Ustyurt Plateau

Coordinates: 43°17′N 55°33′E / 43.283°N 55.550°E / 43.283; 55.550
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Turkmen: Üstyurt
Kazakh: Үстірт
Uzbek: Ustyurt
Karakalpak: Ústirt
Ustyurt desert road
Ustyurt desert road
Map of the Ustyurt Plateau
Map of the Ustyurt Plateau
Coordinates: 43°17′N 55°33′E / 43.283°N 55.550°E / 43.283; 55.550
LocationKazakhstan / Turkmenistan / Uzbekistan
 • Total200,000 km2 (77,000 sq mi)
Elevation160 meters (520 ft) to 200 meters (660 ft)

The Ustyurt or Ust-Yurt (from Kazakh: Үстірт; Uzbek: Ustyurt; Turkmen: Üstyurt; Karakalpak: Ústirt — flat hill, plateau) is a transboundary clay desert shared by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.[1]

The plateau's semi-nomadic population raises sheep, goats, and camels.


The Ustyurt is located between the Dead Kultuk, Mangyshlak Peninsula and Kara-Bogaz-Gol of the Caspian Sea to the west, and the Aral Sea, Amudarya Delta and Sarygamysh Lake to the east.

It extends roughly 200,000 km2 (77,000 sq mi), with an average altitude of 150 m (490 ft). Its highest point rises to 370 m (1,200 ft) in the south-west.[2] At its northeastern edge it drops steeply to the Aral Sea and the surrounding plain.

The Ustyurt Plateau is bounded by steep cliffs called chinks nearly from everywhere. In the east it is the former west shore of the Aral Sea, in the south its chink breaks to Kunya-Darya (Куня-Дарья) alluvial plain and the Uzboy valley, in the west to the Karynyaryk depression and to the North Caspian Sea Karakum sands, and in the north to the Caspian Depression. [3] Ustyurt chinks often have multicolored layers, with colors of pale pink, blue, clear white, etc., and can form fancy landscapes.[4]

Protected areas[edit]

Kazakhstan created the Ustyurt Nature Reserve (223,300 hectares) in July, 1984 in the south of Mangystausky district in Eralievsky region.[5] It preserves rare fauna and flora such as the Ustyurt Mountain sheep and the Saiga antelope.[6] Among its features are Sherkala Mountain and the concretions found in the Torysh ('Valley of Balls') near the town of Shetpe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gritsina, M. (2019). "The Caracal Caracal caracal Schreber, 1776 (Mammalia: Carnivora: Felidae) in Uzbekistan". Journal of Threatened Taxa. 11 (4): 13470–13477. doi:10.11609/jott.4375.11.4.13470-13477.
  2. ^ "The Ustyurt Plateau" (PDF). USAID. Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  4. ^ Устюртский заповедник, Западный Казахстан
  5. ^ "Ustyurtsky state natural reserve". Welcome to Kazakhstan. Silk Tour agency. Archived from the original on 13 September 2016. Retrieved 16 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Ustyurt Nature Reserve, Kazakhstan". Advantour. Retrieved 16 August 2016.

External links[edit]