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Aktolagay Plateau.

Trips on sight of the Aktyubinsk province.

“Nature has no principles. She makes no distinction between good and evil”

Anatole France.

Trip to Aktolagay Plateu.

Plateau Aktolagay is located in the Aktobe region, near its border with Atyrau region, 340 kilometers south-southwest of Aktobe city and 250 km east of the city of Atyrau. Amazing and unparalleled landscape of the plateau makes it one of the most interesting objects of geotourism. Distance from large settlements and bad roads can not stop the true lovers of the exotic nature - the ones who managed at least once to see pictures of Aktolagay will always seek here.
This is a gigantic museum of natural chalk figures. “Chess Queen”, “White Boat”, “Titanic”, “Coloss”, “Sphinx”... If you search well, you can find here copies of almost all world famous monuments. Aktolagay is an elongated north-south ridge that extends nearly 50 km with a width of 9 - 10 km. By its nature and morphology Aktolagay represents a plateau, although it is considerably smaller than the huge Ustyurt.
On the western side the surface of Aktolagay breaks by a steep, sometimes sheer 140-meter bench, where the section of Upper Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments is studied, serving as the reference one to the whole of the Ural-Emba oil-bearing region. Geological strata represented in the steeps were formed at the bottom of the warm Late Cretaceous sea, which extended to modern Hungary.
Snow-white layers of chalk and chalk-like marl are composed of billions of tiny remnants of ancient organisms. Often you can find here and the larger fossils: Cretaceous shark teeth, “devil’s fingers” - belemnites, ammonites, molluscs, corals, sea lilies, urchins, etc. The surrounding hills, composed of gypsum clay, also contain paleontological remains and are also quite picturesque, as covered by scattering gleaming in the sun gypsum crystals.
Relief surrounding the plateau represents the alternation of salt domes, apparent on the surface by picturesque groups of hills and ridges with a height of 60 - 80 m with sors and takyrs located in inter-dome spaces. The plateau is adjacent by the four salt domes: Kuldy-Kuduk, Tolagay, Chile-Sai and Alash-Kazgan. Salt domes represent the raises of various forms, often limited by faults.
Located at a depth the layers of rock salt under the pressure of overlying strata acquire plasticity and are squeezed up into heterogeneities and cracks, resulting in a fold formation with a salt core, expressed by a raise on the surface. This process is called salt tectonics.
Many of the salt domes of the Precaspian depression include oil and gas deposits. Unforgettable landscapes, diverse paleontological fossils and visualization of the represented here geological processes that occurred millions of years ago, make the plateau Aktolagay very attractive not only for specialists but also for a wide range of tourists. Currently plateau Aktolagay is not included in any tourism brochures.
It is easy to foresee that the popularity of the plateau as an object of mass tourism will grow in proportion to the dissemination of information. Over time, this will make possible to create the infrastructure, and gradually develop a modern service.

Plateau Aktolagay it is located in 250 kilometers to the east of the town of Atyrau.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.Plateau Aktolagay.

Authority:
Ilya Fishman, Yuliya Kazakova “Millions of years before the Silk Road. Geoparks in Kazakhstan”.  Printing house “Idan“ Kommunal’naya, 39, Almaty, Kazakhstan http://yadi.sk/d/4_6z_blyoxnqe

Photo
Alexander Petrov.