Ukraine has a great variety of soils. During recent large-scale soil map-making, there were found some 650 types of soil while the total number of soil varieties comes to several thousand. Ukrainian soil science has determined and studied the characteristics of 1,217 soil varieties. And the territory of Ukraine is relatively small and does not have sharp natural contrasts.
Ukraine`s soils have been thoroughly studied. In addition to that, the specific territorially differentiated and scientifically-grounded methods to improve soil fertility have been developed. A network of research and development laboratories is in place. They systematically study the soils of agricultural enterprises, administrative districts and regions of the country. The availability of skilled personnel and the appropriate material and technical base to carry out laboratory investigations had a positive effect upon the general standard and the profundity of study of the country`s soil characteristics. What`s more, some specialists participate in the field study of soils in neighboring countries on the basis of contractual relationships.
In 1957-1961, Ukraine was the first republic of the former USSR to accomplish the ubiquitous map-making of the soil cover of all arable lands of collective farms, state farms and other agricultural enterprises. During the next five-year period, such map-making was accomplished within the boundaries of all forestries. For example, one of Ukraine`s major research labs which was established at the Lviv University in1961, every year execute contracts for soil study. The lab`s staff is 95 people, including 42 field specialists and 53 specialists supporting lab soil investigations. This lab studied most of Ukraine`s soils, as well as soils in the regions of central Russia, the Ural area, Western Siberia and Northern Kazakhstan. One more major soil laboratory operates out of the Odesa University.
The fact that Ukraine has a number of specialized research and development units to comprehensively study the country`s soil cover will be of advantage in the future because all changes in the land management system which are expected due to the economic reform and land privatization, will need to be duly considered. The need for soil study will increase everywhere. This will concern above all the development of recommendations as to the improvement of the fertility of soils through their comprehensive study at the level of specific land users and owners.
Soil cover is known to form due to a number of soil-forming factors. They include above all parent rock, its chemical content and grain-size distribution, man`s activity, the influence of animals and microorganisms, as well as climate, terrain, the absolute height of a given locality, vegetation, etc. Certain types of soils get formed depending on the interaction of all these factors. All soils in Ukraine have a distinctly zonal character (both horizontal and vertical).
Among the great variety of Ukrainian soils, there are seven major types. Each of them in turn consists of a number of subtypes. The major types of Ukraine`s soils are as follows: turf-podzolic and turfy; brown forest and brown-podzolic; gray-forest; black-earth and chestnut-colored; brown and marshy; malty.
Similar types and subtypes of soils can occur within several zones. Each type and subtype has its specific features of formation, natural potential of fertility, area of extension and requires differentiated agro-industrial methods of fertility improvement.
Turf-podzolic and turfy soils occur mostly in the northernmost part (Polissya area) of Ukraine. These soils are formed in conditions of excessive humidity and on a noncalcareous basis. They have the high acidity of soil solution. In Ukraine, soils of medium and low degree of podzol are widespread. Turf-pinery soils occur in areas with a high moisture content and grown with pine forests, as well as on sandy terraces of creeks. Typical of these soils (in the absence of certain agrotechnical measures) is a low content of humus, adverse physical properties, low crop capacity. In the Polissya area (specifically in its western part), where there is the egress of chalky rock, one the most furtile soils occur:turf-carbonate.
Brown-forest and brown-podzolic soils occur in the forest areas of the vertical zones of the Carpathians and the Crimea, in the Carpathian foothills and the Transcarpathia, as well as (rather seldom) in the Opillya area. They are formed in conditions of sufficient humidity, a relatively long warm period, predominantly with the participation of microorganisms under deciduous and coniferous woods. Podzol-brown and brown-podzolic soils are widespread in the area of the Carpathian low hills and foothills. Intrinsic in them is high acidity, as well as a high exchange aluminum content.
Gray forest soils are to be found in the forest-steppe zone and the southern parts of the Polissya area. Depending on the degree of manifestation of the forest or steppe process of soil formation, they are classifies as clear-gray, gray and dark-gray subtypes and are characterized by a low humus content and high acidity.
Widespread in Ukraine are black-earth and brown soils, the former ones being most furtile.and occupy the largest area in Ukraine ( nearly 60 % of all farmlands). Their wide strip stretches from east to west( in the forest-steppe and steppe zones). They have a high humus content (4-9 %), moderately moist. The layer thickness is 1-1.5 meters. The formation of the different types of black earth is dependent on the latitudal geographic zoning.
Brown and red-brown soils occur in the south and the subtropical areas (on the southern side of the main range of the Crimean mountains). The humus content is 3-3.5 %. These soils are formed in conditions of insufficient moistening (in the warm seasons).
Meadow and marshy soils do not in full measure come within the zonal distribution principle, although the best climatic conditions for their formation and functioning are exactly in areas with sufficient moister content: the western and northern parts of Ukraine. Salinity is typical of meadow and marshy soils in steppe areas. Meadow soils are formed in conditions of high moistening, and marshy soils in conditions of very high, excessive moistening. The most frequent among marshy soils are: marshy-mineral, uliginous-clay and humus-clay subtypes, as well as subtypes with layers of peat of different thickness (turf-clay, peat-clay and peatbogs). Peat layer thickness may vary (10-500 сm and more). To rationally use all meadow and marshy soils requires drainage and moistening melioration activities. However, the large scale melioration operations, mostly of a drainage nature, that were intensively carried out in Ukraine, specifically in the Polissya area, did not always produce the desired effect. The reason bei
ng that the creation of the melioration network considerably outstripped the construction of water accumulation systems. This resulted in excessive drainage of lands, and large areas were flooded during heavy rains.
Rational agricultural development of alkali and malty soils and salt marshes requires special attention in Ukraine. This accounts for the fact that the area of these soils, particularly salinized ones, has recently gradually increased. And this leads to reduction of productive lands. Responsible for the growth of alkali soils are mostly new areas where, due to improper irrigation policies and activities, subterranean water rises excessively saturating highly productive farmlands. This process is particularly active near the large Dnieper reservoirs in southern and central Ukraine, as well as on irrigated lands. Large areas of land with a high salt content are located in those parts..
The mechanism of formation of alkali soils is reasonably investigated: subsoil waters that rise through the soil-forming salty rock, evaporate on the surface where a salt layer settles. Alkali soils are widespread in southern Ukraine. Generally, though, the areas taken up by them are not large.
Saline lands occupy a smaller area in Ukriane. They have a much lower salt content than alkali soils.
The most effective desalinization method for such soils is melioration plowing at a depth of 60 сm which helps bring potassium carbonate and gypsum to the surface. In this manner, sodium in these soils is displaced and replaced by calcium. This mechanical destruction of a solid alkali level and chemical self-melioration (replacement of sodium by calcium) result in dramatic improvement of crop capacity. In well-washed saline soils, the reaction of soil solution becomes neutral and even acid. There are no low-dissolving salts in these soils due to which their potential crop capacity improves.
The mixed forest zone located in north Ukraine, coincides with the polissya area. Prevalant here are turf- and week- and medium podzolioc soils. They account for almost 60% of the entire zone. These soils do not abound with nutritious substances. The degree of their plowing up is rather high. Ranking second (20 % of the area) are turf and meadow soils which are normally situated in low places and are used mostly as hayfields ad pastures. Nearly 10 % of the Polissya area are taken up by peatbogs and peat marshy soils. They are characterized by a high moisture content and the acidity of soil solution.
The forest-steppe zone of Ukraine has a rather varied soil cover. Prevailing here are gray and dark-gray subpodzolic soils, as well as typical subpodzolic and, less often, regraded black-earth soils; saline soils occur in some places. The most fertile black-earth soils are in the Volyn-Poldillya and Dnieper hills, as well as in the Dnieper left bank area.
Most of southern Ukraine has regular black earth (over 20 % of the entire steppe zone). The thickness of the humus layer of these soils is not very high. Various types of southern black-earth soils occur in the southern part of the zone. The area that directly adjoins the Black Sea and the sea of Azov ahs mostly dark-brown soils. Practically all soils in the southern part of the steppe zone are saline and often salinized. Patches of alkali soils occur in the steppe.
In the Carpathian zone (the foothills, the Precarpathia and the Ukrainian Carpathians proper) abound mostly in brown forest and turf soils. There is a distinct zoning of soil cover in the mountain areas.
Black earth and gray forest-steppe soils, as well as brown-earth soils occur in the mountain area of the Crimea. The southern steep slopes overhanging the Black Sea are covered with brown and brown-red soils.
Generally, Ukraine`s soils are characterized by high natural fertility. Prevelant are varieties of black-earth soils the most fertile of them being typical black-earth, regular black-earth and southern black-earth soils (they account for 18.1%, 27.7% та 8.9% of the total area of the country`s farmland). Some 10% of farmland is occupied by subpodzolic and regarded black earth; sоme 6%, by black earth and turf soils on solid rock, black earth on loamy-sand and sand rock, and meadow-black earth soils. Large areas are taken up by turf-subpodzol (nearly7%), subpodzolic (5%) and gray-forest (6.7%) soils which are characterized by relatively high natural fertility. Brown (some 9%), meadow (2%), turf (1,3%) and other soils also occur.
Given scientifically-based farming, Ukraine`s soil cover makes for efficient agricultural development, high agricultural output and excellent stable harvests.
In recent years, due to farming intensification mostly on the basis of not very well-founded methods of water and chemical melioration, the balance of humus has noticeably dropped, specifically in black earth, the concentration of harmful substances rose, the salinity and acidity of soils increased, their water and air conditions worsened. Because of the violation of reproduction processes, the famous Ukrainian black earth now have an increasingly smaller thickness of soil layer, a sharp drop in humus content and degradation of its physical and chemical properties. This situation will persist unless appropriate measures are taken to control it. This is also true of other types of soil in Ukraine.
The heavy pollution of soils, soil and surface waters has had a negative impact on the environmental situation on Ukraine`s arable lands. Forest-steppe soils (areas of intensive sugar-beet and grain growing) have accumulated considerable leftovers of trichloroacetic acid. The wide use of pesticides makes for their accumulation in soil, particularly where intensive farming methods are applied. For example, winter wheat growing in the western forest-steppe area results in a high content of such pesticides as volaton and fudazol in the soil.
The long use of large quantity of fertilizer has resulted in the considerable accumulation in soils of highly toxic substances, like fluorine (leftover of phosphorous fertilizer) and chlorine (leftover of potash fertilizer). Arsenic, lead, strontium and other elements which are parts of fertilizer, are even more harmful.
