Rostov Region is considered a steppe zone rich in various natural resources.
One of the main competitive advantages of the Rostovregion is land resources and climatic conditions that contribute to the dynamic development of agro-industrial complex.
Due to the southern position (latitude 46-50° N) the region is noted with an abundance of sunlight and heat. Sunshine duration increases from north to south, from 2067 hours per year in Millerovo to 2143 hours per year in Rostov-on-Don. The period with temperatures above 10 ° C varies by area from 160 to 180 days.
The soil is the real treasure of the region. The basis of the arable lands are black earth and chestnut soils. Black earth is the most widespread and the most fertile soil (65% of the territory, which is 4-5% of all Russian black earth). Chestnut soil is mostly found in the dry eastern areas.
The versatility of the rich mineral resources found in Rostov Region is the result of the peculiarities of the area’s tectonic structure. Among the natural resources, the most important place is occupied by fuel resources.
Almost the entire central portion of the region is rich in coal; coal resources are concentrated in 9 coal-mining areas.
Due to high quality of the coal, the area’s most famous coal fields are in the Eastern Donbass. Grades of coal vary from flame to anthracite coal, constituting 86% of proven reserves and is the best in the world in terms of calories.
The total amount of coal reserves in the Rostov region, covered to a depth of 1,500 meters, is 13 523, 9 million tons.
Within the territory of the region there have been found and registered 21 fields of hydrocarbons which include 16 gas fields, 1 gas condensate and 1 gas oil fields. Explored geological reserves of free gas are 31.183 billion m3, and inferred – 17.673 billion m3. The same figures for crude oil, respectively, are 1.891 (recoverable – 0.783) and 1.679 (recoverable – 0.713) million tons, and the condensate – 0.188 (recoverable - 0.162) and 0.001 (recoverable – 0.001) million tons.
At the same time, the prospected resources are 54.732 million tons of recoverable oil and 69.405 billion tons3 of geological gas.
Ore mineral resources
Metallic minerals in the history of the development of mineral resources of the Rostov region have been studied in a very limited way. As a result, in the region there are no commercial deposits of metals.
However, numerous ore occurrences (gold, tungsten, molybdenum, titanium-zirconium placers), along with favorable geological conditions allow to judge about the prospects of the region in terms of metals. The area is of greatest interest to identify new fields and explore already identified promising areas of titanium ores of placer type.
Non-metallic mineral resources
Mineral raw materials of regional importance include refractory clay (Vladimirskoe, Fedorovskoe West, Kisilevskoe and Gukovskoe fields), flux limestone (Zhirnovskoe field), molding sands (Karpov-Yarskoye, Millerovskoe, Suturminskoe and Tarasovskoye fields), glass sands (Peschanoye field, Degtevskiy II, Millerovskiy plots).
On the territory of the region there are 2 fields of cement raw materials: Rogalikskoe and Kulbakinskoe. In addition, there is a large resource potential (22 billion tons) of cement raw materials of high quality, presented in promising areas with favourable geological conditions for open development, close to transportation routes. They are mainly concentrated in Millerovo, Tarasovskiy, Tatsinskiy, Neklinovskiy, Matveyevo- Kurganskiy regions.
In recent years there has been opened a number of fields and prospective areas of non-traditional types of mineral raw materials (bentonites, glauconites, siliceous rocks) that are used as natural sorbents, natural improver, mineral fertilizers.
Resources for the construction industry
The raw material of local significance are common minerals that make up a significant proportion of the mineral resource base of the construction industry of the Rostov region. In the region there have been identified 1128 fields and areas of common minerals (clay and loam, sandstone and limestone, sand, quartzite, marl, chalk, shale).
The region has rich deposits of construction materials: building stones for the production of crushed stone, mortar sands, clay and loam for the production of bricks. The common type of clay raw materials in the Rostov region are loams, which are common as well as clay, in almost all the districts of the Rostov region.
On the territory of Eastern Donbass, there is a high concentration of the dirt piles of mines, formed as a result of the industrial development of coal, which are man-made deposits and a new source of mineral raw materials for use in construction purposes.
Water resources are estimated as 27.7 kilometers3 of yearly water supply; only 2.7 kilometers3 (10%) of them are formed within the region, and the remaining 25 kilometers3 (90%) are supplied from outside areas. Rostov Region has 4.5 thousand rivers, more than 250 lakes, 3 water reservoirs, a number of ponds, and the Taganrog Bay of the Azov Sea.
The Don river runs in the region. It is one of the largest rivers in Europe; it is connected to the Volga river by a channel, and forms a single transportation network of the European part of Russia. Main tributaries of the Don (Seversky Donets and Manych) are navigable too.
The significant recreational resource of the region is widespread mineral waters (23 mineral water types). The Rostov area is famous for sodium and iodine-bromine waters. In the outskirts of Rostov and Semikarakorsk regions hydrogen-sulphide and iron-containing mineral waters are found. Various health resorts are located and function successfully in that area.
The overall area of the region‘s forest resources is 360.6 thousand hectares, including widespread conservation areas and nature reserves that preserve the nature of the Don region.
Oaks (45%) and pines (21%) predominate among the forest trees. Regional forests possess a great recreational potential, which has not been fully developed yet.
Hunting is allowed in the Rostov region during 3 seasons of the year (except summer). Species hunted include water fowl, quail, partridges, pheasants, hoofed animals (deer, roe, wild boar, fallow deer, and elk) and fur animals (hare, fox, raccoon dog).
The Donland offers amazing fishing opportunities. More than 90 kinds of fish are found in the open water basins (sturgeon, catfish, bream, zander, roach, vimba, saberfish, carp, silver carp, pike, perch, and the famous Don herring).
On the territory of the Rostov region there are following natural areas under special protection:
- Rostovskiy Russia Nature Biosphere Reserve (9.4648 thousand hectares);
- Tsimlyanskiy Nature Reserve of the Russian Federation (44.998 thousand hectares);
- Donskoy Nature Park of the Rostov Region (40.95513 thousand hectares);
- 70 regional monuments of nature (20.473113 thousand hectares);
- 7 specially protected natural territories of local importance - 106,65 thousand hectares.
Photoalbum about nature of Rostov Region "The four seasons"
Pfotoalbum «Flora and fauna of Don Land»