The Trans-Siberian Railway is a network of railways connecting Moscow with the Russian Far East. With a length of 9,289 kilometres, from Moscow to Vladivostok, it is the longest railway line in the world. There are connecting branch lines into Mongolia and North Korea, it has connected Moscow with Vladivostok since 1916, is still being expanded. It was built between 1891 and 1916 under the supervision of Russian government ministers appointed by Tsar Alexander III and his son, the Tsarevich Nicholas. Before it had been completed, it attracted travellers who wrote of their adventures; the railway is associated with the main transcontinental Russian line that connects hundreds of large and small cities of the European and Asian parts of Russia. At a Moscow–Vladivostok track length of 9,289 kilometres, it spans a record eight time zones. Taking eight days to complete the journey, it is the third-longest single continuous service in the world, after the Moscow–Pyongyang 10,267 kilometres and the Kiev–Vladivostok 11,085 kilometres services, both of which follow the Trans-Siberian for much of their routes.
The main route of the Trans-Siberian Railway begins in Moscow at Yaroslavsky Vokzal, runs through Yaroslavl, Omsk, Irkutsk, Ulan-Ude and Khabarovsk to Vladivostok via southern Siberia. A second primary route is the Trans-Manchurian, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian east of Chita as far as Tarskaya, about 1,000 km east of Lake Baikal. From Tarskaya the Trans-Manchurian heads southeast, via Harbin and Mudanjiang in China's Northeastern Provinces, joining with the main route in Ussuriysk just north of Vladivostok; this is the oldest railway route to Vladivostok. While there are no traverse passenger services on this branch, it is still used by several international passenger services between Russia and China; the third primary route is the Trans-Mongolian Railway, which coincides with the Trans-Siberian as far as Ulan-Ude on Lake Baikal's eastern shore. From Ulan-Ude the Trans-Mongolian heads south to Ulaan-Baatar before making its way southeast to Beijing. In 1991, a fourth route running further to the north was completed, after more than five decades of sporadic work.
Known as the Baikal Amur Mainline, this recent extension departs from the Trans-Siberian line at Taishet several hundred miles west of Lake Baikal and passes the lake at its northernmost extremity. It crosses the Amur River at Komsomolsk-na-Amure, reaches the Tatar Strait at Sovetskaya Gavan. On 13 October 2011, a train from Khasan made its inaugural run to North Korea. In the late 19th century, the development of Siberia was hampered by poor transport links within the region, as well as with the rest of the country. Aside from the Great Siberian Route, good roads suitable for wheeled transport were rare. For about five months of the year, rivers were the main means of transport. During the cold half of the year and passengers travelled by horse-drawn sledges over the winter roads, many of which were the same rivers, but ice-covered; the first steamboat on the River Ob, Nikita Myasnikov's Osnova, was launched in 1844. But early beginnings were difficult, it was not until 1857 that steamboat shipping started developing on the Ob system in a serious way.
Steamboats started operating on the Yenisei in 1863, on the Lena and Amur in the 1870s. While the comparative flatness of Western Siberia was at least well served by the gigantic Ob–Irtysh–Tobol–Chulym river system, the mighty rivers of Eastern Siberia—the Yenisei, the upper course of the Angara River, the Lena—were navigable only in the north-south direction. An attempt to remedy the situation by building the Ob-Yenisei Canal was not successful. Only a railway could be a real solution to the region's transport problems; the first railway projects in Siberia emerged after the completion of the Saint Petersburg–Moscow Railway in 1851. One of the first was the Irkutsk–Chita project, proposed by the American entrepreneur Perry Collins and supported by Transport Minister Constantine Possiet with a view toward connecting Moscow to the Amur River, to the Pacific Ocean. Siberia's governor, Nikolay Muravyov-Amursky, was anxious to advance the colonisation of the Russian Far East, but his plans could not materialise as long as the colonists had to import grain and other food from China and Korea.
