (2,195 mi) to the Arctic Ocean, where it discharges more than 20 million litres (5 million gallons) of water per second at its mouth. Together with its tributary Angara, the two rivers flow 5,530 km (3,435 mi). The valley formed by the Yenisei
Yenisei
acts as a rough dividing line between the West Siberian Plain
Plain
and the Central Siberian Plateau. Glacial deposits extend as far south as the Ob- Irtysh
Irtysh
confluence, forming occasional low hills and ridges, but otherwise the plain is exceedingly flat and featureless. Winters on the West Siberian Plain
Plain
are harsh and long. The climate of most of the plains is either subarctic or continental. Two of the larger cities on the plain[clarification needed] are Surgut
Surgut
and Nizhnevartovsk. Geology[edit] The West Siberian Plain
Plain
consists mostly of Cenozoic
Cenozoic
alluvial deposits and is extraordinarily flat. A rise of fifty metres in sea level would cause all land between the Arctic Ocean
Arctic Ocean
and Novosibirsk
Novosibirsk
to be inundated (see also Turgai Straits, West Siberian Glacial Lake). It is a region of the Earth’s crust that has undergone prolonged subsidence and is composed of horizontal deposits from as much as 65,000,000 years ago. Many of the deposits on this plain result from ice dams that reversed the flow of the Ob and Yenisei
Yenisei
rivers, redirecting them into the Caspian Sea, and perhaps the Aral Sea
Aral Sea
as well. It is very swampy and soils are mostly peaty Histosols and, in the treeless northern part, Histels. This is one of the world's largest areas of peatlands, which are characterized by raised bogs. It is believed that Vasyugan Swamp
Swamp
is the world’s largest single raised bog, covering approximately 51,600 square kilometres (19,900 sq mi). In the south of the plain, where permafrost is largely absent, rich grasslands that are an extension of the Kazakh Steppe
Steppe
formed the original vegetation, which has almost all been cleared as of the early 21st century. Large regions of the plains are flooded in the spring, and marshlands make much of the area unsuitable for agriculture. The principal rivers in the West Siberian Plain
Plain
are from west to east the Irtysh, Ob, Nadym, Pur, Taz and Yenisei. There are many lakes and swamps. This area had large petroleum and natural gas reserves. Most of Russia’s oil and gas production was extracted from this area during the 1970s and 80s.[2] See also[edit]

West Siberian petroleum basin East European Plain, the other major plain of Russia Eurasian steppe

References[edit]

^ "Russia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2006-10-24.  ^ a b "Western Siberian Plain". Columbia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2006-10-24. 

External links[edit]

NASA Images: West Siberian Plain Topography and Drainage of Russia Peatlands of the World: Russia
Russia
— Siberia

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Coordinates: 62°00′N 76°00′E / 62.000°N 76.000°E / 62.000; 76.000

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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 239494

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