Geography of Asia
About 3/4 of Asia’s surface is made up of mountains and plateaus. The Ural Mountains, which reach just under 2,000 m above sea level, form Asia’s border with Europe. From Pamir (“roof of the world”), a highland more than 7,500 m above sea level, systems of mountain ranges go west and southwest to Turkey, to the northeast to the Tjuktjer Peninsula and Kamchatka, to the east to China and to the southeast with continuation to south to the Malacca Peninsula and Indonesia. Several chains are among the world’s highest, e.g. Tian Shan (over 7,000 meters above sea level), Kunlun Shan, with an average height of 6,000 meters above sea level. along the entire stretch, and the Himalayas with Mount Everest (8,848 m asl, the world’s highest peak). Large parts of the chains are glacial eroded, and glaciers are common. Between the chains lie high plateaus such as the Anatolian and Iranian (approx. 1,000 m above sea level) and Tibet, with plains of 4,300–6,500 m above sea level, and the creek as Tarim (800–1,000 m ash).), The Dzungariet (at most less than 1,000 meters above sea level), Gobi (about 1,000 meters above sea level), Qaidam (2 700 meters above sea level), the Red Basin (500–600 meters above sea level) and Turpan (154 meters above sea level). In a rift lies Lake Baikal, 1,940 m deep and thus the world’s deepest lake. The Central Siberian Highlands is one of the rivers, heavily ravaged plateau area (approx. 1000 m above sea level), north of the major mountain ranges. South of the major chains lies the Deccan Plateau, which covers most of India, as well as the Arabian Peninsula. Deccan is highest in the west. The Western Ghats reach over 2,500 meters above sea level. In the northwest, it provides about 500,000 km2 large basalt flows give rise to stepwise topography. The Arabian Peninsula reaches 3,760 m above sea level. to the southwest and ending to the northeast. In the northwest, the peninsula is divided by a rift, in which the Bekadalen, the Jordandalen, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea form parts. The Dead Sea’s surface is approximately 412 m above sea level. To the west of the reef are mountains and highlands that reach about 1,000 m above sea level.
The West Siberian plain is Asia’s largest lowland, with 2.5 million km 2 lower than 120 m asl A large part of the area is characterized by moraine and glacial deposits. Marshlands are common. Permafrost, as in other northern Asia, provides special landforms. Via Kazakhstan’s highland, the lowland crosses south into the Turans Plain with the drainless Aral Sea (approx. 55 m above sea level) and the Amu-Darja and Syr-Darja rivers. In the north, the West Siberian plain continues in the lowlands along the Arctic Ocean. It is interrupted by the Tajmyr peninsula’s mountains. The West Siberian plain is flooded by Ob with tributaries and adjoins the valley of the Jenisei valley. Island of the Central Siberian Highlands lies the great valley of Lena. Most of Asia’s lowland plains are linked to large rivers and especially to the delta regions. Largest are the river plains formed by Huang He, Chang Jiang, Ganges – Brahmaputra and Indus, but also those adjacent to Amur/Heilong Jiang, Mekong, Salween,
Much of Asia is a dry area. The deserts of the Arabian Peninsula Rub al-Khali and Nafud, Karakum and Kyzylkum on the Turan plain and Takla Makan in the Tarimba basin are the largest sand deserts. Gobi is, as the name implies, a stone desert. Salt lakes are common both on the high plateaus, e.g. Tuz Gölü in Turkey, and in the many streams with internal drainage. Lop Nor, “the wandering lake”, now mostly a salt deposit, is located about 800 m above sea level. in the Tarimba basin.
Asia also belongs to the island world to the east, from the Kuriles to the five large and about 3,000 small Indonesian islands. Most of the islands are mountainous. Lowlands and plains are generally linked to rivers and coastal areas. Active volcanoes are common. There are about 60 in the Japanese island world (including Fuji, 3,776 m above sea level) and 17 in Java alone. On the Asian mainland, only Damavand (5,671 m asl) is active in Elburz, while Ararat (5,165 m ash) on the Armenian highlands and several other volcanoes in western Turkey are dormant or extinguished. An earthquake zone from Turkey to China meets in the east the earthquake zone from Kamchatka to Indonesia. The latter coincides with the subduction zones that also give rise to ocean tombs such as the Marian tomb, 11 034 m deep, the deepest in the world, and the Sundagraven, 7 455 m deep. Also in Asia are the Maldives, which are low coral islands, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Cyprus.
