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Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.

Wildlife Tours in Karatau mountains.

“What a buzz on the steppe floats?
From Karatau from mountain heights,
From the valleys of the Syr Darya and
Chu It flows like a stream»


Journey to Karatau mountains.

Karatau mountain range is the north-western spur of the Western Tien-Shan in southern Kazakhstan. It extends from the Talas Ala Tau and gradually decreases, goes into Syrasu-Chui plain. The length of the ridge Karatau 420 kilometers.
It is divided into East or Small Karatau and Southwest Karatau. The highest point of the Karatau ridge is the Bessaz mountain, 2176 meters above sea level. East Karatau has a slightly undulating, apical surface composed of shale and Proterozoic sandstones.
The southwestern Karatau is cut by numerous valleys and is divided into a series of massifs composed of limestone, sandstone, carboniferous conglomerates and the Devonian volcanogenic rocks. To the northwest, the mountain passes to the plateau already at the confluence of the dry channels of the Sarysu and Chu rivers.
In terms of geological structure and terrain, Karatau is similar to the Chu-Ili Mountains. It collapses, collapses and levels out. The northeastern and southwestern mountain ranges of the Karatau ridge are divided by intermountain valleys. If its south-western ridge was formed from proterozoic metamorphic rocks, then the north-eastern ridge is from sandstones and Paleozoic shale.
The valleys located between two ridges are composed of red clay. Mezozoic and Cenozoic deposits of limestone, sandstone, and clay are also widespread. The local relief was formed in conditions of a dry climate. There is no permanent surface runoff.
The slopes are dissected by large and small canyons and dry river beds. Vertices are flat, aligned. The valley of the Syr-Darya River flows away from the Karatau Range to the south-west, and the valley of the Talas River to the northeast.
The Karatau Mountains have a great influence on the weather conditions of the territories of the nearby regions. The average January temperature is 10 degrees C. The difference between the average January temperatures on the northeastern and southwestern slopes of Karatau is between 4 and 6 degrees C, which is explained by the influence of warm air masses from the southwestern slopes.
The average annual amount of precipitation at the foot of the slopes of 200 - 400 mm, above 400 - 600 mm. The amount of atmospheric precipitation on the south-western slopes is 150 - 300 mm more than on the north-eastern slopes. The soils are mountainous chestnut, mountain brown.
Mountain vegetation steppe, feather grass and shrub. There are tugai strips along the river beds. Kauchukonos (tausagyz) contains 35 - 40; rubber and nowhere, except Karatau, does not grow in the republic. The number of endemic species and plant races reaches 9%; this is one of the richest endemic areas in the world.
Despite the general dryness of the region, almost every gorge has a small river or stream. Due to this, they form the original microclimate, a kind of plant and animal world. The mountains of Karatau are surrounded by numerous salt and fresh lakes. The fauna of the area is not rich.
hey are inhabited by jerboa, gopher, ermine, steppe polecat, badger, fox, corsac, mountain goat. On the territory of Karatau a large stock of mineral resources was found. They are used for the production of lead and zinc at the Shymkent lead-zinc factory and for the supply of chemical compounds of Taraz with phosphoric raw materials.
Ores are mined by the open method. Ka ¬ ratau is a source of building materials - gypsum, cement, etc., which gives the state a great profit. The folded base of the southwestern and southern parts of the ridge was formed in the Paleozoic era.
The main face of the Tien Shan relief was formed during mountain building in the Neogene and Anthropogenic periods of the Cenozoic era. Proof of this - the earthquake occurring in the Tien Shan. The general view of the relief of the mountains is not the same.
In the mountains, high peaks alternate with ridges with intermountain valleys, hilly plains, etc. The high-altitude belt of mountains is formed in direct dependence on the geographical location and the scheme of mountain ranges. Eastern Karatau has wavy surface, it consists of slate and sandstone. 
Local topography was formed under conditions of a dry climate. Mountain ranges separated by intermountain valleys form the relief of Karatau. Karatau mountains has a big influence on the weather in surrounding areas. There are chestnut-brown mountain and brown mountains soils in there.
There are a lot of endemic plants growing there, for example Rubber-wood. Each gorge has a small river or a brook, which forms a unique flora and fauna in the mountain areas.  There jerboas, ground squirrels, stoats, polecats, badgers, foxes, corsacs and mountain-goats living in Karatau mountains.
The rivers Arys, Boralday, Bogen flow down from the south-western slopes of the Karatau. From the northwest slopes there are some rivers that feed on taly by snowy waters in spring and dry up in summer.

Karatau ridge on Southern Kazakhstan.Tulips Borchova.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.Karatau ridge in Southern Kazakhstan.

A.C.Beisenova, T.G. Smagulov. “The brief encyclopedia Kazakh SSR”. Volume 2, Section the Nature.

Alexander Petrov