Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Kola Peninsula (Кольский полуостров, Kol'skij poluostrov in Russian) is a peninsula in the far north of Russia, part of the Murmansk Oblast. It borders upon the Barents Sea on the North and the White Sea on the East and South. The west border of the Kola Peninsula stretches along a meridian from the Kola Gulf through the Imandra Lake , Kola Lake , and the Niva River to the Kandalaksha Gulf . The peninsula covers an area of about 100 000 square km. The north coast is steep and high, the southern is flat. In the west part of the peninsula there are two mountain ranges: the Khibiny Mountains , and the Lovoserskie Mountains (up to 1120 m in height). In the central part of the peninsula lies the Keyvy watershed.
The Kola peninsula is extremely rich in various ores and minerals, including apatites, alumina sources, iron ore,mica, ceramic raw, titanium ore, phlogopite, and vermiculite, as well as ores of less-common and colored metals. The Kola Superdeep Borehole is the deepest borehole in the world.
Despite its northern location, the Kola Peninsula has a relatively warm and mild climate, because of the influence of warm Atlantic currents. The average temperature in January is about -10C, in July about +10C. The peninsula is covered by Taiga in the south and tundra in the north.
The Kola Peninsula has many fast-moving rivers with rapids. The most important of them are the Ponoy River , Varzuga River , Teriberka River , Voronya River , and the Iokanga River . The major lakes are: Imandra Lake , Umbozero Lake , Lovozero Lake .
The major port of the region is Murmansk. During the Soviet period, Murmansk was a major submarine production center, and remains a major naval headquarters in modern Russia.
The Kola peninsula as a whole suffered major ecological damage, mostly as a result of pollution from the military (particularly naval) production, as well as from industrial mining of apatite. There are currently about 250 nuclear reactors produce by the Soviet military, no longer in use but still producing radiation and leaking radioactive waste, on the peninsula.
The Kola Peninsula is one of the key locations in the book Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident.
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