- Project Runeberg -  Through the Caucasus to the Volga /

(1931) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Gerald C. Wheeler - Tema: Russia
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North of this central ridge ofbasic rocks there broke
out at a relatively late time two mighty volcanic
masses lying on top of the basic rock: one
north-west with the volcano Elbruz or Djin-
Padishah (King of the Spirits, 5,629 metres) as its
highest peak, and one in the south-east with the
volcano Kasbek (5,043 metres). These volcanic
masses make up the highest points in the range,
and more than twenty of them are higher than
Mont-Blanc. They are usually separated from the
main ridge and the watershed by lengthwise
valleys, and consist in great part of trachytes ; but
they have also sent forth great streams of basaltic
lava down the mountain-sides.
The south-east part of the range, from the
stretch by the sources of the Terek, near Kasbek,
as far as the Caspian and Baku, is mostly made up
of sedimentary layers in consecutive series from the
Lias and Jura to the Cretaceous formation and the
beginning of the Tertiary. The northern ridge,
known as the Andi range, in Daghestan, which
runs through Chechnia to the plain west of Petrovsk,
seems to be a continuation in a way of the Meshi
mountains and the Surnam ridge (with the low
watershed between the Rion and Kura valleys),
which runs south-west to north-east, and then, on
the north side of the main range, east-north-east
and east. This adds to the breadth of the mountain
land of Daghestan. The heights of the mountains in
this east and south-east part of the Caucasus are
lower than in the central part, although here, too,
there are peaks over 4,000 metres high.

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