It was on Muravyov's initiative. Before 1880, the central government had ignored these projects, because of the weakness of Siberian enterprises, a clumsy bureaucracy, fear of financial risk. By 1880, there were a large number of rejected and upcoming applications for permission to construct railways to connect Siberia with the Pacific, but not Eastern Russia; this made connecting Siberia with Central Russia a pressing concern. The design process lasted 10 years. Along with the route constructed, alternative projects were proposed: Southern route: via Kazakhstan, Barnaul and Mongolia. Northern route: via Tyumen, Tomsk and the modern Baikal Amur Mainline or through Yakutsk; the line was divided into seven sections, on all or mo
North Asia or Northern Asia, sometimes referred to as Siberia or Eurasia, is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the Russian regions east of the Ural Mountains: Siberia and the Russian Far East. The region is sometimes known as Asian Russia. North Asia is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by Eastern Europe, to the south by Central and East Asia and to the east by the Pacific Ocean and North America. North Asia covers an area of 13,100,000 square kilometres or 8.8% of the earth's land area, or 1.5 times the size of Brazil. It is the largest subregion of Asia by area, but is the least populated, with an approximate total population of only 33 million people or 0.74% of Asia’s population. North Asia is administrated by Russia, makes up more than 75% of the territory of the country, but only 22% of its population, at a density of 2.5 people per km2. The region of Western Siberia and Kazakhstan is called Northwestern Asia or Northwest Asia. Topographically, the region is dominated by the Eurasian Plate, except for its eastern part, which lies on the North American and Okhotsk Plates.
It is divided by three major plains: the West Siberian Plain, Central Siberian Plateau and Verhoyansk-Chukotka collision zone. The Uralian orogeny in the west raised Ural Mountains, the informal boundary between Europe and Asia. Tectonic and volcanic activities are occurred in the eastern part of the region as part of the Ring of Fire, evidenced by the formation of island arc such as Kuril Islands and ultra-prominent peaks such as Klyuchevskaya Sopka and Koryaksky; the central part of North Asia is a large igneous province called the Siberian Traps, formed by a massive eruption occurred 250 million years ago. European influences Russian, are strong in the southwestern and central part of the region, due to its high Russian population from Eastern Europe which began to settle the area in the 18th-century CE; the southeastern part is under the influence of East Asian cultural sphere the Chinese. Indigenous cultures are strong in the eastern and southern part of the region due to concentrated population of indigenous ethnicities.
In recent years there are growing number of movements by the indigenous peoples of the region to preserve its culture from extinction. The region is the home of different peoples such as Turkic and Uralic peoples; the region was started to be populated by hominins in the Late Pleistocene 50,000 years ago, With the first humans arriving in the region having West Eurasian origins. Its Neolithic culture is characterized by a characteristic stone production techniques and presence of pottery of eastern origin. Bronze Age began during the 3rd-millennium BCE, with influences of Indo-Iranian cultures as evidenced by Andronovo culture. During the 1st-millennium BCE, polities such as the Scythians and Xiongnus emerged in the region, whom clashed with its Persian and Chinese neighbors in the south; the Turkic Khaganate dominated the southern Siberia during the 1st-millennium CE, while, in early 2nd-millennium CE, the Mongol Empire and its successor states ruled the region. The Khanate of Sibir was one of the last independent Turkic state in North Asia before its conquest by Tsardom of Russia in 16th-century CE.
Russia would gradually incorporate the region into its territory until the Convention of Peking was signed in 1860. After the October Revolution in 1917, the region was contested between the Bolsheviks and Whites until Soviet Union asserted full control in 1923; the collapse of Soviet Union in 1991 left Russia as the administrator of the region. For geographic and statistical reasons, the UN geoscheme and various other classification schemes will not subdivide countries, thus place all of Russia in the Europe or Eastern Europe subregion. There are no mountain chains in Northern Asia to prevent air currents from the Arctic flowing down over the plains of Siberia and Turkestan; the plateau and plains of Northern Asia comprise the West Siberian lowlands. Western Siberia is regarded as the Northwest Asia, Kazakhstan sometimes included there, but Northwest Asia sometimes refers to nearby provinces. The geomorphology of Asia in general is imperfectly known, although the deposits and mountain ranges are well known.
