Terrain shapes and bedrock
According to COUNTRYAAH, Ukraine is mainly a southern part of the Eastern European plain. Only smaller areas are mountainous.
The Ukrainian plains have an average height of 175 m above sea level. and includes several highland areas and plateaus. At the far west is the Podilska Highlands, which in Kamula reaches 471 m above sea level. It is drained to the Black Sea by the rivers Dnestr and Södra Buh (Södra Bug). To the east follows the Dnieper Plateau, which is crossed by a number of river valleys and ravines. On the eastern side of Dnepr, the Azovian highlands rise to 324 meters above sea level. In the eastern part of Ukraine is the Donets Ridge, which reaches 367 meters above sea level. at the top Mohyla-Metjetna. Separate lowland areas can also be discerned, such as Prypjatträsken (Pripetträsken) in the north, which are crossed by Prypjatwith several rivers. In central Ukraine, the lowland area extends around the Dnieper River, which to the south extends around the Black Sea coast and the northern Crimean peninsula.
Mountain areas include furthest to the southwest, where the Carpathians extend into Ukraine. There are easily accessible rock ridges that reach 2,058 m above sea level. as the highest in the top Hoverla. The Jail Mountains in southern Crimea are made up of some parallel ridges with fertile valleys in between. They form a continuation of the Caucasus with interruptions only for the Strait of Kertj, which leads into the Azovska lake. A wide stretch of mountain, including with granites, stretches from Azovska Lake to the northwest and is reflected in the altitude areas. In other parts, the bedrock consists of sedimentary rocks formed during chalk and tertiary.
The soil in Ukraine varies; in the north there is a belt with pod soles, while a central belt comprising about 65% of Ukraine is covered by fertile black soil.
According to BRIDGAT, Ukraine has a temperate climate that, due to the low rainfall, is of a steppe nature, except for the southernmost parts of the Mediterranean climate. The climate is becoming increasingly continental to the east, with warmer summers and colder winters. In the west, warm, humid air masses from the Atlantic have an effect, which means that the western parts get warmer in winter than the eastern ones, which are influenced by the high-pressure belt in the north.
Winters in Ukraine are considerably more stable in weather than in Central Europe and winter temperatures last between two and four months. Winters are cold and especially in the south, the northeastern Siberian winds can cause heavy snowstorms. However, the snow cover is rather small and short-lived due to the limited winter rainfall. In the summer, eastern warm winds in southern Ukraine can cause dust storms. Crimea has a mild climate with short winters, long hot summers and precipitation amounts as small as 200 mm. Spring is short throughout the country, but especially in the Crimean region, winter turns very quickly into a dry and sunny spring.
The average temperature in January increases from north to south and it is only at the western Crimean peninsula that it reaches 0 °C. The Carpathians have −6 °C and the coolest region in the northeast has −8 °C. In July, the average temperature is lowest in the Carpathians, 16 °C, rising east and south with the highest values at the Black Sea coastal areas (up to 23 °C).
The annual rainfall is highest in the Carpathians, over 1,200 mm, and decreases to the east. At least it rains at the Black Sea coastal areas, below 400 mm per year. The rainfall has a summer maximum throughout the country. The exception is Crimea south of the Jajla mountains, which, due to the Mediterranean character, have the most rainfall during the winter.
In ancient times, Ukraine was dominated by extensive grass steppes, but these fertile lands are now largely cultivated. Remaining areas of natural vegetation testify to what the landscape may have once looked like. In the spring, the steppe is dominated by, among other things. tulips, peonies, sword lilies and anemones. In the summer these are replaced by, inter alia, sage and silver shimmering stock of various spring grass species.
In the forest areas in the north and northwest, the fauna is typically central European. Here, as well as on the forest steppes in the middle parts of the country, there are also wolves and moose. Gold shawls are found in almost the entire country.
The steppes are characterized by burrowing rodents, such as blind rats, hamsters, rattlesnakes, sisels and steppe murmurs, furthermore by crawfish, mainly agams and hams. Amongst the birds of the steppe there are many species of larch as well as maize, stairs, steppe hawk, steppe eagle, tatar falcon, evening falcon and quail.
In the wetlands along the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, large numbers of egrets, gulls (including black-headed gull, long-billed gull and black-headed gull) nest, terns, cormorants and both European pelicans. Here, very large quantities of geese (including red-necked goose and mountain goose), ducks and waders also rest and winter.
Among the country’s over 200 species of fish, several species of starfish are noticed.
Ukraine has (2012) ten areas corresponding to national parks. Carpathian Park and Sjatskparken. In addition, there are a large number of scientific reserves, national biosphere reserves, hunting reserves and less nature protected areas, over 5,000 in number. About 4% of the total land area is protected, of the marine areas about 5%.