The most widespread and harmful is the pollution of soils and soil waters by nitrates. As a result, the output of vegetable produce containing nitrate concentration exceeding the permissible standard, is growing. According to analytic data, the nitrate content in vegetables grown in Ukraine, has recently increased 1.7 to 8.3 times.
Considering the progressing degradation of Ukraine`s soil cover (the sharp increase of the area of eroded land, humus loss in plow-land, the disastrous growth of pesticide concentration, leftovers of fertilizer and heavy metals, etc.), there is a needs for to intrioduce an outline-melioration area management system, application of waste-free methods and treatment of harmful industrial emissions. Introduction of alternative (biological) farming (application of only natural fertilizer, biological protection of plants from diseases and pests, land treatment methods of weed control, etc.) should become the main vehicle of improving the ecology of soil and increasing its crop capacity.
Ukraine has a large supply of many valuable mineral and raw material resources. Their distribution is directly connected with the specific ways of the geological formation of the country`s territory. The bowels of the country are sufficiently explored which makes it possible to make conclusions, with a high degree of probability, about the specific features of distribution of mineral and raw material resources, the depth and conditions of their occurrence, quantity, chemical composition, mechanical characteristics, the most likely areas of prospecting and exploration.
In terms of valuable mineral resources, Ukraine occupied an important place in the former USSR. Ukraine accounted for some 70 % of the USSR`s manganese ore, 60 % of primary kaolins, 31 % of iron ore, 25 % of coking coal and fire clay, 15 % of coal and secondary kaolins. Also, Ukraine has a large supply of native sulfur, table and potash salt, cement raw material and other minerals. As to the quality and quantity of the said resources, Ukraine stands out not only among the European countries, but countries of the world, and can export many of those resources.
Besides, the capacities for effective prospecting and exploration have not been exhausted in Ukraine. The 1 : 20 000 scale mapping which would meet modern standards, only accounts for 38 % of the country`s territory and the 1 : 50 000 mapping , for 25 % . Deep structure has been studied on a mere 10 % of the territory. Practically all regions of Ukraine have fair prospects for prospecting and exploring new mineral deposits. The most promising in this regard are the northwestern, central and southeastern parts of Ukraine i.e. areas where the Ukrainian crystalline shield ingresses or lies close to the surface. Of great economic importance here can be deposits of many metals, above all nonferrous, including gold.
The shelves of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov are as promising in terms of geological prospecting. Large and commercially accessible mineral and raw material resources are concentrated in those areas. According to expert estimates, the efficiency of production of many of them at present can be already very high. Discovered here are 11 natural gas fields, some 50 promising oil fields, iron ore deposits, placers of heavy metals, etc. The Sea of Azov is most promising in terms of oil prospecting. Ground clay deposits saturated with gas hydrate (1m3 of gas hydrate yields some 200 m 3 of combustible gas), will be of great importance. Pearl production in the coastal area of the Crimea (small pearls are found in some mussel shells here, and there is an estimated 100 thou. tonnes of mussels) gives promise too.
Considerable fuel and energy reserves have been discovered in this country. Topping the list are coal and brown coal whose total reserves are estimated at 75 bn tonnes. Major coal reserves are in the Donets basin (Donbas) (98 %) and the Lviv-Volyn basin (2 %).
Donbas coal is especially valuable: over a third of this basin has coking coal and other high grades of coal. In the Lviv-Volyn basin, coking coal also accounts for nearly a third of all coal reserves while high grade coal constitutes about 20%.
The depth of coal beds in the Donbas is 1,200 meters with the average depth being 500-750 m. The thickness of seams under development is 0.5 to 2 m. There are several dozen workable seams. The coal has a high ash content, as well as sulfur, which an a certain measure affects its consumer quality. The basin`s southeastern and eastern parts have mostly anthracites; the western and northwestern parts have cocking coal. The latter is valuable from the export perspective.
Due to geological prospecting, the Donbas coal areas have been considerably enlarged, particularly northwestward and westward. Coking coal have been prospected and its output begun in the so called Western Donbas ( Pavlograd and Novomoskovsk in the Dnipropetrovsk region) where modern mines were set up (reserves here are an estimated 9 bn tonnes).
In the Lviv-Volyn basin, coal is bedded at a depth of 300-700 m, almost horizontally with a slight inclination eastward. The coal has a high content of ash and moisture, and the seams are a mere 0.5-1 m thick. Its commercial reserves are small (below 1 bn tonnes).
Brown coal is also extracted in Ukraine. Its major reserves are in the Dnieper basin (2.4 bn tonnes including 0.5 bn tonnes suitable for open cast mining). The basin stretches along the Dnieper river from northwest to southeast through Zhytomyr, Cherkasy and Kirovograd oblasts. The depth of bedding is 5 to 140 m. brown coal is also produced in the Dnipropetrovsk-Donetsk brown coal area (0.9 bn tonnes), Donbas (0.3 bn tonnes) and the Transcarpathian coal area. Small reserves of this coal are also in the Precarpathia, Poddilya, Roztochya areas.
Of commercial value is brown coal which is bedded in the north of the Donbas (Novodmytriv deposits). The coal seams here are mostly 80-100 m thick and are close to the surface being suitable for open cast mining. The reserves are estimated at 1 bn tonnes.
Ukraine has relatively small oil and gas fields. They are located mostly in the Dnieper-Donets, Precarpathian and the Black Sea-Crimean regions.
The fields of the Dnieper-Donets region include Pryluky, Lelyakiv (Chernigiv oblast),Rybalske,Kachanivka (Sumy oblast), Zachepilivka, Radchenkiv, Sagaidak (Poltava oblast). Oil prospecting started here in the mid-30`s and production, in postwar years.
The Precarpathian region is one of the oldest oil producing centers in the world. Oil (and natural gas) is at a depth of 150-3,000 m. Situated here are such fields as Boryslav, Bytkiv, Dolyna and other. Precarpathian oil reserves are mostly used up.
Combustible gas fields are normally located near oil fields. In the Dnieper-Donetsk region, there are the following fields: Shebelynka. Kechygeve (Kharkiv oblast), Pereshchypyn (Dnipropetrovsk oblast.), Malyshivka, Dykanka (Poltava oblast), Kachanivka (Sumy oblast) and other. Precarpathia has: the Dashava, Kalush, Bilche-Volytsk, Ugorsk, Opara fields. Due to the long time of production, commercial reserves of combustible gas in Precarpathia are all but used up (in the postwar period, Precarpathia was the major produceof natural gas in the former USSR).
On the whole, Ukraine lacks resources for increasing oil and gas output. The country has a total of 214 relatively small oil and gas fields (63 gas, 47 oil, 16 gas and oil, 54 gas condensate and 34 oil and gas condensate).The Precarpathian region has ozokerite deposits: Boryslav, Dzvinyatske (the southwest of Ivano-Frankivsk), Starun (near Dzvinyatske), Polynytsya. Of greatest interest is the Boryslav deposit (in 1938, ozekerite output here was 310 thou. tonnes (in 1929р. - 703 thou. tonnes), Dzvynyatske and Starun (in 1938 р. – 142.7 thou., in1932 - 279.9 thou. tonnes). In Ukraine, ozekerite depiosits are near the major oil fields.
Currently, only one small ozekerite mine is operational in Precarpathia (Boryslav) (in 1874, this region had 73 ozekerite works, аs well as 779 smaller works consisting of one or more small mines).
Large shale oil fields were discovered in the north of Kirovograd oblast and the south of Cherkasy oblast. The chemical composition of this shale oil is close to that of the Baltic region. The fields are estimated at 3.7 bn tonnes. The most important field if Bovtyn. Its slate oil is viewed as an alternative source of energy for thermal power plants and a valuable raw material for the chemical industry. .
Low quality slate oil is also available in the Carpathian region. This oil may in the future also become an important mineral and raw material resource.
Over 2,500 peat deposits (mostly small ones) are located in the north of Ukraine. Its reserves are over 2.2 bn tonnes, including 0.87 bn tonnes of commercial caegories. The major peat deposits are in the Volyn (0.46 bn tonnes), Rivne (0.36), Chernigiv (0.28), Kyiv (0.27) and Lviv (0.22) oblasts.
Thermal waters may become an important source of thermal power in Ukraine. Of practical importance are geothermal resources in the Carpathians and the Crimea. The highest water temperature is recorded in the Transcarpathian region: at a depth of 450 m, the water temperature reaches 40° С, at a depth of 1,000 and 2,000 m, 70 і 100° С respectively. In the Crimea, the highest water temperatures are in three areas: in the center, in the Kerch peninsula, and in the northwest of the Tarkhunkut peninsula. At a depth of 1,000 m, the water temperature is 60-70 ° С, and at a depth of 2,000 m, 80-100° С.
Ukraine has large reserves of iron ore raw materials. These are mostly Precambrian metamorphic ores (haematite and black), as well as sedimentary (brown iron ore). Precambrian metamorphic ores are located on the Ukrainian crystalline shield. As it was stated, 31% of the former USSR’s explored reserves of such ores, including 20% of rich, are situated in Ukraine.
Ukraine’s total reserves of iron ore are estimated at 27.4 billion tones (A+B+C1 category) and composed of rich (1.9 billion tones), as well as of poor ferriferous quartzes (24.1) and brown iron ores (1.4).
60 of the 83 iron ore deposits included in the estimate, are in the Kryvy Rig basin, whose reserves equal 18.7 billion tonnes. The basin stretches from north to south along the Ingulets, Saksagan and Zhovta rivers as a narrow 100 km long strip. This strip is 2-7 km wide. Iron ores lie at a depth of 2.5 km. Of the greatest commercial importance are high-grade ores. They are used without dressing. These include magnets and oxidized ferriferous quartzes. High-grade ores (containing 44-48% of iron) practically have no harmful impurities and are mined. High quality ores (50-60% of iron) are mined; medium-grade ores (35-40% of iron) are dug out. Since the time the Kryvy Rig basin started operating, some 6 billion tonnes of ore have been extracted there. In the early 90`s, 17 mines, 5 larger concentrators servicing 10 quarries, operated there.
Ukraine’s second largest iron ore deposit is the Kremenchug basin explored in 1924-1928. It stretches along the meridian for 45 km. Within this basin, 5 separate deposits of a total area of 150 square km are situated. In the first half of the 50`s, the southern part of the basin was explored. Its ores are extracted in quarries. After being concentrated, ore containing about 70% of iron is used by iron and steel plants. Ore reserves are estimated at 4.5 billion tonnes. Large deposits are located in the northern part of the basin, but they lie rather deep.
