General information about the region
About the Region
Murmansk region is a subject of the Russian Federation included into North Western Federal District.
It is located in the Northwest of the European part of Russia and was formed on May 28, 1938. On the south it shares birders with Karelia, on the west – with Finland, on the north-west – with Norway.
Area: 144 902 km²
Population: 771 000 people (preliminary data from the official site of ROSTAT).
Proportion of urban population (2013): 92.6% (714 342 people).
Administrative center of the region: Murmansk city
Murmansk region is located on Baltiysk crystal board. More than 150 of them cannot be found anywhere else. The main mineral resources on the territory of the region are apatites (Hibinsky fields of apatite - nepheline ores), iron ores (about 10% of the Russian production) on Olenegorsky and Kovdorsky fields. Apatite, zirconium ore (brazilite), mica-phlogopite and vermiculite (the largest world reserves) are also extracted on Olenegorsky and Kovdorsky fields. Besides nickel and copper, copper-nickel ores of Pechengsky and Monchegorsky group of fields give to the country such metals as cobalt, platinum, osmium, iridium and many others.
Oil extraction is carried out on the Barents Sea shelf. One of the largest gas fields – Shtokmanovskoe -was found there.
The unique Lovozersky field has the largest stocks of rare-earth metals in the country in its subsoil. Stocks of aluminum raw materials (cyanite schist in Keivy Ridge), grenade-almandine stocks are almost unlimited. Also Keivy Ridge has deposits of beryllium and lithium (almost 50% of the Russian stocks) ores, rare metals. White mica, pegmatites production is conducted. Fields of construction rocks, ornamental and semiprecious stones (amethyst, chrysalides, pomegranate, moonstone "moonstone", amazonite, eudialyte, etc.) are numerous in the region.
All the territory of Murmansk Region belongs to the regions of the Far North. территория Мурманской области относится к районам Крайнего Севера. In winter polar night, in summer — polar day are characteristic of the region.
Climate in the southern part is moderately cold, in the northern — subarctic marine climate, softened by a warm North Atlantic current (northeast continuation of Gulf Stream), it allows to carry out navigation all the year round.
Average air temperature of the coldest months (January-February) makes from −8 degrees in the north of the region (influence of a warm current) to −12-15 degrees in the central regions. In summer, +8 degrees and +14 degrees, respectively. The minimum air temperatures make-35 degrees on the coast of the Barents Sea, -45 on Belomorsk coast and -55 in the central regions in winter. Summer maximum is equal to +27, +32 and +33 degrees, respectively. Due to high humidity of air and strong winds even small frosts are transferred into extremely hard. Frosts are possible in any day of summer, in June snowfalls are frequent. On the sea coast and plateau strong winds (in rushes to 55-60 m/s) are frequent. Snow lies from the middle-end of October to the middle of May (in mountain areas since the end of September-beginning of October to the middle of June) on the average.
Soils are not very valuable. There are more than 110 thousand lakes with an area of more than 10 hectares and 18 209 rivers longer than 100 m.
Almost all Murmansk Region is covered with tundra and forest-tundra, only in the south of the region —northern taiga is met. Trees in the north of the region are often dwarfish (birch and aspen), fir-trees grows well, pines are met, the tundra is covered by mosses and lichens as a carpet, there are a lot of berries: bilberry, cloudberries, blueberry, cowberry and cranberry. Stocks of business wood are considerable. The Fauna is quite poor.
In Murmansk Region there are such breeds of fish, as cod, sea perch, halibut, catfish, flounder, herring. Lakes and rivers are rich in valuable species of fish, such as: trout, salmon, whitefish, grayling, paliya, nelma, loach.