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China relief


Mountains of China
Mountains of China

This region embraces the Yangzi Valley and the topographically diverse regions to the south. The Yangzi Valley consists of a series of basins with fertile alluvial soils. These lowlands are crisscrossed with waterways, both natural and artificial, and dotted with lakes. The Sichuan Basin, located to the west, is enclosed by rugged mountain spurs of the Central Highlands and constitutes a relatively isolated area of hilly terrain. The area is known for its intensive terraced farming. The highlands of South China extend from the Tibetan Plateau east to the sea. In the west the deeply eroded Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau is bordered by a series of mountain ranges separated by deep, steep-walled gorges. One of the world’s most scenic landscapes is found in eastern Guizhou, where the terrain is dominated by tall limestone pinnacles and pillar-like peaks.

To the east are the largely deforested and severely eroded Nan Ling hills, and along the coast are the rugged South-Eastern Highlands, where bays with numerous offshore islands provide good natural harbours. Lying south of the Nan Ling hills is the Xi Basin, predominantly a hilly area with infertile soils; the numerous streams of this region, however, are bordered by fertile, flat-floored alluvial valleys. The broad delta plain of the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) is commonly called the Canton delta.

Occupying the remote south-western extremity of China is the high, mountain-rimmed plateau of Tibet; the world’s highest plateau region, it has an average elevation of about 4,510 m (14,800 ft) above sea level.

Bordering ranges include the Himalaya on the south, the Pamirs and Karakorum Range on the west, and the Kunlun Shan and Qilian Mountains on the north. The surface of the plateau is dotted with salt lakes and marshes, is crossed by several mountain ranges, and also contains the headwaters of many major southern and eastern Asian rivers, including those of the Indus, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Mekong, Yangzi (Chang Jiang), and Huang He (Hwang Ho or Yellow River). The landscape is bleak, barren, and stony. "China" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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