Azerbaijan Republic locates in the junction of Europe and Asia, in the cast part of the South Caucasus. The length of the country from north to south is 400 km and the width from east to west is more than 500 km. The territory of the Republic (86.6 thousand km2) occupies huge area in Caucasus and combines geomorphologic elements of macro and mezzo reliefs. Great Caucasus mountain range ridge (Bazardyuzu 4466, Shahdagh 4223 m) covered with permanent snow and ices on the peak locates in the north o f the Republic. The height of the area is on the shore of Caspian Sea with -27.0 meters below sea level. Foothill plains in North-Western part and Gobustan low mountainous areas in the east merge with Great Caucasus mountain ridge. Lesser Caucasus mountain chain and Karabakh volcanic plateau stretches in the West and South-Western parts o f the Republic. Talysh Mountains and Lankaran lowland is stretching along sea coast in the South-Eastern part of the region. Kura-Araz lowland is situated between Great Caucasus Mountains fringed with sloping plains and low mountainous reefs. Khazaryani lowland prolongs in the form of narrow strip along Caspian Sea coast from Dagestan Republic to Iran Islamic Republic borders. 60% of the area is covered with mountains and the rest are plains.
Geological structure: From geological point o f view, Azerbaijan is the most complex and unique regions o f alpine zone. Stratigraphical slash starting from Paleozoic till Anthropogenic period creates sediments diapason. The sediments of Mesozoic and Cenozoic Eras are more prevalent. Great Caucasus area is represented by tarragon, carbonate, tuphagenic, sedimentary rocks. Sea, alluvial-colluvial, sabaerial, collagen and volcanic (andesitic-basalt) sediments were collected in the territory of Republic during Anthropogenic period. Alcoline medium and intrusions acid sediments arc feasible among Mesozoic Cenozoic rocks o f Lesser Caucasus.
Relief: The relief o f the Republic is complex and rich. The main part consists o f the mountains and the rest is covered with plains and lowlands. Height difference ranges between -27 meters up to 4466 meters. 18% o f the territory is below sea level, 24% is between 0-200 meters, 15.5% is between 200-500 meters, 15.5% is 500-1000 meters, 19.5% is 1000-2000 meters and 6.5 % up to 3000 meters. The average altitude is 384 meters.
Landscapes: The complex natural conditions of the country form landscape diversity and richness. There are 11 landscapes, mainly mountainous and lowlands: Mountainous landscape consists of high mountains (nival and semi nival, alpine and subalpine and meadow steppe landscape), middle mountainous (broad leaved forests and meadow bush land), low mountain slopes and pre mountain xerophytes and desert landscape. Lowland plains composed by forest meadow landscape of plains, dry steppe landscape of plains, lowland and intermountain plains semi desert landscape.
Climate: The climate of Azerbaijan is the Northern borders o f subtropical climate zone. The climate determination factors are unique geographical position, complex topography, Caspian Sea, intense solar energy, air masses o f different origin and etc. The most important elements for creation of climate types are surface structure, solar radiation, atmospheric circulation also climate made temperature, rainfalls, humidity and evaporation. As a result of this influence and 8 out o f 11 world climatic zones (V.Kcpper grade) could be found in the country. These are semi desert and dry steppe, moderate warm climate with dry winters, moderate warm climate with dry summers, cold climate with dry winters, cold climate with dry winters, temperate warm climate with equal precipitation, cold climate with rains in all seasons and mountain tundra climates.
Soils: The territory varies for different natural features. There are all type soils in the country apart the tropicai forest and savanna soils. As a result of soil made rocks and sediments and biological factors more than 90 soil types can be found in the Republic. These are mountain meadow, brown mountain forest, mountain chernozem, brown, yellow, gray and brown gray, meadow and saline soils. The soils of the Republic is mountainous and plain soils. 55.4% (4,790,000 ha) o f them includes Great and Lesser Caucasus and Talysh mountains. 44.6% (3,350,00 ha) of the soils includes to Kura Araz lowland, Ganja - Gazakh, Lankaran, Guba-Khachmaz plains and Absheron peninsula.
