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Geography - Survey

Size: Total 1,565,000 square kilometers.

Topography: Mountains and rolling plateaus; vast semidesert and desert plains, 90 percent pasture or desert wasteland, less than 1 percent arable, 8 to 10 percent forested; mountains in north, west and southwest; Gobi, a vast desert in southeast; Selenge river system in north.

Climate: Desert; high, cold, dry, continental climate; sharp seasonal fluctuations and variation; little precipitation; great diurnal temperature changes.

Mongolia from Space. Most of the 2.3 million Mongolians live on the vast, rolling, semi-arid, grass-covered plateaus that stretch across eastern and northern Mongolia. In the image, these areas are a dark reddish-brown. The faint herringbone pattern running through eastern Mongolia is formed by the Kerulen and Orhon Gol rivers and their tributaries. The lighter reddish-brown areas covering most of southern Mongolia is the Gobi Desert. Photo courtesy NASA.


Last Update: 2004-12-29