Interesting facts about Greater Caucasus
Between Europe and Asia, the Black and the Caspian Sea there is a “giant”, which extends from east to west for over 1200 km, called Great Caucasus – where the legendary Prometheus was chained to a rock. Great Caucasus is including the highest point of Europe – Elbrus peak (5642 m).
Rugged summits, vast forests and isolated high valleys make the Caucasus one of the 25 most bio diverse areas on earth. This diversity of Caucasian flora is mostly due to the rich variety of the landscape. There are more 6500 species of plants and flowers, which exists only here, in this region.
Caspian Sea is the biggest inland lake of the world and it is located in the foothills of Caucasian Mountains. Some of the rivers of Caspian Sea such as Kur and Kuban drop to the Caspian Sea.
Plenty of rain and spontaneous bursts of winter are typical for the region. The higher parts can get snow even in the summer. A seven meter thick blanket of snow is not unusual for Caucasus Mountains. Caucasus is one of the snowiest mountain ranges of the world and extreme weather conditions make it one of the most challenging as well.
Massive avalanches race down the hillsides all year round, but especially during the end of winter.
Much more than 2000 glaciers cover the higher region of Caucasian Mountains. Most of it is concentrated in the Western and Central parts of mountains. Because of global warming, here too, the glaciers are slowly receding. But there are some giants left. The largest lies in the Kabardino-Balkaria Nature Reserve (Bezengi glacier with 18 km). Its tongue begins in at the Bezengi wall and stretches 18 km into the valley.
The southeastern region of Caucasian landscape, however, is like on another planet. There are more than 300 mud volcanoes that constantly bubbles near the Caspian Sea, in Gobustan region of Azerbaijan. Their vents eject a mixture of clay, water and gases, mainly methane. Mud volcanoes are especially common along tectonic fractures. The west bank of Caspian Sea is considered as such.
The snow-covered summits of the Caucasus are one of the world’s last unknown natural wildernesses. There is scarcely another mountain range on earth that is so interesting and challenging.
Spring in Caucasus Mountains transforms the snow into a sea of colored flowers.
Some of the highest peaks in Caucasian Mountains are below:
Elbrus 5642 m Russia
Dyck Tau 5205 m Russia
Shkhara 5193 m Georgia
Kazbek 5047 m Georgia
Pushkin 5033 m Between Georgia and Russia
Bazarduzu 4466 m Azerbaijan
Shahdagh 4243 m Azerbaijan