Geography of Kosovo

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Geography of Kosovo
Kosovo map-en.svg
Continent Europe
Region Balkans
Coordinates 42°36′00″N 20°51′00″E / 42.6000°N 20.8500°E / 42.6000; 20.8500
Area Ranked 166th
 • Total 10.908 km2 (4.212 sq mi)
 • Land 99%
 • Water 1%
Borders
Highest point Gjeravica,
2,656 m (8,714 ft)
Lowest point White Drin,
297 m (974 ft)
Longest river White Drin,
122 km (76 mi)
Largest lake Lake Gazivoda
9.2 km2 (4 sq mi)
Climate Continental
Terrain Mountainous
Natural Resources coal, zinc, lead, silver, chromium, etc.

Kosovo is a landlocked country situated in Southeastern Europe, in the center of Balkan Peninsula. With an area of 10.908 km2 (4 sq mi), it is one of the smallest countries in Europe by area, but one of the most populated, with a population of 1,859,203 (2014 estimate) inhabitants (159/km2).

Considering its small size, Kosovo has a great variety of topographical features. It is surrounded by mountains: the Sharr Mountains are located in the south and southeast, bordering Macedonia, while the Kopaonik Mountains rise in the north. The southwest borders with Montenegro and Albania are also mountainous, and are home to the country's highest peak, Gjeravica, 2,656 m (8,714 ft) high. The central region is mainly hilly, but two large plains spread over Kosovo's west and east, respectively, Metohija plain and Kosovo plain.[1]

In the terms of hydrography, Kosovo has limited water resources. The main rivers in the country are the White Drin, running towards the Adriatic Sea, the South Morava in the Goljak area, and Ibar in the north. Sitnica, a tributary of Ibar, is the longest river lying completely within Kosovo. There are several small natural lakes but the country's most important lakes are artificial. The biggest lakes are Gazivoda, Radonjić, Batlava and Badovac. Kosovo also does have a large number of karst springs, thermal and mineral water springs.[2]

Area and boundaries[edit]

Kosovo is in the central part of the Western Balkans, Southeastern Europe and it borders Albania to the southwest, Macedonia to the southeast, Montenegro to the west, and Serbia to the north and east. It lies between latitudes 42° and 43° N, and longitudes 20° and 22° E.[3]

The location of Kosovo

The total surface of the territory of Kosovo is 10.908 km2 (4 sq mi), making it the 169th largest country in the world,[3] with a border length as follows:

Length of borders of Kosovo .[4]
Country Length
Albania 113.551 km (70.557 mi)
Republic of Macedonia 170.772 km (106.113 mi)
Montenegro 79.165 km (49.191 mi)
Serbia 380.068 km (236.163 mi)
Total 743.556 km (462.024 mi)

Elevation extremes:

Topography[edit]

Prokletije
Rugged mountains near Peja, western Kosovo
Kosovo Plain
Aerial view of Kosovo plain near Pristina

Although Kosovo has relatively small territory it has a very varied relief. Framed along its borders by high mountain ranges, such as Sharr Mountains to the south and southeast, Prokletije to the west, Kopaonik to the north and Goljak to the east, Kosovo's relief is clearly defined by two main plains in the inner part, Dukagjini to the south-west and Kosovo plain to the north-eastern part. Between Dukagjini and Kosovo plains, in the center of the country, is located Drenica Valley, a smaller hilly region surrounded by Çiçavica mountains to the northeast and Kozmaç to the southwest. There are also several other small valleys like Anamorava, Podujevo valley, Ibar Valley, etc.

Sharr mountain range[edit]

The Šar Mountains are located in the south and south-east of the country, bordering the Republic of Macedonia and Albania. With an area of 1100 km2, they represent approximately 1/10 part of total Kosovo territory.[5] The mountains border the Kosovo Plain to the north-east through the valley of the River Lepenci while in the north-west Lumëbardh of Prizren river defines the boundary with Dukagjini Valley. Sharr mountain range extends to Macedonia in southern part and also to Albania in south-west.

Gjoli lake under Luboten mountain, Sharr, Kosovo

Sharr mountains are one of the highest and ruggedest mountain ranges in the Balkans. In Kosovo's part officially the highest point is Luboten peak 2498 m above the sea level. Even though still not officially, after the border demarcation between Kosovo and Macedonia, Rudoka e Madhe peak with 2658m, is the highest, not only in the Sharr mountain but in the whole Kosovo.