|Country||Important rivers||Largest lake|
|Afghanistan||Helmand, Amu-Darja, Kabul||Hamun-i-Saberi (Hamun-i-Helmand)|
|Bangladesh||Jamuna (Brahmaputra), Padma (Ganges), Meghna||Karnafuli Reservoir|
|Bhutan||Sankosh, Manas, Drangme||–|
|Burma||Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady), Chindwin, Sittang (Sittaung), Salween (Thanlwin)||Indawgyi Lake|
|Philippines||Cagayan (Luzon), Pulangi (Mindanao)||–|
|United Arab Emirates||–||–|
|India||Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus||–|
|Indonesia||Kapuas and Mahakam (Kalimantan), Batang Hari and Musi (Sumatra), Mamberamo and Digul (Papua)||Danube Toba (Sumatra)|
|Iraq||Euphrates, Tigris, Shatt al-Arab||–|
|Iran||Karun, Arvand Rud (Shatt-al-Arab)||Lake Urmia|
|Jordan||Jordan River||Dead Sea|
|Kazakhstan||Syr-Darja||Lake Balchash and part of the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea|
|China||Yangtze River (Changjiang), Yellow River (Huanghe), West River (Xijiang), Pearl River (Zhujiang), Amur (Heilongjiang)||–|
|Malaysia||Pahang (Malacca Peninsula), Rajang (Sarawak), Kinabatangan (Sabah)||–|
|Mongolia||Selenge, Tuul||Uvs nuur, Chövsgöl nuur|
|Nepal||Karnali, Narayani, Kosi||–|
|North Korea||Yalu, Tumen, Taedong||–|
|Singapore||Sungei Seletar||Select Reservoir|
|South Korea||Naktong, Han, Kum||Yanggu|
|Syria||Euphrates with tributaries, Orontes (al-Asi)||Lake Assad (artificial)|
|Tajikistan||Amu-Darja, Syr-Darja, Zarafsjon||–|
|Thailand||Chao Phraya, Mekong||–|
|Turkmenistan||Amu-Darja, Murgab||Sarygamys Köli|
|Uzbekistan||Amu-Darja, Syr-Darja||Aral Sea|
|Vietnam||Mekong, Red River (Song Hong), Black River (Song Da)||–|
|East Timor||–||According to Surubel|
Mountain earth moons of varying types have a very wide distribution in Asia. in the Himalayas, eastern Siberia and Iran. Tundra earth moons occur in the northern parts of the continent. To the south, there are many areas with pod soles. Narrow and climate-conditioned belts with gray soils, black soils and chestnut brown soils then follow further south. Desert soils are found in large areas north of the Tian Shan and Himalayas, in the Arabian Peninsula and in the northwestern parts of India. In China there are large areas with brown soils, subtropical pod soles and lateritic soils. The latter also dominate the Indochinese peninsula.
Animal geographically, Asia is not a naturally distinct entity. At least three of the world’s six fauna regions are represented, of which only the Oriental is completely housed in Asia (compare animal geography). The Himalayas provide an effective dispersal barrier (topographic and climatological) and form a boundary between the Palearctic region in the north and the Oriental region in the south. The southern parts of the Arabian Peninsula belong to the Ethiopian fauna region, while the Sulawesi, the Lesser Sunda Islands and the Moluccas form a transitional area to the Australian region. Few animal groups are endemic to Asia. However, this includes gibbones, ghost animals, fur flutters, tip squirrels, leaf birds, angular salamanders, Big-headed turtle, gavial, earless monitor lizard and uropeltidae.
Along the nutritious Arctic Ocean coast you will find colonies of walrus, bays and great seals. There was also the now extinct Steller’s sickle; furthermore there nestle speck mountain pig, gulls and terns.
The majority of vertebrates on the treeless tundra in the north are only summer visitors, who benefit from the rapid but short-lived production of insects, especially mosquitoes, and vegetation. Among the summer visitors are many waders, geese, pockets, fairy tales, pure, Siberian snow sheep (Ovis nivicola) and polar hares. This also forces the predators, such as mountain fox, wolf, lobster, mountain owl and hunting falcon, to move spring and autumn. Of the vertebrates, it is basically only herbivorous voles and lemmings who, by being active under the snow, manage to winter on the tundra.
The Tajgan, the broad boreal coniferous forest belt, has many animals in common with the Nordic coniferous forests. Here you will find brown bear, wolf, lox, red fox, moose and beaver, but also flying squirrels, several species of squirrels and sable. Typical Asian breeding birds are forest chickens, owls, beckons, thrushes, mites and field sparrows.
Lake Baikal, which is very old, has developed a peculiar fauna, especially of crustaceans and other invertebrates. About 3/4 of the species are endemic to the lake; endemic vertebrates include hawk seals and two fish families.
The summer-green forests in northeastern and central China, in Korea and Japan show a mixed fauna with representatives from different regions. Here you will find brown bear, red deer, elk and wild boar, but also collar bear, Siberian tiger, leopard, musk and gor. Japanese macaque is the world’s northernmost monkey. Mound dog, sika deer and david deer are initially restricted to the area. The last fragmentary populations of david deer were probably extirpated in the wild probably shortly after World War II, but are now being reintroduced in China from zoos in Europe. Silk butterfly, one of the few insects that humans have domesticated, is native to eastern China.
