The Territory of Donetsk could comprise “five Parises”
Modern Donetsk is a large megapolis and one of the biggest industrial centers of Ukraine. It is located on the South-East of the country and it is the administrative center of Donetsk region.
Donetsk region occupies approximately 4% of the whole territory of Ukraine (26,5 thousand square km). This is the most densely populated region of Ukraine, where 5 million people reside. From the north to south Donetsk region extends to 240 km and from the west to the east it covers 170 km. The eastern parts of Donetsk region borders on Russia, and from the south it is washed by the Azov Sea. Donetsk land is rich in fertile black earth, which covers approximately 2 million of hectares.
Donetsk occupies a territory of 570 squire kilometers. Such territory could easily comprise “five “Parises” or “three Washingtons”. Its population is about one million people.
The first thing that bursts upon the eye of visitors of the city is a big number of “pyramids”. These are terricones, which are piles of bulk rocks. Donetsk is famous for its coal mines that produce coke and power generating coal.
Hundred million years ago these lands used to be a bottom of an enormous sea. The level of water went up and down. As a result, such minerals as limestone, sandstone, and black coal were formed.
In the course of time the boundless spaces were transformed into the Steppe with grassy plains and no trees. That place was called the Wild Field (Dikoye Pole).
On the territory of Donetsk region there are some plains (Pridonetskaya) and hills (Donetsk Kryazh). The total number of fivers is 110. The longest river is the Seversky Donets. This is the main source of fresh water for the whole region.
There are five rivers in Donetsk. All of them fall into the Kalmius that flows into the Azov Sea. There are two water storage ponds in the centre of the city, they are Kalmiusskoye Vodokhranilische and the Donetsk Sea.
Donetsk region can be considered a geologic museum of the planet. Besides coal, there are more than 750 depositing fields of other minerals. Coal, salt, fluxing limestone and dolomite, fire cay and high-fusing clay are used in the most active way.
There are also deposits of iron ore, fluorite, basalt, phosphorite, aluminum raw materials, as well as rare and rare-earth elements. Deposits of gold, copper, lead, and fragments of diamond crystals were founded here. Moreover, free-gas deposit fields are being exploring now (approximately 1200 mln m3). And coal deposits fields in the region contain milliards cubic meters of methane. This is valuable power generation raw material, which is unfortunately still used in a limited way for industrial needs.
Unique semi-precious stone called mariupolit is the only one deposit all over the world. It is very popular in the Middle East to decorate sheiks’ apartments with this stone.
The climate here is moderately continental with droughts and hot winds. Dust storms happen sometimes. Winters are changeable, cold with ice-covered ground. Rainfalls and snowfalls are not abundant. Summer is hot. The average temperature in winter is -6°C (but it can reach - 30°C). The average temperature in July is +22 °C. But in the end of summer the temperature can increase up to 39 - 40°C. The temperature above +10°C lasts 170 days per year.
Flora and Fauna
Despite the industrial load in Donetsk region, it has a lot of picturesque pieces of nature. For example, natural reserves Melovaya Flora, Stone Graves and Khomutovskaya Step (close to the Azov Sea). About 40% of plants (more than 1800 species) that can be found in Ukraine are concentrated here.
About one hundred of rare plants were recorded in the Red Book of Ukraine, and some of them are even under protection of the European Red List.
It is possible to fall in love with Ukrainian steppes after visiting the Reserve Khomutovskaya Step in spring (particularly, in May). In this season the step is in blossom and full of all the colors of the rainbow.
Fauna of Donetsk territory comprises 25 thousand specious. More than 100 of them were recorded in the Red Book. Forest-steppe arrears are inhabited by wild boars, elks, hares, roe deer, foxes, wolfs, and musk beavers. In our rivers there are about 40 species of fish. Dolphins can be founded in the Azov Sea.
But environmental protection is a pressing problem for our region.