(also Chukchi Range, Anadyr’ Range), a system of medium-elevation mountain ranges and massifs in northeastern Asia, stretching for about 450 km eastward from Chaun Bay. The highest elevations are found west of the Amguema River, in the Shelagskii (1,105 m), Ekiatap (1,522 m), and Pegtymel’ (1,810 m) ranges; east of the river the ranges give way to uplands and ridges with elevations of 500 to 1,000 m. The northern ranges are composed chiefly of sandstones and shales intruded by granites. In the south volcanic deposits predominate. The Chukchi Highlands form the watershed between rivers flowing into the Arctic Ocean (Pegtymel’, Paliavaam, Amguema) and rivers draining into the Bering Sea (upper reaches of the Belaia River, Kanchalan).
The climate is severe, with long winters, lasting seven or eight months, and short and cool summers. Mean January temperatures range from –15°C in the southeast to –30°C in the northwest, and mean July temperatures vary from 3°C in the north to 10°C in the south. The annual precipitation ranges from 250 mm to 400 mm. Fogs occur frequently in the east. Wet hummock tundras of sedges and cotton grass, as well as hypnum moss-grass bogs, are widespread in the coastal regions. The lower parts of the mountain slopes are also covered by alpine tundra vegetation, and arctic mountain deserts are found on the summits. The highlands contain deposits of tin, mercury, and hard coal.
N. I. MIKHAILOV