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(Predkavkaz’e), a region north of the Greater Caucasus, bounded on the north by the Kuma-Manych depression, on the west by the Sea of Azov and the Kerch’ Strait, and on the east by the Caspian Sea.
Ciscaucasia stretches more than 900 km from west-northwest to east-southeast and is up to 300 km wide. Most of the region occupies the epihercynian (Scythian) platform. In the lower reaches of the Kuban’ and Terek rivers, there are depressions that are part of the foredeep of the Alpide geosynclinal region. The west contains the Kuban’-Azov Lowland, the Kuban’ sloping plain (south of the Kuban’-Azov Lowland), and the Kuban’ delta with the adjacent Taman’ Peninsula. The highest elevations in central Ciscaucasia are the Stavropol’ Highland (up to 831 m), the Terek-Sunzha Highland (the Sunzha Range, up to 926 m), and the dome-like laccolith mountains of the Mineral’nye Vody group, which rises in the middle of a plain and includes the peaks of Beshtau (1,402 m), Mashuk (992 m), and Zheleznaia (851 m). The Terek-Kuma depression lies in the east.
Western and central Ciscaucasia comprise an important agricultural region and the east has semidesert pastures. Many regions of Ciscaucasia have deposits of petroleum (Russkii Khutor, Malgobek-Voznesenskoe) and gas (Severo-Stavropol’skoe, Maikopskoe, Leningradskoe).
N. A. GVOZDETSKII