Asia’s vast steppe and desert areas are dominated by burrowing and dry-adapted species. The structure of the steppe soils is formed by burrowing sizzles, marmots and other rodents, which mix the soil layers. Originally, carnivores were plentiful, but the majority were almost extinct. The world’s last wild horse, Przewalski’s horse, died in the wild in 1968 but is being reintroduced from zoos to Mongolia, among others. For half a donkey and camel remains only small populations. Saiga antelope has become locally numerous again after conservation. Stairs, flying chickens, larch, steppe eagle,eagle noise, steppe hawk, evening falcon and tatar falcon are typical birds in the area. Snakes and lizards in particular are numerous. They mostly live on rodents and the most common small creeps, for example grasshoppers, beetles (mostly black beetles) and spiders.
The Himalayas, Tian Shan and the Tibetan high plateau are home to yak, chiru, Himalayatahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus), taki, blue sheep and argaliphas. Among the predators are the brown bear, wolf and the endangered snow leopard. Chicken birds and rose finches are abundantly represented. The aforementioned mountain areas are also said to be the abode of the Yetin or the Snowman, whose existence has not yet been scientifically proven despite the investigations of several expeditions.
Himalayan vegetation rich south and east slopes are rich. Here you will find cat bear and giant panda, among other things.
In the monsoon forest regions of India and Southeast Asia, the fauna has been decimated by millennia of human activities. Here are several ox animals, all of which are now few: water buffalo (which domestically spread throughout the tropics), banteng, gaur and kouprey. Furthermore, you will find languras (Hindu sacred monkeys), gibbones, lorries (semi-monkeys), Indian elephant (see elephants), wild boar, myrrh, mint, ax deer and nilgau. Among the numerous predators are tiger, leopard, asian wild dog, golden shawl, striped hyena, lip bear and several viverrides. The area is bird-rich and also offers important wintering sites for North and Central Asian birds. Pheasants, storks, vultures, bee-eaters, screams, bulbils and sunbirds are abundantly represented. In Indian rivers, crocodiles, gavial and two species of river dolphins are found, all of which have decimated populations.
The rainforests at the far south-east are, second to the Amazon, the world’s richest biome. An extremely varied vegetation, artificially and structurally, gives way to many animal species. In the tree crown layer is found orangutans, langurs (leaf monkeys) and athletic gibbons, squirrels, hornbills, a beard growing, leaf birds, drongo and numerous butterflies, including bird butterflies. Surprisingly, many animal forms have developed the ability to slip between trees, such as fur flutters, squirrels, several lizards, a frog genus and a snake genus. Spökdjuren, which are night-active, endemic semi-apes, hunt small insects both in the trees and on the ground. On or near the ground house several cat animals (including tree leopard), scabra paper, Malay bear, Javanese horn and Sumatran rhino (both nearly extinct), bearded pigs (Sus barbatus), lizards, jeweled claws, pheasants, numerous poisonous species (of which few are poisonous). (see jaw droppings) and peculiar insects, such as wandering leaves. In Borneo’s coastal forests lives the peculiar nose boiler.
Permafrost, mountains and rainfall mean that Asia, despite its size, has a small agricultural area. The most important cultivation lands are the chestnut and brown soils in Kazakhstan, the brown soils that are trained on the loose soils in northern China and the alluvial soils in the river valleys, especially in delta regions such as Huang Hes and Chang Jiangs, according to Countryaah.
The natural vegetation is always a resource. In addition, some parts of it are economically important. The tundra in the north and the temperate grasslands of central Asia are important pastures for reindeer and horses and sheep respectively. The forest assets consist of coniferous forest, tajga, in Siberia, monsoon forest with teak and hall as the most important tree species in i.e. India and Southeast Asia as well as tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia and Indonesia. The rainforest is shrinking rapidly; 30% were cut down between 1960 and 1990. Larger contiguous areas of rainforest now exist only in Indonesia and Malaysia. Different species of bamboo are an important resource in Southeast and East Asia. Bamboo is used, among other things. for household utensils, furniture, pulp and scaffolding and for food.
Both monsoon and rainforests are prone to deforestation. Demand for timber and land for, among other things, oil palm plantations and sweat farming are the cause. The decomposition leads to both plant and animal species being eradicated and partly to soil erosion. This is also very large in agricultural areas such as Kazakhstan, in the valley of Huang Hes, especially in the field of loose soil, and in India. The erosion leads to direct destruction of cultivable land, and partly to increased amounts of sludge in the rivers, which raises the river bottom and floods as a result. In areas with steep topography, logging on a large scale also leads to landslides becoming common. Furthermore, the rainwater will quickly drain off the surface rather than penetrate into the ground and replenish the groundwater. Surface drainage rapidly increases the flow of watercourses, which can result in floods, such as in Bangladesh. The increased amount of sludge also causes dams to be filled again.