Large deposits of raw materials for the ferrous industry are in the Bilozirsk district of Zaporizhya oblast. It is 20 km wide and stretches for 65 km from north to south. The deposit was discovered in 1955. Its exploration continues even now. This basin’s total reserves are estimated at 1.4-1.5 billion tonnes, including commercial ones – at 0.7 billion tonnes.
Iron ores also occur in ferruginous quartzites and shales; their seams are 60-260 m thick. Large reserves of ferruginous quartzites having an iron content of 25-40 %., are concentrated here. Starting in the late 60`s, these ores have used at the Zaporizhya iron ore integrated works. Their reserves are estimated at 2.5 bn tonnes.
Of commercial importance is the Kerch iron ore deposit where ores having an iron content of 30-40 % lie at a low depth. On the other hand, Kerch ores contain doping materials -- vanadium and manganese – which enhance their quality. Kerch-type ores also occur on the northern coast of the Sea of Azov.
Ukraine has large inferred reserves (over 20 bn tonnes) of iron ores (mostly ferruginous quartzites). More than half of them are deposited in Dnipropetrovsk oblast. Coming next are: Poltava (3.6 bn tonnes), Оdesa (2.2), Zaporizhya (1.8), Kirovograd (0.9) and Vinnytsya (0.8) oblasts.
There are promising iron ore deposits in the southeastern part of the Ukrainian crystalline shield (near Bazavluk, Pavlograd). Their prospecting continues.
Ukraine has unlimited capabilities for the export of high-grade iron ores to interested countries of the world.
Ukraine ranked first in the former USSR as to manganese ore reserves. These ores are widely used in ferrous metallurgy. It will be noted that in Ukraine these ores are deposited near the major iron deposits and coking coal fields. So Nature itself has created the conditions required for ferrous metallurgy development in the said regions.
The Velyky Tokmak (Zaporizhya oblast) and Nikopol (Dnipropetrovsk oblast) deposits are among the world`s largest deposits of manganese ores. Their total reserves stand at 2.2 bn tonnes: the Velyky Tokmak basin (depth: 27-140 m) has 1.3 bn tonnes, the Nikopol deposit (15-170 m) – 0.9 bn tonnes. High-grade oxidized ores having a manganese content of 28 % are of a high commercial value. Ore extraction is done in mine and quarries.
Manganese ores are also deposited in the Carpathians (the Chyvchyski mountains area). The reserves are estimated at 9.1-30.7 mil. tonnes. Local ores are oxidized.Manganese content is some ЗО %. Manganese is bedded here in areas difficult of access. Manganese ores are very promising from the export perspective.
Small copper ore deposits are located in the Volyn and Podillya regions. Their commercial reserves are not large and are bedded mostly in 0.2-0.5 m thick lenses.
Small reserves of nickel ores have been explored in Ukraine. They are in ten small deposits in Kirovograd and Dnipropetrovsk oblasts and in Transcarpathia. They lie at a depth of 70-80 m.
Titanium ores have been explored in the area of the Ukrainian crystalline shield. One of the major deposits is the Irshan deposit (Zhytomyr oblast). Operating there is a concetrator for ilmenite dressing. A titanium ore deposit in Dnipropetrovsk oblast (the Samotkan river basin) with virtually unlimited reserves, is of the most practical importance. Titanium is known to be used in building rockets, submarines, making artificial rubies, sapphires, synthetic rubber, etc.
Ukraine has raw materials for aluminum production: boxites (Vysokopillya deposit, Dnipropetrovsk oblast), alunites (Transcarpathia) and nefelines (Sea of Azov area).
Small reserves of mercury are available in the center of the Donbas (Mykytivka) and in Transcarpathia; of chrome in the Buh area; of barite in Transcarpathia. Polymetalic ores occur in Transcarpathia (near Truskavets).
Ukraine`s territory is promising in terms of gold mining. Gold reserves are believed to be in three large geological structures: the Carpathians, the Ukrainian crystalline shield and the Donets chain of hills.
Carpathian gold reserves are explored best of all. Here, in many areas, the deposits lie close to the surface, specifically in Trancarpathia, as well as in the Chyvchyn Mountains, in the mountain areas of Ivano-Frankivsk oblast. Placer gold also occurs here.
Records of gold mining in the Transcarpathian region date back to the 13th century. Old gold mines have survived to date in these parts. When this region was controlled by Austro-Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, local residents used to obtain gold by panning on the banks of the Tissa river. In 1843-1854, gold was mined near Vyshkiv. Starting in 1923, gold was mined near the villages of Gerkivtsi and Ilkivtsi. In 1971-1978, gold was mined hear the villages of Lugy and Kvasy on the Tissa. In 1944, the Transcarpathian geological expedition began to work in Transcarpathia. It discovered Ukraine`s first goldfield at Muzhyiv (Beregove district). Its commercial reserves constitute dozens of tonnes in 16.7 mil. tonnes of ore.
This deposit is considered a medium one as to gold reserves. The gold is of high quality. According to estimates, the profitability of this gold will be 17-20 %. One tonne of ore contains 6-7 grams of gold. In other words, to produce 1 kg of the metal requires to process 140-160 tonnes of rock. The projected output of gold in the Transcarpathian region is nearly a tonne per year.
Gold deposits in ledge rock have also been explored near the village of Velyky Bychkiv in Rakhiv district. Its quality is much higher than that of the gold of the Muzhyiv deposit. In the Bukovyna region, on the Cheremosh river, placer gold occurs.
The most promising as to gold output is the Ukrainian crystalline shield. It still awaits large-scale comprehensive geological exploration, particularly at big depths. Deposited in Zhytomyr oblast and near Kryvy Rig are Precambrian conglomerates. In similar rock, the US largest gold deposits were discovered. So called gold-and-stone structures (large gold reserves in such structures are in Canada) were discovered off Dnipropetrovsk. Goldfields were also discovered in Kirovograd oblast. The Kryvy Rig deposit is regarded as the most promising. Gold ores lie close to the surface here, and the reserves are large. Commercial gold deposits were also found in crystalline rock in the area of the Mokrosursk magnetic anomaly. There are gold deposits in the Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts and, very likely, in neighbor areas. Donbas gold deposits are not properly explored. This work has yet to be carried out on a systematic basis.
Large gold deposits have been recently explored in Savransk district, Odesa oblast (the east of the southern part of the oblast). They are genetically connected with the southwestern part of the Ukrainian crystalline shield. Gold concentration in rock here is reported to exceed the minimum commercial standard dozens of times.
This is Ukraine`s first native gold of high standard which is evaluated as unique. It lies close to the surface, at depths not exceeding 100 m.
In terms of gold output, Nikopol district in Dnipropetrovsk oblast is also regarded as very promising. Here, gold is deposited next to silver, zinc, lead, copper, platinum. According to the experts, high gold output can be expected following additional geological prospecting and exploration operations, through mining at big depths. In Nikopol district, the content of this metal in a tonne of rock is higher than the relevant indicators of the world-famous gold deposits of the South African Republic and Alaska.
This precious metal is mined at very big depths (2,000 – 2,500 m) at many gold mines in different countries. As to the Ukrainian crystalline shield, it has not yet been prospected for gold at such depths. So there are reasons to believe that, at the beginning of the third millennium, Ukraine can join the major gold producing countries of the world.
The issue of organization of gold ore dressing has to be sorted out. To this end, Ukrainian concentrators which process ferrous and nonferrous metal ores, could be used. This applies above all to the Skhidny ore mining and processing enterprise in Zhovti Vody where uranium is mined and processed. Uranium reserves are also available in other parts of Ukraine, particularly in the Carpathian region. Incidentally, Ukraine yields half of nuclear fuel which is produced in the former USSR (both for nuclear power plants and missile warheads). The uranium enrichment process is similar to that of gold ore dressing. Since uranium output is being reduced in Ukraine by some 60%, the Zhovti Vody enterprise could be used for gold ore processing.
Ukraine has large reserves of such raw materials as potassium and magnesium salts, table salt, native zeolites, etc.
Potassium salt is deposited in Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts (Precarpathia). Occurring here are mostly sulfate, mixed, sulfate chloride and chlorous salts. Sulfate salts ( К2О content is 8-10 %) are the basic raw material to produce chlorine-free potash fertilizer which is in great demand.
The largest potassium deposits in Precarpathia are: Stebnykiv, Dobrogostivsk, Boryslav (Lviv oblast), Kalush-Golyn, Trostyanets, Turo-Velytsk (Іbano-Frankivsk oblast) and other.
Magnesium salts are deposited in two regions of the country: the Precarpathian and the South Crimean. In the former (Kalush-Golyn and Stebnykiv deposits), magnesium reserves are connected with potassium salts and in the latter, with the Crimean lakes: Syvash, Sasyk Sevash and Stare. The best quality magnesium material is bedded in the Kalush-Golyn and Syvash deposits which are being actively developed.
Ukraine also has large and unique deposits of table salt. As to its chemical purity, this salt is the best in the world. Its main deposits are in the Donbas, the Dnieper depression, Precarpathia and Transcarpathia, as well as in the Crimea. In addition to rock salt, there are salt deposits in the form of the brine of lakes and underground lakes. Ukraine`s rock salt and natural brine reserves are rather large and, given today`s rate of production, inexhaustible (the resrves are estimated at 9 bn tonnes ( A +В + С1 categories)..
The largest deposits of rock salt are concentrated in the Donbas where, at relatively low depths, are resources of very high quality (Slovyansk, Artemivsk). The total thickness of salt layers in the Donbas varies between 100 and 200 m. These parts yield the largest output of table salt in Europe. Table salt is also produced in Drogobych, Kalush, Dolyna (Precarpathia), Solotvyne (Transcarpathia).
Rock salt deposits were also discovered in the Dnieper left bank area near Lubny and Romny).
Valuable products are obtained from the Saky and Perekop salt lakes: mirabilite, magnesium oxide, bromine, etc. Other lakes and salt lakes in the south of Ukraine also have salt deposits.Quality rock salt can become an important export item of Ukraine.
Genetically connected with rock salt deposits are anhydrite, gypsum and celestine deposits. Their large reserves are concentrated in the Donbas (Artemivsk, Nyrkivsk deposits, etc.), as well as in Precarpathia, and in the narrow strip stretching from west to east, in the south of the Podillya hills (Rogatyn, Zhuravyno, Zalishchyky and other).
