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Small hills Saryarka.

Tours in Small hills Saryarka.

“A flower knows, when its butterfly will return,
and if the moon walks out, the sky will understand;
but now it hurts, to watch you leave so soon,
when I don't know, if you will ever come back”

Sanober Khan.

Travels in Small hills Saryarka in Kazakhstan.

The Saryarka (Yellow Ridge) Kazakh small hills stretch from the West Siberian Plain in the north to the Betpak-Dala Desert and Lake Balkhash in the south, from the Turgai Depression in the west to the mountainous country of Saur-Tarbagatai in the east, bordering China.
The location of the Kazakh small hills is Central Asia, the central regions of Kazakhstan between the Turgai depression in the west, the West Siberian plain in the north, the Irtysh valley in the northeast and the Turan lowland in the southwest.
The administrative affiliation of the Kazakh small hills is Karaganda, partially Kostanai, Akmola and Pavlodar regions of Kazakhstan. The area of ​​the Kazakh small hills is about 700,000 square kilometers. The length of the Kazakh small hills from west to east is 1200 kilometers.
The width of the Kazakh small hills in the west is 900 kilometers and 400 kilometers in the east. The average height of the Kazakh small hills is 500 - 600 above sea level, in the western part 300 - 500 meters above sea level in the eastern part 500 - 1000 meters above sea level.
The highest point of the Kazakh small hills 1565 meters above sea level Mount Aksoran, Kyzylarai mountains. The lowest point of the Kazakh small hills 304 meters above sea level Tengiz-Kurgalzhin depression. The average height of the hills of the Kazakh small hills 10 - 50 meters.
This is a monolithic elevated section of the plain with small hills that arose in the area of ​​heavily destroyed prehistoric mountains, composed of solid crystalline rocks and crumpled into folds. Something similar in geomorphology is the plains of the Baltic and Canadian shields. All of them belong to the type of denudation accumulative plains.
Denudation (from the Latin “outcrop”) is the transfer of rocks, over which the natural factor worked, a whole complex of destructive factors (water, wind, ice, gravity, temperature changes, etc.), into the intermontane depressions where the damage accumulates ( accumulation from the Latin "accumulation").
That is, there was a two-way process with the simultaneous removal of the tops of the mountains and the filling of the depressions, and a plateau-like, slightly dissected, small hills was obtained. Ancient igneous rocks are visible here only on high rocky ridges and scree at the foot of the mountains, the rest is covered by the sediment of Cretaceous and Paleogene.
In the northwest of the small hills on the Kokshetau Upland 900 meters above sea level, there is a picturesque lake region, which locals call “Kazakh Switzerland”. This is the resort Schuchinskaya Borovskoye zone, where pine forests grow on the tops of mountain slopes dissected by flowing waters, birch and aspen groves at the foot, and in the valleys there is a whole scattering of blue fresh lakes: Borovskoye, Shchuchye and others, smaller (almost all fresh water lakes are concentrated in the mountains Kokshetau, and there is Kurgaldzhino, the rest are salty).
In the south-west are Ulytau mountains, composed mainly of granites, with a height of 1133 meters above sea level, with the remains of large anticlines (folds) lying in the meridional direction. In the middle of the western part lies the large Tengiz-Kurgalzhinsky Depression 304 meters high above sea level with a large salt lake Tengiz and fresh lake Kurgalzhino.
Two lakes and a plot of virgin steppe around form the territory of the Kurgalzhinsky reserve. Lakes have chosen migratory birds for a mass stop (including the extremely rare Siberian crane, curly pelican and long-tailed eagle): here the flight routes from Africa, Europe and South Asia converge to nesting sites in western and eastern Siberia.
And the local virgin steppes, affectionately called the Kazakhs Zolotoy, historically served as a summer pasture (for the winter, cattle in traditional distant cattle breeding were driven across Betpak-Dal to the Chuy valley and Moyynkum sands).
Protected are steppe animals, especially relict humpbacked saiga antelopes. On the whole, the western part of the small hills is the most level and lower, with a small number of small mountains and hills, and to the east the wavy plain rises noticeably, becoming more dissected. In the eastern part there are mountain hills granite massif Kyzylray (the highest point of Aksoran 1565 m), Kent (1460 m), Karkaraly (1403 m), Chingiztau (1300 m) and Bayanaul (950 m).
On the northern slopes of Kyzylray, Karkaraly and Bayanaul mountains, where pines grow, deer and roe deer are found. If a beauty contest were held among the Kazakh mountains, the Kokshetau, Karkaraly and Bayanaul mountains would win - they are considered the most picturesque places in Kazakhstan, many legends and songs are composed about them.
Saryarka is by no means a monotonous boring wavy wasteland, but an impressive collection of completely dissimilar landscapes: swampy river valleys, floodplain and dry meadows, salt marshes with halophytic communities, virgin areas of the steppe of various types, blue lakes with pine forests, birch forests and aspen forests...
