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The Kyzyl-Kum desert.

Excursion tour in Kyzylkum desert.

“Not all those who wander are lost”

J.R.R. Tolkien.

Geographic tours in Uzbekistan.

The name "Kyzyl Kum" in translation from the Turkic language means "red sands". The sands formed here by the weathering of bedrock sand deposits have a reddish color. In the northern Syr Darya strip, which, like the Central Karakum, is an ancient alluvial plain with sand accumulations resulting from the movement of alluvium, the sands are grayish yellow.
The desert surface has a gentle general slope from the south-east to north-west, to the coast of the Aral Sea. A characteristic feature of the Kyzyl-Kum desert - the existence of isolated low mountains in its central and southwestern parts - lost mountain ridges, these are Bukantau, Dzhetymtau, Tamdytau, Guldzhuktau and others, in the west - Sultanuizdag.
All of them are the lost mountain of the Paleozoic (Hercynian) folded ranges, located on the continuation of the structures of the northern ranges of the Pamir-Alay (Turkestan Range and the Nuratau Range) and elevated by the latest tectonic movements.
The ridges are composed of highly stationed and metamorphosis of Paleozoic schists, limestones, granites, etc. On the tops and ridges of many lost mountain, there are developed leveling surfaces used for rainfed crops.
The slopes of the lost mountain are strongly dissected, at the foot there are plumes of rubble of sand accumulations, which are often the reservoirs of fresh groundwater, which in some places feed the springs supplying the mining settlements. In the area of ​​lost mountain there are flat hilly elevations and plateaus composed of weak disturbed Cretaceous and Paleogene sedimentary rocks (marls, sands, clays).
The presence in the central and southwestern parts of the desert of extensive closed depressions (the valleys of the Karakat and Ayakagytma) is also characteristic. Most of the Kyzyl-Kum desert is occupied by sand massifs formed by half-fixed sands.
The most common sand ridges of the meridional orientation. At settlements and around wells there are flowing, dune sands. A significant array of sand dunes stretched along the Amu Darya. In most cases, the exposure of the sands is the result of immoderate grazing of vegetation by cattle at watering places, as well as the use of shrubs and saxaul for fuel.
In a number of areas, work is being done to strengthen the sands by planting shrubs - dzhuzguna, saxaul, and others. Barkhan sands in the south of the desert, advancing on the Bukhara and Karakul oases and falling asleep, are now fixed.
It created a powerful barrier of greenery (from saxaul and large black saxaul trees) 120 km long. In the Kyzylkum desert, small cattle (mainly karakul sheep) are grazed, as well as camels, horses, and in a smaller quantity - cattle.
The organization of pasture use and the creation of new wells have greatly increased the livestock population. Large artesian basins are found in the central and southwestern parts of the desert. Near the artesian wells in the depressions there are pockets of agriculture, melons and gourds are cultivated, experimental stations have been created, whose work is aimed at providing livestock with additional feed.
The channel from the Chardara reservoir on the Syr Darya, carried out into the depths of the desert, made it possible to master part of the desert lands for rice fields, orchards and vineyards.
In the lost mountain mountains of the desert there are a variety of mineral wealth (marble, graphite, turquoise, asbestos, coal, etc.), mines work. Not so long ago, the Muruntau gold deposit was discovered, where the village of Zarafshan has already grown (“gold-bearing” - in Uzbek). In the south there is a large gas field Gazley.
Gas was also found on the southwestern margin of the desert on the right bank of the Amu Darya, near the Farab station.

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N. A. Gvozdetsky, N. I. Mikhailov. “Physical Geography of the USSR. Asian part. Third edition, revised and supplemented. Moscow "Thought" 1978.

Alexander Petrov.