Terrain shapes and bedrock
Afghanistan can be divided into three geographical regions: the Central Highlands, the Northern Plains and the Southwest Plateau. Like neighboring Iran in the west and China in the east, Afghanistan has a distinctly mountainous natural landscape.
|Residents per km²
|Income per capita
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||33 00 N, 65 00 O
According to COUNTRYAAH, the most dominant mountain range is Hindukush, which extends in the form of a powerful barrier (with the highest point 7,690 m above sea level) from the narrow corridor in the northeast, with the mountain range Pamir in the north, towards the country’s border in the west. A few miles north of the capital, Kabul, it divides into several smaller mountain ranges, which form a spring-like spread over much of the country’s interior. Among these mountain routes, Kuh-e Baba, Safed Kuh and Band-e Bayan have the same direction as the main chain. To the northwest stretches Band-e Torkestan and in the south direction Kuh-e Mazar and Kuh-e Khurd. The mountain ranges originate from the alpine fold in tertiary times and consist mainly of hard crystalline rocks. Only in the far north and south-west are lower areas of plain and plateau nature. The area to the north is part of the Turkmen plateau that crosses the Afghan border. In the southwest lies the sand desert of Rigestan and the drainage basin Sistan with the lake Hamun-i-Helmand and the salt marsh Gowd-e Zereh.
The drainage in Afghanistan takes place mainly within the country and is directed from the northeast to the southwest. Only Amu-Darja, which forms part of the border with Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, reaches the Aral Sea. The Kabul River is the main river for the rainier eastern slopes of Hindukush and unites with the Indus, which flows into the Arabian Sea. It is mainly in the river valleys that larger pastures occur.
The climate is largely a steppe climate of a semi-arid type, which is strongly characterized by the country’s continental location and mountainous character. The temperature difference is therefore large between summer and winter and between day and night. The average temperature in January is between −5 and +5 ° C and in July between 25 and 35 ° C, however, with large local variations due to the elevation conditions. The rainfall is generally low and falls during the cold part of the year.
The soil is also characterized by the country’s topography and low rainfall. Most are immature litho oil soils, where bedrock and precipitation give a local touch. Desert soils and salt soils are found in the driest parts of the country.
Plant-and animal life
Plant geographically, Afghanistan belongs to the Iranian highlands and is for the most part a barren, low-lying mountain country with sand deserts, salt steppes and alpine steppe areas. The vegetation is dominated by prickly shrubs and semi-shrubs by the genus Vedles and Esparts, Acantholimon and Cousinia. The country has about 3,000 species of seed plants, of which about 30% are endemic.
Wildlife is characterized by the dry climate and the sparse vegetation. Predators and rodents in particular are therefore abundantly represented. Of the ungulates, the concern (the wild form of the dominee), the wild ash (though few) and the dorkas gazelle can be mentioned. Wolf, brown bear, striped hyena and leopard are now rare. Lions have existed but are now extinct. The bird fauna are relatively poor species. Larches, stone washes and flying chickens are dominant groups. Rostand, Russian fox, juggerk, pheasants, Afghan snow fin (endemic) and collar stairs are typical species in the country.
Afghanistan has two national parks Band-e Amir and Aja Valley. The country also has a number of wetland bird sanctuaries and wildlife sanctuaries.