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Geological features of Tibet plateau
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From the view of earth science, Tibet plateau is one of the most interesting regions in the world.

It is the highest plateau in the world, with an average altitude 4,500 meters. Tibet Plateau has many firsts as following: It has the highest mountains in the world Mt. Qomolangma 8,850 meters.

It has the largest canyon in the world Yarlung Zangbo River Great Canyon with a total depth 5,382 meters. It has the largest scale of vertical eco-system zones, from the highest point on the earth 8,850 meters, to the bottom of valley 900 meters elevation. It has numerous glaciers and originations of many important rivers are here. It has very unique environment and many unique plateaus.

Tibet Plateau is the main body of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, consisting of high mountains and great rivers, prairie and gorges. On the Tibet Plateau stands the world-famous Himalayas in southwest, the Kunlun Mountains and the Kalakunlun Mountains spread the northwest, the Gangdisi, Tanggula and Nyainqentanglha Mountains traverse the middle, and the Hengduan Mountains is its east barrier. There are 6 peaks of over 8,000 meters at sea level, 50 peaks of over 7,000 meters at sea level and numerous peaks of over 6,000 meters at sea level in Tibet, where the world's highest summit Mt. Everest erects with an elevation of 8848.13 meters.

Amidst the numerous high and gigantic mountains spread a range of hills, lakes and gorges, constituting undulation alpine prairie. The famous Qiangtang Grasslands on North Tibet spreads from east to west over 2,400 kilometers and from north to south over 700 kilometers, averaging 4,500 meters at sea level. The boundless grassland is the principal pastoral area in Tibet.

Tibet is also one of the regions in the world with the most gorges. These gorges mainly distribute in the east of the Tibet Plateau and the south outlying areas, culminated by the Yarlung Zangbo Great Gorge and East Tibet Three Rivers Gorges.

There are intensive rivers and lakes in Tibet. There are over 20 rivers with valley area larger than 10,000 Square kilometer, and over 100 rivers with valley larger than 2,000 square kilometers. The famous rivers include the Yarlung Zangbo, Jinsha, Nujiang and Lancang rivers. The Asia-famous Ganges River, Indian River and Mekong River all originate there. The region has over 1500 lakes including 47 with over 100 square kilometers. Lake area stands at 24,183 square kilometers, representing over one-third of the total lake area in China.

(www.tibet.cn November 1, 2007)

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