Ukraine abounds with native sulfur reserves. They are situated mostly in the Precarpathian sulfur basin (Lviv and Ivano-Frankivsk oblasts). Sulfur occurs in many deposits: from Yavoriv (west of Lviv oblast) and as far as the Dniester right bank area. The Rozdol and Novoyavoriv areas are the major sites of sulfur mining and processing. Here it lies not very deep (some 50 m) and is quarried. At big depths, sulfur is obtained by underground smelting. The content of sulfur bedded in marls and limestone is rather high (some ЗО %).
Ukraine could become a major sulfur exporter.
Large zeolite tufa deposits are located in Transcarpathia. This material can be used in industry for waste water treatment, for producing paper, rubber, fertilizer and so on.
The best explored is the Sokirnitske deposit
As is known, Ukraine’s ferrous metallurgy is well developed and requires great quantities of different nonmetallics – fluxes, hearthstones, construction materials. These include flux and dolomite limestone, dolomite, fire-clay, quartzes, talc magnesite, quartz sands, bentonite clays, fluor-spar and other. Besides the ferrous metallurgy plants, they are widely used in many other sectors of the national economy. Therefore of great importance is prospecting for, exploration and management of nonmetallics quarrying in regions located near the ferrous metallurgy centers, as well as along the transport routs (for exportation).
The largest deposits of flux limestone are situated in the Donetsk and Crimean regions and those of dolomite, in Donetsk (the Oleniv, Novotroitsk, Mykytivsk deposits), Dnipropetrovsk and Transcarpathian (near Rakhiv) oblasts.
Fire-clay, quartzites, talc magnezite, etc. are used in the manufacture of refractory products. Ukraine has large reserves of these minerals. There are large fire-clay deposits in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhya, Cherkasy oblasts. One of the largest in the former USSR is the Chasivyar deposit in the Donbas which meet the requirements for this clay of the ferrous metallurgy plants of Ukraine and other countries; quartzite deposits are located in Zhytomyr oblast Ovruch), Kirovograd oblast (Maly Skelevat), Sumy oblast (Banytsya) and Donetsk oblast (Krasnogorivsk and Riznikivsk deposits). Talc magnesite is deposited at Pravdynsk (Dnipropetrovsk oblast).
Ukraine has virtually unlimited reserves of molding material: quartz sand (nearly 20 % of former USSR reserves) and betonite loam (over 25 %). The largest deposits of moulding material are in Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Kharkiv and Zaporizhya oblasts. Bentonite loam is bedded in Transcarpathian (Gorbske), Ternopil (Pochaiv) and some other oblasts.
The Cherkasy deposit of bentonite loam is well known outside Ukraine. This loam is used in making foundry molds for parts of machines, in the oil, food-processing, textile, oil refinery and other industries. The reserves of this deposit are practically inexhaustible; the layer is 25 m thick. The material can be exported to many countries.
Ukraine has large deposits of other valuable materials like, for example, kaolin. In terms of quality, it is the best in the world. These deposits are connected with places of egress of rock of the Ukrainian crystalline shield and are located in Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, Cherkasy, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhya and other oblasts of Ukraine.
This country has the world`s largest deposits of granite erosion products: high quality kaolin. They have a high content of aluminum oxide and can be used for production of aluminum chemically. Kaolin is bedded within the Ukrainian crystalline shield and can be mined in many places. Kaoling production is concentrated in Vinnytsya, zaporizhya, Zhytomyr, Dnipropetrovsk oblasts. The Glukhiv deposit (Vinnytsya oblast) is the majorcenter of Koalin mining. The layer of quality kaolin here is some 100 m. This material is used in porcelain production, as well as a filler in the manufacture of paper, rubber, etc. Ukraine met the former USSR`s needs in kaolin by some 90%. High quality kaolin finds an application for manufacture of refractory products.
Large deposits of primary kaolin are also located at Velyky Gadomyn (Vinnytsya oblast), Prosyanivka (Dnipropetrovsk oblast), Bilyavsk (Zaporizhya oblast) and Bogorodytske (Donetsk oblast). High quality secondary kaolin is deposited at Murzyn (Cherkasy oblast), Volodymyrske (Donetsk oblast), Kirovogradske (Kirovograd oblast) and Polozsk (Zaporizhya oblast).
Kaolins are also connected with the Volyn part of the Ukrainian crystalline shield, mostly with the deposit situated between the town of Korets in the south and sarny and Rokytne in the north (the area is nearly 2 thou. кm2). The depth of seams is 3.5-15 m; thickness is 0.5-1 m (some places, 6 to10 m). Primary kaolin contains 30-50% of pure kaolin substance and secondary, 25-80%. There is a number of deposits of fire kaolin whose temperature of agglomeration exceeds 1700°C. Ukraine`s export capacities for this raw material are practically unlimited.
Ukraine has feldspar reserves represented by pegmatites. There are six explored pegmatite deposits in the country. Pegmatite is produced mostly at the Balka Velykogo Taboru, Glubochok and Belchakiv deposits.
There are small phosphorite (fetilizer raw material) deposits in Ukraine. Thy are situated in the Dniester area (within Vinnytsya, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky oblasts). The most important is the Nezvysk deposit. In the northeast of the country is the Krolevets deposit (Sumy oblast) and the northeast of Kharkiv oblast, the Izyum deposit.
In the Zhytomyr region are large deposits of another valuable material for phosphate fertilizer production: apatites. Their deposits are closely connected with the egress of formations of the Ukrainian crystalline shield. The deposits in this region are not yet well examined, but even preliminary estimates are most optimistic as to the quantity and commercial output of apatites. Apatite deposits in the Sea of Azov area are as promising.
Ukraine also has such valuable resource as graphite. It is widely used in nuclear power engineering (in reactors, boilers, etc.), in production of pencils, paints, dark glass, ball-bearings, electric appliances, etc. Demand for graphite is constantly growing. Ukraine is one of the major regions in which graphite is deposited. This country accounts for some 50% of graphite reserves of the former USSR. The largest reserves of this mineral are concentrated in Kirovograd oblast (Zavalivsk deposit). Graphite is also deposited in Zaporizhya oblast, Dnipropetrovsk oblast (Petrivsk, Vodyansk deposits) and Donetsk oblast (Starokrym deposit). Graphite deposits in Ukraine are closely connected with the gneiss deposits of the Ukrainian crystalline shield. Their reserves are among the world`s largest.
Graphite also occurs in the basins of the Styr and Sluch rivers in the Volyn region, as well as in areas difficult of access in the Chyvchyn Mountains. Here graphite occurs in graphite shale and quartz-graphite rock. Ukraine`s capacities for graphite export are unlimited.
Ukraine is an important producer of sugar beet in Europe. This country accounted for some 60% of sugar beet output of the former USSR. The method of producing this valuable product requires big quantities of clean limestone. Its large commercial deposits (about 80% of national ones) are situated in such oblasts as Vinnytsya, Ternopil and Khmelnytsky.
Ukraine abounds in deposits of various materials required in construction. This country ranks first in Europe as to the availability of some important materials (facing materials, dust limestone, chalk, glass sand, etc.).
There are 36 deposits of materials required for cement production in Ukraine. The largest reserves are in Donetsk, Kharkiv, Lviv, Chernigiv, Rivne, Khmelnytsky oblasts and in the Crimea. These materials include carbonate and clayey materials, hydraulic admixtures and gypsum. Carbonate strata constitute the major deposits and are widespread in the entire territory.
Chalk deposits in this country number 61. chalk reserves ( А + В + С1 categories) are estimated at 450 mil. tonnes. The major deposits are located in Donetsk oblast (218 mil. tonnes). Then come Sumy,Lugansk, Chernigiv and Kharkiv oblasts.
Sand glass is deposited in many regions of the country. Their main deposits are situated in Lviv, Kyiv, Zhytomyr, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Chernigiv oblasts.
Ukraine also abounds in decorative stone. Produced here are: various types of granite, granite-diorite, marble, marble-like limestone, Labradorite, basalt, gritstone, tuff, limestone to name but a few.
The large deposits of quality granite and other types of valuable stone are connected with the egress of the Ukrainian crystalline shield. Unlimited reserves of quality gray-pink, gray and red granites are in Zhytomyr oblast (Оmelyanivsk, Zupanivsk, Коrostyshiv, Kornysk deposits). There are large granite deposits in Zaporizhya oblast (Каmyane deposit), Khmelnytsky oblast (Levniv deposit), Rivne oblast (Vyrivsk deposit) and some other oblasts.in terms of quality granite production, Ukraine ranks first I the world. Granite can bbecome an important item of Ukraine`s export.
Widely applied in construction, including road construction, basalts. Their large reserves are concentrated in such oblasts as Rivne (Іvano-Dolynsk and Berestechko deposits), Donetsk (Volnovakha deposit), Dnipropetrovsk (Kryvy Rig deposit) and other oblasts. Rivne-produced basalts stand out among other for their quality.
Ukraine has several deposits of Labradorite: in zhytomyr, zaporizhya, Kirovograd,Cherkasy, Khmelnytsky and other oblasts. Labrodarite is used as valuable decorative stone not only in Ukraine, but in other countries too.
High quality Ukrainian marble and marble-like limestone and tuff are produced in the transcarpathian region, marble-like limestone, limestone and tuff in the Crimes, sandstone in Ivano-frankivsk, Ternopil, Lviv and other oblasts.
Deposits of quality decorative stone are situated in most regions of the country. There is a total of 400 important deposits of building stone in Ukraine.
Ukraine has reserves of sand necessary for production of concrete, silicate items, mortar, reserves of gravel, haydite and other raw materials used in construction.
There are large reserves of precious and semiprecious stones in Ukraine. Beryl, topaz, amber, аmethyst, rock crystal, tiger`s eye, rhodonite, agate, chalcedony, jasper, etc. exported to many countries are beryls and topazes produced in the Volyn region (Volodar Volyn deposit). Of special value are: crystal quartz, morion, jasper, amethyst, topaz, aquamarine. By the scale of topaz production, Ukraine ranks among the major international producers. A crystal of this valuable mineral weighing 62 kg, was found in the Volyn region. Topazes occur in other places, particularly those in the area of the Ukrainian crystalline shield. Gems are deposited in the Carpathians, Crimea, Donbas. Of special practical value among them are: agate, chalcedony, cornelian, bloodstone.
In 1980, the Klesiv amber deposit was discovered (Rivne oblast). This deposit is connected with paleogenic sand and clay sediments. The deposit depth is З-10 m, thickness is 0.6-5 m. Deposited is amber of different colors and shades: white, yellow, brown and red; transparent and opaque. Chunks weighing 0.8 кg occur. As to its artistic value, Ukrainian amber is similar to Baltic one and has a broader color spectrum. Its surface is slightly oxidized to a depth of 0.5-2 mm.
