The Mountainous Island
The Armenian plateau stands out in the north of Asia Minor. The name of the plateau derives its origin from the nation, which inhabited the territory between Iranian and Anatolian massifs. The local relief significantly differs from contiguous formations, which are extensive plateaus framed by ranges, while Armenia is a mountainous volcanic country set among relatively low ranges of the Pont, the lesser Caucasus, and the Armenian Tavros. The country is caged between two tectonic plates: the Eurasian, on the one side, and the northern segment of Afro-Arabian on another. On the territory of about 400 000 sq km the Iranian and Anatolian plateaus bumped, thus forming an area of a mountain chain (a similar fact can as well be observed in the Pamirs). The elevation of the Armenian plateau over the territory is due to this fact and accounts for another name of the country: Mountainous Island. More than 35 per cent of the plateau’s territory is located at the height of more than 2000 m, which surpasses the average height of the adjacent mountain ridges and some of the Caucasian Mountains, among which there is a wide range of mountains reaching 5000 m. The highlight of the Armenian plateau Great Ararat reaches 5165 m.