Name »Saryarka owes to low hills with a height of 10 - 50 meters. There are high mountain ranges and individual rock “sculptures” sculptured by nature itself. The territories of the Kazakh small hills cover most of the country; the history of these lands is an important part of the history of all of Kazakhstan.
In the early Middle Ages, these lands were part of the Turkic Kaganate, in the late - the Golden Horde. In 1224, after the division of the empire between Genghis Khan between his sons, in the middle of the vast expanses of a small hills, the city of Horde Bazar was founded (150 km from modern Zhezkazgan).
There was the first headquarters of Genghis Khan's eldest son named Jochi, that is, there was the first capital of the Golden Horde (Ulus Jochi). In the Horde Bazaar, the mausoleum of Jochi Khan has been preserved to this day.
When in 1254 the son of Jochi Batuy transferred his capital to Saray (Saraishyk) (Atyrau region), the Horde Bazar became one of the capitals of Kok-Horde, then in the XVth century - the Uzbek Khanate. After the collapse of the Golden Horde in 1465, the Kazakh Khanate was formed on the territory of Kazakhstan; in the XVII century.
local rulers with varying success resisted the Dzungarian invasion, and in 1847 the lands were annexed to the Russian Empire. Under the Soviet regime and several years after the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the main city was Alma-Ata (from 1927 to 1995), but now it is called the Southern Capital, and the official administrative center was moved to Astana on December 10, 1997 on the banks of the Ishim River.
Officially, the city of Akmola (until July 6, 1992, which was called Tselinograd) was declared the capital of Kazakhstan on December 10, 1997. On May 6, 1998, the capital was renamed Astana. The international representation of Astana as a new capital was held on June 10, 1998. Since it is characterized by a sharply continental climate typical of Saryark, which is not the most favorable for humans (with strong steppe winds, summer heat above + 40 ° C and Siberian frosts down to -50 ° C), the authorities are trying to somehow enclose Astana with a green “wall”», Planting plantations along the perimeter.
Ishim (Yesil in Kazakh) is the only river with a constant flow. In the Kokshetau and Atbasar districts, chernozem prevails on its shores, and wheat is grown there. The remaining numerous rivers (the largest - Nura, Sarysu, Selety, Shiderti, Tokyrau, etc.) in the flood leave the banks and form a wide flood plain, but in the summer they become shallow, forming stretches and elders, their channels often dry up. Therefore, in order to provide the region with a constant influx of fresh water, the Ertys (Irtysh) - Karaganda canal was built.
Saryarka lies in the desert, semi-desert and steppe zones. The Tengiz-Kurgalzhinsky Depression, the Sarysu River Basin, the Ulytau, Karkaraly and Chingiztau mountain ranges belong to a semi-desert zone with a dry climate.
In the steppe areas with dark chestnut soils, wormwood, fescue and feather grass grow. River valleys and mountain slopes are covered with meadow vegetation, also poplars, birches, pines, junipers, and talniks grow there. These are great summer pastures for grazing.
The southern regions (the southern foot of Ulytau, the vicinity of Zhezkazgan, Northern Balkhash) belong to the desert zone. Here, on brown desert soils, biyurgun, wormwood, common meadowsweet, caragana, feather grass, fescue, quinoa and others grow.
The most lifeless and deaf desert sites are in the extreme east of the small hills, and this is not only a natural, but also anthropogenic factor. There is now the mothballed Semipalatinsk test site (and to the south, in Betpak-Dala, the Sary-Shagan test site still operates), due to which many thousands of square kilometers around were infected.
Also, due to hazardous industries polluting the environment, the cities of Balkhash and Zhezkazgan, Ekibastuz and Karaganda are considered hazardous to their health (the first two are near large copper deposits, the last in the coal basin, each a large metallurgical plant and other industrial facilities).
The climate and weather of the Kazakh small hills is sharply continental, dry (Siberian anticyclone and Arctic air masses circulate freely here), with a sharp increase in aridity to the south. Average January temperature: -14 ... -18 ° С (up to -40 ° С).
Average July temperature: + 20 ... + 24 ° С (up to + 35 ° С). Average annual rainfall: 200 - 300 mm. In mountainous areas, about 370 mm, on the northern and western slopes of the Kokchetav Upland up to 480 mm.
Minerals of the Kazakh small hoe - the largest deposits of coal in the Karaganda and Ekibastuz basins; iron (Atasu, Karsakpay, Karazhal), copper (Zhezkazgan, Kounrad), manganese (Atasu) and polymetallic ores (Karagayly), gold (Maykain) and others.
The industry of the Kazakh small hopper is mining, metallurgy (large metallurgical plants in Karaganda, Zhezkazgan, Balkhash and Temirtau). Agriculture of the Kazakh small hills - pastoralism (summer pastures on the virgin areas of the steppe), agriculture (wheat is grown on black soil in the areas of Kokshetau, Atbasar and on the shores of Ishim).


Alexander Petrov.