Signs of diamond deposits estimated as promising, have been discovered in the Sea of Azov area of Ukraine.
The mineral waters that Ukraine has have varied chemical compositions and are known for their medicinal properties. Mineral waters are available in all regions of Ukraine. They are used everywhere as table water and for medical treatment. Of particular value are medicinal mineral waters.
Well known in the world are Ukrainian medicinal mineral waters, like Naftusya. This type of water is produced in three regions: near Truskavets and near Skhidnytsya (Lviv oblast)), as well as near Sataniv (Khmelnytsky oblast) and adjacent areas( in Ternopil oblast). This water has a high content of organic substances (0.01-0.03 grams per liter). There are virtually unlimited capabilities to expand health care and resort facilities (particularly at Skhidnytsya and Sataniv) based on this mineral water to cater to the needs of people from different countries.
Minearal water deposits are located at Morshyn, Oleska (Lviv oblast) Myrgorod (Poltava oblast), Slovyansk (Donetsk oblast), in areas which are adjacent to the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov and located in Odesa, Mykolayiv, Zaporizhya and Donetsk oblasts, and in the Crimea.
The Carpathian region has a large supply of carbonaceous mineral water of Narzan type: carbonate calcious (up to 1 g/l), Yesentuki type (6-7 g/l), Arzni type – chloride sodium (12-95 g/l). In some areas, these types of water have a high iron, silica acid and arsenic content. They occur mostly in Transcarpathia (specifically near Svalyava), in the northern part of the Ukrainian Carpathians, аs well as the eastern part of the Crimean region (of Yesentuki and Arzani type ).
Large radon water supply is characteristic of many regions of the country where the egress of the Ukrainian crystalline shield is. The levels of this water stretch from the country`s southwest across its central part and as far as the Sea of Azov. In some areas (Khmelnyk, Vinnytsya oblast) the content of radon is very high. Rodon water is also produced in Zhytomyr, Myronivka, Bila Tserkva, Polonne (Khmelnysky oblast) and some other part of Ukraine. This water is used in medicine.
Ukraine has a large supply of sulfide water. Its chemical composition is rather varied: mineralization level is 0.6 to 35 g/l, hydrogen sulfide content is 0.01 to 0.06 g/l. The Precarpathia and Poldillya areas have the largest supply of this type of mineral water. Here it is used for medical purposes at such resorts as Shklo, Nemyriv, Lyubin Velyky (Lviv oblast), Cherche (Ivano-Frankivsk oblast). It is very likely that this water should be also in the Black Sea region.
Ukrainian iodic, bromide and iodic-bromide waters nave valuable medicinal properties. Iodine content is 0.01-0.1 g/l. Mineralization level is very high (100- 300 g/l). Prevailing are chloride sodium types of water. Their supplies are concentrated in Precarpathia, Carpathiaan region, Black Sea region, Sea of Azov region and in the country`s east
Ukraine also has siliceous mineral water. Its supply is not very big. It occurs in the vicinity of Kharkiv, western Transcarpathia, southeast of Ternopil oblast and in Khmelnytsky oblast. The mineralization of Ukrainian siliceous water is 0.2-1.4 g/l. Well known brands of this mineral water are: Berezivska, Kamyanets Podilska, Khmelnytska.
Medicinal mud (silt, peat) is also among Ukraine`s mineral and raw material resources. Silt sulfide mineral organic mud is normally used for medical treatment. The largest reserves of this mud are in Odesa oblast (solt lake Alibei; explores reserves are 17 mil. м 3; salt lake Kuyalnyk – 15.3 mil. м 3 ; salt lake Shagani – 15.0 mil. м 3 ; salt lake Khadzhibei – 11.0 mil. м 3); in Mykolaiv oblast (salt lake Tyligul – 11.3 mil. м 3 ; salt lake Berezan – 10.9 mil. м 3); Kherson oblast (Genichesk lake – 1.1 mil. м 3, Salkov lake – 5.0 mil. м 3, Кrugle lake – 0.1 mil. м 3), Dnipropetrovsk oblast (Solony Lyman lake – 0.9 mil. м 3), Donetsk oblast (Ripne lake – 0.1 mil. м 3, Slipne lake – 0.1 mil. м 3) ), in the Crimea (Kizil Yar lake – 10.0 mil. м 3, Uzungar lake - 6.9 mil. м 3, Tobechits lake – 5.5 mil. м 3, Chokrak lake – 4.7 mil. м 3).
Peat mud is widespread in Ukrine. Gypsious vitriolic peat is used for medical treatment. The mean mineralization of a peat mud solution is 2-3 g/l. Medicinal peat mud is located in the northern and central parts of the country. This mud is used at resorts Shklo, Morshyn (Lviv oblast), Myrgorod (Poltava oblast).
Mineral medicinal silt which contains valuable microelements, occurs on the Kerch peninsula.
The waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov have medicinal properties. This water (particularly the Black Sea) is highly mineralized. It contains over 60 chemical elements, including sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, bromine, boron, lithium, etc. Combinations of these elements produce a positive effect on the human organism; the sea water and the sea air, saturated with sea water fumes, are medicinal.
The practically unlimited supply, medicinal properties and unique quality of the said mineral resources allow Ukraine to create health-care and resort facilities of international significance.
Generally, Ukraine has sufficient mineral and raw material resources of different types which are widely used in the national economy and are exported to many countries. Ukraine is self-sufficient in many categories of such resources. In 1990, for example, the country satisfied its needs in: iron ore by 140% , manganese ore by 175 %, mercury by 250 %, titanic ore 140 %, graphite by 700 %, fire-clay by 105 %, molding material and secondary kaolin by 112 % each, primary kaolin by 400 %, sulfur by 200 %, table salt by 150 %, raw material for glass production by 157 %, gypsum by 108 %, construction stone by 116 %, cement raw materials by 100%, dinas raw materials by 108-110 %. Thus Ukraine is capable of exporting large quantities of valuable minerals and raw materials to any interested country.
At the same time, Ukraine has limited oil reserves (it meets a mere 8% of its requirements for oil due to local production) and combustible gas reserves (it meets 22% of its requirements due to local production), reserves of ores of many nonferrous metals. These resources are important import items for Ukraine.
Ukraine has a poor water storage. The country`s per capita sweet water storage is a mere 1 thousand cub. meters. This is one of the worst indicators among the former USSR countries. Amidst the growing water deficit, water supply is currently one of the most critical factors of economic development, and clear sweet water is a valuable and increasingly scarce mineral resource. The sweet water supply deficit calls for implementation of a set of measures for the rational use of water and its conservation.
The water storage of any country consists of local water supply and transit. Ukraine`s water transit comes from the Danube, Dnieper, Siversky Donets and some other waterways. Nearly 30 cub. km of water supply is formed outside Ukraine whereas its total volume is 210 cub. km. Per capita water supply in the South-Western economic region is 7 times as high as in the Southern one and 3 times as high as in the Donets-Dnieper economic region.
The underground water storage registered by the government, is 5.6 cub. km and is concentrated mostly in the South-Western (2.3 cub. km) and the Donetsk-Dnieper (2.4 cub, km) economic regions. The country`s per capita water supply is lower by a factor of 8 than in the former USSR generally.
Rivers are the main source of sweet water supply for the economy and the population of Ukraine. There are nearly 73 thousand rivers in the country. These are mostly small rivers. Only some 125 of them are over 100 km long. Most rivers are part of the basins of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. Only a small north-western and westernmost part of Ukraine comes within the Baltic basin.
The Dnieper is one of the largest waterways of Ukraine. The biggest part of the Dnieper flows through this country. Only its upper reaches are in Russia and Belarus. The Dnieper has such major tributaries as : the Prypyat, Desna, Sula, Psel, Vorskla, Samara, etc.The Dnieper basin takes up 65 % of the country`s area. Its water storage (in an arid year) stands at 35 cub. km. The Dnieper`s average annual water flow is 53.5 cub. km.
Coming next by the basin area are: Dniester (some 12 % of the country`s territory; annual flow of 8.7 cub. km), Siversky Donets ( 4 % and 5 cub.km), Southern Buh (over 3 % and 3.4 sub.km). The lengths of the rivers are: 1,362, 1,053 та 806 km.
The Danube occupies a special place in Ukraine`s water supply. Only a small part of the river`s lower reaches is in the Ukrainian territory. The Danube is a large waterway whose flow (in a rated arid year) is some 60 cub. km and the average annual flow varies within 123 cub.km (twice as much as in the Dnieper). The Danube basin is in the territories of several countries of Europe.Lying on its banks are big cities which fact, naturally, affects the quality of water supply. To Ukraine`s economy, the Danube water supply may be important in the future as a source of irrigation.
The Dniester is also among the major rivers of the country. It starts in the Carpathians and then flows through the Precarpathia area, between the Podillya and Besarabia hills, along steep banks. The river empties into the large estuary connected with the Black Sea.The major left tributaries are: the Gnyla Lypa, Zolota Lypa, Strypa, Seret, Zbruch, Smotrych and other. In summer, floods are a frequent occurrence in the Dniester valleys which lie in the Precarpathia area. The river`s major right tributaries are: the Stryi, Svicha, Limnytsya, Bystrytsya-Solotvynska, Bystrytsya-Nadvirnyanska. Flowing across the south-eastern part of the Ukrainian Carpathians and Precarpathia are: the Prut, the Cheremosh, the Prut`s left tributary, and the Siret. In the spring and summer time, these rivers are full and sometimes overflow causing serious damage to the economy and the population. This is why, of importance is regulation of the flow of these rivers and their tributaries.
The Siversky Donets, a tributary of the Don, is in the easternmost part of Ukraine. It has its source from the Middle Russia Hills area. In spring the river is full, and this period accounts for some 70 % of its stock. The major tributaries of this river are: the Oskol (436 km), Aidar (256 km), Luganka (196 km), Kazenny Torets (129 km) and other. The water of these rivers is used for water supply (the Siversky Donets-Donbas cannal) and irrigation.
Small rivers, which require proper and permanent protection, play an important role in Ukraine. In recent years their number has been decreasing. This is an alarming trend, for over 60% of Ukraine`s total water supply is formed in the basins of the small rivers.
Flowing from the southern side of the Donets range is the Kalmius river. In its upper reaches, it cuts through crystalline rock and flows between steep rocky banks. Its channel is narrow here. The Kalmius is wide in its lower reaches. The river is artificially connected with the Siversky Donets-Donbas canal. The Kalchik is its right tributary (formerly known as the Kalka).
Among the reasonably large rivers are also: the Mius, Molochna, Salgyr, Western Buh, Syan.
