The Valdai Hills (Russian: Валда́йская возвы́шенность or Валда́й, Latvian: Valdaja augstiene) are an upland region in the north-west of central Russia running north-south, about midway between Saint Petersburg and Moscow, spanning Leningrad, Novgorod, Tver, Pskov, and Smolensk Oblasts.
Valdaysky National Park was established in 1990 in the southern part of Novgorod Oblast to protect the landscapes of the highest part of the hills. The park includes Lake Valdayskoye and the northern section of Lake Seliger, as well as the town of Valday. Since 2004, the National Park has the status of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Geography and geology
The hills are a northward extension of the Central Russian Upland. The ridge is overlain by deposited glacial materials in the form of terminal moraines and other detritus. The Valdai Hills reach their maximum height of 346.9 m (1,138 ft) near Vyshny Volochyok.
The Volga, the Daugava (the Western Dvina), the Lovat, the Msta, the Dnieper, the Syas, and other rivers originate in the Valdai Hills. The region thus is divided between the drainage basins of the Caspian Sea (the Volga), the Black Sea (the Dnieper), and the Baltic Sea (the Msta and the Lovat via the Volkhov, the Syas via Lake Ladoga and the Neva, and the Daugava).
- Валдайский национальный парк (in Russian). Особо охраняемые природные территории России. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
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- Darby; Richard Brookes; William Darby (1827). Darby's Universal Gazetteer: Or, A New Geographical Dictionary. Original from the New York Public Library: Bennett & Walton. p. 837.
- Stroeven, Arjen P.; Hättestrand, Clas; Kleman, Johan; Heyman, Jakob; Fabel, Derek; Fredin, Ola; Goodfellow, Bradley W.; Harbor, Jonathan M.; Jansen, John D.; Olsen, Lars; Caffee, Marc W.; Fink, David; Lundqvist, Jan; Rosqvist, Gunhild C.; Strömberg, Bo; Jansson, Krister N. (2016). "Deglaciation of Fennoscandia". Quaternary Science Reviews. 147: 91–121.
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