The Kola Peninsula occupies the rim Northern-Western Russia. It lies between 66 03' and 6957'N and 2825' and 4126'E. Major part of the Peninsula lies Above the Polar Circle. In the North it is washed by the Barents and in the South - White seas. In the West it borders with Finland and Norway .

Climate

The Atlantic's neighbourhood stipulates relatively mild climate . The winter here is warm and snow. A great number of lakes, here may serve as a climate forming factor. The relief is not less important . Relief diversity over around the Peninsula explains a particular colourful climate situation.

Solar radiation.

For the Kola Peninsula latitude it is of characteristics the Sun's low position, light days and nights in summer and long nights and short twilight in winter . A number of polar days varies from 17 in the South of the region and to 72 - in the North. The solar radiation regime is characterized by sharply expressed the all year around picture. During summer period the amount of heat from solar radiation is higher than over around St.Peterburg . The amount of radiation substantially decreases because of usual for the peninsula heavy cloudiness, fogs and relatively high humidity. In winter a direct solar radiation is of zero or almost zero value.

The weather

Most peculiar feature of the weather in the Kola Peninsula is its instability and sharp changeability, stipulated by frequent change of air masses and cyclone and fronts' travel. As a whole the weather in the Kola Peninsula heterogeneous and depends much on the distance from the sea. In the mountains the thermal regime drops by 0.5 per each 100m when coming up.

The year average temperature within the region is -2.0, in July 8.4 -14.9.

The atmosphere falls range from 340 to 640 mm. Rains predominate in summer. Average amount of snowpack in plains comes to 25-70cm, and in the mountains to 150cm. in some places the snowpack thickness reaches 400cm.

Real spring comes at late April and early May all over around the Kola Peninsula. But sometimes warm weather changes for cold and it often snows.

Summer in the region is short, about 2.5 months, cool and wet.

Autumn here usually comes early and it often rains.

Geological structure and relief.

The Kola Peninsula is the Northern-Eastern rim of the Baltic crinoline shield, composed with basic gneisses, granit-gneisses and crystal schists of the Archean age, with intrusion impregnations of acid, basic and alkaline magma.

The peninsula relief is rather complex and diverse. The western and central area is characterized by mountain relief. In the centre there are concentrated the Chibini and Lovozero massifs.

The North-Eastern region is featured by hill relief and a great number of lakes.

The Kola Peninsula mountains have the name of "tundra". The native people of the peninsula "saami" call from early time all hills and mountains with flat tops without any vegetation.

Seas

The Kola Peninsula is washed by the Barents and White seas. The border between them is Cape St. Nose.

The Barents sea is a part of Atlantic ocean. Its area is 1405 th. km2. The deepest place is 600m. The warm Golfstream penetrates into the Barents sea creating favourable conditions on the sea coast for animal and plant world. The thermal regime in the Barents sea at various depths is varying because amount of warm waters input with Nordcape stream depending on the season is different. It influences on ice regime of the sea. Ice is getting bound in October. April is thought to be mostly rich of ice.

The White see . The Nordcape stream doesn't integrate the white sea water. Ice season in the White sea is lasting from November to May. The height of full water is substantially lower, it doesn't exceed by 1.5m.

Internal water

Rivers.

There are about 21 000 of rivers running through the Kola Peninsula territory, total area is more than 60 000km. The largest water catchment area has the river Tuloma - 21 000km2. The longest river - Ponoy(426km). Almost all the rivers in the Peninsula might be devided into plain and mountain rivers.

The plain rivers are featured by having many lakes.

Melting waters input the rivers, that's why they are characterised by intensive, vigour spring flood.

The ice in rivers is getting bound , usually, in October and they are kept under ice cover for 6-7 months.

The rivers in the Kola Peninsula are not navigable. In the rivers Pasvik, Tuloma, Voronia, Niva and Kovda there built cascades of hydro- power stations.


Lakes.

The Kola Peninsula is the lake region. There are more than 100 000 of lakes in the Peninsula.

The largest one is the Imandra lake with a catchment area of 876km2. The deepest one is the Umbozero where the deepest place is 115m.

Water in the lakes is fresh, cool and transparent. Ice is kept for 220 day a year.

Wetland.

Peace are spanning more than 20% of territory, their total number is approximately 13 000.

The south-east part of the Peninsula is the most wet. Peat thickness in the Kola Peninsula wetlands varies from 1-2., sometimes -4m.

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