The Rock Cycle

The rock cycle is a series of processes that create and transform the types of rocks in Earth’s crust.

Chemistry, Earth Science, Geology

Reunion Island Volcano

Active volcanoes like this one on Reunion Island—east of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean—forms a type of igneous rock. Extrusive, or volcanic, igneous rocks are formed when molten hot material cools and solidifies.

Photograph by Steve Raymer

Active volcanoes like this one on Reunion Island—east of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean—forms a type of igneous rock. Extrusive, or volcanic, igneous rocks are formed when molten hot material cools and solidifies.

There are three main types of rocks: sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic. Each of these rocks are formed by physical changes—such as melting , cooling , eroding, compacting , or deforming —that are part of the rock cycle . Sedimentary Rocks Sedimentary rocks are formed from pieces of other existing rock or organic material. There are three different types of sedimentary rocks : clastic , organic (biological), and chemical . Clastic sedimentary rocks , like sandstone, form from clasts , or pieces of other rock. Organic sedimentary rocks , like coal, form from hard, biological materials like plants, shells, and bones that are compressed into rock. The formation of clastic and organic rocks begins with the weathering , or breaking down, of the exposed rock into small fragments. Through the process of erosion , these fragments are removed from their source and transported by wind, water, ice, or biological activity to a new location. Once the sediment settles somewhere, and enough of it collects, the lowest layers become compacted so tightly that they form solid rock. Chemical sedimentary rocks , like limestone, halite, and flint, form from chemical precipitation. A chemical precipitate is a chemical compound—for instance, calcium carbonate, salt, and silica—that forms when the solution it is dissolved in, usually water, evaporates and leaves the compound behind. This occurs as water travels through Earth’s crust, weathering the rock and dissolving some of its minerals, transporting it elsewhere. These dissolved minerals are precipitated when the water evaporates. Metamorphic Rocks Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have been changed from their original form by immense heat or pressure. Metamorphic rocks have two classes: foliated and nonfoliated. When a rock with flat or elongated minerals is put under immense pressure, the minerals line up in layers, creating foliation . Foliation is the aligning of elongated or platy minerals, like hornblende or mica, perpendicular to the direction of pressure that is applied. An example of this transformation can be seen with granite, an igneous rock . Granite contains long and platy minerals that are not initially aligned, but when enough pressure is added, those minerals shift to all point in the same direction while getting squeezed into flat sheets. When granite undergoes this process, like at a tectonic plate boundary, it turns into gneiss (pronounced “nice”). Nonfoliated rocks are formed the same way, but they do not contain the minerals that tend to line up under pressure and thus do not have the layered appearance of foliated rocks. Sedimentary rocks like bituminous coal, limestone, and sandstone, given enough heat and pressure, can turn into nonfoliated metamorphic rocks like anthracite coal, marble, and quartzite. Nonfoliated rocks can also form by metamorphism, which happens when magma comes in contact with the surrounding rock. Igneous Rocks Igneous rocks (derived from the Latin word for fire) are formed when molten hot material cools and solidifies. Igneous rocks can also be made a couple of different ways. When they are formed inside of the earth, they are called intrusive, or plutonic, igneous rocks . If they are formed outside or on top of Earth’s crust, they are called extrusive, or volcanic, igneous rocks . Granite and diorite are examples of common intrusive rocks. They have a coarse texture with large mineral grains, indicating that they spent thousands or millions of years cooling down inside the earth, a time course that allowed large mineral crystals to grow. Alternatively, rocks like basalt and obsidian have very small grains and a relatively fine texture. This happens because when magma erupts into lava, it cools more quickly than it would if it stayed inside the earth, giving crystals less time to form. Obsidian cools into volcanic glass so quickly when ejected that the grains are impossible to see with the naked eye. Extrusive igneous rocks can also have a vesicular, or “holey” texture. This happens when the ejected magma still has gases inside of it so when it cools, the gas bubbles are trapped and end up giving the rock a bubbly texture. An example of this would be pumice.

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Understanding Global Change

Discover why the climate and environment changes, your place in the Earth system, and paths to a resilient future.

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The rock cycle describes the processes through which the three main rock types (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary) transform from one type into another. The formation, movement and transformation of rocks results from Earth’s internal heat , pressure from tectonic processes , and the effects of water , wind , gravity, and biological (including human) activities.  The texture, structure, and composition of a rock indicate the conditions under which it formed and tell us about the history of the Earth.

On this page:

What is the rock cycle, earth system model of the rock cycle, explore the earth system, links to learn more.

For the classroom:

  • Teaching Resources

rock cycle short explanation

Global Change Infographic

The rock cycle is an essential part of How the Earth System Works.  Click the image on the left to open the Understanding Global Change Infographic . Locate the rock cycle icon and identify other Earth system processes and phenomena that cause changes to, or are affected by, the rock cycle.

Rocks can be: (1) made of minerals, each of which has a specific crystal structure and chemical composition; (2) made of pieces of other rocks; (3) glassy (like obsidian); or, (4) contain material made by living organisms (for example coal, which contains carbon from plants). Different types of rocks form in Earth’s different environments at or below the Earth’s surface. For example, igneous rocks form when molten rock from the mantle or within the crust (see plate tectonics ) cools and either hardens slowly underground (e.g., granite), or hardens quickly if it erupts from a volcano (e.g., basalt). Rocks that experience sufficient heat and pressure within the Earth, without melting, transform into metamorphic rocks.  Rock exposed by mountain building or even modest uplift weathers and erodes and the resulting sediments can form sedimentary rocks. The formation and transformation of the various rock types can take many paths through the rock cycle depending on environmental conditions, as shown in the diagram below.

rock cycle short explanation

A simplified diagram of the rock cycle highlighting some of the UGC concepts related to this process

rock cycle short explanation

Molten lava cooling to form igneous rocks forming in Hawai’i National Park (left) metamorphic rocks in Death Valley National Park (right). Source: NPS Igneous Rocks and NPS Metamorphic Rocks

The rock cycle is affected by various human activities and environmental phenomena, including:

rock cycle short explanation

Sedimentary rocks along the California coast. Source: Explore Sediments Story Map

