Geography - Map
|Location||Central Asia, Asia|
|Coordinates||41 00 N, 64 00 E|
|Area||447,400 sq km: land – 425,400 sq km, water – 22,000 sq km|
|Neighbours||Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan|
|Land boundaries||Total length – 6,221 km: Kazakhstan – 2,203 km, Kirgizstan – 1,099 km, Tadjikistan – 1,161 km, Turkmenistan – 1,621 km and Afghanistan - 137 km|
|Access to sea||Country is encircled by land (border passes through Aral Sea)|
|Coastline||0 km (not to count 420 km of Aral Sea)|
Uzbekistan is located at the very center of Central Asia. The country borders with Kazakhstan to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east and southeast, Turkmenistan to the southwest, as well as Afghanistan to the south. Uzbek nation comprises a majority of the total population. The territory of 447,400 sq km (roughly the size of Sweden) lies between the two major rivers of Central Asia, the Syr Darya(Jaxartes) and Amu Darya (Oxus).
The Syr Darya rises in remotes of Kyrgyzstan before plummeting from the Tian Shan into the wide hollow of the Fergana Valley in the northeast of Uzbekistan. Skirting the capital Tashkent, it completes a journey of 2,137 km through southern Kazakhstan and Kyzyl Kum (Red Sands) desert to the distant Aral Sea. For centuries it marked the northern limits of Transoxiana and the edge of the boundless nomadic steppe.
From its origins in the Hindu Kush, the Amu Darya cuts through the High Pamir of Tajikistan to follow the Afghan border and trace a northwesterly path of 1,437 km parallel to the Syr Darya, separating Kyzyl Kum from Kara Kum (Black Sands) of Turkmenistan, and in ancient times dividing the Persian and Turkic world. Along its lower reaches the river enters the Turan lowland and the Khorezm oasis. Its final course has changed many times, sometimes stretching west to the Caspian Sea across the Ust'urt plateau. Today it founders heavy with silt at the shrinking Aral Sea.
Between 2 Rivers
Steppe and desert plains account for two thirds of Uzbekistan, with the remainder of the country rising into the foothills and mountains of the western Tian Shan and Gissaro-Alay ranges in the east end southeast, where peaks along the borders of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan reach to 4,500 m. The country’s location between two major rivers has always ensured commercial and cultural prominence. Thousands of smaller streams expire in water land, but one, the Zarafshan River, former tributary of the Amu Darya, first waters the most attractive oases in the region, Samarkand and Bukhara.
Most of the territory of Uzbekistan is occupied by plains (nearly 80% of the territory).
One of the main is Turanian plain. In the east and northeast of country are situated spurs of Tien Shan and the Pamir, with the highest spot of 4,643 m. There is one of the largest deserts of the world – Kyzyl Kum - on the north of central part of the territory of Uzbekistan.
Mountains and foothills form approximately 20% territory of the republic. In the east, dominate middle and high mountainous West Tien-Shan (mountain ranges Ugam, Pskent, Chatkal, Kuramin) and the Pamir-Alay (mountain ranges Zeravshan, Turkestan, Gissar, Kugitangtau, Baysuntau) are within the republic. To the south and west, they are gradually lower and move over to plains. Quiet big troughs Kashqadarya, Surkhandarya, Zeravshan and Samarqand stretch between mountains. The largest intermountain trough is Fergana valley (370 km), and in the width reaches 190 km. It is surrounded by the mountain ranges from three sides and open only from the west. Extensive Near Amu Darya trough is on the border with Afghanistan.
Country of Cotton
At the Soviet Union period, Uzbekistan was the land of cotton and the Union's cotton production base. As the American Civil war cut world cotton supplies, Turkestan was discovered to be ideal for cotton cultivation. Irrigation networks stretching 150,000 km were built to supply 70 per cent of the Soviet Union's cotton. In 1924, output totaled 200,000 tons, by 1980 this figure had risen to 9 million tons. The sheer size of the irrigation system required to sustain this level of production has resulted in much of the water from the major rivers being diverted; deprived of its sustenance, the Aral Sea has been shrinking steadily, halving in size since 1960.
Not only Cotton
Some land is now being switched from cotton to less thirsty grain production, although the 1996 harvest of under 4 million tons still ranked Uzbekistan as the world's fourth-largest cotton nation. Other mainstays of the Uzbek economy include fruit and vegetables, animals husbandry and textiles, but it is the republic's mineral wealth that most excites foreign investors. In addition to being one of the world's largest gold producers, Uzbekistan harbors significant reserves of oil and natural gas, as well as uranium, silver, copper, zinc, coal and lead.
Uzbekistan has great production and resource potential, unique agricultural raw materials, significant volumes of half-finished items, rich natural resources, and developed infrastructure. Entrails of the country contain spares of natural gas, gray and stone coal, gold, copper, tungsten, bismuth, opened oilfields. Modern level of exploring useful minerals is connected with mastering richest deposits of noble, color and rare metals, all types of organic fuel - oil, natural gas and gas condensates, gray and half-coke coal, combustible schist, uranium, many other types of raw materials useful for construction work. Broad complex of useful fossils, including near 100 types of mineral raw materials is revealed on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan, from which most are already in use in the public facilities. Uzbekistan occupies leading places on confirmed stocks of such useful fossilized, as gold, uranium, copper, natural gas, tungsten, potassium salts, phosphorus, kaolin not only in CIS, but also in the world. So, on stocks of gold republic is in top-three in the world, on stocks of copper - tenth place; uranium - seventh place.
Fauna of country is highly varied: in the desert one can meet rare antelope Saygak and giant lizards, reaching lengths 1,5 м. In mountains, haunts a snow leopard and rare types of mountain goats.