To compensate for new sea floor having been created in the Siberian basin, the whole of the Asian Plate has pivoted about a point in the New Siberian Islands, causing compression in the Verkhoyansk mountains, which were formed along the eastern margin of the Angara Shield by tectonic uplift during the Mesozoic Era. There is a southern boundary to this across the northern margin of the Alpine folds of Afghanistan, India and Bhutan, which at the east of Brahmaputra turns to run south towards the Bay of Bengal along the line of the Naga hills and the Arakan Yoma, continues around Indonesia, follows the edge of the continental shelf along the eastern seaboard of China; the Eurasian Plate and the North American Plate meet across the neck of Alaska, following the line of the Aleutian Trench, rather than meeting at the Bering Straits. Northern Asia is built around the Angara Shield, which lies between the Yenisey River and the Lena River, it developed from fragments of Laurasia, whose r
Novosibirsk is the third-most populous city in Russia, after Moscow and St. Petersburg, it is the most populous city in Asian Russia, with a population of 1,612,833 as of the 2018 Census, is the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast as well as of the Siberian Federal District. The city is located in the southwestern part of Siberia on the banks of the Ob River adjacent to the Ob River Valley, near the large water reservoir formed by the dam of the Novosibirsk Hydro Power Plant, it occupies an area of 502.1 square kilometres. It is about 2,800 kilometres east from Moscow, 600 kilometres east from Omsk, 1,400 kilometres east from Yekaterinburg, 645 kilometres west of Krasnoyarsk. Novosibirsk, founded in 1893 at the future site of a Trans-Siberian Railway bridge crossing the great Siberian river of Ob, first was named Novonikolayevsk, in honor both of Saint Nicholas and of the reigning Tsar Nicholas II, it superseded nearby Krivoshchekovskaya village, founded in 1696. The bridge was completed in the spring of 1897, making the new settlement the regional transport hub.
The importance of the city further increased with the completion of the Turkestan–Siberia Railway in the early 20th century. The new railway connected Novonikolayevsk to the Caspian Sea. At the time of the bridge's opening, Novonikolayevsk had a population of 7,800 people; the frontier settlement developed rapidly. Its first bank opened in 1906, a total of five banks were operating by 1915. In 1907, now with a population exceeding 47,000, was granted town status with full rights for self-government. During the pre-revolutionary period, the population of Novonikolayevsk reached 80,000; the city had steady and rapid economic growth, becoming one of the largest commercial and industrial centers of Siberia. It developed a significant agricultural processing industry, as well as a power station, iron foundry, commodity market, several banks, commercial and shipping companies. By 1917, seven Orthodox churches and one Roman Catholic Church had been built there, several cinemas, forty primary schools, a high school, a teaching seminary, the Romanov House non-classical secondary school.
In 1913, Novonikolayevsk became one of the first places in Russia to institute compulsory primary education. The Russian Civil War took a toll on the city. There were wartime epidemics of typhus and cholera, that claimed thousands of lives. In the course of the war the Ob River Bridge was destroyed. For the first time in the city's history, the population of Novonikolayevsk began to decline; the Soviet Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies of Novonikolayevsk took control of the city in December 1917. In May 1918, the Czechoslovak Legion rose in opposition to the revolutionary government and, together with the White Guards, captured Novonikolayevsk; the Red Army took the city in 1919. Novonikolayevsk began reconstruction in 1921 at the start of Lenin's New Economic Policy period, it was a part of Tomsk Governorate and served as its administrative center from December 23, 1919 to March 14, 1920. Between June 13, 1921 and May 25, 1925, it served as the administrative center of Novonikolayevsk Governorate, separated from Tomsk Governorate.
