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Geographical Features
2004/10/27
China has a terraced terrain, which descends from the west to the east step by step. The first, or the highest, terrace isthe Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, known as the “roof of the world”, with an average elevation of over 4,000 meters. The second terrace consists of the Inner Mongolia Plateau, the Loess Plateau, the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, the Tarim Basin, the Junggar Basin and the Sichuan Basin, averaging 1,000 to 2,000 meters above sea level. The third terrace, with the elevation declining to between 500-1,000 meters, covers the areas from the Greater Hinggan Mountain, Taihang Mountain, Wushan Mountain and Xuefeng Mountain to the eastern coast. The fourth terrace comprises the sub-littoral zones on the Chinese continental shelf, with an average depth of water of less than 200 meters.

China has many mountains, with mountainous areas (traditionally consisting of mountains, hills and rugged plateaus) making up two-thirds of its total land area. The proportion of various landforms is as follows: mountains, 33 percent; plateaus, 26 percent; basins, 19 percent; plains, 12 percent; and hills, 10 percent.

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