Geography of Ukraine

/ Geography of Ukraine

Ukraine is the largest country in Europe. Geography of Ukraine has a lot of diverse geographic features. Most of the country is located south-west of the Eastern European plain, which makes almost 95% of the territory of Ukraine. Ukrainian Carpathians mountains in the west part of Ukraine occupy 5% of whole geographical territory. The highest peak in Ukraine is Goverla Mountain (2,061 m), it is situated in the Carpathians.

Geography of Ukraine

Ukrainian geography varies greatly from one region of the country to another. Depending on the location of the region geographical features ranging from the highlands to the lowlands as well as climatic range and a wide variety in hydrography.

Geography of Ukraine has diverse and interesting relief.  Most of its territory lies within the Great European Plain, while parts of western regions and southern regions lay within the Alpine system. By its geographical features Ukraine is divided in to several provinces. These provinces are the followings: Polesian Lowland, Dnieper Lowland, Volhynia-Podolie Plateau, Black Sea-Azov Lowland, Donets-Azov Plateau, Central Russian Upland, Carpathians, and Pannonian Basin. There are two main criteria for such a division:

  • Biome: mixed forest or steppe;
  • Relief: plain or upland.
Geography of Ukraine
Ukrainian steppe

Regular plains in Ukraine has an average height above sea level up to 175 meters.

Uplands have an average height above sea level up to 1800 meters. The highest peak of Ukrainian uplands is located in the Carpathian mountains (Hoverla mountain).

Geography of Ukraine is of interest by variety if its water resources. There are more than 73,000 rivers in the territory of Ukraine. The major rivers are the Dnipro (third longest in Europe), the Dniester, Sourhern Buch, Siverski Donets, Prut, the mouth of the Danube is situated in Ukraine.

There are more than 20,000 water reservoirs are situated in Ukraine. Among them are more than 3,000 lakes. They are mostly situated in Polesye and south part of Ukraine. Most of Ukrainian rivers belong to the basins of the Black and Azov seas. The exception is Western Bug. It flows in to the Baltic Sea basin.

Mineral resources of Ukraine

We cannot but mention that Ukrainian water resources are sources of mineral waters and medicinal mud. These waters are used for treatment of many diseases. Ukrainian water resources impress guests of the country with such a diversity of mineral waters, from low-salted water with organic substances to highly mineralized mixtures.

The daily total mineral water supply makes 5% of total resources. The major sources of Ukrainian mineral waters are located in Zakarpattia (Transcarpathia), Lvov, Odessa, Donetsk.

One of the most popular mineral waters are Truskavets and Morshun water sources. Mineral waters with low mineralization are administered for internal use, and mineral waters with high mineralized content are used in balneology. More information about Truskavets mineral waters can be found on official website of Truskavets health resort.

Geography of Ukraine is rich in natural resources. Ukraine mines up to 97 types of minerals. The most important among them are: iron, manganese, uranium, titanic, and zirconium ores, coal, gas, oil and condensate, kaolin, graphite, non-metallic raw material for metallurgy, facing stone, and mineral water.

In Ukraine a large-scale extraction of manganese (10%) and iron (4%) ores, kaolin (18% of global volume), ochre, zirconium, non-metallic metallurgical raw materials (quartzite, fluxing limestone and dolomite), uranium, chemical raw materials (brimstone, rock and potassium salt), titan, germanium, graphite (4%), as well as bromine, facing stone (granite) and glass sand is under way.

All the time geologists are searing for new reservoirs of mineral resources in Ukraine. Recently it has been proven that Ukraine has mineral deposits of gold, chrome, copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, and rare-earth series.

According to geologists Ukraine is located in unique geological region, which has been formed over 3 billion years ago.  This makes Ukrainian geography interesting both for researchers and mining industries.

There are the following basic groups of mineral resources in the balance of natural resources:

  • Hard fossil fuels (brown coal, shale oil and menilite slate);
  • Oil and gas;
  • Iron ore;
  • Manganese ore;
  • Titanium ore;
  • Nonferrous metal ores;
  • Ores of rare metals;
  • Non-metal minerals (salt, graphite, mineral waters).