Far East - download topographic map set
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The Far East is the most remote and the least accessible part of Russia. The territory of the Far East includes the Republic of Sakha-Yakutia, Khabarovsk Territory, Primorye Territory, the Amur oblast, the Sakhalin oblast, the Kamchatka oblast and the Magadan oblast. The total area of the Far East is 6.2 million sq km (about 36 per cent of the Russian territory). The population of the region is 6.8 million people.
Relief. Most of the Far East is covered by low plateaus and highlands (up to 1,000-2,000 m). Along the Pacific coastline, the dominant relief is new mountains, plateaus, ridges and mountain ranges. The largest mountain chains are the Sikhote-Alin mountain range, the Burensky range, the Verkhoyansky range, the Stanovoi range, the Dzhugdzhursky range and the Koryak range as well as the Chukotskoye highlands and the Aldanskoye highlands. Plains and lowlands cover only relatively small areas, they are mainly found in river valleys and it is in these areas that most of the economic life of the region is concentrated. The most important plains are the Zeysko-Bureiskaya plain, the Sredneamurskaya plain, the Prikhankaiskaya plain and the Central Yakut plain.
Seas. The Far East is rich in sea, ocean and land resources. The seas of the Far East belong to the basins of the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean. The Far East is washed by the following seas – the Laptev Sea, the East Siberian Sea, the Chukchi Sea (the northern coast), the Bering Sea, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan (the eastern coast) – which have a huge water area (over 3.5 million sq m).
Rivers. The rivers of the Far East mostly belong to the basins of two major rivers – the Lena and the Amur. The Lena River begins in Eastern Siberia, but runs mainly through the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). In terms of water content, it is Russia’s second largest river after the Yenisei. The main tributaries of the Lena include the Vilyui, the Aldan, the Vitim, the Olekma, the Nyuya, the Kirenga, the Bolshoi Patom. The Amur River begins in Mongolia, but runs mainly through the Far East (the Amur Oblast, the Jewish Autonomous Region, Khabarovsk Territory). The Amur River is the forth largest river in Russia in terms of water content. Its major tributaries on the territory of the Far East are the Zeya, the Ussuri, the Amgun, the Selemdzha, the Bureya, the Bikin and the Tungusska with its own tributaries Kur and Urmi. In the Far East, there are also many rivers that flow into the sea on their own. The largest include the Olenek, the Kolyma, the Indigirka, the Alazeya, the Anadyr, the Anabar, the Yana, the Kamchatka and the Penzhina.
Lakes. In the Far East, many small lakes (about 300 lakes have a surface area of over 2 sq km). The largest of these is Lake Khanka which is situated in Primorye Territory (a surface area of over 4 sq km). Lakes often have marshy shores. The extent of water mineralization in the lakes varies from fresh to salt water.
Cities. The largest cities of the Far East include:
- Khabarovsk, the official capital of the Far East;
- Vladivostok, the biggest city and largest port city of the Far East;
- Komsomolsk-on-the-Amur, a major industrial centre;
- Anadyr, the centre of the Chukotsky Autonomous District;
- Birobidzhan, a small town on the Birekh River, near the Trans-Siberian Railway;
- Blagoveshchensk, the centre of the Amur oblast;
- Magadan, the centre of the Magadan oblast;
- Nakhodka, the most important port of the Far East;
- Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the principal city of Kamchatka;
- Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, an oblast centre on the Sakhalin Island;
- Yakutsk, the capital of Yakutia.