Geographic Framework of Georgia

1. Physical Geographic Features

   Georgia is a Southern Caucasus country situated between 41' and 47' of the east longitude and 41' and 44' of the north latitude. Georgia borders with Russian Federation at the north, along the Greater Caucasus Ridge, with Azerbaijan - at the east and the southeast, with Armenia and Turkey - at the South, and with the Black Sea - at the west (Fig. 1). Its total surface covers 69.700 km2, land borders are 1.461 km long, and sea (littoral) borders - 310 km long.
Fig. 1: Geographic Setting of Georgia

Fig. 2 represents a numeric three-dimensional physical map of Georgia. It may be seen that the country is situated between the Greater Caucasus (at the north) and the Lesser Caucasus (at the south) ridges. The Surami longitudinal ridge separates Georgia into two parts: the Western and the Eastern Georgia. The former is presented by the Kolkheti Lowland, which borders the Black Sea coast. The gentle Kakheti Ridge divides the Estern Georgia Lowland into the Alazani and the Mtkvari-Iori basins. Altitude of the Greater Caucasian Ridge varies between 2,000 and 3,000 m in average (Fig 3) but Elbruse (5,642), Shkhara (5,068 m) and Mkinvarmtsveri (Kazbek in Russinan - 5,033 m) mounts (Late Alpine subsequent volcanoes) have altitude above 5,000 m. Other important mounts are Ushba (4,700 m) and Dilko (4,275 m).

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Fig. 3: Physical Map of Georgia.

Fig. 4: Greater Caucasus Mountains

   Fig. 5: A Village on the Southern Slope of the Greater Caucasus

The Lesser Caucasus is presented by several mountain chains and highlands. Among them on the Georgian territory the Trialeti Ridge (with an average altitude of 1,500-2,000 m; Fig. 6) and the Javakheti Plane (with an average altitude of about 1,500 m; Fig. 7) may be distinguished. The latter continues in Armenia and separates the Southern Caucasus from the Iran Highland, whereas the Trialeti Ridge is a margin between the Georgian intermountain zone and the Turkish highlands. Both the Trialeti Ridge and the Javakheti Plane are distinguished by splendid and ecologically pure environment.

The Black Sea coastal zone is 310 km-long and contains several important resorts, mainly - in the Adjara Autonomus Republic (Fig. 8).

The main river of Georgia - Mtkvari (Kura at the territories of Turkey and Azerbaijan) flows from Turkey via Georgia towards the Caspian Sea (its inflow is situated southward from Baku, capital of Azerbaijan). Other important rivers are Kodori, Enguri and Rioni in the Western Georgia and Aragvi, Iori and Alazani in the Eastern Georgia.

   Fig. Fig. 6: Trialeti Ridge

   Fig.Fig. 7: The Keli (Gorge) Lake on the Javakheti Plane

   Fig.2. Climate

Due to these physical geographic features Georgia is characterized by a contrast, zonal climate with development of almost all possible climatic zones. The Kolkheti Lowland is distinguished by a humid subtropical climate whereas the Eastern Georgia is characterized by dry subtropical and worm continental weather. Annual precipitation amount is maximal in the Western Georgia and along the Greater Caucasian Ridge (2,000-2,500 mm, in average) with the absolute maximum of

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3,500 mm near Batumi. The Eastern Georgia and the Javakheti Highland are much more dry with an average amount of precipitation of 400-800 mm. Average air temperature in January is about 0-5C. In July the average air temperature is normally over 24C excluding the high mountainous districts where the average temperature decreases up to 10C above 2,500 m. The sun shining is over 2,000 hours per year, in average. The average annual amount of sun radiance is about 130 ccal/cm2.

Fig. 8: Black Sea Coast

3. Governance and Territorial-Administrative Units

Fig. 9 contains a map of Georgia released in Internet by the Parliament of Georgia . . You may obtain information and maps of each region here.

Fig. 9: Administrative Map of Georgia According to the Constitution in force, Georgia consists of 11 regions (including two Autonomous Republics - Abkhazia and Adjara) and the capital of Georgia - city of Tbilisi. It is well known that Georgian central government has lost its influence on the Abkhazia. Table 1 provides basic information on other regions. Table 2: Main Information on Georgian Regions

Index Region
Adjara Guria Imereti Sameg-relo & Zemo Svaneti Racha-Lech-khumi & Kvemo Svaneti Shida Kartli Samts-khe-Java-kheti Kvemo Kartli Mts-kheta-Mtia-neti Kakhe-ti
Area, km2 2,880 2,000 6,600 7,400 4,900 4,800 6,400 6,400 6,800 11,400
Population x 1000 333.87 135.80 673.59 365.80 23.58 307.14 198.62 496.09 117.34 378.74
Center Batumi Ozur-geti Kutaisi Zugdi-di Amb-rolauri Gori Akhal-tsikhe Rusta-vi Mts-kheta Telavi
No of District 6 3 12 8 4 3 6 6 5 8
Towns 2 2 10 9 3 4 5 7 2 9
Housing estates 7 5 3 1 2 2 5 8 7 -
Villages 329 186 529 490 251 366 254 338 582 276

4. Natural Resources

Natural resources of Georgia may be divided into:

1. Mineral resources;

2. Exogenous Energetic resources;

3. Land resources;

4. Forest resources;

5. Water resources (other than hydroenergetic ones);

6. Recreation resources.

For downloading detailed information on Mineral Resources click here.

For downloading detailed information on other Natural Resources click here.