Ilmensky Mountains


Ilmensky Mountains

Region of the Russian Federation: Chelyabinsk Region

Status of Territories composing the Property: Ilmensky State Nature Reserve

Area: 34,380 ha

Status: inscribed in the Tentative List of the Russian Federation in 2008

Ilmensky Mountains are remarkable by their beauty. They create the unique in mineral diversity natural place that attracts scientists and stone-lowers during a long period of time. In 1920 Ilmensky Mountains were announced as the mineralogical Nature Reserve, on e of the first nature reserves created in Russia.

The complex of Ilmensky Mountains is located in the Southern part of the Sysert-Ilmenogorsky meganticlinorium of the East-Ural elevation. The variety of rocks is conditioned by complex and prolonged history of the Ilmenogorsky complex numbered 2.3 billion years.

The biggest practical and scientific (mineralogical) interest is connected with pegmatite (granitic, syenitic, miascitic) veins that are located here. In those veins one can find topaz, aquamarine, phenacite, zircon, sapphire, tourmaline, amazon-stone, different rare-metal minerals. Such rocks as miascite, firsite and sandyite as well as 18 minerals (including ilmenite) were discovered here for the first time in the world.

The relief of the Nature Reserve is smoothed out to a considerable degree. It represents a system of hills with different height that are almost completely covered with forest. From the West the Nature Reserve is limited by the wide flood plain of the Miass River, from South and East by a chain of large lakes with the tectonic origin. The highest point is the Ilmen-Tau Mountain with a height of 750 meters above the sea level. The complete Ilmensky Ridge with the extent of 60 kilometers and its eastern foothills are located inside the nature Reserve.

The climate of the Nature Reserve is acutely continental with hot summers and cold winters. The weather is unstable. Dry summer may alternate with the rainy one. Winter with little snow may alternate with mild one with a lot of snow. The number of precipitation fluctuates in the limits between 500 and 800 millimeters annually with a maximum in the warm time.