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16:44 Dec 15 2008

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English>>Tibet Online>>Files with Tibetan Areas>>Geography
Geography
14:40, December 12, 2008  

Tibet Autonomous Region situated in the west of China has a total area of 1.2 million sq. km, occupying one-eighth of the national total area. It is the second largest area in China. It is adjoined with Xinjiang and Qinghai to the north, Sichuan to the east, and Yunnan to the southeast. It is bordered to India, Nepal, Burma, Sikkim and Bhutan to the south and Kashmir to the southwest. The boundary line is as long as 4000 km. Lhasa is not only the capital of Tibet, but the first largest city in Tibet, second being Shigatse. Therefore, this region is known as “the roof of the world”. But millions of years ago here was only an ancient sea. The geologists call it “the ancient sea of Turish”. The landforms and historical remains can still be found in Tibet. The Tibet Plateau has shown the historical testimony that time has brought great changes to the world.

Tibet has a varied topography divided into three different natural parts: the northern Tibet Plateau in the west which lies between the Kunlun and the Tangula and the Gandise and the Nyanqin Tangula ranges, covering two-thirds of the total area in the Tibet Autonomous region, the river valleys in the southern part of Tibet which lie between the Gangdise and the Himalaya ranges; the eastern part of Tibet belongs to an area of deep gorges where a series of mountain ranges from east to west criss-crossing mountain ranges running from south to north. This is some parts of the Hengduan mountain range, whose landform can be divided into six types of terrains such as ultra-high mountain, high mountain, medium-high mountain, low mountain, hill and plain. There is also ice-field Karst topography, wind-sanded and volcanic land.

The Himalayas to the south of the Tibetan Plateau is the youngest and highest range on earth, which consist of a series of parallel ranges running from south to north. Its main part is at the juncture of three countries: China, India and Napal. It has a distance of 2400 km. in the length, 200-300 km in width. Its altitude is over 6000 m, the highest range in the world---Mt. Qomolangma, stands in the middle of the Himalaya range. In its surrounding area of more than 5000 sq. km, there are four of the world’s 8000-meter peaks and thirty-eight of the 7000-meter peaks.

Within the boundary of the Tibet Autonomous Region there are over 20 rivers whose flow coverage is over 10,000 sq. km, and 100 rivers, whose flow coverage is over 2000 sq. km. The famous rivers are the Yangtse, the Gyalmo Ngulchu, the Zachu, and the Yarlung Tsangpo. Tibet also is the most extensively distributed of the international river area in China. The source of the famous rivers Ganges, Bramaputra, Indus, and the Mekong river, the Salween, the Yilowade River are all gathered here. The water of Tibet's rivers comes from rainfall, snow and underground water. There are 1500 lakes, big and small, in the Tibet plateau. Among them, 47 lakes are over 100-sq. km. in size. The total area of lakes is more than 2400 sq. km, which is one-third of the national total in China. The Tibet plateau is not only the biggest in size and the most spotted in lakes, but also the highest altitude of the surface of lakes. The water in these lakes is salty.

Source:China Tibet Tourism Bureau

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