  • The Earth’s internal heat and pressure, which can cause rock to melt completely or transform it into a metamorphic rock.
  • The uplift of land caused by tectonic processes , which exposes rock that was underground to weathering and erosion .
  • The rate of weathering, which is affected by climatic conditions such as precipitation and temperature . The rate at which the chemical reactions of weathering break down minerals often increases in the presence of water and under warmer temperatures. Plant growth , especially roots can physically break up rocks and also change the environmental chemistry (for example, increase acidity), increasing the rate of chemical weathering. In turn, the kind of rock that is weathered determines soil quality , nutrient levels (especially nitrogen and phosphorus levels), and local biodiversity .
  • Rates of erosion caused by water , wind , ice , or gravity, which are driven by the water cycle, atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns, and regional topography (the structure of the landscape).
  • The size and depth of the bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean, where sediment is deposited. Slower rates of water flow lead to the deposition of finer grained sediments and to slower rates of deposition.
  • The extraction of rocks and fossil fuels , which in turn can destabilize soils , increase erosion , and decrease water quality by increasing sediment and pollutants in rivers and streams.
  • Urbanization , which involves paving land with concrete, which can increase water runoff, increasing erosion and decreasing soil quality in the surrounding areas.
  • Hydraulic fracking to remove oil and gas, which uses water, sand, and chemicals to create new or expand existing cracks in rocks that allow oil and gas to flow into drill holes for extraction .
  • Human land and water use , including deforestation and agricultural activities .  Removing trees and other plants, plowing fields, and overgrazing by livestock destabilizes soils and can increase rates of erosion by 10 to 100 times.
  • Damming rivers and extracting water from freshwater ecosystems for human use changes where and how much sedimentation occurs, which affects soil quality and causes changes in habitats .
  • Plants and other organisms, such as those that build coral reefs, can trap sediment that otherwise might be deposited elsewhere.
  • Extreme weather events , which can cause accelerated rates of erosion due to flooding or wave action.

The Earth system model below includes some of the processes and phenomena related to the rock cycle.  These processes operate at various rates and on different spatial and temporal scales. For example, urbanization and industrialization of many agricultural activities has occurred over the last 300 years, and especially over the last 70 years, while tectonic processes and mountain building occur over millions of years. Can you think of additional cause and effect relationships between the parts of the rock cycle and other processes in the Earth system?

rock cycle short explanation

Click the icons and bolded terms (e.g. plate tectonics , Earth’s internal heat, and erosion ) on this page to learn more about these process and phenomena. Alternatively, explore the Understanding Global Change Infographic and find new topics that are of interest and/or locally relevant to you.

  • National Park Service: Rocks and Minerals
  • National Park Service: Igneous Rocks
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  • National Park Service: Metamorphic Rocks

rock cycle short explanation

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What is the Rock Cycle

The rock cycle is the process that describes the gradual transformation between the three main types of rocks : sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. It is occurring continuously in nature through geologic time.

rock cycle short explanation

What Causes the Rock Cycle

It occurs due to:

  • Plate tectonic activity
  • Erosional processes

Steps of the Rock Cycle: How does it Work

rock cycle short explanation

1) Formation of Igneous Rock – Melting, Cooling, and Crystallization

Magma, the molten rock present deep inside the earth, solidifies due to cooling and crystallizes to form a type of rock called igneous rocks . Cooling of igneous rocks can occur slowly beneath the surface of the earth or rapidly at its surface.

2) Formation of Sedimentary Rock – Weathering, Erosion, Sedimentation, and Compaction

Due to weathering and erosional activities, the igneous rocks are broken down to form sediments in the form of gravel, sand, silt, and clay, which gets mixed and pressed together for extended periods to form sedimentary rocks .

3) Formation of Metamorphic Rocks – Metamorphism

Over a very long period of time, sedimentary and igneous rocks end up being buried deep underground the soil, usually because of the movement of tectonic plates. Deep below the surface, these rocks are exposed to high heat and pressure, which change them into a different type of rock called metamorphic rock.

4) Weathering

Igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rocks present on the surface of the earth are constantly being broken down by wind and water over a long time.

5) Transportation

Carrying away of broken rocks by rain, streams, rivers, and oceans to a distant place from their origin.

6) Deposition

During the carriage of rocks by rivers, the rock particles (mixed with soil) sink and become a layer of sediment. Often the sediments build up and form small accumulations, which over time and pressure turn into sedimentary rock.

Melting of underground metamorphic rock forms magma, which on crystallization forms igneous rock, thus continuing the cycle.

Why is the Rock Cycle Important

  • Helping in the formation of soil thus sustaining every life forms on earth
  • Forming life-sustaining minerals such as sodium, iron, potassium, and calcium into the biosphere
  • Forming the energy reserves of the earth like fossil fuels and radioactive sources
  • Providing the building materials used to build structures such as iron, limestone, marble, granite, and basalt
  • Providing raw materials for currency, investments, and adornments such as gold, diamonds, rubies, and emeralds

Ans. The two main forces that provide energy for the earth’s rock cycle are the sun and the internal heat of the earth. While the sun provides energy for weathering, erosion, and transportation, the earth’s internal heat helps in the processes like subduction, melting, and metamorphism.

Ans. The concept of the rock cycle was first suggested by James Hutton, the 18th-century founder of modern geology.

Ans. Since the rock cycle is a continuous process, the cycle does not stop after the formation of quartzite. Eventually, the quartzite rock could change into a sedimentary or an igneous rock to continue the cycle.

Ans. Compaction is the process in which sediment is squeezed to reduce the pore space between the grains due to the weight and pressure of overlying layers. Cementation is the process in which sediments are glued together by minerals that are deposited by water. Both compaction and cementation help in the formation of sedimentary rocks.

Article was last reviewed on Monday, November 2, 2020

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The Rock Cycle

Many of Earth’s key processes function in cycles and rock cycle is no exception. The rock cycle is a web of processes that outlines how each of the three major rock types—igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary—form and break down based on the different applications of heat and pressure over time. For example, sedimentary rock shale becomes slate when heat and pressure are added. The more heat and pressure you add, the further the rock metamorphoses until it becomes gneiss. If it is heated further, the rock will melt completely and reform as an igneous rock.

Empower your students to learn about the rock cycle with this collection of resources.

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We see rocks in our surroundings, from different shapes to sizes. Rocks never remain the same, and they are always changing with time. The Rock cycle is a basic concept in geology that describes the time-consuming transitions through geologic time.

Rocks are constantly being recycled and going through several processes of chemical and physical changes. There are three main rock types:

  • Sedimentary
  • Metamorphic

The diagram below shows that rocks are altered or destroyed when it is forced out of its equilibrium conditions. This cycle of rock formation and wearing out is constantly recycled the earth’s minerals. The rock cycle is nothing but a process by which rocks of one type with certain characteristics change into rocks of another kind.

Rock Cycle

Rock Cycle: Transition to Igneous

When rocks are pushed deep under the earth’s surface, they may melt into magma. If the conditions no longer exist for the magma to stay in its liquid state, it will solidify into an igneous rock.

