Thursday, July 4, 2013

Geography of Albania

High mountains and eroded plateaus make up most of the land. In the extreme north are the North Albanian Alps, which in some areas are rugged and glacially scoured. They rise more than 8,800 feet (2,680 m) above sea level and extend northeast-southwest. Equally high mountains in the east and the south follow roughly a northwest-southeast trend. The highest peak rises 9,068 feet (2,764 m) above sea level in the Korab range on the Macedonian border in the east. Small basins, deep river valleys, and gorges occur in Albania's mountainous interior.

Along the Adriatic coast lies a flat to hilly alluvial plain, up to 25 miles (40 km) wide. It is marked by silted river mouths, meandering rivers, and marshy areas. A hilly belt where the mountains and the coastal plain meet is the most densely settled part of the land.
Albania is a small country in southeastern Europe.
Rivers vary from raging torrents in the mountains to sluggish streams on the lowlands. Their flows also vary enormously with the rainy and dry seasons. Except for the Buenë, Albania's rivers are unsuited to navigation. They are, however, important sources of hydroelectric power. Among the chief streams are the Drin, Drin-i-zi, Buenë, and Mat in the north and the Shkumbin, Seman, Devoll, Osum, and Vijosë in the south.
Lake Scutari in the northwest lies partly in Serbia and Montenegro and Lake Ohrid in the east lies partly in Macedonia. Lake Prespa, which is connected by underground channel to Lake Ohrid, is shared with Macedonia and Greece. There are also small lakes and lagoons along the coast.
Albania has a Mediterranean climate, much like that of southern Italy and southern California, along the coast. Summers here are hot and relatively dry; winters are mild and rainy. Elsewhere, Albania's climate is of the continental type, with colder winters, milder summers, and greater rainfall throughout the year. Average yearly precipitation is generally 30 to 60 inches (760 to 1,520 mm). Larger amounts fall on the western slopes of the high mountains.
Natural Vegetation. Maquis, a drought-resistant kind of Mediterranean brush and shrub vegetation, grows on the coastal lowlands and hills. Many of the plants are thorny and have hairy, waxy, or thick leaves that conserve water. There are also tracts of marsh grass in the poorly drained areas.
Forests cover nearly 40 per cent of the land. Much of it, particularly on the low mountain slopes, is sparse woodland, brush, and shrub. Deciduous forests, mainly oak, chestnut, and beech, cover the middle slopes; pine, fir, and other conifers grow on the upper parts.