Absheron Peninsula

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Abşeron Yarımadası
Baku, Azerbaijan, satellite image, LandSat-5, 2010-09-06.jpg
Motto: Qara qızıl diyarı (The land of the black gold)
Seat Baku city
Subdivisions
Area
 • Total 2,110 km2 (810 sq mi)
Population (December 2008)
 • Total 3.4 million
 • Rank 1st
 • Density 3,070/km2 (8,000/sq mi)
Ethnicity
 • Azerbaijani 96%
 • Other 4%
ISO 3166 code AZ-AB

The Absheron Peninsula (Azerbaijani: Abşeron yarımadası) is a peninsula in Azerbaijan. It is host to Baku, the biggest and the most populous city of the country, and also the Baku metropolitan area, with its satellite cities Sumqayit and Khyrdalan.

There are three districts, of which two are urban (Baku and Sumqayit), and one (Absheron Rayon), is suburban district in Absheron region.

It extends 60 km (37 mi) eastward into the Caspian Sea, and reaches a maximum width of 30 km (19 mi). Though technically the easternmost extension of the Caucasus Mountains, the landscape is only mildly hilly, a gently undulating plain that ends in a long spit of sand dunes known as Shah Dili, and now declared the Absheron National Park. In this part the peninsula is dissected by ravines and characterized by frequent salt lakes.

Etymology[edit]

The name "Absheron" comes from Persian āb šur (salty water) and the Persian suffix -ān, which means the place. This also gave its name to the city of Apsheronsk in Russia.

According to Conrad Malte-Brun in 1810, an alternative name for the peninsula was Okoressa.[1]

Geography[edit]

Absheron peninsula with its municipalities are shown

The Absheron Peninsula is nearly the metropolitan area of Baku because the Baku metropolitan area consists of Baku city, Sumgayit and Khyrdalan whereas the Absheron Peninsula consists of Baku city, Sumgayit and Absheron rayon whose center is Khyrdalan.

Climate[edit]

The Absheron Peninsula has a temperate semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSk) with warm and dry summers, cool and occasionally wet winters, and strong winds all year long. The peninsula is the most arid part of Azerbaijan (precipitation here is around or less than 200 mm (8 in) a year). The majority of the light annual precipitation occurs in seasons other than summer, but none of these seasons are particularly wet. The natural vegetation of the Absheron Peninsula is dry steppe and semi-desert. Due to the semi-arid climate, local agriculture requires irrigation.

Economy[edit]

Beginning in the 1870s, the Absheron Peninsula was the site of some of the world's earliest petroleum production. Much of the landscape remains scarred with rusting oil derricks. Despite serious problems with environmental damage and pollution, the Absheron is known for its flowers, horticulture, mulberries and figs. The northern coast has wide though less-than-pristine beaches which are popular local tourist attractions.

Wealthy people have settled in the Absheron Peninsula, including Robert Nobel and Zeynalabdin Taghiyev.

Natural Resources[edit]

There are natural resources such as oil, lime, sand and salt in the peninsula. The peninsula has famous lakes like Masazir, Khojahasan and Boyuk Shor. Several ancient oil wells of the world are located in the Absheron Peninsula. Azerbaijan is in the first place for the variety of mud volcanoes in Absheron.

400 out of 800 mud volcanoes in the world are located within the Southern Caspian oil-gas basin as well as in the dry areas of Azerbaaijan and other islands in the water area of the Caspian Sea.

Main roads[edit]

Main highways of the country is in Baku and the Absheron Peninsula. These are the highways of Heydar Aliyev International Airport, Sea port, Baku Railway Station and others which connect the capital to regions of the country. Main oil and gas pipelines go through here. Baku TRACECA (Transport Corridor Europe- the Caucasus-Asia) is the major point of the international traffic corridor. Within this project, Azerbaijan participates in the re-establishment of the historic Silk Road.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°27′49.20″N 49°57′27.29″E / 40.4636667°N 49.9575806°E / 40.4636667; 49.9575806