Rock Cycle: Transition to Metamorphic

The rock exposed to high temperatures and pressures can be changed physically or chemically to form a different rock, called metamorphic.

Read More: Rock Types

For more information on the formation of metamorphic rocks, watch the below video

rock cycle short explanation

Rock Cycle: Transition to Sedimentary

Rocks exposed to the atmosphere are very unstable and subject to the processes of weathering and erosion. This process breaks the original rock down into smaller fragments and carries away dissolved materials. Sedimentary rocks form from deposits that accumulate on the Earth’s surface.

Read More: Weathering

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

What is a rock, what are the main three types of rocks, what is a rock cycle, explain the creation of igneous rock., how metamorphic rocks are formed, the video about the types of rock and rock formation.

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The rock cycle is illustrated in Figure . Igneous rocks are produced when molten rock cools and solidifies. When exposed at the earth's surface, the rock is broken down into tiny particles of sediment by weathering and erosion. This weathered material is carried by water or wind to form sedimentary deposits such as beaches, sand bars, or deltas. The sediment is gradually buried by more sediment and subjected to higher pressure and temperature. It eventually hardens into sedimentary rock ( lithifies ). If burial continues, the increasing pressure and temperature at depth recrystallizes the sedimentary rock into a metamorphic rock. The rock cycle is completed when the metamorphic rock becomes so hot that it melts and forms a magma again. Igneous and sedimentary rocks can become metamorphic rocks if they are buried deeply enough or are affected by plate tectonic processes. Metamorphic rocks exposed at the surface will also weather to form sedimentary deposits.

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  • Metamorphic Rocks - Metamorphic rocks are formed by great heat and pressure. They are generally found inside the Earth's crust where there is enough heat and pressure to form the rocks. Metamorphic rocks are often made from other types of rock. For example, shale, a sedimentary rock, can be changed, or metamorphosed, into a metamorphic rock such as slate or gneiss. Other examples of metamorphic rocks include marble, anthracite, soapstone, and schist.
  • Igneous Rocks - Igneous rocks are formed by volcanoes. When a volcano erupts, it spews out hot molten rock called magma or lava. Eventually the magma will cool down and harden, either when it reaches the Earth's surface or somewhere within the crust. This hardened magma or lava is called igneous rock. Examples of igneous rocks include basalt and granite.
  • Sedimentary Rocks - Sedimentary rocks are formed by years and years of sediment compacting together and becoming hard. Generally, something like a stream or river will carry lots of small pieces of rocks and minerals to a larger body of water. These pieces will settle at the bottom and over a really long time (perhaps millions of years), they will form into solid rock. Some examples of sedimentary rocks are shale, limestone, and sandstone.
  • The word "igneous" comes from the Latin word "ignis" which means "of fire."
  • Ores are rocks that include minerals that have important elements such as metals like gold and silver.
  • Sedimentary rocks form layers at the bottoms of oceans and lakes.
  • Marble is a metamorphic rock formed when limestone is exposed to high heat and pressure within the Earth.
  • Layers of sedimentary rocks are called strata.

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The rock cycle is the long, slow journey of rocks down from Earth’s surface and then back up again. Rocks often change during this process. During the rock cycle, rocks form deep in the Earth, move and sometimes change, go up to the surface, and eventually return below the ground. The three main kinds of rock are igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Each type of rock moves around the cycle in different ways. 

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Cycle begins again

The igneous rock gets eroded by weather, and the cycle begins again.

The magma (hot, liquid rock) bursts through Earth’s surface in the form of a volcano. It turns into solid rock, called igneous rock.

The rock cycle

The rock cycle is a never-ending process in which rocks continually shift and change over millions of years.

Heat and pressure deep in the Earth can make rock change into a different type, called metamorphic rock.

Intense heating

If the heat is very intense, both sedimentary and metamorphic rock can get so hot they turn into magma.

Rock pieces settle as sand, mud, or pebbles on the coast. The pieces then get carried into the sea by rivers and slowly settle in the bottom of the sea.

Rivers and streams carry the pieces of rock away, while breaking them down further. Glaciers (large rivers of ice and rock) remove bits of rock from mountainsides and carry them long distances.

Erosion is the movement or carrying away of rock pieces by a river, glacier, or wind.

Rain, wind, frost, chemicals, heat, and living things all break down rocks.

The rock particles at the bottom of a sea or lake get squashed and packed together. They gradually harden to form solid sedimentary rock.

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The Rock Cycle

The rock cycle is a process in which rocks are continuously transformed between the three rock types igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

Rocks of any type can be converted into any other type, or into another rock of the same type, as this diagram illustrates:

Conversion to metamorphic rocks requires conditions of increased temperature and/or increased pressure, conversion to sedimentary rocks occurs via the intermediate stage of sediments, and conversion to igneous rocks occurs via the intermediate stage of magma:

rock cycle short explanation

Increased temperature and pressure occurs in subduction zones and in areas where two plates of continental lithosphere collide to produce a mountain range, while increased pressure without increased temperature is produced when sedimentary rocks are deeply buried under more sediments. Sediments are produced when rocks are uplifted, weathered and eroded, and the resulting detrital material deposited in marine or terrestrial basins. If the sediments are buried under further layers of sediment, they can become lithified to produce a sedimentary rock . Magma is produced when rocks are melted. This melting can occur when a lithospheric plate descends into the Earth’s crust at a subduction zone, or when a mid-ocean ridge opens up and produces decompression melting in the athenosphere under the ridge. When the magma solidifies, it becomes an igneous rock .

The rock cycle has many alternative pathways. The following diagram illustrates one of these and gives an indication of the plate tectonic setting where it occurs:

rock cycle short explanation

rock cycle short explanation

Metamorphic Rock -  Metamorphic rocks form when sedimentary, igneous, or other metamorphic rocks are subjected to heat and pressure from burial or contact with intrusive or extrusive igneous rocks. ("Meta" means change, and "morph" means form.) Heat and pressure from burial cause molecules of flat minerals like mica to line up perpendicular to the direction of greatest compression. Deep burial means higher pressure and hotter temperatures, and very high temperature and pressures cause the formation of new minerals, and mineral grains. Low-grade metamorphic rocks like slate and phyllite break in flat pieces, and have a sheen on the surface. Schist is shiny, and many schists contain garnets, staurolites or other mineral crystals that have grown within the rock. Gneiss is a foliated metamorphic rock. Layers of dark and light minerals stripe the rock, and sometimes it is possible to see how the direction of pressure deep in the Earth changed as the minerals formed. The change in direction forms eye-shaped pods of minerals, called augens ("augen" is German for "eye.") Quartzite is another important metamorphic rock in Idaho. Quartzite is metamorphosed sandstone. Some Idaho quartzite is so pure that it can be used to make computer chips. The most common contact metamorphic rock in Idaho is marble.  The Portneuf Gap area provides good examples of Idaho marble. Marble forms when limestone is intruded by a pluton which heats the limestone.

rock cycle short explanation

Terms: Cementation- The process by which clastic sediment is lithified by precipitation of mineral cement, such as calcite cement, among the grains of the sediment.

