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Geography of Georgia
Geographic location:
Southwestern Asia (Caucasus)
Longitude: 40 o - 47 o E
Latitude: 41 o - 44 o N
Land bordaries: 1970 km (1224 miles)
Land border: 1655 km (1028 miles)
Georgian section of the Black Sea coast line: 315 km (195 miles)
Armenia: 164 km
Azerbaijan: 322 km
Russia: 723 km
Turkey: 252 km
Area: 69.700 km 2 (26,911 sq miles)
water: 0 sq km
land: 69,700 sq km
Land use:
arable land: 11.21%
permanent crops: 4.09%
other: 84.71% (1998 est.)
Irrigated land: 4,700 sq km (1998 est.)
Elevation extremes:
Highest: Mt. Shkhara-5068.m
Lowest: Black Sea 0 m

Georgia is a mountainous country. The Northern geographical boundaries run along the Great Caucasian Range, which includes the Main Caucasian Range, and its other chains stretch to the South. The Southern boundary coincides with the mountainous system of the Minor Caucasus, including the Meskheti - Trialeti volcanic plateau. Between the Great and Minor Caucasus plains are located. The Western part of the country is washed by the Black Sea.

Highest mountains:
Shkhara - 5068 m (16,627 ft)
Janga - 5059 m (16,597 ft)
Mkinvartsveri (Kazbek) - 5047 m (16,558 ft)
Shota Rustaveli - 4860 m (15,944 ft)
Tetnuldi - 4858 m (15,938 ft)
Ushba - 4700 m (15,419 ft)
Ailama - 4547 m (14,917 ft)

Longest rivers:
Mtkvari (Kura in Russian) - 1364 km (847.5 miles)
Chorokhi - 438 km (272.1 miles)
Alazani - 351 km (218.1 miles)
Rioni - 327 km (203.1 miles)
Tori - 320 km (198.8 miles)
Enguri - 213 km (132.3 miles)

Largest lakes:
Paravani - 37.5 (14.4 sq ml)
Kartsakhi - 26.3 (10.1 sq ml)
Paliastomi - 18.2 (7.0 sq ml)
Tabatskuri - 14.2 (5.4 sq ml)
Khanchali -13.3 (5.1 sq ml)
Jandari - 10.6 (4.0 sq ml)

Georgia is located in wrinkled Alpine zone, in Subtropical zones of northern periphery.

The geological constitution is characterized by the precipitation is basically of Mesozoic and Cainozoic era. According to the wrinkles it's divided by several Geotectonical units: from North to the South by Caucasian main ring's Antiklinorium, main Caucasian range, wrinkles system, Georgian Belt, Achara-Trialeti system, Artvin-Bolnisi Belt and Loc-Karabag's wrinkled zone.

Georgia differs by it's contrast relief. It is represented by high, middle and low mountain highland plane unity. The Caucasus are reflected sharply, inter mountain lowland.

The territory of the Georgia features a highly contrasting topography. The north of the country is occupied by the Greater Caucasus chain (highest point - Mt. Shkhara, 5068 m), which includes the Great Caucasian Range (the main watershed) and Gagra, Bzipi, Kodori, Svaneti, Egrisi, Racha, Lomisi, Kartli and other ranges. The inter mountain depression to the south of the Greater Caucasus encompasses the Kolkheti lowland, Inner Kartli, Lower Kartli and the Alazani Plain. Still further to the south the Minor Caucasian ranges rise to the medium height (Meskheti, Shavsheti and other ranges), reaching 2850 m. The southernmost area of the country is covered by the volcanic South Georgian Upland (Mt. Didi Abuli, 3301 m, its highest peak), dissected by specific canyon-like river gorges.

The Greater Caucasus and the South Georgian Upland join with the Likhi Range, which at the same time divides Georgia into two contrasting climatic zones: Western and Eastern Georgia.

The rivers of Georgia belong to the basins of the Black and Caspian Basin flows the Mtkvari river with its numerous tributaries (left) the Didi Liakhvi, the Aragvi, the Iori, the Alazani, (right) the Paravani, the Algeti, and Khrami. The Black Sea Basin rivers include the Rioni, the Enguri, the Acharistskali, the Bzipi and others. There are not many lakes in Georgia, the largest being Lake Paravani (37 sq. km), and Lake Paliastomi (17,3 sq. km), and the deepest Lake Ritsa (116 m) and Lake Amtkeli (72-122 m) (both are impounded lakes).

The glaciers are only on Caucuses (688) and occupy 508 sq. km (country area's 0.7%). Regular snow line hesitates on 2800-3600 meter
Georgia is rich with underground waters, there are mineral and thermal waters (Borjomi, Utsera, Dzau, Nabeglavi, Sairme, Zvare, Nunisi etc.).
Soils: Spatial distribution of soils in Georgia is characterized by vertical variability.

On the Georgian territory there are almost all types of soil:
Red soil of the humid subtopic zone of the west Georgia.
Black soil of the east Georgian valleys and desert-valleys
Brown soils of the east Georgian transient forest-valley
Mountain-forest soils
Mountain black soils
Mountain-meadow soils
Alluvial soils
Moor soils
Salted soils

Kolkheti lowland is dominated by swamp soils with an area totaling to 200 600 ha (3.0% of the countries territory).

In Atchara and Guria foothills at an elevation of 300-400 m from the sea level red earth with an area of 130 400 ha. (1.9%). is the predominant type of soil.

In Imereti and Apkhazeti yellow earth soils are spread at 300-400 m (above the sea level), 225 800 ha (3.2%). In the southern part of Samegrelo the old sea terraces are dominated by subtropical soils, 317 600 ha (4.5%).

In western Georgia, at an elevation of 400-1000m non calcareous parent rocks are covered by yellow and brown forest soils, 106 000 ha (1.5%).
In Western and Eastern Georgia soil variability is observed only under 1000m. At high elevations soil types are homogeneous. At the same time, the southern parts of the country is characterized by vertical variability.In Western and Eastern Georgia at an elevation of 1000-2000m (above the sea level) soils are of brown forest type, 1 172 200 ha (16.9%).

On the whole territory of the country 1800-2000m (above the sea level) elevations are covered by mountain-forest-meadow soils, 492 000 ha (7.2%); 2000-3700m (above the sea level) -- mountain-meadow soils, 1 477 200 ha (22.1%). Calcareous parent rocks above the 700m (above the sea level) humus carbonate soils are dominant, 317 200 ha (4.5%).
In the East of the country (Gardabani and Marneuli districts), 350-500m (above the sea level), grey-cinnamon and meadow-grey-cinnamon soils cover the surface, 511 400 ha (7.3%).

The south-eastern parts of the country is dominated by black soils, 266 800 ha (3.7%).

In the Eastern Georgia and mainly on Alazani lowland dominate salt soils, 112 600 ha (1.6%).

Middle belts of the Southern Georgia mountains are covered by black earth soils, 157 600 (2.2%)

  About Georgia