the southern and lowest step of the Himalayas, located in India and Nepal between the Pir Panjal and Mahabharat ranges. In a broader sense, the range encompasses the southern fringe of the entire system of Himalayan foothills from Kashmir to the Tista River—a length of approximately 1,700 km. Rising abruptly above the Indo-Gangetic Plain, the mountains form a chain of parallel ridges and ranges extending from northwest to southeast, with elevations to 2,591 m (Mount Saonchalia).
The Siwalik Range is built of dislocated series of molasses composed of gravel, sandstones, and conglomerates. It is separated from the Great Himalayas by the main boundary fault, along which lies a system of lenticular valleys; the range is highly seismic. The slopes are deeply dissected by rivers. Mud streams are typical of the western section of the southern slope; swampy jungles in the Terai area characterize the eastern foot of the southern slope. Tropical deciduous (monsoon) forests are found on the slopes; those in the west receive less precipitation than those in the east. In many places the vegetative cover has been seriously damaged as a result of excessive grazing and timbering operations, and there is intensive formation of gullies. A sizable section of the slopes has been artificially terraced and is used for tea plantations.
L. I. KURAKOVA [23–1015–]