Compaction- Tighter packing of sedimentary grains causing weak lithification and a decrease in porosity, usually from the weight of overlying sediment.

Deposition- The settling of materials out of a transporting medium.

Erosion- The processes that loosen sediment and move it from one place to another on Earth's surface. Agents of erosion include water, ice, wind, and gravity.

Lithification- The processes by which sediment is converted into sedimentary rock. These processes include cementation and compaction.

Magma- Molten rock, generally a silicate melt with suspended crystals and dissolved gases.

Melting- To go from a solid state to a liquid state.

Metamorphism- Alteration of the minerals and textures of a rock by changes in temperature and pressure, and/or by a gain or loss of chemical components.

Pressure- The force per unit of area exerted upon something, such as on a surface.

Sediment- Material (such as gravel, sand, mud, and lime) that is transported and deposited by wind, water, ice, or gravity; material that is precipitated from solution; deposits of organic origin (such as coal and coral reefs).

Transportation- The processes that carry sediment or other materials away from their point of origin. Transporting media include wind, water and mantle convection currents

Uplift-A structurally high area in the crust, produced by movements that raise the rocks, as in a broad dome or arch. Weathering- The processes by which rocks are chemically altered or physically broken into fragments as a result of exposure to atmospheric agents and the pressures and temperatures at or near Earth's surface, with little or no transportation of the loosened or altered materials.

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These Russian stone carvings date back to 12,000 BC. WHAT??!

rock cycle short explanation

With its gracious, broad and tree-lined boulevards, well maintained turn of the 19th to 20th century buildings and a lively riverfront, the city of Khabarovsk is often called the most European city in Asia. Nothing in the tranquil city hints of a history that goes beyond the middle of the 19th century, but a short road trip along the Amur River is enough to unfurl a treasure trove of petroglyphs (prehistoric rock carvings) that are believed to date back to 12,000 BC.   

Khabarovsk's city center

Khabarovsk's city center

The Khabarovsk Krai, which has about 789,000 square kilometers of territory, is one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet. These vast swathes of emptiness are visible when one drives on the highway that connects Khabarovsk with the industrial city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur.

The Nanai village of Sikachi-Alyan on the Amur River

The Nanai village of Sikachi-Alyan on the Amur River

75 kilometers north of Khabarovsk and just off the highway and on the right bank of the Amur is the Nanai village of Sikachi-Alyan, where the petroglyphs are located. Residents call the village the ‘home of angry spirits’, thanks to the mystical occurrences that many have claimed to witness there.  

History on the rocks 

The area has about 200 petroglyphs, with a significant number being well preserved. The petroglyphs are easily accessible, as they are near the water’s edge on basalt boulders. 

Petroglyphs of Sikachi-Alyan

Petroglyphs of Sikachi-Alyan

The best time to visit the area is actually early or late winter (despite the brutal cold), since the overflowing waters of the Amur hide them in the warmer months. Floods and ice floes have also caused considerable damage to many of the petroglyphs. Locals say some of the boulders have been turned upside down. 

The carvings that date from different periods depict hunting scenes, animals, such as elk, horses and mammoths, shamans and shamanic masks and even people sitting in boats.

rock cycle short explanation

Russia’s Far East is believed to have been one of the last habitats of mammoths before they became extinct. Among the best-preserved petroglyphs of Sikachi-Alyan, there is one engraving that clearly depicts a mammoth, while another shows a mammoth with an unknown creature. There’s also a large depiction of a beast with a tail.   

Svetlana Onenko, a local historian who is also the curator of the indigenous people’s ethnographic museum and cultural center in Sikachi-Alyan, says the very existence of the mammoth depictions proves that the petroglyphs date back to around 12,000 BC. She adds that the ancient dwellers of this area probably also hunted mammoths.  

A Nanai hunter (L); an ancient stone carving showing a mammoth

A Nanai hunter (L); an ancient stone carving showing a mammoth

The older images, dating to the Paleolithic age, were carved out using stone tools. It should be noted that some archaeologists argue that the wild horses depicted in some of the petroglyphs did not exist in the Amur Region even in the Neolithic age.  

rock cycle short explanation

The newer carvings, including those of shamans and shamanic masks were used with more modern tools. These images are sacred to the Nanai and other indigenous groups who live in the village with a total population of just 300. Onenko says the members of the indigenous community are descended from the people who carved out the petroglyphs. Some European anthropologists, however, believe that the indigenous people were more recent settlers, who moved to the area around 2,000 years ago from Manchuria.  

An abode of Shamanism  

Neo-Shamanists visit the area from different parts of the world and take part in rituals, which some suspect as being influenced by a cult. Such is the belief in Shamanism in this area that the museum, which has a large number of indigenous artefacts, crafts and ancient Chinese coins, keeps its Shamanic objects in a designated space that is ritually blessed. “Shamanic objects are believed to possess a powerful (and potentially dangerous) energy,” Onenko says. 

A Sikachi-Alyan's shaman

A Sikachi-Alyan's shaman

Locals claim to spot mystic occurrences near the so-called Starukha (Eng.: “old lady”) rock formation. According to indigenous legends, human beings did not die at one point of time, but their population grew so large that there wasn’t enough food for everyone. So the earth’s spirits decided that people, like animals, would also have to die.

The Starukha rock formation

The Starukha rock formation

The Starukha was apparently the first human being to face death and ended up turning into that big (and apparently haunted) rock. 

First Russian visitor 

While the Nanai and other indigenous groups were aware of the existence of the petroglyphs for centuries, the outside world came to know of them only in 1859, a year after the foundation of the city of Khabarovsk.

This “discovery” was made by Richard Maack, a geographer, naturalist and explorer who set out on an expedition of the Amur and Ussuri valleys. Maack, who was born in the Russian Empire’s Baltic governorate of Livonia, studied natural sciences at the University of St. Petersburg and undertook several expeditions to Siberia and the Russian Far East in the 1850s. 

