Bolshezemelskaia Tundra

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bol’shezemel’skaia Tundra


a hilly plain dotted by moraines, between the Pechora and Usa rivers, the Urals, and the Pai-Khoi mountains, located within the Nenets National Okrug (Archangel’sk Oblast) and the Komi ASSR. The altitude is 100–150 m (200–250 m at the highest points). The so-called Zemlianoi ridge stretches from the Khaipudyrskaia Inlet to the mouth of the Tsilima River. Hills and ridges of morainal origin (musiurs), including the Ianeimusiur and Vangureimusiur, predominate in the landscape; they are composed of sand layers and loamy boulders. To the east of the Bol’shezemel’skaia Tundra extends the Chernyshev Ridge, basically composed of plicated Paleozoic deposits. The climate is subarctic; the winters are cold and prolonged. (The mean temperature in January is from -16°C in the northwest to -20° C in the southeast.) The summers are short and cool (the average temperature in July is from 8 to 12° C) with occasional frosts in the summer months. Annual precipitation ranges from 450 mm in the south to 250 mm in the north. Rivers are for the most part tributaries of the Pechora and Usa. In the upper reaches they flow in narrow valleys; downstream the valleys widen and the current becomes less turbulent. There are many lakes (Vashutkiny Lakes and Shapkina Lakes, among others) in the headwaters of the main rivers (Shapkina, Kolva, Adz’va, and others). Permafrost species occupy large areas. The vegetation of the Bol’shezemel’skaia Tundra is mossy undergrowth and brush on peat and on oozy marsh soil. In the south stretches forest-tundra with spruce and birch growing on weak podzolic soil and gley; south of the arctic circle, tundra gives way to predominantly coniferous taiga. Reindeer raising, fur industry, and dairy cattle breeding are the main economic activities. Part of the Pechora coal basin is located within the Bol’shezemel’skaia Tundra; deposits of oil and gas have been found there.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.