Kola Peninsula


Kola Peninsula

The Kola Peninsula (from Sami language "Guoládat") ( _ru. Кольский полуостров, "Kol'skij poluostrov") is a peninsula in the far north of Russia, part of the Murmansk Oblast. It borders upon the Barents Sea on the North and the White Sea on the East and South. The west border of the Kola Peninsula stretches along a meridian from the Kola Gulf through the Imandra Lake, Kola Lake, and the Niva River to the Kandalaksha Gulf.

The peninsula covers an area of about convert|100000|km2|sqmi|0. The north coast is steep and high, the southern is flat. In the west part of the peninsula there are two mountain ranges: the Khibiny Mountains, and the Lovozero Tundra, the latter with points up to convert|1120|m|ft|0 in height. In the central part of the peninsula lies the Keyvy watershed.

Because the last ice age removed the top sediment layer of the soil, the Kola Peninsula is on the surface extremely rich in various ores and minerals, including apatites, alumina sources, iron ore, mica, ceramic raw, titanium ore, phlogopite, and vermiculite, as well as ores of less-common and colored metals. MMC Norilsk Nickel conducts mining operations on the peninsula. The Kola Superdeep Borehole which is the deepest borehole in the world, is located here also, near the Norwegian border.

Despite its northern location, the Kola Peninsula has a relatively mild climate, because of the influence of warm Atlantic currents. The average temperature in January is about convert|-10|°C|°F|0|lk=on and about convert|10|°C|°F|0 in July. The peninsula is covered by taiga in the south and tundra in the north.

The Kola Peninsula has many fast-moving rivers with rapids. The most important of them are the Ponoy River, Varzuga River, Teriberka River, Voronya River, and the Iokanga River. The major lakes are: Imandra Lake, Umbozero Lake, Lovozero Lake. The rivers of the peninsula are an important habitat for the Atlantic Salmon "Salmo salar", which return from Greenland and the Faroe Islands to spawn in fresh water. As a result of this a recreational fishery has been developed, with a number of remote lodges and camps hosting sport-fishermen throughout the summer months. Kola rivers become icebound during the winter.

Apart from the Russian Pomors, the peninsula is also home to the Sami (Lappish) peoples, who were forced to settle in the town of Lovozero during the Communist years, and who now herd reindeer across much of the region.

After the decline of Kola, an ancient settlement which gives its name to the peninsula, the major port of the region has been Murmansk, which is also the capital. During the Soviet period, Murmansk was a significant submarine production center, and remains home to the Russian Northern Fleet. [ [http://www.nti.org/db/nisprofs/maps/murmansk.htm Northern Fleet: Naval Facilities near Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast.] "Nuclear Threat Initiative".]

The Kola Peninsula as a whole suffered major ecological damage, mostly as a result of pollution from the military (particularly naval) production, as well as from industrial mining of apatite. About 250 nuclear reactors, produced by the Soviet military, remain on the peninsula. Though no longer in use, they still generate radiation and leak radioactive waste. [ [http://www.inesap.org/bulletin15/bul15art09.htm Environmental Problems in North-West Russia.] Alexey V. Yablokov. "International Network of Engineers and Scientists Against Proliferation".]

Notes

ee also

*Kola Norwegians
*Bjarmaland

References

* [http://www.nationalgeographic.com/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/pa/pa1106.html Terrestrial Ecoregions Kola Peninsula Tundra] __NOTOC__


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kola Peninsula — [kō′lə] peninsula in NW Russia, between the White & Barents seas: c. 40,000 sq mi (103,600 sq km) * * * Promontory, northern Russia. It separates the White and Barents seas; it occupies 40,000 sq mi (100,000 sq km) and extends across the Arctic… …   Universalium

  • Kola Peninsula — [kō′lə] peninsula in NW Russia, between the White & Barents seas: c. 40,000 sq mi (103,600 sq km) …   English World dictionary

  • Kola, península de — Situada en el norte de Rusia, separa el mar Blanco del mar de Barents y tiene 100. 000 km2 (40.000 mi2). El círculo polar ártico cruza la parte meridional de la península. Está compuesta de roca de más de 570 millones de años de antigüedad. El… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kola Peninsula — noun a peninsula in northwestern Russia projecting eastward between the Barents Sea and the White Sea • Instance Hypernyms: ↑peninsula • Part Holonyms: ↑Russia, ↑Russian Federation …   Useful english dictionary

  • Kola Peninsula — geographical name peninsula 250 miles (402 kilometers) long & 150 miles (241 kilometers) wide NW Russia in Europe between Barents & White seas …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Kola Peninsula — noun A peninsula in the far north of Russia, part of the Murmansk Oblast. It borders upon the Barents Sea on the North and the White Sea on the East and South …   Wiktionary

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