Span and Topography
As a geographic area Bălţi steppe is one of the three components of the Moldavian Plain, which in turn is one of the six compenents of the Moldavian Plateau. Despite the name, Bălţi steppe is not a flatland, but a region dotted with hills.
In Moldova, Bălţi steppe, 1,920 km^2, and Middle Prut Valley, 2,930 km^2 are sometimes together referred to as Moldavian Plain, however one should be warned that in Romania the latter term is used as a synonym for the Jijia Plain. Before 1940 the term used to mean Jijia Plain plus Middle Prut Valley plus Bălţi steppe, because the three regions have an identical relief and natural vegetation. To make the things even more complicated, in Moldova sometimes Bălţi steppe and Middle Prut Valley are lumped together into one term, Bălţi steppe. Together, they cover the municipality of Bălţi, the districts of Glodeni, Râşcani, and Făleşti, as well as parts of Drochia, Sângerei, and Ungheni districts.
The waters of the Bălţi steppe fall into the Răut river, while those of the Middle Prut Valley fall into the Prut river.
Bălţi steppe has altitudes of cca. 200m, lower than the surrounding Central Moldavian Plateau (to its south), and Dniester Hills (to its north and east). The surrounding hills are characterized by deep gorges, and the terms plain and steppe are employed to denote the fact that the area in-between the hill formations is visibly more lean and less slant.
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