The longest rivers flowing through Ukraine are: the Danube (2,850 km), Dnieper (2,201), Dniester (1,362), Desna (1,ІЗО ), Siversky Donets (1,053 ), Prut (967 ), Tysa (966 ), Western Buh (831 ), Southern Buh (806 ), Prypyat (761), Seim (748), Psel (7І7). As to the length of the channels of these rivers that are in the Ukrainian territory proper, the sequence will be somewhat different. Ranking first is the Dnieper. Its channel in the Ukrainian territory is only 981 km long. Then come: the Southern Buh (806 km), Seim (748 ), Psel (717 ), Dniester (705), Siversky Donets (672 ), Goryn (659 ), Desna (591 ), Tysa (233 ), Danube (174 ).
The lakes, whose number is 3 thousand in Ukraine, are also responsible for substantial water storage. Among these are 30 lakes with an area of 10 sq. km and more. Some 11 cub. km of water is accumulated in them and in the coastal salt lakes. But sweet water only accounts for 2.5 cub. km of this amount. Ukraine also has some 1,057 man-made reservoirs and 27 thou, ponds.
In the Polissya area are such natural lakes as Svityaz – 24.2 sq. km, Pulimetske – 16.3sq. km, Turske – 13.5 sq. km.
The following lakes and coastal lakes are situated in the Danube basin: Yalpug - 149 sq. km, Kalug - 90 sq. km, Kugurlai - 82 sq. km, Katlabukh - 68 sq. km; Kytai - 60 sq. km. The Black Sea coast has: Lake Sasyk - 210 sq. km, salt LakeTyligulsky - 160 sq. km, Lake Alibei – 72sq. km; salt Lake Khadxhibeisky - 70 sq. km, Lake Shagani - 70 sq. km, salt Lake Kuyalnyk - 61 sq. km, sal Lake Budatsky - ЗО sq. km.
The Crimean Peninsula has the following natural lakes: Sasyk-Syvash – 76.3 sq. km, Donuzlav – 48.2 sq. km, Aigulske – 37.5 sq. km, Aktashske – 26.8 sq. km, Uzuyalarske – 21.2 sq. km, Kyrleutske – 20.8 sq. km, Tobechytske – 18.7 sq. km, Kyaytske – 12.5 sq.km.
Salt Lake Molochny (170 sq. km) is located on the Sea of Azov coast. Ukraine`s major salt lakes are: Dniprovsky (860 sq. km) and Dnistrovsky (360 sq. km).
The largest man-made lakes were created on the Dnieper. Among these are: the Kyiv reservoir (water surface area is 922 sq. km), Kaniv reservoir (582 sq. km), Kremenchuk reservoir (2,252 sq. km), Dniprodzerzhynsk reservoir (567 sq. km), Dnieper reservoir (410 sq. km) and the Khakhovka reservoir (2,155 sq. km). There are some other major reservoirs in the territory of Ukraine on the rivers Buh, Kalmius Ingulets, Salgyr, Alma, etc.
The creation in Ukraine of man-made lakes (some 160) resulted in removal of large areas of land from agricultural use. In the Dnieper basin, for example, such areas constitute 700 thou. hectares of highly productive lands, mostly arable and hayfields, which were in densely populated and developed regions. The area flooded with the water of the reservoirs approximately equals the area of Chernivtsi oblast. It will also be noted that many arable lands (over 200 thou. hectares) situated near reservoirs, are flooded and actually cannot be used for farming. So this is a big practical and scientific issue which needs resolution.
There are many marshes in Ukraine. Their area is being noticeably reduced as a result of large–scale land reclamation activities (not always effective,though) The total area of marshes is now 1.2 mil. hectares, inclusive of nearly 1 mil. hectares of peatbog. Most of them are in the Polissya area, specifically its western part, where marshes account for 11 % ( 1.7 %, for the whole of Ukraine).
Almost half the marshes were drained and are now used as pastures. Undrained marshes were widely used for gathering berries and herbs in them. The situation changed after the Chornobyl NPP disaster which resulted in radioactive contamination of neighboring Polissya areas. A great number of marshes - over 70 tracts having a total area of 125 thou. hectares, or 10 % of all Ukrainian marshes, - are under conservation. Marshes perform a very important water-accumulation and water-protection function.
Underground water occupies a special place in Ukraine. This water is cleaner and therefore is used mostly for the needs of the population. Underground water storage is some 20 cub. km. The depth of occurrence of underground artesian water increases from the north ( 100 to150 m) to the south ( 500 to 600 m). Most of the underground water storage is in the west and the north of the country. Some 800 places of sweet water storage have been explored; they have nearly a third of projected water supply.
Mineral waters are an important part of underground water. In Ukraine, 84 sites of mineral water storage have been explored ( 35 of them are in use). There are some 600 places of: rhodone mineral water storage in Vinnytsya, Khmelnytsky, Dnipropetrovsk, Donetsk, Zhytomyr, Kirovograd, Kyiv, Cherkasy and other oblasts; bromite waters in Volyn, Lugansk,Zaporizhya oblasts, Naftusya in Lviv and other oblasts, carbonaceous water in Transcarpathia oblast. Famous for their medicinal waters are Morshyn, Lyubin, Velyky, Nemiriv, Shklo in Lviv oblast; Cherche in Ivano-Frankivsk oblast; Berezivske in Kharkiv oblast, etc.. Well known is medicinal mud of Kuyalnyk (Odesa), Berdyansk, salt lakes of the northern part of the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, Syvash, etc.
Thermal water occurs in two regions of Ukraine: the Carpathians and the Crimea. This water can be used as an alternative source of heat and hot water supply. Resolution of this problem is especially important since these regions lack energy supplies. It takes to develop optimal technological procedures for the use of thermal water in the municipal economies of these regions. It is advisable to borrow other countries` experience in this field. The large-scale use of thermal water is necessary above all for the Crimea`s northern areas where fuel is scarce and where, incidentally, local thermal water storage is concentrated.
It is in place here to note that water consumption has almost doubled in Ukraine in the past 20 years. Industry is the principal user of sweet water. In 1960 through 1985, industrial use of water increased 1.5 times (industry accounts for half water consumption). Next comes agriculture. In 1960 through 1985, this sector increased water consumption three times (from 1.5 to 15. 4 cub. km). Some 4 cub. km of water is used for the needs of municipal services.
The effective use and conservation of sweet water, its rational management by economic sectors and regions – all this is an important environmental and economic issue. A particular role is being assigned to rational inter-basin water flow through the system of existing canals and those under construction. In the 1960-80`s ,the following canals were built: Siversky Donets-Donbas (length: 131.6 km, water discharge: 43 cub.m per sec. ), first stage of the Dnieper-Donbas canal (263 km, 120 cub.m per sec.) to supply water to the Donbas region; Southern Crimean (402 km, 294 cub.m per sec.) to supply Dnieper water to the Crimea; Dnieper-Kryvy Rig (35.4 km, 41 cub.m per sec.) , the Main Kakhovka (irrigation) canal (130 km, 590 cub.m per sec ), Dnieper-Ingulets (40 km, 42 cub.m per sec.), second stage of the Dnieper-Donbas canal (171 km, 32 cub.m per sec.) and other. In the future, the issue of water supply based on territorial redistribution will continue to be as relevant.
In Ukraine, much is being done for arid land irrigation. Dozens major irrigation systems were set up. In 1987, the total area of irrigated land in Ukraine was 2,391.6 thou. hectares of which 2,285.1 thousand was accounted for by agriculture. Ukraine`s irrigated lands are responsible for some 7 % of the gross output of plant cultivation.
Ukrine`s two thou. km long coastline in the south is washed by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. These seas play an important role in the development and specialization of the country`s economy. The Ukrainian seas have the types of animal and vegetative raw material required by man, and valuable minerals.
In Ukraine, water is the most valuable and scarce resource. In arid years, water deficit reaches some 4 billion cub. m. It makes itself felt in the basins of all major rivers, specifically in the south-east and the south of the country.
The Black Sea (apprx. 420.3 thou. sq. km) is connected with the Mediterranean by the Bosporus and the Dardanelles straits. The most shallow and populated is the northern part of the Black Sea, which, due to the little depth (80-120m) and the penetration of warm sweet river water in summer, gets warmed better. The surface temperature of the sea water varies from 25-27 to 20-24° С in summer and from +8 to 0.5° С in winter, the depth temperature is practically unchanged (9° С). High waves (3-5m high and 10-15 m long) occur on the Black Sea during strong winds; when gale-force winds blow, waves can be as high as 15 m and as long as 30 m. Such waves have a bad effect on navigation.
The Black Sea is an enormous and deep “bowl” filled with water. Its depths reach 211 m and the contents, 0.547 mil.cub. km. To fill up this bowl with Danube water would take over 2 thousand years. Approximately 7 to 9 thousand years ago (as a result of the formation of the Bosporus and the Dardanelles), the contemporary connection between the Black and Mediterranean seas was established.
The maximum length of the Black Sea from east to west is 1,160 km and from north to south, over 600 km. The length of its coasts is approximately 3.4 thou. km., including within Ukraine, 1,540 km.
On its coast, there are many coastal lakes among which are such large ones as Dnistrovsky ( 40 km long, 5 - 10 km wide), Dniprovsky ( 60 km, 5 - 20 km) and Southern Buhsky ( 45 km, 2-5 km). Several smaller coastal lakes are between the Danube and the Dnieper.
The Crimea is the largest peninsula in the Black Sea basin which juts out into the northern part of the sea.
The Black Sea annually receives 310 mil. cub. m of sweet water, the Danube accounting for 65% of this amount. Evaporation from the surface of the Black Sea constitutes 360 mil. cub. m. The resultant water deficit is made good mostly due to Mediterranean water. Water transparency off the coast is 5-15 m and in open areas, 24-28 m.
The water of the Black Sea is saturated with hydrogen sulphide. The hydrogen sulphide free layer is in the upper part and its thickness varies between 100-200 m, the thickness being greater in the shallow areas of the northern part of the basin (100-155 m). The salinity of water is different: it changes with the depth of the area. At a great distance from the shore, water salinity reaches 18-18.5 °/оо and at the river mouths, 1-10 °/оо (the mean water salinity is 14°/оо. The salinity of Black Sea water is much lower than, for example, that of the Mediterranean (37-38 °/оо).
Permanent ice cover is not characteristic of the Black Sea. Only its north-western part ices over in cold winters.