Regarding floristic aspect the region represent a treasure of plant species where a large number of endemic and relict plant species are present, including rare and endangered plant species. So far in these mountains have been identified 2,000 species of plants and 68 plant communities. Sharr territory with different biotopes is very rich in fauna aspect. Due to the ornito-faunistic richness, the Shar Mountains are evidenced in international lists as important ornito-faunistic region(IBA-Region).[6]

In 1986 an area of 390 km² or 35.4% of the total area of the mountain stretching in Kosovo side was declared as National Park.[7]

Due to the appropriate configuration, quality and the duration of the snow cover in the area, tourism in this region has developed regarding winter sport activities but also in summer. The region is known most for the skiing resorts, with Brezovica and Prevalac as the main tourist centers.

Accursed Mountains[edit]

Gjeravica, the highest peak in Kosovo

The region of Kosovo's mountainous area, including the highest peak Gjeravica, at 2,656 m (8,714 ft) above sea level, is located in the south-west and western part of the country, bordering Albania and Montenegro.

Kopaonik Mountain Range[edit]

The Kopaonik mountains are located in the north. The central region of Drenica, Crnoljeva and the eastern part of Kosovo, known as Goljak, are mainly hilly areas.

Plains[edit]

There are two main plains in Kosovo. The Metohija basin is located in the western part of the Kosovo, and the Plain of Kosovo occupies the eastern part. Between the two basins there is low hills area of Drenica.

The plain of Kosovo is on average higher that the plain of Metohija for about 100 metres (328 ft).

Average height of the plain of Kosovo is 550 m (1,804 ft) and the average height of the plain of Metohija is 450 m (1,476 ft).

Rugova Valley and Canyon[edit]

Main article: Rugova Canyon

One of Kosovo's most prominent geological features is the Rugova Canyon in the Alpet Shqiptare. The 25 km (16 mi) long canyon near the border with Montenegro was formed by the flow of the Pećka Bistrica. The canyon was declared a Protected National Monument in 1988, and will be included in a proposed Bjeshket e Nemuna/Prokletije National Park, approved by the Kosovo Parliament in 2003.

Gadime Cave[edit]

Main article: Gadime Cave

Gadime Cave is a cave composed of Paleozoic marble, located in the village of Donje Gadimje on the eastern side of the Kosovo Valley. The northern passage contains displays of aragonite speleothems in a variety of rare formations.[8][9]

Bodies of water[edit]

Although Kosovo is landlocked, there are several notable rivers and lakes within its borders. The main rivers are the White Drin, running towards the Adriatic Sea, with the Erenik among its tributaries, the Sitnica, the South Morava in the Goljak area, and Ibar in the north. The main lakes are Gazivoda Lake (380 million m³) in the north-western part, Radoniq lake (113 million m³) in the south-west part, Batlava Lake (40 million m³) and Badovc Lake (26 million m³) in the north-east part. Other smaller scenic lakes include Zemra Lake, Đeravica Lake and Liqenat Lake. Kosovo is also home to the following waterfalls:

In the Bifurcation of Nerodimka river, it contains the only example in Europe (and one of only two in the world) where a river divides with the resultant water flows ending up in different seas (the Black Sea and the Aegean)

Climate[edit]

Main article: Climate of Kosovo

Kosovo is located between the Mediterranean Sea and mountainous regions of Southeast Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. This geographic location gives the country its large annual temperature range. Summer temperature highs can reach +30 °C (86 °F), winter's temperatures as low as −10 °C (14 °F).[10] According to the Strahler classification map the climate in Kosovo is considered moist continental.[11] The country experiences warm summers and cold and snowy winters.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Kosovo Travel Guid
  2. ^ [2] Independent Commission for Mines and Minerals of Kosovo
  3. ^ a b [3], CIA - The World Factbook
  4. ^ [4]
  5. ^ http://www.parksdinarides.org/en/kosovo/sharri
  6. ^ http://www.ammk-rks.net/repository/docs/Vlerat_e_trashegimis_natyrore_te_Kosoves.pdf
  7. ^ http://www.bth.se/fou/cuppsats.nsf/all/3661a8471db7e401c12573ec003926a0/$file/Thesis%20Work-IM%20final(2).pdf
  8. ^ Mermerna Pecina, Tony Oldham, 2002
  9. ^ Around Kosovo: It's Better to See it Once Than Hear About it 100 Times, Valerii Petrushka
  10. ^ Geography
  11. ^ Strahler & Strahler. (2006).Introducing Physical Geography, Boston:John Wiley & Sons Inc.

External links[edit]