Caucasus Mountains

The Caucasus Mountains are a mountain system at the intersection of Europe and Asia. Stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, it surrounds the eponymous Caucasus region and is home to Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe; the Caucasus Mountains include Lesser Caucasus in the south. The Greater Caucasus runs west-northwest to east-southeast, from the Caucasian Natural Reserve in the vicinity of Sochi on the northeastern shore of the Black Sea nearly to Baku on the Caspian Sea; the Lesser Caucasus runs parallel to the Greater about 100 km south. The Greater and Lesser Caucasus ranges are connected by the Likhi Range, to the west and east of the Likhi Range lie the Colchis Plain and the Kur-Araz Lowland; the Meskheti Range is a part of the Lesser Caucasus system. In the southeast the Aras River separates the Lesser Caucasus from the Talysh Mountains which straddle the border of southeastern Azerbaijan and Iran; the Lesser Caucasus and the Armenian Highland constitute the Transcaucasian Highland, which at their western end converge with the highland plateau of Eastern Anatolia in the far north east of Turkey.

The highest peak in the Caucasus range is Mount Elbrus in the Greater Caucasus, which rises to a height of 5,642 metres above sea level. Mountains near Sochi hosted part of the 2014 Winter Olympics. Geologically, the Caucasus Mountains belong to a system that extends from southeastern Europe into Asia; the Greater Caucasus Mountains are composed of Cretaceous and Jurassic rocks with the Paleozoic and Precambrian rocks in the higher regions. Some volcanic formations are found throughout the range. On the other hand, the Lesser Caucasus Mountains are formed predominantly of the Paleogene rocks with a much smaller portion of the Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks; the evolution of the Caucasus began from the Late Triassic to the Late Jurassic during the Cimmerian orogeny at the active margin of the Tethys Ocean while the uplift of the Greater Caucasus is dated to the Miocene during the Alpine orogeny. The Caucasus Mountains formed as the result of a tectonic plate collision between the Arabian plate moving northwards with respect to the Eurasian plate.

As the Tethys Sea was closed and the Arabian Plate collided with the Iranian Plate and was pushed against it and with the clockwise movement of the Eurasian Plate towards the Iranian Plate and their final collision, the Iranian Plate was pressed against the Eurasian Plate. As this happened, the entire rocks, deposited in this basin from the Jurassic to the Miocene were folded to form the Greater Caucasus Mountains; this collision caused the uplift and the Cenozoic volcanic activity in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains. The entire region is subjected to strong earthquakes from this activity. While the Greater Caucasus Mountains have a folded sedimentary structure, the Lesser Caucasus Mountains are of volcanic origin; the Javakheti Volcanic Plateau in Georgia and the surrounding volcanic ranges which extend well into central Armenia are some of the youngest features of the region. Only was the Caucasus a scene for intense volcanic activity: the Armenian highland was flooded by calc-alkaline basalts and andesites in the Pliocene and the highest summits of the Caucasus, the Elbrus, the Kazbek, formed as Pleistocene-Pliocene volcanoes.

The Kazbek is no longer active, but the Elbrus erupted in postglacial times and fumarole activity is registered near its summit. Contemporary seismic activity is a prominent feature of the region, reflecting active faulting and crustal shortening. Clusters of seismicity occur in northern Armenia. Many devastating earthquakes have been documented in historical times, including the Spitak earthquake in December 1988 which destroyed the Gyumri-Vanadzor region of Armenia. Europe's highest mountain is Mount Elbrus 5,642 m in the Caucasus Mountains. Elbrus is 832 m higher than the highest peak in the Alps and western Europe at 4,810 m; the crest of the Caucasus Mountains is taken to define the continental divide between Asia and Europe for the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. The table below lists some of the highest peaks of the Caucasus. With the exception of Shkhara, the heights are taken from Soviet 1:50,000 mapping; the list includes all mountains over 4,500 m height with 300 m prominence.

Mount Ararat in Turkey is just south of the lesser Caucasus. The climate of the Caucasus varies both vertically and horizontally. Temperature decreases as elevation rises. Average annual temperature in Sukhumi, Abkhazia at sea level is 15 °C while on the slopes of Mt. Kazbek at an elevation of 3,700 metres, average annual temperature falls to−6.1 °C. The northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range are 3 °C colder than the southern slopes; the highlands of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in Armenia and Georgia are marked by sharp temperature contrasts between the summer and winter months due to a more continental climate. Precipitation increases from east to west in most areas. Elevation plays an important role in the Caucasus and mountains receive higher amounts of precipitation than low-lying areas; the northeastern regions and the southern portions of the Lesser Caucasus Mountains are the driest. The absolute minimum annual precipitation is 250 mm in the northeastern Caspian Depression.