The city was given its present name on September 12, 1926. When governorates were abolished, the city served as the administrative center of Siberian Krai until July 23, 1930, of West Siberian Krai until September 28, 1937, when that krai was split into Novosibirsk Oblast and Altai Krai. Since it has served as the administrative center of Novosibirsk Oblast; the Monument to the Heroes of the Revolution was erected in the center of the city and has been one of the chief historic sites. Neglect in the 1990s while other areas were redeveloped helped preserve it in the post-Soviet era. During Joseph Stalin's industrialization effort, Novosibirsk secured its place as one of the largest industrial centers of Siberia. Several massive industrial facilities were created, including the'Sibkombain' plant, specializing in the production of heavy mining equipment. Additionally a metal processing plant, a food processing plant and other industrial enterprises and factories were built, as well as a new power station.
The great Soviet famine of 1932–33 resulted in more than 170,000 rural refugees seeking food and safety in Novosibirsk. They were settled in barracks at the outskirts of the city, giving rise to slums such as Bolshaya Nakhalovka, Malaya Nakhalovka, others, its rapid growth and industrialization led to Novosibirsk being nicknamed the "Chicago of Siberia". Tram rails were laid down in 1934, by which time the population had reached 287,000, making Novosibirsk the largest city in Siberia; the following year the original bridge over the Ob River was replaced by the new Kommunalny bridge. Between 1941 and 1942 more than 50 substantial factories were crated up and relocated from western Russia to Novosibirsk in order to reduce the risk of their destruction through war, at this time the city became a major supply base for the Red Army. During this period the city received more than 140,000 refugees; the rapid growth of the city prompted the construction during the 1950s of a hydroelectric power station with a capacity of 400 megawatts, necessitating the creation of a giant water reservoir, now known as the Ob Sea.
As a direct result of the station's construction vast areas of fertile land were flooded as were relic pine woods in the area.
Omsk is a city and the administrative center of Omsk Oblast, located in southwestern Siberia 2,236 kilometers from Moscow. With a population of 1,154,116, it is Russia's second-largest city east of the Ural Mountains after Novosibirsk, seventh by size nationally. Omsk acts as an essential transport node, serving as a train station for Trans-Siberian Railway and as a staging post for the Irtysh River. During the Imperial era, Omsk used to be the seat of the Governor General of Western Siberia and of the Governor General of the Steppes. For a brief period during the Russian Civil War in 1918–1920, it served as the capital of the anti-Bolshevik Russian State and held the imperial gold reserves. Omsk serves as the episcopal see of the bishop of Omsk and Tara, as well as the administrative seat of the Imam of Siberia; the mayor is Oksana Fadina. The wooden fort of Omsk was built in 1716 by a cossack unit led by Ivan Buchholz to protect the expanding Russian frontier along the Ishim and the Irtysh rivers against the Kyrgyz and Dzungar nomads of the Steppes.
In 1768 Om fortress was relocated. The original Tobolsk and the restored Tara gates, along with the original German Lutheran Church and several public buildings are left from that time. Omsk was granted town status in 1782. In 1822 Omsk became an administrative capital of Western Siberia and in 1882 the center of the vast Steppes region and Akmolinsk Oblast, in particular acquiring several churches and cathedrals of various denominations, mosques, a synagogue, the governor-general's mansion, a military academy, but as the frontier receded and its military importance diminished, the town fell into lethargy. For that time Omsk became a major center of the Siberian exile. From 1850 to 1854 Fyodor Dostoyevsky served his sentence in an Omsk katorga prison. Development of the city was catalyzed with the construction of the Trans-Siberian Railway in the 1890s that affected significance of Omsk as a logistic hub. Many trade companies established stores and offices in Omsk defining the character of the city center.
