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GEOGRAPHY

The Gorgany range covers the central part of the Ukrainian Carpathians and hase difficult access because of extremely steep slopes and scree areas.

 

Geology

 

The reserve lays within the range from 710 m a.s.l. up to the mountain tope: Dovbushanka Mt. (1754,6 m), Medvezhek (1736 m), Polyenskyi (1693,6 m), Pikun (1651 m), Koziy (Goat’s) Gorgan (1616 m), Upper Rocks (1596,8 m), Babyn Pohar (1478 m), Lower Rocks (1300 m), which stretch from the north-west to the south-east. They are characterized by steep unsymmetrical slopes and pointed mountain ridges with stone debrese (srcees) on tops (local name “gorgany”). The Dovbushanka mountain massif is characterized by prolonged ridges with pointed tops and steep south-western slopes.

 

The territory of the Gorgany Nature Reserve belongs to the Skybova zone of the Carpathians.

 

Quartenery, Neogene, Paleogene and Upper Cretaceous deposits make up the geology here; and alluvial-deluvial clay loams, clays, and sand clays make up the lythological structure of the Gorgany. Mountainous part of the reserve is made up of the Carpathian flysch by bibbely-rocks, sandstones, and clay and marl shist of the Cretaceous and Quartenery periods. Over 500 species of living organisms are represented here, which are closely connected to various arboreal species and were able to survive exclusively doe to the parent rock. The relief here is both genetically and historically diverse, and reflects movements of an ancient glacier.

 

Climate

 

The climate in the area is the continental European once characterized by domination of Atlantic and transformed continental air masses. The Dovbushanski Grogany mountains are characterized by three climatic zones:

cool (750-950 m a.s.l.), sun of active temperatures is 1400-1800°С, total vegetation period – 136, active vegetation – 85 days);

temperate-cool (950-1200 m a.s.l. sum of active temperatures is 1000-1400°С, total vegetation period – 120-130, active vegetation – 50-60 days);

cold – with a less cold sub-zone (1250-1400 m a.s.l., sum of temperatures is 600-1000°С, total vegetation period - 90-120, active vegetation – up to 50 days) and a colder sub-zone (1400-1500 m a.s.l., sums of active temperatures area less then 600 ºС, total vegetation period lasts for 90 days, and the active vegetation is absolutely absent).

 

Mean monthly temperature of the warmest month July is +16,4 ºС, and the coldest January is -7,6 °С. Precipitation - from 853 up to 1007 mm, with maximum in June and July. Daily maximum - 150 mm. Mean annual humidity of the air is 79%. Snow cover (mean thikness is 44 cm) remains for 79 days. Water content in snow sonstitutes 71 mm. The deepest soil freezing is 70 cm. Dominating wind direction is north-western with average speed of 3.8 m/sec and maximal – over 30 m/sec.

 

Landscapes

The Dovbushanski Gorgany are a group of mountains adjusting to the Dovbushanka mountain range and covering an area between Dovzhynets and Zelenytsia river valleys. Mountain chains rising above 1500 m are covered with coniferous forests and alpine meadows on the slpoes. Everywhere on the slopes and peaks of the chain with sandstone topsoil you find stony debris and rocks. There is kaar on the eastern slope of the Dovbushanka Mt. The mountain landscapes within the reserve are devided into: terrase inter-mountain valleys (400–850 m) on water-accumulating deposits with gallery forests; inter-Carpathian forested lowland (800–1250 m), external fragmented (500–1000 m) and massive fragmented (600–1350 m) lowland on the Carpathian flysch with coniferous-broadleaved and coniferous forests;  steep fragmented mid-mountains (850–1750 m) in the places with massive Paleocene sandstone deposits with brownsoils with beech-fif-spruce and spruce-cedar forest sites, and in the upper parts with characteristic “gregots”, crooked woodland of mountain pine and Dusekia viridis.

 

The signs of the latest Gacial period are the most vivid in the Gorgany. It has influenced the morphological structure of the landscapes and the vegetational cover of all the vegetation zones. There are traces of the icing with localities of the arctic-alpine flora in alpine areas, and the forest vegetational zone is characterized by the largest massifs of relict arboreal flora dating back to the Early Holocene. These are such species as mountain pine, Swiss pine and cembra (cedar) pine.

 

Reservoirs and Rivers


High moisture level in the Gorgany causes formation of a dense network of rivers and streams of different size. About 30 mountain rivers take their origin within the reserve and flow into the Bystrytsia Nadvirnianska river (length 94 km, catchment area 1580 km2) with its right tributary the Zelenytsia river (length 26 km, catchment area 138 km2), which starts on the eastern slope of Dovbushanka Mt. at the altitude of 1500 m a.s.l. The streams are short, though the density of the hydrological network is the highest in Ukraine (0,2 km/km2 - 1,2 km/km2). Riverbeds are stony, paved with gravel and boulders. Watercourse speed is 1-2 m/sec, and higher in flooding period. Waters are fresh, poorly-mineralized, mostly carbon-calcium ones.

 

Soils


The topsoil is rather diverse for a comparatively small area of the reserve: 8 types of soils with 68 varieties.

 

Screes

 

No-forested scree places cover 604,8 ha (11,3% of the total reserve’a area). There are 2 tyoes according to their origin:| primary, which were formed during the Ice Age, and secondary, which were formed as a result of human interventions, wind storms, fires etc.