Geography of Ukraine
Desna river Vinn meadow 2016 G2.jpg
The River Desna valley, north of Vinnytsia
Ukraine relief location map.jpg
ContinentEurope
RegionEastern Europe
Coordinates50°27′N 30°30′E / 50.450°N 30.500°E / 50.450; 30.500
AreaRanked 45th
 • Total603,500 km2 (233,000 sq mi)
 • Land96%
 • Water4%
Coastline2,782 km (1,729 mi)
Borders4,558 km2 (1,760 sq mi)
Highest pointHoverla
2,061 metres (6,762 ft)
Lowest pointKuyalnik Estuary
−5 metres (−16 ft)
Longest riverDnieper
981 kilometres (610 mi)
Largest lakeLake Yalpuh
149 km2 (57.53 sq mi)
Exclusive economic zone147,318 km2 (56,880 sq mi)
The Carpathian National Park and Hoverla at 2,061 m (6,762 ft), the highest mountain in Ukraine
The Carpathian National Park and Hoverla at 2,061 m (6,762 ft), the highest mountain in Ukraine
Map of Ukraine with Cities.png

The geography of Ukraine varies greatly from one region of the country to another, with the majority of the country lying within the East European Plain. Ukraine is one of the largest European countries .[a] Its various regions have diverse geographic features ranging from highlands to lowlands, as well as climatic range and a wide variety in hydrography.

Lying between latitudes 44° and 53° N, and longitudes 22° and 41° E, Ukraine covers an area of 603,628 square kilometres (233,062 sq mi), with a coastline of 2,782 kilometres (1,729 mi).[1]

The landscape of Ukraine consists mostly of fertile steppes[2] and plateaus, crossed by rivers such as the Dnieper, Seversky Donets, Dniester and the Southern Bug as they flow south into the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. To the southwest, the delta of the Danube forms the border with Romania. The country's only mountains are the Carpathian Mountains in the west, of which the highest is Hoverla at 2,061 metres (6,762 ft), and the Crimean Mountains, in the extreme south along the coast.[3]

Ukraine also has a number of highland regions such as the Volyn-Podillia Upland (in the west) and the Near-Dnipro Upland (on the right bank of the Dnieper). To the east there are the south-western spurs of the Central Russian Upland, over which runs the border with the Russia. Near the Sea of Azov can be found the Donets Ridge and the Near Azov Upland. The snow melt from the mountains feeds the rivers and their waterfalls.

Significant natural resources in Ukraine include lithium,[4] natural gas,[5] kaolin,[5] timber[6] and an abundance of arable land. Despite this, the country faces a number of major environmental issues such as inadequate supplies of potable water, air and water pollution, deforestation, and radioactive contamination in the north-east from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

Geographic location

See also: Eurasian Steppe

Geography of Ukraine is located in Ukraine
Kyiv
Kyiv
Chernihiv
Chernihiv
Chernivtsi
Chernivtsi
Dnipro
Dnipro
Donetsk
Donetsk
Kharkiv
Kharkiv
Lviv
Lviv
Odesa
Odesa
Sevastopol
Sevastopol
Uzhhorod
Uzhhorod
Mt. Hoverla
Mt. Hoverla
Simferopol
Simferopol
Ivano‑Frankivsk
Ivano‑Frankivsk
Sumy
Sumy
Sviatohirsk
Sviatohirsk
Chernobyl
Chernobyl
Vinnytsia
Vinnytsia
Lutsk
Lutsk
Zaporizhzhia
Zaporizhzhia
Kryvyi Rih
Kryvyi Rih
Map of Ukraine

Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe: lying on the northern shores of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The country borders Poland, Slovakia and Hungary in the west, Belarus in the north, Moldova and Romania in the south-west and Russia in the east.[7]

The total geographic area of Ukraine is 603,550 square kilometers (233,030 sq mi). Ukraine has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 147,318 km2 (56,880 sq mi) in the Black Sea.[7]

The land border of Ukraine totals 6,993 kilometers (4,345 mi).[8] The border lengths with each country are: Belarus 891 kilometers (554 mi), Hungary 103 kilometers (64 mi), Moldova 939 kilometers (583 mi), Poland 428 kilometers (266 mi), Romania 169 kilometers (105 mi) on the south and 362 kilometers (225 mi) on the west, Russia 1,974 kilometers (1,227 mi), and Slovakia 90 kilometers (56 mi). Ukraine is also bordered by 3,783 kilometers (2,351 mi) of coastline. The border with Russia is the country's longest border - it runs in part through the Sea of Azov.[citation needed]

The village of Vel'ké Slemence is an anomaly, as it is split between Slovakia and Ukraine.[9]

Relief

Relief map of Ukraine
Relief map of Ukraine
Simplified depiction of the biomes lying north of the Black Sea. The bright green belt girdling the Black Sea's southern coast, extending westwards, denotes a region of subtropics.
Simplified depiction of the biomes lying north of the Black Sea. The bright green belt girdling the Black Sea's southern coast, extending westwards, denotes a region of subtropics.

