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Land and Resources, Natural Regions

Great Rift Valley, Richter scale, tallest mountain, forest zone, Glaciers

Uganda is a country of remarkable physical contrasts. It forms a plateau declining gradually from 1,300 m (4,300 ft) in the south to 750 m (2,460 ft) in the north. The southern portion is a forest zone, although much of it has been cleared for farms. Much of the north is open savanna (grassland with sparse trees and shrubs), though it also contains semidesert. There are small areas of bamboo and rain forests. The Western Rift of the Great Rift Valley, a series of cracks more than 5,000 km (3,000 mi) in length along which the Earth’s crust is splitting apart, runs through western Uganda. Mountains rise on the eastern and western borders of Uganda, 13 of which are more than 4,100 m (13,500 ft) tall. The Ruwenzori Range, on the border with Democratic Republic of the Congo, contains seven peaks that are covered with snow year-round. The highest is Margherita Peak of Mount Stanley, at 5,109 m (16,763 ft) tall, the third tallest mountain in Africa. Glaciers on Ruwenzori peaks are only 60 km (40 mi) from tropical forests and 100 km (60 mi) from dry savannas. Except for the Ruwenzori Range, which was formed by an uplift of Earth’s crust as it split along the Western Rift Valley, all of Uganda’s mountains are volcanic in origin. Earthquakes, occasionally quite severe (up to 7 on the Richter scale), are common in the Western Rift Valley.

Article key phrases:

Great Rift Valley, Richter scale, tallest mountain, forest zone, Glaciers, Earthquakes, plateau, shrubs, tropical forests, grassland, Congo, southern portion, snow, Democratic Republic, farms, origin, rain forests, north, Africa, length


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