British and German consulates were established at the same time in order to represent their commercial interests. The pinnacle of development for pre-revolutionary Omsk was the Siberian Exposition of Agriculture and Industry in 1910. Popularity of the World Fairs contributed to the image of Omsk as the "Chicago of Siberia". Soon after the October Revolution, anti-Bolshevik White forces seized control of Omsk; the "Provisional All-Russian Government" was established here in 1918, headed by the Arctic explorer and decorated war hero Admiral Kolchak. Omsk was proclaimed the capital of Russia, its central bank was tasked with safekeeping the former empire's gold reserves; these were guarded by a garrison of former Czechoslovakian POWs trapped in Siberia by the chaos of World War I and the subsequent Revolution. Omsk became a prime target for the Red Army leadership, which viewed it as a major target of their Siberian campaign and forced Kolchak and his government to abandon the city and retreat along the Trans-Siberian eastward to Irkutsk.
Bolshevik forces entered the city in 1919. The Soviet government preferred the young Novonikolayevsk as the administrative center of Western Siberia, prompting the mass transfer of administrative and educational functions from Omsk; this somewhat sparked a continuing rivalry between the two cities. Omsk received new life as a result of World War II; because it was both far from the fighting and had a well-developed infrastructure, Omsk provided a perfect haven for much of the industry evacuated away from the frontlines in 1941. Additionally, contingency plans were made to transfer the provisional Soviet capital to Omsk in the event of a German victory during the Battle of Moscow. At the end of the war, Omsk remained a major industrial center, subsequently becoming a leader in Soviet military production. Military industries which moved to Omsk included part of the OKMO tank-design bureau in 1941, S. M. Kirov Factory no. 185 from Chelyabinsk, in 1962. The Kirov Factory and Omsk Transmash design bureau produced T-80 tanks from the 1970s, were responsible for the BTR-T, TOS-1, the prototype Black Eagle tank.
Omsk Transmash declared bankruptcy in 2002. In the 1950s, following the development of the oil and natural-gas field in Siberia, an oil-refining complex was built, along with an entire "town of oil workers", expanding Omsk northward along the Irtysh, it is the largest such complex in Russia. Gazprom Neft, the parent company, is the largest employer in the city, wielding its tax rates as leverage in negotiations with municipal and regional authorities. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Omsk experienced a period of economic instability and political stagnation. Most of the city's large businesses, state owned, were fought over by members of the former party elite, the emerging nouveau riche, fast growing criminal syndicates; the most notorious cases involved the privatization of Sibneft, a major oil company, which dragged on for several years. Until the end of the 1990s, political life in Omsk was defined by an ongoing feud between the oblast and city authorities; the resulting conflict made at least two points of view available to the public and served as the impetus for some improvements to the city's infrastructure and cultural life.
These included the construction of new leisure parks and the renovation of the city's historic center, the establishment of the annual Siberian International Marathon, of the annual City Days Festival. Despite this, internal political comp
Petroleum is a occurring, yellowish-black liquid found in geological formations beneath the Earth's surface. It is refined into various types of fuels. Components of petroleum are separated using a technique called fractional distillation, i.e. separation of a liquid mixture into fractions differing in boiling point by means of distillation using a fractionating column. It consists of occurring hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and may contain miscellaneous organic compounds; the name petroleum covers both occurring unprocessed crude oil and petroleum products that are made up of refined crude oil. A fossil fuel, petroleum is formed when large quantities of dead organisms zooplankton and algae, are buried underneath sedimentary rock and subjected to both intense heat and pressure. Petroleum has been recovered by oil drilling. Drilling is carried out after studies of structural geology, sedimentary basin analysis, reservoir characterisation have been completed, it is refined and separated, most by distillation, into a large number of consumer products, from gasoline and kerosene to asphalt and chemical reagents used to make plastics and pharmaceuticals.