Most of its territory lies within the Great European Plain, while parts of western regions and southern regions lay within the Alpine system. In general Ukraine comprises two different biomes: mixed forest towards the middle of the continent, and steppe towards the Black Sea littoral. Major provinces include, Polesian Lowland, Dnieper Lowland, Volhynia-Podolie Plateau, Black Sea-Azov Lowland, Donets-Azov Plateau, Central Russian Upland, Carpathians, and Pannonian Basin.

The western regions feature an alpine-like section of Carpathian Mountains, the Eastern Carpathians that stretches across Poland, Ukraine and Romania. The highest peak is Hoverla, which is 2,061 metres (6,762 ft) tall. Mountains are limited to the west, the southern tip of Ukraine on the Sea of Azov. The western region has the Carpathian Mountains, and some eroded mountains from the Donets Ridge are in the east near the Sea of Azov. The highest elevation in Ukraine is located at the peak of Mount Hoverla which is 2,061 meters (6,762 ft) above sea level.

Most of Ukraine's area is taken up by the steppe-like region just north of the Black Sea. Most of Ukraine consists of fertile plains (or steppes) and plateaus. In terms of land use, 58% of Ukraine is considered arable land; 2% is used for permanent crops, 13% for permanent pastures, 18% is forests and woodland, and 9% is other.

Physiographic division of Ukraine

Most of Ukraine consists of regular plains with the average height above sea level being 175 metres (574 ft). It is surrounded by mountains to its west and extreme south. Wide spaces of the country's plains are located in the south-western part of the East European Plain. The plains have numerous highlands and lowlands caused by the uneven crystallized base of the East European craton. The highlands are characterized by Precambrian basement rocks from the Ukrainian Shield.

Plains are considered elevations of no more than 0–600 m (0–1,969 ft) among which there are recognized lowlands (plains) and uplands (plateaus, ridges, hill ridges).

Great European Plain (subregion East European Plain)

Alpine system

Soil

Kinburn sandbar, Ochakiv Raion, Mykolaiv Oblast

From northwest to southeast the soils of Ukraine may be divided into three major aggregations:[10]

Agricultural works in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast
Agricultural works in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast

As much as two-thirds of the country's surface land consists of black earth, a resource that has made Ukraine one of the most fertile regions in the world and well known as a "breadbasket".[11] These soils may be divided into three broad groups:

Interspersed in various uplands and along the northern and western perimeters of the deep chernozems are mixtures of gray forest soils and podzolized black-earth soils, which together occupy much of Ukraine's remaining area. All these soils are very fertile when sufficient water is available. However, their intensive cultivation, especially on steep slopes, has led to widespread soil erosion and gullying.

The smallest proportion of the soil cover consists of the chestnut soils of the southern and eastern regions. They become increasingly salinized to the south as they approach the Black Sea.[10]

Hydrography

Kalmius river, Donetsk
Kalmius river, Donetsk

See also: Waterfalls of Ukraine and List of longest rivers of Ukraine

The territory of Ukraine is bordered by the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. More than 95% of the rivers are part of those two seas' drainage basins. A few rivers are part of the Baltic Sea basin. There are seven major rivers in Ukraine: Desna, Dnipro, Dnister, Danube, Prypiat, Siverian Donets, and Southern Buh.[12]

Climate

Ukraine map of Köppen climate classification.
Ukraine map of Köppen climate classification.
Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for the seven largest cities in Ukraine[13]
Location July (°C) July (°F) January (°C) January (°F)
Kyiv 25/16 78/61 -2/-9 30/21
Kharkiv 26/16 79/61 -2/-7 28/19
Dnipro 28/18 83/65 0/−5 32/21
Odesa 27/18 80/65 2/−2 36/27
Donetsk 27/16 81/61 –1/–6 29/20
Zaporizhzhia 28/16 83/61 –0/−5 31/21
Lviv 24/13 75/56 -1/-8 32/21