Western parts of the Caucasus Mountains are marked by high amounts of precipitation. The southern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Mountain Range receive higher amounts of precipitation than the northern slope

ACE - Africa Coast to Europe submarine cable

Africa Coast to Europe or ACE is an optical-fiber submarine cable system serving 24 countries on the west coast of Africa and Europe, managed by a consortium of 19 members. The ACE cable connects more than 400 million people, either directly for coastal countries or through land links for landlocked countries such as Mali and Niger. ACE is the first international submarine cable to land in Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Mauritania, São Tomé and Príncipe and Sierra Leone. Agreements are being put in place to allow the arrival of other operators in countries along the ACE cable route. Guinea-Bissau is the next country to be connected to the submarine cable. ACE Consortium consists of telecommunications operators and member countries that have invested in the total 700 million dollars project, sometimes with the financial support of the World Bank; the consortium agreement was signed on 5 June 2010 and on 15 December 2012, this 17,000 km-long cable was put into service for the first time. The official inauguration ceremony was held in Banjul, Gambia, on 19 December 2012.

The 4 to 5 cms diameter cable has a potential capacity of 5.12 Tbps and runs at around 6,000m below the sea level. It has been laid by ships from ASN and Orange Marine; the cable cost consortium members $700 million: ACE Gabon Bénin ACE GIE Cable Consortium of Liberia Canalink Dolphin Telecom Gambia Submarine Cable GUILAB SA International Mauritania Telecom MTN Orange Orange Cameroun Orange Côte d'Ivoire Orange MaliOrange Niger Gestor de Infraestructuras de Telecomunicaciones de Guinea Ecuatorial Republic of Guinea-BissauSALCABSonatel STP Cabo Segment 1 France, Penmarch Portugal, CarcavelosEspagne, île de TenerifeMauritania, NouakchottSenegal, DakarSegment 2 Senegal, Dakar Gambia, Banjul Guinea-Bissau, Suro Guinea, Conakry Sierra Leone, Freetown Liberia, Monrovia Ivory Coast, AbidjanSegment 3 Ivory Coast, Abidjan Ghana, Accra Benin, Cotonou Nigeria, Lagos Cameroon, Kribi Equatorial Guinea, Bata Gabon, Libreville Sao Tomé et principe, São ToméSegment 4 Congo Angola Namibie South Africa This 17 000-kilometers long cable is the only one connecting 24 west African and European countries.

The ACE consortium members are organized according to a global access concept: multiple investors in one landing station. ACE marine routes have a low history of a time-proof technology; the cable is able to adopt newer transponder technology. Technical features are as below: - PoP-to-PoP connection providing access to major cities in Europe and Africa -100G technology proof -Design capacity = 12.8 terabytes per second -Lit capacity = 1.6 terabytes per second -Initial capacity 200 Gbit/s on segment 1, 160 Gbit/s on segments 2 and 3 -Maximum capacity of 5.12 Tbit/s at design -Longest DLS = 4400 kilometres -Low latency -Uses wavelength division multiplexing Online searches do not return significant outages caused by damage to the cable since 2012, until 2019, March 30. List of international submarine communications cables Individual cable systems off the west coast of Africa include: ATLANTIS-2 GLO-1 Main One SAT-2 SAT-3/WASC WACS "Africa Coast to Europe Submarine Cable Consortium signs landmark Agreement in Paris".

Retrieved 2010-06-08. "ACE submarine cable welcomes new members". Retrieved 2009-12-01. "ACE submarine cable extended to South Africa". Retrieved 2009-06-16. ACE-Africa Coast to Europe website

Stanisław Szpinalski

Stanisław Szpinalski was a Polish pianist. Born and trained in Russia, he would return to his homeland. Once he finished his studies in the Warsaw Conservatory he spent two years in Paris, after which he returned to Poland to participate in the 1st edition of the Fryderyk Chopin Competition. There he established himself as one of the leading young Polish pianists of his time, finishing second only to Lev Oborin. Not having been able to win the 1st prize, Szpinalski decided to carry on his training under the guidance of Ignacy Jan Paderewski, not beginning a virtuoso career until 1932. By he had settled in Vilnius, where he would be appointed the director of the city's Conservatory. One decade Szpinalski resumed his career extensively as a performer on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Chopin's death, regaining his status, he recovered from a bout of rheumatism, but shortly after, died of cancer