Western Caucasus

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Western Caucasus

 

a part of the Greater Caucasus mountain system, to the west of Mount Elbrus. The highest point is Mount Dombai-UFgen (4,046 m). The Glavnyi (Main), or Vodorazdel’nyi (Watershed), Range (of crystalline rocks) and the Bokovoi (Lateral) Range (primarily of sedimentary Paleozoic rocks) are in the axial part. The Glavnyi Range has considerable ice (glaciers up to 5.2 km long) and ancient mountain glacial forms. The northern slope has cuestos of Mesocenozoic sedimentary rocks and the southern has ranges of limestone of the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (Gagrskii, Bzybskii) with heavy karst. The western, middle-altitude section of Cretaceous and Paleogenic carbonaceous flysch is called the Black Sea Caucasus. The predominant landscapes are mountain forest (Mediterranean and subtropical Kolkhida types on the southern slope in the lower zone) and mountain meadow.