Ukraine has a mostly temperate climate, with the exception of the southern coast of Crimea which has a subtropical climate.[14] The climate is influenced by moderately warm, humid air coming from the Atlantic Ocean.[15] Average annual temperatures range from 5.5–7 °C (41.9–44.6 °F) in the north, to 11–13 °C (51.8–55.4 °F) in the south.[15] Precipitation is disproportionately distributed; it is highest in the west and north and lowest in the east and southeast.[15] Western Ukraine, particularly in the Carpathian Mountains receive around 1,200 millimetres (47.2 in) of precipitation annually, while Crimea and the coastal areas of the Black Sea receive around 400 millimetres (15.7 in).[15]

Water availability from the major river basins is expected to decrease, especially in summer. This poses risks to the agricultural sector.[16] The negative impacts of climate change on agriculture are mostly felt in the south of the country, which has a steppe climate. In the north, some crops may be able to benefit from a longer growing season.[17] The World Bank has stated that Ukraine is highly vulnerable to climate change.[18]

Natural resources

Significant natural resources in Ukraine include: iron ore, manganese, natural gas,[19] titanium, kaolin, uranium, and arable land.[20][21]

Environmental issues

Ukraine has many environmental issues.[22][23] Some regions lack adequate supplies of potable water.[24] Air and water pollution affects the country, as well as deforestation, and radiation contamination in the northeast stemming from the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.[25]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Ukraine". CIA World Factbook. 13 December 2007. Retrieved 24 December 2007.
  2. ^ "Ukraine country profile". BBC News. 2022-03-01. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  3. ^ "Geographical location of Ukraine". www.ukrexport.gov.ua. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  4. ^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (2022-03-02). "Before Invasion, Ukraine's Lithium Wealth Was Drawing Global Attention". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  5. ^ a b "Mining – UkraineInvest". Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  6. ^ Nature, Preferred by. "Ukraine Timber Risk Profile". NEPCon - Preferred by Nature. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  7. ^ a b "Ukraine". The World Factbook. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 1 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". www.pvu.gov.ua. Archived from the original on 6 December 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Lyman, Rick (2015-08-10). "A Ukrainian Border Town Once Fenced by Soviets Blossoms Into a Shopper's Paradise". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  10. ^ a b "Ukraine". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  11. ^ Magocsi, Paul R. A history of Ukraine: The land and its peoples. University of Toronto Press, 2010.
  12. ^ "Seas, Rivers and Lakes of Ukraine".
  13. ^ "Ukraine climate information". Weatherbase. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  14. ^ "Ukraine". Country Pasture/Forage Resource Profiles. Food and Agriculture Organization. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  15. ^ a b c d "Ukraine – Climate". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  16. ^ Didovets, Iulii; Krysanova, Valentina; Hattermann, Fred Fokko; del Rocío Rivas López, María; Snizhko, Sergiy; Müller Schmied, Hannes (2020-12-01). "Climate change impact on water availability of main river basins in Ukraine". Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies. 32: 100761. doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2020.100761. ISSN 2214-5818.
  17. ^ Skrypnyk, Andriy; Zhemoyda, Oleksandr; Klymenko, Nataliia; Galaieva, Liudmyla; Koval, Tatiana (2021-03-01). "Econometric Analysis of the Impact of Climate Change on the Sustainability of Agricultural Production in Ukraine". Journal of Ecological Engineering. 22 (3): 275–288. doi:10.12911/22998993/132945. ISSN 2299-8993.
  18. ^ "World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal". climateknowledgeportal.worldbank.org.
  19. ^ "The Forgotten Potential of Ukraine's Energy Reserves". Harvard International Review. 2020-10-10. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  20. ^ "Mining – UkraineInvest". Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  21. ^ "How Ukraine war will impact its farming – agronomist's view". Farmers Weekly. 2022-02-28. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  22. ^ "Ukraine invasion: rapid overview of environmental issues". CEOBS. 2022-02-25. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  23. ^ "Ukraine Country Environmental Analysis". World Bank. January 2016.
  24. ^ "Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)". www.unicef.org. Retrieved 2022-03-03.
  25. ^ "Environmental issues in Ukraine". Naturvernforbundet. 16 July 2017.

Notes

  1. ^ Several countries with territory in Europe have a larger total area, but all of those also include territory outside of Europe. Only Russia's European territory is larger than Ukraine.