Geography of Turkmenistan
General information about Turkmenistan
The official name is the Republic of Turkmenistan. Located in Central Asia. The area is 491.2 thousand km2, the population, according to various estimates, is from 4.6 to 5.3 million people. (2001). The state language is Turkmen. The capital is Ashgabat (Turkmen pronunciation – Ashgabat, 0.6 million people, 2002). Public holidays: National Flag Day of Turkmenistan (February 19, celebrated on the birthday of S. Niyazov), Independence Day of Turkmenistan (October 27-28, since 1991), Neutrality Day (December 12, since 1995). The monetary unit is the manat.
Member of the UN and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, periodically participates in meetings of the CIS countries.
Geography of Turkmenistan
Located between 35°08′ and 42°48′ North latitude and 52°27′ and 66°41′ East longitude. It borders with Kazakhstan in the north, Uzbekistan in the north and east, Iran and Afghanistan in the south.
In the west it is washed by the Caspian Sea, the length of the coast is 1768 km. The coastline in the south is slightly indented, and in the north it has a sinuous outline, forming bays (Kara-Bogaz-Gol, Krasnovodsky), peninsulas (Krasnovodsky, Darja, Cheleken) and spits (the largest is Krasnovodskaya); The shores are low and sandy. Off the coast are the islands of Ogurchinsky, Kamyshlyada and others.
Most of the territory of Turkmenistan is located within the Turan lowland. The relief is dominated by flat or hilly sandy deserts with dunes, occupying more than 80% of the area of Turkmenistan. The Karakum Desert stretches from west to east for 880 km, from north to south for 450 km. In the west, there are low remnant mountains Small Balkhan (up to 777 m) and Big Balkhan (the highest point is Mount Arlan, 1881 m), in the east – spurs of the Hissar Range, in the south – the foothills of the Kopetdag (the highest point is Mount Rize, 2942 m) and in the southeast – the foothills of Paropamiz (the Badkhyz and Karabil hills with maximum heights of 1267 and 984 m). In the extreme southeast, the Kugitangtau mountains rise with the highest point of Turkmenistan, Mount Airybaba (3139 m). To the north of the Kopetdag, a piedmont plain extends, turning in the west into the vast Caspian lowland. A small Krasnovodsk plateau stands out near the coast of the Caspian Sea (up to 308 m). In the northwest, the southern edge of the Ustyurt plateau enters the borders of Turkmenistan with heights up to 400-600 m.
Almost the entire territory of Turkmenistan, with the exception of the southeastern and southwestern outskirts, does not have a permanent surface runoff. The largest river Amudarya, fed by ice and snow in the Pamir mountains, enters the territory of Turkmenistan in its middle course. The Karakum Canal (now named after Turkmenbashi) is diverted from it to the west with a length of St. 1000 km. In the south of the country, three significant rivers – Murgab, Tejen and Atrek – receive snow and rain food in the mountains of Paropamiz and Kopetdag. Most of the lakes are salty: they are found on the Caspian coast and in the channel of the Uzboy (the largest of them is Kuuli). Of the fresh lakes, Yaskhan and Topiatan stand out in the Uzboy valley. In the mountains there are lakes of karst origin Kou-Ata (in the Bakharden cave) and Khorjunli (in Kugitangtau).
On the plains, soils are predominantly gray-brown and gray soils, in addition to sands, saline and gravel substrates are found. In the low mountains, dark gray soils predominate; above 900–1000 m, light brown soils; above 2,000 m, depending on the location on the slopes, brown and dry steppe brown soils predominate.
The flora of Turkmenistan contains many endemic species. There are 2 thousand species of higher plants in the Kopetdag, at least 1 thousand in deserts and low mountains. The desert type of vegetation prevails. A special place is occupied by tugais – thickets of poplar, white willow, comb, giant cereals and other moisture-loving plants along the banks of the Amu Darya and Murgab.
The country has 91 species of mammals, 372 species of birds, 74 species of reptiles and approx. 60 kinds of fish. Of the large mammals, the goitered gazelle, argali, jackal, corsac fox are characteristic; from rodents – gerbils, ground squirrels and jerboas; from reptiles – agamas, monitor lizards, cobra, efa, gyurza, turtle.
According to bridgat, the climate is arid, continental with large temperature fluctuations, low rainfall and high evapotranspiration. Summers are usually hot and dry, with average July temperatures of +28-32°C. Winters are mild, with little snow, but in some years the temperature can drop to -20°C. Average January temperatures range from -5°С in the northeast of the country to +4°С in the south. The average annual rainfall is approx. 80 mm in the middle reaches of the Amu Darya, 150 mm in the Karakum, 200-300 mm in the foothills and intermountain valleys and St. 400 mm in the mountains. Hot dry winds and dust storms are typical for the plains.
On the territory of Turkmenistan, continental deposits prevail, lying in a thick layer on marine sediments and the Paleozoic basement. Therefore, all minerals here are of sedimentary origin. In the bowels of Turkmenistan (including the adjacent Caspian shelf) is approx. 1/3 of the world’s natural gas reserves (according to various estimates, from 21 trillion to 24 trillion m3) and significant oil reserves (from 6.8 billion to 12 billion tons). There are significant resources of potassium salts in the area of Gaurdak. The reserves of the world’s largest deposit of natural salts of the marine type in the Kara-Bogaz-Gol Bay are exceptionally large. Mirabilite and other valuable chemical compounds are mined here. Deposits of silver, gold, lead, copper, and zinc have been explored.