Flora: The flora o f the Republic is presented by 162 families with more than 4,500 species. The wild dendroflora species of the country are 460 trees and shrubbery species. 200 of them are Azerbaijan and 950 of them is Caucasian endemics. Beside this, there are 23 relict species. These are Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin), common chestnut (Castanea sativa), pojark (Ilex hyreana), Turkish hazel (Corylus colurna), fig (Ficus hyrcanica), Orient plane tree (Platanus orientalis), english yew (Taxus baccata), pomegranate (Punica granatum), chestnut leaved oak (Quercus castaneifolia) and other relict species. The area with rich flora are Nakhchivan (60%), Kura-Araz lowland (40 %), Guba-Davachi (38%), the central part of Lesser Caucasus (29%), Gobustan (27%), Lankaran region of Talysh mountains (27%), and Absheron region (22%). There are more than 1500 medicine species in the country. The richest families of the country's flora are Compositae (563 species), Graminae (462 species), Leguminosae (275 species), Crusiferae (242 species), Labiateae (214 species) and Rosaseae (208 species) families. Vitaceae, Trilliaceae, Trapaceae, Salvinaceae and others only represented by only one kind of species.
Fauna: The fauna of the country is representing more than 40,000 species. The ornitoflora presents 16 families with 400 bird species. Most o f these birds were included to World Red Book. The fish fauna represents up to 100 species. The mammals more than 111 within 7 families. They are Carnivora, Insectivora, Rodentia, Artiodactyla, Pinnipedia, Lagomorpha and Chiroptera families. The reptiles consists of 3 families and 54 species. These are Testudines, Squamata and Serpentes orders. The webs distributes 7 families with 1,837 species. The richest calss of the fauna are insects with 35 families and more than 25.000 species.
Internal waters: Speaking about revers we can divide them into 3 groups. The first group includes the rivers starting from Talysh mountains and North-Eastern slopes of Great Caucasus and flow directly into the Caspian Sea, the second group belongs to Kura river basin with the left and right tributaries of Kura and Araz River and the third group are the temporary rivers of Absheron and Gobustan region. There are 8,500 large and small rivers in the region. More than 850 of them reaches up to 5 km length. In total there are 21 rivers with the length of 100 km.
Lakes: The total number o f the lakes are 700 and permanent lakes are 250 and 25 of them cover more than I km2 area. The lakes in Absheron and Gobustan are salt. There are sweet, glacial and landslide lakes near Shahdagh, Tufan, Bazardyuzu peaks. Boyuk Alagol and Kichik Alagol lakes emerged in Karabakh volcanic plateau own volcanic origin. Goygol and nearest lakes have landslide origin.
Water reservoirs: More than 140 water reservoirs cover 87.000 ha area, they contain 18.5 km3 water.
Glaciers: The glaciers were found on the peaks of Great Caucasus as Bazardyuzu, Bazaryurd, Tufan and Shahdagh peaks and Lesser Caucasus peaks as Gapijig.
Caspian Sea: The world’s largest enclosed water basin with 1,200 km length, 310 km width, 392.6 k n r area and 786,000 km3 water volume. This volume contains 44% of whole worlds lake water resources. The maximum depth is 1,025 and the average depth is 184 meters.
Special Natural Protection Areas: There are 8 national park covering 310,534 ha, 11 State Nature Reserve with 218,335.2 ha, 24 state nature sanctuary with 361,157 ha and more than 3000 world, state and locally protected monuments. The total area of reserves are 890,026.2 ha (10.3%).
- Absheron economic-geographical region
- Daghliq Shirvan economic-geographical region
- Guba - Khachmaz economic-geographical region
- Sheki - Zagatala economic-geographical region
- Lankaran-Astara economic - geographical region
- Kura-Araz economic-geographical region
- Yukhari-Garabakh economic-geographical region
- Kalbajar- Lachin economic-geographical region
- Ganja-Gazakh economic-geographical region
- Nakhchivan economic-geographical region