Topography
2004-7-16 22:14:38    
Hebei has a varied topography: high mountains, mountainous basins, rolling plateaus and hills, vast plains, depressions and wetland.
Looking down from air, you can find that the land surface of China, like a multi-step staircase, slopes down step by step from west to east. The lay of China's land is high in the west and low in the east. The land surface feature of Hebei is similar to that of the nation. That is, the northwestern part is high and the southeastern part is low. With regard to sea level, great disparity exists between different areas. The plateaus are between 1,000-1,500 meters, the mountains are over 2,000 meters and the plain is less than 50 meters in elevation. Hebei has a varied topography: high mountains, mountainous basins, rolling plateaus and hills, vast plains, depressions and wetland. This provides favorable conditions for the development of diversified economies with different regional characters.

The Bashang Plateau in northwest Hebei, about 16,000 sq. km, covers 8.5 percent of Hebei's total area. Averaging 1,200-1,500 meters above sea level, it is linked with the Inner Mongolia Plateau. Though the plateau itself is high it does not have lofty peaks nor troughs. From a distant place it gives the impression that it is a hill, but it becomes a flat land when you come nearer. The plateau is dotted with many lakes, beaches and hills and covered mostly by vast natural grasslands, a good environment for animal husbandry.

The mountainous areas are mainly composed of two big mountains, the Yanshan and the Taihang. The total area, including the hilly land and basins among the mountains, is about 90,100 sq. km, covering 48.1 percent of the provincial total. Across the north of Hebei, running from east to west, lays the Yanshan Mountains. It has diverse lithological features that cause different forms, wonderful peaks and strange stones. In the west, forming a natural border between Hebei and Shanxi, stands the Taihang Mountains, running northeast to southwest. The surface of the mountain differs widely. Its main body is 1,000-1,500 meters above sea level. On its northern tim stands the Lesser Wutai Mount, which rises 2,882 meters above sea level and is the highest peak in Hebei. Here the climate is wet and suitable for forests and other plants. Mineral resources are also abundant.

The plain east of the Taihang Mountains and south of the Yanshan Mountains is known as the Hebei Plain. It is one part of the North China plain, totaling 81,600 sq. km and covering about 43.4 percent of the provincial total. It is not high, no more than 100 meters above sea level in some places and less than 50 meters in most sections. It is Hebei's major grain and cotton producing area. The Hebei Plain has many depressions, totaling about 1,000 sq. km. In the northern part of the plain there is a depression area, which lies between Baoding and Dagu (belonging to Tianjin Municipality). Some well-known depressions, such as the Baiyangdian, Wenanwa and Dawa, are located in this area.
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