Petroleum is used in manufacturing a wide variety of materials, it is estimated that the world consumes about 95 million barrels each day. The use of petroleum as fuel is controversial due to its impact on global warming and ocean acidification. Fossil fuels, including petroleum, need to be phased out by the end of 21st century to avoid "severe and irreversable impacts for people and ecosystems", according to the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; the word petroleum comes from Medieval Latin petroleum, which comes from Latin petra', "rock", Latin oleum, "oil". The term was used in the treatise De Natura Fossilium, published in 1546 by the German mineralogist Georg Bauer known as Georgius Agricola. In the 19th century, the term petroleum was used to refer to mineral oils produced by distillation from mined organic solids such as cannel coal, refined oils produced from them. Petroleum, in one form or another, has been used since ancient times, is now important across society, including in economy and technology.
The rise in importance was due to the invention of the internal combustion engine, the rise in commercial aviation, the importance of petroleum to industrial organic chemistry the synthesis of plastics, solvents and pesticides. More than 4000 years ago, according to Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, asphalt was used in the construction of the walls and towers of Babylon. Great quantities of it were found on the banks of the river Issus, one of the tributaries of the Euphrates. Ancient Persian tablets indicate the medicinal and lighting uses of petroleum in the upper levels of their society; the use of petroleum in ancient China dates back to more than 2000 years ago. In I Ching, one of the earliest Chinese writings cites that oil in its raw state, without refining, was first discovered and used in China in the first century BCE. In addition, the Chinese were the first to use petroleum as fuel as early as the fourth century BCE. By 347 AD, oil was produced from bamboo-drilled wells in China. Crude oil was distilled by Arabic chemists, with clear descriptions given in Arabic handbooks such as those of Muhammad ibn Zakarīya Rāzi.
The streets of Baghdad were paved with tar, derived from petroleum that became accessible from natural fields in the region. In the 9th century, oil fields were exploited in the area around Azerbaijan; these fields were described by the Arab geographer Abu al-Hasan'Alī al-Mas'ūdī in the 10th century, by Marco Polo in the 13th century, who described the output of those wells as hundreds of shiploads. Arab and Persian chemists distilled crude oil in order to produce flammable products for military purposes. Through Islamic Spain, distillation became available in Western Europe by the 12th century, it has been present in Romania since the 13th century, being recorded as păcură. Early British explorers to Myanmar documented a flourishing oil extraction industry based in Yenangyaung that, in 1795, had hundreds of hand-dug wells under production. Pechelbronn is said to be the first European site where petroleum has been used; the still active Erdpechquelle, a spring where petroleum appears mixed with water has been used since 1498, notably for medical purposes.
Oil sands have been mined since the 18th century. In Wietze in lower Saxony, natural asphalt/bitumen has been explored since the 18th century. Both in Pechelbronn as in the coal industry dominated the petroleum technologies. Chemist James Young noticed a natural petroleum seepage in the Riddings colliery at Alfreton, Derbyshire from which he distilled a light thin oil suitable for use as lamp oil, at the same time obtaining a more viscous oil suitable for lubricating machinery. In 1848, Young set up a small business refining the crude oil. Young succeeded, by distilling cannel coal at a low heat, in creating a fluid resembling petroleum, which when treated in the same way as the seep oil gave similar products. Young found that by sl
The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is an endorheic basin located between Europe and Asia, to the east of the Caucasus Mountains and to the west of the broad steppe of Central Asia; the sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It has a salinity of 1.2%, about a third of the salinity of most seawater. It is bounded by Kazakhstan to the northeast, Russia to the northwest, Azerbaijan to the west, Iran to the south, Turkmenistan to the southeast; the Caspian Sea is home to a wide range of species and may be best known for its caviar and oil industries. Pollution from the oil industry and dams on rivers draining into the Caspian Sea have had negative effects on the organisms living in the sea; the wide and endorheic Caspian Sea has a north–south orientation and its main freshwater inflow, the Volga River, enters at the shallow north end. Two deep basins occupy its southern areas.