The Black Sea does not abound with wildlife which is connected with the hydrogen-sulphite free water. There are approximately 2 thou. species which is almost one fifth as many as in the Mediterranean. The Black Sea flora numbers some 665 species. There are 260 varieties of seaweeds, 180 kinds of fish most of which (bullhead, flounder, scad, grey mullet, herring, mackerel and other) is food fish.
The Black Sea has valuable minerals. There are explored commercial reserves of fuel gas and oil; the water contains iron, silver, copper and other elements which, in certain cases, enhance the medicinal qualities of water.The mud of the salty coastal lake -- Kuyalnyk, Khadgibei and Tylygul – is medicinal too.
The water masses of the Black Sea move and form currents the main of which is the Main Black Sea Current. It is formed by several component parts: the Rumelian, Anatolian, Caucasian and Crimean currents. The Main Black Sea Current runs parallel to the coastline and forms closed cyclonic circulation. The current`s velocity is 40-90 cm per sec. and width, up to several dozen km.. In the Bosphorus, a deep-sea anticurrent is directed toward the Black Sea.
The Black Sea has a number of bays. They are protected against rough sea and are used as convenient places for ships to anchor and berth. The major bays are at Sevastopol, Sudak, Odesa. etc .
The Sea of Azov (39.1 thou. sq. km) is the most shallow sea basin in the former USSR (practically the Black Sea`s bay). It is connected with the Black Sea by the narrow (4 – 13 km) Kerch strait. The average depth of the sea is 7-10 m and the maximum, 13,5 m. Its longest part extending from the north-east to the south-west, is approximately 360 km.
The coastline is indented with bays the major of them being Taganrog and Temryuk. Unique is the shallow (about 1 m deep) Syvash bay, located in the western part of the sea. It is separated from the Sea of Azov by the long (112 km) and narrow (270 m) Arabat Spit. As a result of an actual isolation from the sea, unique hydrological conditions have developed in the Syvash bay, which dramatically differ from the hydrological conditions of the main basin of the Sea of Azov. For example, the mean salinity of the water in the central part of the Sea of Azov is 11-13 °/оо and in the coastal, 2-10 °/оо. It is much lower than the salinity of Black Sea water. And the mean salinity of Syvash bay water varies within 100-120 °/оо, or is almost 10 times the mean salinity of the Sea of Azov. Also, the salinity of the sea basin water and that of the Syvash bay noticeably varies depending on the season: it is higher in summer (maximum evaporation) and lower in spring when the snow melts in the tributaries. Syvash abounds with self-precipitating white and magnesium salts, other minerals.
The northern part of the Sea of Azov features sand spits which jut out into the sea. The largest of them is the Fedotova spit whose continuation is Biryuchy island, Obytochna, Berdyanska and other spits.
The largest rivers flowing into the Sea of Azov are: the Don, Kuban, Mius, Kalmius. They empty into the sea`s eastern and north-eastern parts and desalt the sea water in these parts, enriching them with nutrient substances and increasing the temperature.
It is in the north-eastern and eastern part of the Sea of Azov that the best natural conditions for sea organisms have developed. Of late, however, the entire sea environment, including the flora and fauna, has been affected by the intensive use, in the basins of the sea tributaries, of mineral fertilizer, pesticides and the discharge of industrial and municipal effluents.
Since the Sea of Azov is shallow and is situated to the south of the steppe mainland of Ukraine, its water is warmed well. Its summer temperature reaches 27-32°С. In winter, the sea freezes along the coast for almost 3 months. Its central part is covered with drifting ice-floes. During this season, there is no navigation in the Sea of Azov.
In view of the sea`s shallowness, canals were built to the mouth of the Don and the port of Mariupol.
The Sea of Azov abounds with sea products. Its rich plankton ensures high fish productivity. Until recently, the fish productivity of the Sea of Azov per unit of sea area was almost three times as high as that of the Caspian Sea which is famous for its abundance of fish. Among the fish which is caught in the Sea of Azov are th following kinds: sardelle, khamsa, zander, bream, sturgeon, beluga, herring, bullhead, gray mullet, flounder. The Sea of Azov is the main spawning place of Black Sea fish which comes here through the Kerch strait to spawn. The habitat of plants and animals in the Sea of Azov has noticeably worsened in the past ten years due to the increasingly negative influence of man .And this has dramatically affected the sea`s fish productivity.
he relief of the country is one of the most important natural resources of Ukraine. Relief made an impact on the formation and distribution of minerals, the use of certain areas for agricultural and industrial purposes, transport, urban construction , environ policies, etc.
Typical of Ukraine is flat terrain with small hills. Such terrain accounts for almost 90 % of the country`s territory with depressions constituting 70 %. The average hills of the flat part of the country are relatively small and reach about 170 м. Only some Carpathian peaks are 1,700—2000 m and Crimean 1,500 m above sea level.
The north-westernmost part of Ukraine, mostly the northern part of the Dnieper right bank area, is occupied by the Ukrainian Polissya region. It is the southern part of the great Polissya depression. The Belarus Polissya area is its northern constituent part. The biggest part of Ukraine`s drained land is concentrated on this flat territory with wide river valleys, which used to be waterlogged and is now drained for the most part.
Ukrainian Polissya is a large geomorphologic region consisting of three subregions: the Volyn, Rivne and Kyiv Polissya areas. The degree of saturation of ground with water, the amount of precipitation and air humidity decrease from west to east. Conversely, the continental quality of climate increases from west to east. In the south, Ukrainian Polissya borders Volyn and Dnieper hills and stands out in bold relief. Its boundary stretches from the city of Volodymyr Volynsky in the west, runs north of Lutsk and Rivne and, farther in the east, coincides with the conventional line of Korosten – Vyshgorod.
The Polissya terrain is mostly flat with frequent elevations and hillocks genetically connected with glacial activity. Ukrainian Polissya is characterized by small hills (150—200 m). The biggest of them is part of the Ovruch chain of hills (316 m). The medium hills here are 50—60 meters high.
Ukrainian Polissya has the wide (30—40 km) valley of the Prypyat, the largest right tributary of the Dnieper. A large area in this valley is occupied by a creek whose width varies between 2 and 20 km. The creek has many creases, small lakes, and swells. The latter consist of sands, shingle, boulders. Prevalent in Ukrainian Polissya are different forms of aquatic and glacial relief.
More typical of the Polissya, particularly, Prypyat depression are aeolian forms of relief. They rise above the surface in the form of dunes and consist mostly of quartz sand. Dunes, hillocks and swells are widespread here. The sands are consolidated in most part by plants.
In Volyn Polissya, where cretaceous rock lies close to the surface, karst formations are frequent. Well-known are lacustrine gullies of karst origin. The area has several dozen karst lakes. They are located mostly in the north-western part of the Volyn region. The largest of these lakes is Svityaz. It is part of the famous Shatsk chain of lakes, an important and promising health resort area of Ukraine.
In the north-east of Ukraine is the Dnieper depression. It is in fact a continuation of the Ukrainian Polissya region in the north-eastern direction. In the west and south-west the depression`s boundary runs along the Dnieper and in the north-east, across the Middle Russia hills. In the south, the depression`s boundary is at the latitude of Dnipropetrovsk and then turns north and reaches the boundary of the Middle Russian hills (the south-east of the city of Kharkiv). The north-eastern boundary of the Dnieper depression coincides with Ukraine`s national border.
The Dnieper geomorphologic region includes: in the north — the Middle Dnieper - Desna, in the center — the Dnieper proper and in the south — Poltava-Oriol geomorphologic subregions. Each of these subregions has its distinctive territorial, morphologic and genetic features.
On the whole, the Dnieper geomorphologic region is a stratum-like depression occupying the major part of the northern and central left bank area of the Dnieper. The hills of this depression are somewhat higher than in the Polissya area. On valley sides, especially on the vaults of the right bank of the Dnieper, there is a well-developed network of ravines and gullies. The network of ravines covers this area irregularly. This network is more intensive within the Middle Dnieper – Desna subregion. Juts of cretaceous rock are preserved well here.The steep and not very long sides of cretaceous juts contributed to the development of deep albeit short ravines.
The central and southern part of the Dnieper area has a well-developed system of ravines connected with the sides of the valleys of the left tributaries of the Dnieper. Landslides and soil washouts often occur here. Glacial and water-glacial formations are characteristic of the southern part of the region.
In the southernmost part of Ukraine is the large Black Sea depression. In the south, it ends with low steep terraces facing the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea. In the Crimean peninsula, this depression adjoins the Crimean depression which is its constituent part. The Crimean depression borders the Tarkhankut hills in the west and the Kerch hills in the east. In the south, it comes directly to the cuesta lowland. The continental western boundary of the Black Sea depression runs across the Prut river valley.
The Black Sea depression and the flat Crimea are a complex geomorphologic region formed by the Danube-Dniester, Dniester-Buh, Dnieper–Molocnna, Azov and Crimea geomorphologic subregions. The distinctive morphologic feature of the subregions is a slight incline of the surface southward, toward the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The Crimean plain, however, inclines northward. Characteristic of all subregions of the Black Sea depression is a mostly smooth terrain, gradual transition of low lands to the neighboring higher morphologic structures and a greater dissection of the surface in the northern part than in the southern one. In the Crimean plain, the picture is different: the dissection is greater in the south. What all these subregions have in common is the presence of water-erosive and water-accumulative suffosive formations of terrain.
At the same time, each subregion has certain distinctive geomorphologic features. The Danube-Dniester subregion, for instance, has the general sloping of the surface both southward and northward. Typical of the Azov subregion are great differences in heights from north (180 m) to south (0 m).
Ukraine also has large areas of high elevation. This is above all the Volyn-Podillya hills situated in Ukraine`s west. In the west, it is split into two parts by the so called Little Polissya area. The larger of the two - the Podillya hills - are in the south. The smaller one - the Volyn hills, in the north.
The Podillya hills are the topmost south-western part of the Russian plain. The latter borders the valley of the Dnieper and the Southern Buh in the south and the Moldova hills in the north-east. In the east the Podillya hills become part of the Dnieper hills. In the north-west, the Podillya area abruptly slips to the Little Polissya area.
The Podillya medium hills are mostly over 300 m or 400 m high. The Gologoro-Kremenets chain of rather high hills is located in the north of the Western Podillya area. This chain of hills has rather high (150>—180 m) elevations in the form of massifs with steep sides, a network of gullies, numerous karst formations.
The Tovtry hills are located in the western and central part of the Podillya area. These hills stretch from the north-west (from the town of Pidkamin in Lviv oblast), continue near Zborov, Ternopil, Grymailiv and end near Kamyanets Podilsky (Khmelnytsky oblast). The scenic central part of the Tovtry hills is called Medobory. In these parts, there are many endemic and relic species of plants and large prospected reserves of unique mineral waters (of Naftusya type). The national preserve Medobory was set up here in 1990 (10.7 thou. hectares).
