Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Mongolia is a highland with an average height of nearly
1,600 m above sea level. The northern part of the country is
dominated by three long mountain ranges. The
longest and highest, Altaj, extends from the country's
northwest corner about 1 600 km to the southeast. It divides
into two branches, Mongolian Altaj and Gobi Altaj further
east. The former has glacier-covered peaks and reaches 4 374
m above sea level. the highest and the latter 3 957 m above
sea level. Further east and in the same direction goes the
Changaj Mountains, whose peaks reach about 3 900 m above sea
level. To the east of Mongolia's main river Selenge, which
flows north to Lake Baikal in Russia, it runs somewhat
smaller Chentijkchain (reaching a maximum of 2 799 m above
sea level) parallel to Stora Hinggan, east of the border
with China. The mountain ranges are part of the Caledonian
and Variskian riots, but have been raised by later movements
in the earth's crust.
Another landform region in Mongolia consists of a series
of intermittent streams that lie between the
mountain ranges. To the west is marked the Great Lakes basin
area with more than 300 lakes and further east there is a
fertile stream with source areas for the Tuul and Orchon
rivers. Other sinks include a large number of extinguished
volcanoes, volcanic lakes and hot springs. Around the
largest and deepest freshwater lake Chövsgöl in the north,
west of the southern tip of Bajkalsjön, spreads a sea-rich
sink, known among others. for its underground caves.
Eastern Mongolia forms a plateau and high plateau
region of 600-700 m above sea level. Minor masses of
degraded volcanoes rise over the plain; inter alia the
eastern tip of the country has about 220 extinguished
volcanoes. The southern part is an oasis-strewn strip to the
northern Gobi Desert. The area in the south has internal
drainage, while the rivers in the north flow to the Northern
Arctic Ocean and in the east (Onon and Cherlen) to the
Mongolia has a pronounced continental climate with large
temperature differences during the year (up to 44 ～ C) and
for the day (up to 30 ～ C) and low rainfall. In Ulaanbaatar,
the average temperature for July is 17 ～ C and for January
-26 ～ C. For the Gobi Desert, the corresponding values are
23 ～ C and −18 ～ C respectively.
Precipitation increases with altitude as well as north,
from less than 100 mm per year in the south to 350 mm in the
mountains. The rainfall is mostly related to thunderstorms
in the summer, while snow falls in the mountains. The number
of sunny days is high, 220-260 per year.
Large parts of the country are occupied by extensive and
grassy pastures with, among other things, species of the
genus feather grass, tufts and barley and in drier areas
steppe vegetation with, for example, herbs, Calligonum,
the wind Convoʹlvulus tragacanthoiʹdes and
krisslan Iʹnula salsoli. Along the dehydrated streams,
poplar and tamarisk grow, which have particularly deep roots
and therefore can withstand dehydration. Deserts are fairly
species-poor and dominated by Amaranth, such saxaul (see
Haloxylon) constituting important food for camels, and
sulchir (Agriophy'llum go'bicum) whose seeds are
roasted and ground into flour.
In the mountain areas are found at higher elevations
forests such as firs, pines, junipers, sallow, rowan, aspen,
oak Que'rcus mongo'lica, birch Be'tula
davu'rica, Guelder Rose, Ostryo'psis davidia'na
and karaganer. On the rich mountain beds there are, among
other things, smell peony, butter balls, blue wool and
In the forests of the north, there are typically
Palarctic mammals such as lo, brown bear, sable, red deer,
wild boar, elk and deer, and even musk deer. Snow leopards
are left in Altaj but are rare. The steppe areas include
saiga antelope (however rare), Mongolian goat gazelle
(Proʹcapra gutturoʹsa) and many rodents, e.g.
steppe marshes, sisels and rats. In semi-deserts and deserts
in southern Mongolia there are argal sheep, half-asses and
camel populations and Przewalski's horse.
Among the birds on the steppe can be mentioned steppe
chicken, larch and many species of birds of prey. In the
mountains there are altaisnöhöna (Tetraoga'llus
alta'icus) and bar-headed goose and in gobi Houbara (Chlamydo'tis
undula'ta) and owls and desert wheatear. Running
lizards and toddlers are common in deserts and semi-deserts.
In 1990, there were two national parks in Mongolia, Ar-Tuul
and Gobi National Park.
In the early 1900s, large amounts of mammal fossils were
found in southern Mongolia. titanotherias (large relatives
of rhinos) and Andrewsaʹrchus (the largest known
predatory mammal). Dinosaur fossils were also found.
Protoceʹratops (with the first known dinosaur eggs) and
Oviraʹptor. Even later, many interesting finds of
dinosaurs have been made in Mongolia.
Mongolia has four types of nature protected areas: strict
nature conservation areas, national parks, nature reserves
and nature monuments. In 2007, Mongolia had ten national
parks. In total, 13% of the country's area was protected,
but a goal is for 30% to be protected.