These lead to horizontal differences in temperature and ecology. The Caspian Sea spreads out over nearly 750 miles from north to south, with an average width of 200 miles, it covers a region of around 149,200 square miles and its surface is about 90 feet below sea level. The sea bed in the southern part reaches as low as 1,023 m below sea level, the second lowest natural depression on Earth after Lake Baikal; the ancient inhabitants of its coast perceived the Caspian Sea as an ocean because of its saltiness and large size. The word Caspian is derived from the name of the Caspi, an ancient people who lived to the southwest of the sea in Transcaucasia. Strabo wrote that "to the country of the Albanians belongs the territory called Caspiane, named after the Caspian tribe, as was the sea. Moreover, the Caspian Gates, the name of a region in Iran's Tehran province indicates that they migrated to the south of the sea; the Iranian city of Qazvin shares the root of its name with that of the sea. In fact, the traditional Arabic name for the sea itself is Baḥr al-Qazwin.
In classical antiquity among Greeks and Persians it was called the Hyrcanian Ocean. In Persian middle age, as well as in modern Iran, it is known as Daryā-e Khazar. Ancient Arabic sources refer to it as Baḥr Gīlān meaning "the Gilan Sea". Turkic languages refer to the lake as Khazar Sea. In Turkmen, the name is Hazar deňizi, in Azeri, it is Xəzər dənizi, in modern Turkish, it is Hazar denizi. In all these cases, the second word means "sea", the first word refers to the historical Khazars who had a large empire based to the north of the Caspian Sea between the 7th and 10th centuries. An exception is Kazakh, where it is called Kaspiy teñizi. Renaissance European maps labelled it as Mar de Bachu, or Mar de Sala. Old Russian sources call it the Khvalis Sea after the name of Khwarezmia. In modern Russian, it is called Каспи́йское мо́ре, Kaspiyskoye more; the Caspian Sea, like the Black Sea, is a remnant of the ancient Paratethys Sea. Its seafloor is, therefore, a standard oceanic basalt and not a continental granite body.
It became landlocked about 5.5 million years ago due to a fall in sea level. During warm and dry climatic periods, the landlocked sea dried up, depositing evaporitic sediments like halite that were covered by wind-blown deposits and were sealed off as an evaporite sink when cool, wet climates refilled the basin. Due to the current inflow of fresh water in the north, the Caspian Sea water is fresh in its northern portions, getting more brackish toward the south, it is most saline on the Iranian shore. The mean salinity of the Caspian is one third that of Earth's oceans; the Garabogazköl embayment, which dried up when water flow from the main body of the Caspian was blocked in the 1980s but has since been restored exceeds oceanic salinity by a factor of 10. The Caspian Sea is the largest inland body of water in the world and accounts for 40 to 44% of the total lacustrine waters of the world; the coastlines of the Caspian are shared by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The Caspian is divided into three distinct physical regions: the Northern and Southern Caspian.
The Northern–Middle boundary is the Mangyshlak Threshold, which runs through Chechen Island and Cape Tiub-Karagan. The Middle–Southern boundary is the Apsheron Threshold, a sill of tectonic origin between the Eurasian continent and an oceanic remnant, that runs through Zhiloi Island and Cape Kuuli; the Garabogazköl Bay is the saline eastern inlet of the Caspian, part of Turkmenistan and at times has been a lake in its own right due to the isthmus that cuts it off from the Caspian. Differences between the three regions are dramatic; the Northern Caspian only includes the Caspian shelf, is shallow. The sea noticeably drops off towards the Middle Caspian; the Southern Caspian is the deepest, with oceanic depths of over 1,000 metres exceeding the depth of other reg
Peat known as turf, is an accumulation of decayed vegetation or organic matter. It is unique to natural areas called peatlands, mires, moors, or muskegs; the peatland ecosystem is the most efficient carbon sink on the planet, because peatland plants capture CO2 released from the peat, maintaining an equilibrium. In natural peatlands, the "annual rate of biomass production is greater than the rate of decomposition", but it takes "thousands of years for peatlands to develop the deposits of 1.5 to 2.3 m, the average depth of the boreal peatlands". Sphagnum moss called peat moss, is one of the most common components in peat, although many other plants can contribute; the biological features of Sphagnum mosses act to create a habitat aiding peat formation, a phenomenon termed'habitat manipulation'. Soils consisting of peat are known as histosols. Peat forms in wetland conditions, where flooding obstructs the flow of oxygen from the atmosphere, slowing the rate of decomposition. Peatlands bogs, are the primary source of peat, although less-common wetlands including fens and peat swamp forests deposit peat.