The Opillya area occupies the westernmost part of Podillya. This rugged terrain features narrow river valleys, steep banks and scenic places. The left tributaries of the Dniester — the Gnyla Lypa, Zolota Lypa, the Strypa and other -- cut deeply into this part of Podillya. In the Opillya area, to the south-east of Lviv, is one of the highest summits of the Podilly hills — Mount Kamula (473 m). Opillya consits of a number of high steep-sided regions located along the said Dniester tributaries. The flat plateau-like hills, covered with forests and located between rivers, are the distinctive feature of Opillya.
In the west, Podillya (Opillya) gradually joins the Precarpathian hills. Their north-western part is the Sayany-Dniester plain. The latter in turn includes the Nadsyanska, Khirivsko-Gorodotska, Sambir and Vyshnyansko-Shchyretska plains. Their terrran was formed due to ancient icing.
Mount Berda (515 m) located within the Khotyn hills (Chernivtsi oblast), is the highest in the vast area between the Carpathians and the Urals.
Karst formations are widespread in the Podillya hills. These are mostly clefts, wells, cavities, etc. Well known are the numerous gypsum caves (several dozen kilometers long).
Next to the Podillya hills are (within the bounds of Lviv) the Roztochya hills which extend into Poland. These hills stretch north-westward and occupy a narrow strip of land whose relief has glacial forms. The area of Lviv and the adjacent areas are called Gryadove Pobuzhya.
The eastern part of Little Polissya transforms into the Prypyat depression. To the north of Gryadove Pobuzhya (to the south of Sokal and farther eastward, through Berestechko,Ostrog and Kryvyn) is the southern boundary of the Volyn hills whose terrace (40—60 m) stands out in bold relief. Within these hills are a number of local elevated areas — the Mizotsky range (max. height: 341 m), Pelchynske plateau (324 m). The plateau lies between Berestechko and Dubno. The northern boundary of the Volyn hills ends with a low terrace in the direction of Volyn and Rivne Polissya.
The vast area of the Dnieper-Azov hills stretches across central Ukraine along the Dnieper in the north-east (to the point where its current changes near the Dnieper rapids) and farther south-eastward (as far as the Azov depression) and south-eastward along the Southern Buh river (approximately to the latitude of Zaporizhya and farther eastward and south-eastward). These hills border the Polissya area in the north-west. Their eastern edge is bounded by the steep bank of the Dnieper. The hills are a complex geomorphologic formation. The latter includes the large area of the Dnieper hills and the smaller area of the Azov hills , as well as the Zaporizhya plain. These landscape zones are the subregions of the Dnieper-Azov hills.
The general inclination of the Dnieper area surface from the north-west (220—250 m) to the north-east (160—190 m) is 60 meters. The terrain is billowy with reasonably flat river valleys. A characteristic feature of the terrain is a developed network of ravines and gullies, specifically in the Dnieper right bank area. This is especially true of the stretch near Kaniv, where the steep Dnieper bank is as high as 255 m. Some ravines here are 85— 90 m deep. In the area of Stari Petrivtsi (to the north of Kyiv), near Kaniv and in other places, landslips occur. There are glacial and water-glacial formations in the northern area of the Dnieper hills.
The area of the Azov hills coincides with the south-eastern prominence of the Ukrainian crystalline bed and reaches an absolute height of 200—300 m. The northern side of this high land is narrow and steep. The southern one is much wider (by 5—8 times) and is 45—60 км. It gradually goes into the narrow stretch of the small Azov depression. In the Azov hills, crystalline rock often comes to the surface. The highest peak of these hills is Mount Mogyla Belmak (324 m).
The Zaporizhya plain is also genetically connected with the Ukrainian crystalline bed. The highest hills here are 190—265 м. The terrain is billowy and cut with ravines and gullies. Landslips are not an infrequent phenomenon here.
Spurs of the Middle Russia hills come into the north-eastern part of Ukraine.In the country`s territory, the spurs occupy a rather narrow strip (40—50 km) and stretch along the north-eastern border between Ukraine and Russia in Sumy, Kharkiv and Lugansk oblasts. Characteristic of this elevation are erosive formations. The surface here slopes southward and south-westward and heights vary from 20 to 50 m. In the territory of Ukraine the Middle Russia hills gradually go into the Dnieper depression. The area of these hills feature river valleys. There are many ravines here which are in most cases connected with the steep banks of rivers. Some ravines are several kilometers long. Karst formations, landslides, dispersion of sand deposits are frequent phenomena here.
In the south-east of Ukraine is the Donets hills. The length of this area, from the west-northern west to the east-southern east, is nearly 350 km with the maximum width being 150 km. In the north-west, the area borders the Dnieper depression, in the south-west - the Azov hills, in the south — the Azov hills, in the north and north-east — the Middle Russia hills. Within this area, there are two geomorphologic subregions; the Donets range( the south-eastern part) and the Bakhmut-Toretsk hills (the north-west).
The terrain of the Donets range is rugged. A ravine and gully network is developed well, and there are badlands here. Mount Mogyla Mechetna (367 m), Mound Mechetny (358 m) and some other are the highest places of the Donets range.The heights of the range gradually decrease from its central part to the periphery by 100-120 m.
The Bakhmut-Torets hills feature large watershed tracts which alternate with wide plains. The absolute heights of this area are smaller than in the Donets range and reach 180—270 m. The north-western part of this area is the lowest. The land is very dissected, but not as much as in the Donets range.
Characteristic of the Donets hills is a developed network of ravines and gullies.There are ridges, cuests, sliderocks, landslides,various karst formations, different large man-made formations у (rock debris, waste banks,strip pits), etc.
Ukraine also has mountain landscapes proper. The mountains take up 6.,8 % of the country`s territory. The Ukrainian Carpathians are in the west (33.2 thou. sq. km., including the lowland zone — 3.3 thou. Sq. km.). The Crimean mountains are in the south (7.9 thou. Sq. km). The mountain massif of the Carpathian and Crimean geomorphologic regions play an important part in the country`s economy, tourist and recreation business and have a strong impact on the climate.
The Ukrainian Carpathians are an integral part of the vast mountainous Carpathian area which is divided among Ukraine and other countries (Romania, Poland, Slovakia) the Ukrainian Carpathians are the central part of the Carpathian massif.
In Ukraine, the Carpathians stretch from the north-west to the north-east, occupying a relatively narrow (100—120 km) strip at a distance of nearly 290 km. The Ukrainian Carpathian geomorphologic region consists of three subregions: the Carpathian massif proper, the Precarpathian plain and the Transcarpathian depression.
The south-western and north-western boundaries of the Ukrainian Carpathians coincide with the national Ukrainian-Romanian, Ukrainian-Hungarian, Ukrainian-Slovak and the Ukrainian-Polish borders. Their north-eastern boundary runs approximately along the line Sudova Vyshnya-Mykolaiva-Іvano-Frankivsk-Chernivtsi. The Precarpathian plain lies to the north-east of the Ukrainian Carpathians. This plain with absolute heights of 340—360 m, stretches parallel to the mountains. It is a transition zone between the south-western edge of the Russian hills and the Carpathians. The plain is strongly dissected by the left tributaries of the Dniester and the upper reaches of the Prut and Seret.
The Ukrainian Carpathian massif is not homogeneous orographically. It consists of a number of large parallel strips. The North-eastern (external) strip is made up of the Beskids, Gorgans and the Pokuttya-Bukovyna Carpathians. The highest summits here are: Syvulya (1,838 m), Grofa (1,748 m), Popadya (1,742 m), Stoy (1,677 m), Menchul (1,501 m), Magura (1,368 m) and some other.
Farther to the south-west, parallel to the North-Eastern subregion, stretch the relatively low (800—1,200 ) Vododilno-Verkhovyna Carpathians (they are nearly 30 km wide in the north-west and 10 km in the south-east). Running through the low parts of these mountains are famous Carpathian mountain passes with automobile roads, railroad, gas and oil pipelines, high voltage transmission lines. The passes are: Seredny Veretsky (839 m), Uzhotsky (889 m), Yablunetsky (931 m), Volovetsky (1,014 m). The Main Carpathian watershed is situated within this strip.
Farther south-westward lies the highest subregion of the Ukrainian Carpathians, the Polonyna Chornogora mountains. Chornogora, the highest massif of this subregion, is situated between the rivers Prut and Chorny Cheremosh, Bila and Chorna Tisa. Loomimg over the Alpine pastures are the cone-shaped summits the highest of which are: Goverla (2,061 m), Brebeneskul (2,035 mм), Pip Ivan (2,026 m), Petros (2,022 m), Gutyn Tomnatyk (2,017 m), Rebra (2,007 m) and other. In the Polonyna Chornogora mountains, there are several mountain massifs: Svydyvets, Chornogora, Grynyav mountains, Bukovyna Polonyna.
In the south of the Ukrainian Carpathians are the Rakhiv massif and the Chyvchyn mountains. They feature high peaks and steep valleys.
The Transcarpathian plain is the north-eastern part of the large Danube depression. Situated here is the Volcano ridge with low and cliffy summits, and the Solotvyn and Mukacheve-Chop depressions.
The Crimean mountains run, like a 150-km arc, through the Crimean peninsula from the north-east (near Feodosia) to the south-west (near Balaklava). The mountains consist of three parallel mountain ranges (cuests). Intrinsic in cuests are steep south-eastern and gently sloping and long north-western mountainsides. The height and size of the cuests increase from the south-east to the north-west. The highest is the Main range (1,200— 1,500 m), then come the Internal (nearly 500 m) and External (250—320 m) ranges. The average height of the Crimean mountains is 440 m. The highest summits are in the Main range. Among these, the highest are: Romen-Kosh (1,545m), Eklizi Burun and Chatyrdazi (1,527 m), Ai Petri (1,234 m). Mount Kubalach (738 m) near Bilogorsk is the highest summit of the Internal range.
The Crimean mountains play an important climatologic role. They protect from the impact of cold air masses the narrow coastal strip — the Southern Coast of the Crimea. The latter is Ukraine`s most important seaside health resort area with mild subtropical climate which is conducive to rest and medical treatment.
On the whole, Ukraine`s relief affords favorable conditions to develop productive forces and natural resources. The broader application of new methods to geological prospecting and exploration makes the process of finding and studying the necessary raw materials cost effective and helps reduce production costs.