Southern Siberian Mountains

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Southern Siberian Mountains


a mountainous region in Southern Siberia, including the Altai, Salair, Kuznetskii Alatau, Zapadnyi Saian, and Vostochnyi Saian ranges, the mountains of Tuva, the Baikal Region, and Transbaikalia, and the Stanovoi Range, as well as the vast Kuznetsk, Minusinsk, Tuva, and Tod-zha intermontane basins. The region has an area of 1.6 million sq km. The mountains are composed chiefly of Proterozoic and Lower Paleozoic rocks. Mesozoic, Cenozoic, and neotectonic movements have played a large part in the formation of the contemporary relief. The region is characterized by high seismicity.

Middle-elevation (800–2,000 m) mountain relief predominates, occupying more than 60 percent of the region; alpine relief, with modern glaciers, is typical of the most uplifted ranges and massifs. The highest point is Mount Belukha (4,506 m). Low mountains (300–800 m) stretch along the periphery. There is a distinct altitudinal zonation of landscape, whose diversity is intensified by the influence of slope exposure. Mountain taiga larch and dark coniferous forests are most typical (about three-quarters of the entire region), with mountain tundras occurring above 2,000–2,500 m. Steppe vegetation has developed on slopes with a southern exposure and in the basins. The fauna combines elements of the Siberian taiga fauna and the fauna of the semi-deserts of Central Asia. There are deposits of nonferrous and rare metallic ores, coal, asbestos, and other minerals.


Mikhailov, N. I. Gory luzhnoi Sibiri. Moscow, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Siberian pine decline and mortality in southern Siberian mountains. Forest ecology and management 310, 312-320.
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