Pontics, mountain system, N Turkey, extending c.700 mi (1,100 km) along the southern coast of the Black Sea. The Pontics generally increase in height from west to east, culminating in Kaçkar Daği (12,917 ft/3,937 m high) in the Rize Mts., NE Turkey. The Pontics, which generally lack porous rock, have been greatly dissected by the large amount of surface drainage. The Sakarya, Kizil Irmak, and the Yeşil Irmak are the largest rivers flowing through the Pontics. The northern slopes of the mountains receive an average annual precipitation of c.95 in. (241 cm) and have lush vegetation. The southern slopes are much drier. Population centers are located on fertile river plains. Coal, antimony, and copper are mined in the mountains.
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