A portrait of Richard Maack (L); and his drawing of an indigenous people's house

A portrait of Richard Maack (L); and his drawing of an indigenous people's house

Maack’s main area of interest was botany and six previously unknown plants that he collected by the Amur were named after him. His expedition north of the newly-founded Khabarovsk led him to Sikachi-Alyan, where he spotted the petroglyphs. There are less than a handful of surviving copies of Maack’s book titled, ‘Travel on the Amur river made by order of the Siberian department of the Emperor’s Russian Geographical Society in 1855’, which contains a wealth of information.  

Russian archaeologists, scientists and historians took a great interest in the petroglyphs in the 20th century. In the 1930s, archaeologist Nikolai Kharlamov photographed them in detail. Three decades later, ethnographer and historian Alexei Okladnikov went on several expeditions to the area and wrote about the petroglyphs in detail in two books. His findings suggest that the artwork of Sikachi-Alyan had some resemblance to its counterparts from South East Asia, Polynesia and Australia.  

Alexei Okladnikov (L) inspects the petroglyphs

Alexei Okladnikov (L) inspects the petroglyphs

The petroglyphs of Sikachi-Alyan are now among the most visited sites in Khabarovsk Krai. The Russian federal government was declared the legal owner of the petroglyphs in 2018 and efforts are underway to better preserve them, as well get the rock formations listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. 

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rock cycle short explanation

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  • Published: 16 March 2020

Tectonic Implications: Zircon age of Sedimentary Rocks from Khabarovsk, Samarka, and Zhuravlevka-Amur Terranes in the Northern Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt

Russian Journal of Pacific Geology volume  14 ,  pages 1–19 ( 2020 ) Cite this article

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Geochronological dating was performed on the detrital zircons of 20 sedimentary rock samples from the Khabarovsk, Samarka, and Zhuravlevka–Amur terranes in the northern Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt to establish that (1) the isotopic 206 Pb/ 238 U ages of the youngest detrital zircon populations of two sedimentary rock samples from the Gorin (K 1 b) and Pioner (K 1 b-v) formations, as well as one sample from the Svetlorechensk massif (J 3 t), were significantly younger than the upper limit of the accepted stratigraphic age of these rocks and (2) sedimentary rocks accumulating in the accretionary prisms matrix of the Khabarovsk–Voronezh tectonostratigraphic zone in the Khabarovsk Terrane and turbidites in the Gorin tectonostratigraphic zone pull-apart basin of the Zhuravlevka–Amur Terrane were derived from sources located within the eastern part of the Central Asian Belt. The source of sedimentary rocks accumulating in the turbidite matrix of the accretionary prisms in the Anyui tectonostratigraphic zone of the Samarka Terrane and turbidites in the pull-apart basin of the Koppi–Luzhki tectonostratigraphic zone of the Zhuravlevka–Amur Terrane was found in the North China Craton.

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Applying this term, we are guided by the following considerations: (1) according to the basics of terrane analysis, terrane can be divided into subterranes and/or tectonostratigraphic complexes/units [for example, 3 ]; (2) in Russia, adjacent blocks differing sharply in composition and origin are still recognized as structural–formational/structure–facies zones, especially during geological survey [for example, 5, 6, 7, 12, etc.]; and (3) in foreign literature the term “tectonostratigraphic zone” is in general use. We believe that the use of the term “tectonostratigraphic zone” is appropriate.

Steno’s law [35 et al.] is not applicable to stratigraphic dismembering of sections of accretionary prisms as, in their structure, there are “deposits of deep-sea plains, trough, continental slope, and shelf, and these deposits are getting younger in a regular manner as you move from the upper structural levels to the lower levels” [ 3 ].

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The authors are grateful to A.I. Khanchuk, whose valuable comments and suggestions were taken into consideration in reviewing the manuscript. Thanks are extended to reviewers N.N. Kruk and A.A. Sorokin, whose comments and suggestions improved the content of the paper. Special thanks to S.V. Zyabrev for being most helpful in choosing research targets and for participating in the fieldwork. The authors express appreciation to E.Yu. Didenko and O.M. Menshikova for help in preparing the manuscript for publication and drivers S.V. Burya and V.I. Chepilov, who ensured the coordinated group fieldwork .

The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 18-05-00117A) and carried out through the State Assignment for the Institute of Tectonics and Geophysics, Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Didenko, A.N., Otoh, S., Kudymov, A.V. et al. Tectonic Implications: Zircon age of Sedimentary Rocks from Khabarovsk, Samarka, and Zhuravlevka-Amur Terranes in the Northern Sikhote-Alin Orogenic Belt. Russ. J. of Pac. Geol. 14 , 1–19 (2020).

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Received : 15 July 2019

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Published : 16 March 2020

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rock cycle short explanation

Khabarovsk or Chabarovsk ( Russian : Хаба́ровск, khah-BAH-ruhvsk ) is a city on the Amur river in the Russian Far East , near the Chinese border. Often overlooked due to its proximity to Vladivostok , Khabarovsk could easily be a highlight in the long line of predominately dull cities along the Trans-Siberian Railway . But while most cities look their best when the sun is out, in few is the effect as profound as in Khabarovsk – attractive parks, beaches, outdoor beer tents with live music, and classic architecture await if the weather gods favour you. Even if you are unfortunate, it's not a loss to go indoors: the city also houses some of the best museums east of Moscow.

Understand [ edit ]

Overlooking the confluence of the Amur and Ussuri Rivers, Khabarovsk is the second largest city in the Russian Far East , approaching 600.000 residents and growing. It is also the capital of both Khabarovsk Krai and the Far Eastern Federal District . Unlike Vladivostok, the city has never been closed to foreigners, and retains a distinct international feel, rare for the Russian provincial centers – a feeling propped up by an increasing Asian presence with arrivals from Asian countries now numbering over a million each year. In turn, Asians come here to experience a piece of Europe close to home, with the fortunate effect that the city is spending huge swaths of money renovating the city, in which old classical buildings were spared much of the destructive effects of the 1917-23 civil war, to provide its visitors with just that feeling. From a European's perspective, Soviet city planning has unmistakably taken its toll, but it is still far more attractive than your average Siberian city.

Climate [ edit ]

The climate is temperate and monsoonal, with a cold, dry winter and a hot and humid summer. The average temperature for a full year is just 2°C, but covers over wide span of monthly averages ranging from a bone chilling −20°C in January to a quite warm +21°C average in July. The city sees an average of 686 mm precipitation in a year, but unfortunately the lions' share falls in the warm summer months. The number of sunny days per year is 70, which is higher than Moscow's 54. Climate-wise, end of May - early June or end of August - early September are the best time for a visit.

