Terrain shapes and bedrock
According to 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 Pacific.
According to BRIDGAT, 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 various lilies.
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.