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physical features of UzbekistanEncyclopædia derekwadsworth.com, Inc.


Nearly four-fifths the Uzbekistan’s territory, the sun-dried western area, has the illustration of a wasteland. In the northwest the Turan level rises 200 come 300 feet (60 to 90 metres) over sea level about the Aral Sea in Karakalpakstan (Qoraqalpog’iston). This terrain merges on the southern with the Kyzylkum (Uzbek: Qizilqum) Desert and farther west becomes the Ustyurt Plateau, a region of low ridges, salt marshes, sinkholes, and also caverns.


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Southeast that the Aral Sea, little hills break the flatness of the low-lying Kyzylkum Desert, and, lot farther east, a series of mountain ridges partition Uzbekistan’s territory. The western Tien Shan has the Karzhantau, Ugam, and also Pskem ranges, the latter featuring the 14,104-foot (4,299-metre) Beshtor Peak, the country’s highest possible point. Also part of the west Tien Shan room the Chatkal and Kurama ranges. The Gissar (Hissar) and Alay arrays stand across the Fergana (Farghona) Valley, i beg your pardon lies south of the western Tien Shan. The Mirzachol desert, southwest the Tashkent, lies in between the Tien Shan spur to the north and also the Turkestan, Malguzar, and Nuratau varieties to the south. In south-central Uzbekistan the Zeravshan valley opens up westward; the cities of Samarkand (Samarqand) and also Bukhara (Bukhoro) elegant this ancient cultural centre.


Disastrous depletion the the circulation of the two historical rivers—the Syr Darya and also Amu Darya—has brought rapid change in the Aral Sea and also greatly changed the delta of the Amu Darya. Many streams that the delta have dried up, and also the Aral Sea, when the 4th largest inland body of water in the world, has lost as lot as nine-tenths the both the water (volume) and also its surface ar area due to the fact that 1961. On the north and on the east, huge shallow and dead ponds have come to be separated native the main remnant Aral Sea, cut off by sandbars that emerged as the water level dropped some 45 feet between 1961 and 1992. After 2010 the eastern lobe began alternative between wet periods and also dry periods throughout which it would certainly dry up completely. Overuse of water native the Syr Darya and Amu Darya in both farming and sector brought around this danger decline. The Syr Darya end to deliver any kind of appreciable amount of water to the Aral Sea by about 1978, and also flows indigenous the Amu Darya came to be negligible in the first decade the the 21st century. The southerly rivers tributary to the Amu Darya—the Surkhan and also Sherabad, followed by the Zeravshan and also Kashka—contribute little flow, because that the last two trickle right into nothing in the desert. The Syr Darya, the 2nd largest river in Uzbekistan, creates there by the confluence the the Naryn and also Qoradaryo rivers.


Aral Sea
Shrinkage of the Aral Sea, 1960–2009.
Adapted from Philip Micklin, western Michigan University

The diversion the the Amu Darya and also the Syr Darya has resulted in intense salinization that the sea, which likewise has experienced tremendous air pollution from insecticides and also chemical fertilizers throughout the previous several decades. This chemistry pollution and also the decrease in water level have actually killed the once-flourishing fishing industry, grounded most ships that formerly worked within the Aral’s shores, and also contaminated large areas about the sea v salty lethal dust. This in turn has actually poisoned vegetables and also drinking water, most harmfully affect the health and livelihood that the human population around the Aral Sea littoral.


Marked aridity and much sunshine characterize the region, with rainfall averaging only 8 inch (200 mm) annually. Most rain drops in winter and spring, with greater levels in the mountains and also minimal quantities over deserts. The mean July temperature is 90 °F (32 °C), yet daytime air temperature in Tashkent and elsewhere commonly surpass 104 °F (40 °C). Bukhara’s high summer heat contrasts through the cooler temperature in the mountains. In order come accommodate to these patterns, Uzbeks favour dwellings with windows encountering away from the sun but open to porches and also tree-filled courtyards shut turn off from the streets.

Although much more than 600 streams crisscross Uzbekistan, the climate strong affects drainage, because river water rapidly escapes with evaporation and filtration or runs off into irrigation systems.

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Plant and also animal life

Vegetation fads in Uzbekistan vary mostly according to altitude. The lowlands in the west have actually a thin organic cover that desert sedge and also grass. The high foothills in the eastern support grass, and also forests and also brushwood appear on the hills. Forests cover much less than 8 percent of Uzbekistan’s area. Animal life in the deserts and also plains contains rodents, foxes, wolves, and occasional gazelles and also antelopes. Boars, roe deer, bears, wolves, Siberian goats, and also some lynx live in the high mountains.