History [ edit ]

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The lands near the confluence of the Ussury and the Amur, where today's Khabarovsk stands, have been populated for centuries by the indigenous Tungusic people. Chinese expeditions reached this area as early as the first half of the 15th century, and in the mid-17th century the Amur Valley became the scene of hostilities between the Russian Cossacks, trying to expand into the region, and the rising Manchu Qing Dynasty, bent on securing the region for itself. Nearly a century of skirmishes between the Chinese, Koreans and Cossacks followed, one of those involving Russian explorer Yerofey Khabarov, whose name the city later adapted. The Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689) brought the conflict to a close and made the area an undisputed part of the Chinese Qing Empire. According to French Jesuits mapping the Ussury and the Amur rivers in 1709, the future site of Khabarovsk was known to the Chinese as Yupi Dazi ("Fishskin Tartars").

In 1858, the area was ceded to Russia under the Treaty of Aigun. The Russians founded the military outpost of Khabarovka (Хаба́ровка), which subsequently became an important industrial centre for the region. The Russian Geographical Society then began founding libraries, theaters, and museums in the growing city. Since then, Khabarovsk's cultural life has flourished. Much of the local indigenous history has been well-preserved in the Regional Lore Museum and Natural History Museum and in places like near the Nanai settlement of Sikhachi-Alyan, where cliff drawings from more than 1,300 years ago can be found.

The Trans-Siberian first reached Khabarovsk from Vladivostok in 1897, while the complete railway to Moscow did not see completion until 1913. Three years later, the Khabarovsk Bridge across the Amur was completed, allowing Trans-Siberian trains to cross the river without using ferries. The city was occupied by the Japanese for much of the Russian Civil War, which may offer some explanation to the many old buildings still standing around the city center.

Get in [ edit ]

By plane [ edit ], by train [ edit ].

By boat [ edit ]

If you want to go to places upstream on the Amur river, the Meteor speedboats will often be your transport of choice, but only during the summer when the river is navigable. However, in 2008, the water level in the river was at a historic low, so that the Meteor traffic had to be stopped. If Meteor traffic functions normally, you can go some 1,000 km downstream to the Ul'chi municipal district (rayon), a region mostly inhabited by indigenous Ul'chi people.

Get around [ edit ]


The best thing to start with is to walk around the center of the city. Have a nice walk from Lenin Square to the Amur River via the main street, Muravieva-Amurski. You will find all sorts of shops and places to eat.

By tram [ edit ]

The city has a network of four tram lines (there is no line 3 or 4). The most useful section for visitors is the stretch of the network running from the main railway station along Amursky Boulevard, before making a left turn down Volochaevskaya St. (near the market), and crossing Muravyov-Amursky Street one block west of Lenina Square, it then continues south intersecting Lenina Street roughly at its halfway point, before a stop at the botanical gardens (Lines 1, 2 & 6). The remainder of the network mainly extends into the sleepy suburbs. Line 5 serves the North, Line 1 and 2 the South along Krasnorechenskaya St.

By bus [ edit ]

The electric trolleybuses also has a few useful sections for visitors, Line 1 runs between the Airport and Komsomolskaya Square (River promenade, Museum cluster) along Karla Marksa and Mureava Amursky streets.

The regular bus number 1, is a useful circle line. It starts at the Railway station, turns down Seryshev street (a block north of Amursky Boulevard) until it reaches the river park at Lenin Stadium. Turns down Komsomolskaya Street (and square) and runs south until Lenina Street. It then runs the entire length of Lenina street before north at the City History Museum and returns to the train station.

Major destinations [ edit ]

See [ edit ]

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The Far Eastern Museums [ edit ]

There is a fantastic cluster of top notch museums along Shevchenko Street, just behind the tall blue-domed Church of Theotokos on Komsomolskaya Square towards the river and stadium. Not only are the museums some of the best in the far east, they also make their home in some impressive century-old buildings dating back to before the revolution. After a visit, the nice river promenade is just a short walk away, so you can wash all that new found knowledge away with some pivos in good company.

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Tugged away just across the next street behind the military museum, you also find the Archeology Museum on Turgeneva street.

Other museums [ edit ]

Other attractions [ edit ]

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Do [ edit ]

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In addition to these listings there are also a Drama Theatre and a Children's 'Theatre , but they are probably not of much interest unless you speak Russian. Nonetheless, the city has a fairly vibrant cultural life.

Events [ edit ]

  • Ice Fantasy Festival ( Ледовая Фантазия ), ☏ +7 4212 628 088 , [email protected] . Annual ice sculpting competition that has been held in January every year since 2001. Attracts some of the sculptors from the much grander and more famous Harbin festival. Worth a look if you're in town.  

Buy [ edit ]

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  • The Vyborg Market . 09:00-19:00 . (Международный торговый центр 'Выборгский') on Vyborgskaya Street is a huge and very lively market, with not only local Russians but also a visible example of the proximity to China — many Chinese traders selling imported products of every variety under the sun, e.g. domestic appliances, toys, cutlery and clothing, from their home country. There is also a couple of huge indoor halls with locals selling fruits, vegetables and meat. It's well worth a stroll, even if you don't plan on buying anything.  
  • The Central Department Store ( ЦУМ - Центральный универмаг г. Хабаровска ), 23 Muraveva-Amur St ( About halfway between Lenina Sq. and the cathedral ), ☏ +7 4217 304 195 . 09:00-20:00 . 3 floors of high-end shopping in a nice old building, renovated inside out a couple of years back, but it's actually the oldest business in the city. Fashion, electronics, watches, perfumery and other stuff along those lines. Also has an ATM that takes international credit cards.  
  • Hudozhestvennye Salony ( Художественный салон ), 15 Muravyov-Amursky St , ☏ +7 4212 311 921 . 10:00-19:00 . Means "Art salon", all Russian handicrafts slightly cheaper than its next door neighbour. Good place to get the ritual Matreshka doll purchase over and done with, since they are good quality here, though certainly not cheap. Also has a good selection of jewelery and Khokhloma items — a traditional Russian wood painting handicraft, though if you're heading west, you might want to wait for Nizhny Novgorod where they originate.   .
  • Tainy Remesla ( Тайны ремесла ), 17 Muravyov-Amursky St , ☏ +7 4212 327 385 . 10:00-19:00 . Inside the impressive old city Duma building (see picture above ) is probably the best place in town to buy souvenirs, but bring a pair of pants with deep pockets, because you'll need them to buy most of what you see in the shop; art works by the far east's aboriginal peoples, Khokhloma goods, art, jewelery, stone and amber handicrafts and even toys.  
  • NK City ( НК Сити ), 76 Karl Marx St . 10:00-20:00 . A large prestigious supermarket in the city's center located at the road junction offering a good deal of cheap food, brand clothes and electronic stuff with a 3D cinema on the 5th floor and a couple of small restaurants.  

