- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /
34

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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THROUGH THE CAUCASUS TO THE VOLGA
34
high impassable valleys of the Caucasus, where
every man carries arms, find it hard to give up
their old ways altogether. But wc were told that the
road would now be quite safe.
The Caucasus Range
The Caucasus range stretches as a sharply marked
off, relatively narrow, but high unbroken ridge
right across the land between the Caspian and the
Black Sea, from Baku in the south-east to the
mouth of the Sea of Azov in the north-west. With a
length of i,ioo and a breadth of 70-170 kilometres,
it covers an area of over 120,000 square kilometres.
For a length of 700 kilometres the mountains are
over 3,000 metres high ; and with its narrow, high,
and dangerous passes, 2,300 to over 3,000metres high,
this mcuntain wall has played a great part in history
through shutting off the wanderings of peoples
from both south and north, so that in most cases
they had to seek a way either east of the Caspian
or over the straits to the west of the Black Sea.
The Caucasus has the shape of a mighty vault or
fold in the earth’s crust, with some lesser folds
along the north side. The main fold is thrust up
highest in the central part between the sources of
the Kuban and the Terek, and is canted over
towards the south, with dizzy precipices on this
steep southern slope. In this central part the ridge
is made up of crystalline, granitic rocks ; they may
belong to the basic rock itself, which in other parts
of the chain is covered by heavy sedimentary layers.

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