Landscapes covered in peat are home to specific kinds of plants including Sphagnum moss, ericaceous shrubs, sedges. Because organic matter accumulates over thousands of years, peat deposits provide records of past vegetation and climate by preserving plant remains, such as pollen; this allows humans to reconstruct past environments and study changes in human land use. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world. By volume, there are about 4 trillion cubic metres of peat in the world, covering a total of around 2% of the global land area, containing about 8 billion terajoules of energy. Over time, the formation of peat is the first step in the geological formation of other fossil fuels such as coal low-grade coal such as lignite. Depending on the agency, peat is not regarded as a renewable source of energy, due to its extraction rate in industrialized countries far exceeding its slow regrowth rate of 1 mm per year, as it is reported that peat regrowth takes place only in 30-40% of peatlands.
Because of this, the UNFCCC, another organization affiliated with the United Nations classified peat as a fossil fuel. However, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has begun to classify peat as a "slowly renewable" fuel; this is the classification used by many in the peat industry. At 106 g CO2/MJ, the carbon dioxide emission intensity of peat is higher than that of coal and natural gas. Peat forms when plant material does not decay in acidic and anaerobic conditions, it is composed of wetland vegetation: principally bog plants including mosses and shrubs. As it accumulates, the peat holds water; this creates wetter conditions that allow the area of wetland to expand. Peatland features can include ponds and raised bogs. Most modern peat bogs formed 12,000 years ago in high latitudes after the glaciers retreated at the end of the last ice age. Peat accumulates at the rate of about a millimetre per year. Peat material is either hemic, or sapric. Fibric peats are the least consist of intact fibre.
Hemic peats are decomposed and sapric are the most decomposed. Phragmites peat are composed of reed grass, Phragmites australis, other grasses, it is denser than many other types of peat. Engineers may describe a soil as peat which has a high percentage of organic material; this soil is problematic because it exhibits poor consolidation properties – it cannot be compacted to serve as a stable foundation to support loads, such as roads or buildings. In a cited article and Clarke defined peatlands or mires as...the most widespread of all wetland types in the world, representing 50 to 70% of global wetlands. They cover over 3 % of the land and freshwater surface of the planet. In these ecosystems are found one third of the world’s soil carbon and 10% of global freshwater resources; these ecosystems are characterized by the unique ability to accumulate and store dead organic matter from Sphagnum and many other non-moss species, as peat, under conditions of permanent water saturation. Peatlands are adapted to the extreme conditions of high water and low oxygen content, of toxic elements and low availability of plant nutrients.
Their water chemistry varies from alkaline to acidic. Peatlands occur on all continents, from the tropical to boreal and Arctic zones from sea level to high alpine conditions. Peatlands are areas of land with formed layers of peat, they can cover around 4 million square kilometres. In Europe, peatlands extend to about 515,000 km2. About 60% of the world's wetlands are made of peat. Peat deposits are found in many places around the world, including northern Europe and North America; the North American peat deposits are principally found in the Northern United States. Some of the world's largest peatlands include the West Siberian Lowland, the Hudson Bay Lowlands, the Mackenzie River Valley. There is less peat in part because there is less land; that said, the vast Magellanic Moorland in South America is an extensive peat-dominated landscape. Peat can be found in New Zealand