Fast food [ edit ]

  • Tablespoon ( Столовая «Ложка» ), Ulitsa Dikopol'tseva, 29 ( 50m from the Muravyov Amursky st ). daily 09:00-21:00 . Pick items off a buffet line.  
  • Golden Bird , 7, Muravyov Amursky st ( Trade center 'Lotos', the entrance is at the left hand ). McDonald's-style eatery.  

Drink [ edit ]

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Locals will happily teach you how to drink Russian-style. People are very friendly, and in general you will find lots of locals who would love to practice their English. Don't miss an offer to visit a Russian banya (sauna) somewhere outside the city.

For the most part you should avoid the pubs and bars if weather permits, and indulge in the many beer tents instead. The River Promenade ( Набережная Хабаровска ) below the large cathedral is a lively place in the summer months, open air cafes in large tents, dot the promenade along the river. Most bars play different styles of music, and there is usually live music going on in one of the tents. Young crowd, and some establishments stay open till very late. This is also the starting point for a host of river boats, taking the party going crowd on short cruises down the river with loud music banging out the speakers. Dynamo Park ( Парк Динамо ) also has some beergarten style watering holes along long benches beneath coloured lanterns and Russian schlagers blasting out the speakers.

  • Cabaret Saloon Harley - Davidson , Ulitsa Murav'yeva-Amurskogo, 5 ( same building as where Khlebomyas is located ), ☏ +7 421 294-24-42 . Located in the historic center, this is not a biker's pub, but a full-fledged restaurant.  
  • 48.4735 135.05794 1 Crossroad , Ulitsa Murav'yeva-Amurskogo, 3б , ☏ +7 421 294-13-13 . Dance and karaoke floors, selection of cocktails and hookah choices, snacks, middle-age crowd welcome, too.  
  • Velikano , Ulitsa Zaparina, 67а , ☏ +7 914 544 46 64 . F-Sa 22:00-06:00 . It's a bit Russian, with a lot of Russian pop and youngsters. Two dance floors and competent bartenders. Cover charge 150-350 руб . ( updated Feb 2021 )
  • 48.46983 135.07042 2 Bonifatsiy Bar ( Бонифаций Бар ), Ulitsa Lenina, 19 , ☏ +7 421 220 25 45 . Kind of like going to the bar at the circus, given the theme. Also on the premises is another establishment called Pushkin Yard. ( updated Feb 2021 )

Coffee [ edit ]

  • Shokoladnitsa at Komsomolskaya street, 78 08:00-24:00. All-Russian brand cafes offering a variety of coffee and chocolate drinks.
  • Rock-bar 'Garazh' ( Гараж ), Ulitsa Volochayevskaya 15 , ☏ +7 421 245-67-67 . M Th Su 12:00-2:00, F Sa 12:00-... . Stylish and cosy cafe with live sound, Russian-European food, coffee and theme parties.  

Learn [ edit ]

The Pacific National University [dead link] , formally a Polytechnic Institute, is now a full fledged university, with over 21.000 students enrolled. Has a single Masters programme in Computer Sciences in cooperation with a German university, which is taught in English.

The Far Eastern State University of Humanities [dead link] offers a summer course in Russian language in July as well as courses during the academic year.

The Far-Eastern State Medical University [dead link] is a major medical institution in Eastern Siberia.

The Far-Eastern State University of Railways being one of the largest universities includes the course of Russian-Americam Programme.

The Far-Eastern State Scientific Library is an old and beautiful Art-Nouveau building in the city's center and has American, German and Japanese centers.

Japanese Center in Khabarovsk offers course of Japanese language as well as participation in business seminars

Sleep [ edit ]

No hostels and not many unrenovated Soviet rooms, so accommodation is pretty steep — on the other hand, the situation is not much different from the rest of Russia. If the situation is desperate and you have a valid ISIC card, you could try to see if the university will hook you up with a room in their dorms — though call ahead instead of showing up on the day. If not, rooms can go as low as 1000 руб if you look around and book well ahead of arrival.

  • 48.5305 135.0703 1 Abricol Hotel ( Гостиница Абриколь ), 138 Voronezhkaya St ( Bus 6 or 57 from the railway station ), ☏ +7 421 266-00-00 . About a kilometer north(west) of the railway station on the outskirts of town, offers 28 modern rooms within a larger entertainment complex which also includes a restaurant, two bars, billiards, a bowling alley and a sauna/pool. The hotel is hard to reach by public Transport, taxi from city center costs about 250 руб . 2250-5000 руб .  
  • 48.47921 135.08253 2 Ali Hotel ( Гостиница «Али» ), 17 Mukhin St , ☏ +8 4212 217 888 . Is an up-scale choice with 24 rooms overlooking the city ponds. Has a swimming pool, casino and fitness facilities. 3500-11000 руб .  
  • 48.47177 135.07469 3 Amur Hotel ( Гостиница «Амур» ), 29 Lenina St , ☏ +7 4212 221 223 . Classic building on Lenina street, though it lost some of it grand old-world charm when it was renovated in 2005, and the 78 rooms are for the most part very kitschy. 2450-4500 руб .  
  • 48.47487 135.05155 4 Intourist Hotel ( Гостиница «Интурист» ), 2 Amursky Blvd , ☏ +8 4212 326 507 . 283 rooms divided into singles, doubles and triples, all have air condition and Sat-TV. Big, bombastic and Soviet in appearance, but at least the service has much improved since those days, though you may still find it lagging compared to Western European standards. Accepts major international credit cards. 2750-8200 руб . ( updated Aug 2020 )
  • 48.47098 135.05654 5 Parus Business Center Hotel ( Бизнес-Центр Парус ), 5 Shevchenko St , ☏ +7 4212 327 270 . Possibly the best located hotel in town, though the noise from the river promenade is reported to sometimes get disturbing for those of the 82 rooms which are facing the Amur river. Unusually for Russia parts of the hotel are located in a classic pre-soviet brick building, and the rooms are spotless in the new wing. On-site Bar, Spa/Sauna, Restaurant and conference/meeting facilities. 5200-28500 руб with suites going up to 16000 руб .  
  • Boutique-Hotel “Khabarovsk City” ( Бутик-отель Хабаровск Сити ), 64 Istomina St , ☏ +7 421 276-76-76 . Check-in: 12:00 , check-out: 12:00 . Boutique-hotel “Khabarovsk City” is located in the central part of the city not far from the Amur River. It is a modern beautiful building of 2008. There are 44 rooms of various categories for 69 guests: standard rooms, studios, and lux. Hotel facilities: restaurant-bar "Flowers" (Russian and European cuisine), conference hall, lobby bar, night bar «The place», business center, free wifi, beauty salon, parking lot, booking and delivery air/train tickets, taxi service, left-luggage office, laundry service, elevator. 4400-9500 руб .  
  • 48.49166 135.07177 6 Afalina Hotel ( Гостиница Афалина ), 80 Dikopoltseva St , ☏ +7 4212 604-706 . The Afalina Hotel is near the central railway station of Khabarovsk. It is a small pleasant hotel with friendly staff. Hotel building was built in 1994, and renovated in 2008. There are 26 rooms of European style in different categories. Every room has its own design. All rooms are air-conditioned, equipped with TV, internet access, phone, safe, refrigerator, new shower units. Hotel facilities: restaurant, bar, sauna, billard room, parking lot, laundry service, pet-friendly. 3600-5400 руб .  

