Geographie

 

The Republic Of Uzbekistan, the "land of Uzbeks" forms the center of ex-Soviet Central Asia and holds very favorable economic and strategic location. It borders each of the newly independent Central Asian republics - Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east and southeast, Turkmenistan to the southwest, as well as Afghanistan to the south. The total length of the State borders is 6,221 kilometers. The length of the territory from the west to the east is 1425 kilometers; from the north to the south is 930 kilometers.

The territory of Uzbekistan is 447,400 square kilometers, roughly the size of Sweden. The Republic of Uzbekistan lies between two major rivers of Central Asia, the Syrdarya, 2,137 kilometers, on the north and the Amudarya, 1,437 kilometers, on the south. Amudarya trace a northwesterly path parallel to the Syrdarya, separating Kyzyl Kum (Red Sands) desert of Uzbekistan from the Kara Kum (Black Sands) of Turkmenistan, and in ancient times dividing the Persian and Turkic worlds. The location of country between two major rivers has always ensured commercial and cultural prominence. The rivers complete their journeys at the Aral Sea.

During the Soviet times irrigation network stretching 150,000 kilometers were built in Uzbekistan to support a plantation economy supplying 70 per cent of the Soviet Union"s cotton. The sheer size of the irrigation system has resulted in much of the water from the major rivers being diverted. Deprived of its sustenance, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking halving in size since 1960.

The territory of Uzbekistan has a combination of plain and mountain relief. The plains of south-west and north-west account for two thirds of Uzbekistan with the eastern and southeastern part of the country rising into the foothills and mountains of the Tien Shan and Gyssaro-Alay ranges. The highest peak is 4,643 meters above sea level. The Ferghana Valley in the northeast of Uzbekistan is the largest intermountain depression. Mountains surround the valley from three sides; it is open only on the west.

High seismicity, reaching above 8 points on the Richter scale, is one of the features of the natural conditions.

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