Катунский хребет

Катунский хребет — это цепь гор в Центральном Алтае. Как и все Алтайские горы, он сформировался в месте столкновения тектонических плит, вследствие чего составляющие его массивы очень острые и сложены из твёрдых пород. Кроме того, Катунский хребет — самое высокое место Алтая: его средняя высота составляет около 3500 метров. Тут же расположены высочайшие Алтайские горы, включая Белуху.

Катунский хребет.
Катунский хребет, Алтай, Россия. YURY TARANIK / shutterstock.com

Климат на хребте, вследствие его большой удалённости от всех морей и океанов, а также большой высоты, холодный и резко континентальный. Средняя температура в июле у подножия местных гор составляет около +7 градусов. Хребет покрыт множеством ледников, питающих реку Катунь, в честь которой он и назван. В свою очередь её название происходит от алтайского слова «кадын», которое значит «госпожа» или «хозяйка», а оно восходит к древнетюркскому «катын» — «река». Из-за того, что река питается ледниками, вода в ней всегда холодная и имеет беловатый оттенок.

Катунский хребет, Алтай, Россия
Катунский хребет, Алтай, Россия. YURY TARANIK / shutterstock.com

Спускавшиеся с гор древние ледники образовали множество долин и принесли в них частицы твёрдого материала с гор, заблокировав часть из них. Затем, растаяв, они затопили эти долины, преобразовавшись в озёра. Эти озёра, также, как и река Катунь, питаются ледниками и не прогреваются больше чем до +10 градусов. Кроме того, благодаря горным минералам, они имеют очень необычные оттенки.

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