Connect [ edit ]

Phones [ edit ].

Khabarovsk has the usual set of Russian mobile operators:

GSM 900/1800:

  • Beeline ( by Vympelcom ), ☏ +7 4212 64-90-64 .  
  • Megafon , toll-free: +7 800 333 0500 .  
  • MTS ( Mobile TeleSystems ), toll-free: +7 800 333 0890 .  
  • Skylink , Dzerzhiskogo, 4 ( Near Amur hotel. ), ☏ +7 4212 74-44-44 . The all-Russian CDMA operator, having less subscribers, than GSM operators, but popular for faster and cheaper mobile Internet service.  
  • Megafon , ☏ +7 800 333 0500 . new standart of mobile internet.  

Check roaming prices, especially for mobile Internet, before using any non-Russian SIM card. Some mobile connection standards are not supported in Russia , e.g. those for Japan and the United States .

If you're staying in Russia for a week or more, it's definitely worth it to buy a local SIM card, but be aware, that a passport is needed for that. The easiest way to refill a local mobile account is to use an ATM. Most ATMs have bilingual interfaces, allowing numerous kinds of payments, including those for mobile services by local operators. You can also do it through terminals spread all over the city - like Qiwi or mobile shops.

Internet [ edit ]

  • Game studio , 19 Gaidara St , ☏ +7 91-02-01 .  
  • Lexx , 43 Karl Marx St , ☏ +7 30-87-18 .  
  • Port , 7 Moskovskaya st , ☏ +7 41-18-18 , [email protected] .  
  • ZenaClub , 37 Gogol st , ☏ +73-43-10 . 24hr access .  
  • Adrenaline , 80 Serysheva St , ☏ +75-35-83 . 09:00-24:00 . 30 руб /hour .  
  • Kolizei , 49 Karl Marx St , ☏ +7 21-12-87 .  
  • Planeta.RU , 52 Pushkin st ( Lenin square ), ☏ +7 42-06-33 , [email protected] .  
  • Redcom , 74 Karl Marx St ( Near 'NK City' supermarket ), ☏ +7 32-46-73 , [email protected] . 09:00-21:00 .  
  • Cinema 'Druzhba' ( 300 m from the exit of Railway station ). Free wi-fi in a lounge cafe  

Post [ edit ]

The General post office at 28 Muravyov-Amurskiy St. If you plan on calling anyone, Khabarovsk is UTC +10 (or 7 hours ahead of Moscow).

The post-office at the railway station is located on 13 Leningradsky per. about 200 m from the station building.

Cope [ edit ]

Consulates [ edit ], travel agencies [ edit ].

  • Dalgeo Tours ( Дальгео Турс ), 78 Turgenev St , ☏ +74212 318830 , [email protected] . 09:00-17:00 . One of the best organized travel agencies in the Russian far east, has English, Chinese and Japanese speaking staff available. Can assist with train tickets, ferry bookings for 700 руб , and organizing Visas. Also hosts a range of local tours like the one to the ancient drawings of Sikachi-Alyan.  
  • Travel agency 'New millenium' ( Новое тысячелетие ), office #106a, 22, Tolstogo st , ☏ +7 4212 21-14-54 , fax : +7(4212) 21-14-54 , [email protected] . Year-round tours to Khekhtsyrsky Nature reserve. Time travel: 5 hours.  
  • Ocean-Tour ( Океан Тур ), ☏ +7 4212 41-15-47 , fax : +7(4212) 77-38-10 , [email protected] . Organized two-day tours to the healing center of wild animals in the taiga forest.  

Go next [ edit ]

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  • Bolshekhekhtsirsky Nature Reserve — the closest reserve of endemic plants and animals.
  • Bogorodskoye ( Богородское ) — the district centre of Ul'chi rayon, should be reachable within one day on the Meteor boat. However, be prepared that getting back is harder than getting there. Whereas you can easily book your ticket downstream in Khabarovsk, return tickets are available only on the vessel itself, they are sold on a first come - first serve basis. Bogorodskoye is starting to develop eco tourism. To get to the surrounding villages, you need to hire a boat, as many of them are accessible only through waterways. Please be respectful to the indigenous peoples, which have gone through a long history of marginalisation and oppression and many of whom still live in deep poverty nowadays. If you want to know more about indigenous cultures, you can also try to contact the Association of indigenous small peoples of Khabarovsk Kray, which has its office in the city of Khabarovsk, please look here [dead link] for their current contact (search for "Хабаровск").
  • Sikachi-Alyan ( Сикачи-Алян ) — a national village inhabited by indigenous Nanai people, located some 70 km upstream on the Amur river. Close to the village you can find old petroglyphs, carved into stones on the banks of Amur, dating back some 20,000 years. If you don't find them, you might ask in the village for advise. Everyone should know them. Sikachi-Alyan also has a little museum, where you can learn much about indigenous culture, including shamanism, history and of course about the petroglyphs. However, you should probably know Russian or have an interpreter.
  • Center for rehabilitation of wild animals Utyos ( Центр реабилитации диких животных Утёс ) — in a couple of hours' distance from the city there is a place in taiga near a tiny village where people take care of wild animals who got in trouble. The tigers, Himalayan bears either found injured or starving as orphans are finally put in the Center and walking free in the area of several hectares in Sikhote-Alin natural memorial.
  • Sakhalin ( Сахалин ) — Khabarovsk is an important transfer point between the Trans-Siberian Railway and the railway line to Vanino , where ferries shuttles passengers across the Tartar strait to the fascinating Sakhalin island. From there you can continue your journey onwards to Japan with a weekly ferry in summer.

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