Geography of Asia

The huge landmass of Asia is made up of numerous rivers, lakes, mountains, deserts, and other physical features. Asia, which is the world's largest and most populous continent, is a part of the Eurasian supercontinent and makes up its eastern part. The western part forms Europe. Asia is surrounded by three oceans – Pacific Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the Indian Ocean.

The Himalayan Range, which is home to the earth's highest mountain – Mount Everest (8,850 meters) – includes more than 50 mountains which have a height of 7,200 meters. The Himalayas, which covers an area of 236,000 square miles, is spread over five countries – India, Bhutan, Nepal, China, and Pakistan. Some major rivers that rise from here are the Ganges, Indus and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra. Apart from Mount Everest, other major mountains in Asia are K2, Kangchenjunga, Mount Carmel, Mount Kailash, Nanda Devi, etc.

Some of the world's largest deserts are located in Asia. These include the Gobi desert in Central Asia, and the Arabian and Syrian Deserts in West Asia. The Ob River at 1.15 million square miles, is the largest watershed in Asia. There are a number of plateaus in Asia. The Iranian plateau, which encompasses the countries of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, covers an area of 1.4 million square miles. The Deccan Plateau with an elevation of 600 meters comprises most of South India. The Tibetan Plateau, which is also popularly known as the Rooftop of the World.

The West Siberian Plain is considered one of the largest area of continuous flatland in the world. Located in central Russia, it extends some 1,500 miles north to south and 1,200 miles west to east. Lake Baikal is the world's deepest lake. Situated in the southern part of Russia, it reaches a depth of 1,620 meters. With a length of 3,915 miles, Yangtze is the world's third longest river and the longest in Asia.

The largest countries in Asia are Russia, China, India and Kazakhstan. The smallest are Maldives, Singapore, Bahrain, and Brunei.

The estimated area encompassed by Asia is 44,000,000 square kilometers. This makes it the largest continent of the world. Consequently, the geography varies across the continent. On the one hand there are deserts like Gobi in China, and on other, there are towering snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas. Rivers and lakes are also aplenty.

Asia is not sharply divided by Europe. It is only an imaginary line that marks the boundary, connecting the Ural Mountains, Ural River, Caspian Sea, and the Caucasus Mountains.

The most prominent name among the Asian mountain systems is that of the Himalayas. The main range runs for more than 2,400 kilometers, and separates the Tibetan Plateau from the Indian subcontinent. It also has the highest of the mountain peaks in the world: Mount Everest and K2. The mountain range contains as many as 15,000 glaciers and has plenty of freshwater sources.

Other mountain ranges are: Hindu Kush, Caucasus Mountains, Pamir Mountains, and more.

The longest river in Asia is the Yangtze in China. At 6,418 kilometers, this river is the third-longest among world rivers. The river is very important to the culture and economy of China. Another important river is the Yellow River, which is known as the "Cradle of Chinese Civilization".

The Indus, Brahmaputra, and the Ganges are other noteworthy rivers.

The Arabian Desert dominates what is known as the Arabian Peninsula. It is massive and arid, spread over 2,330,000 square kilometers. The chief natural resources present in this desert are oil, sulfur, phosphates, and natural gas.

Another prominent desert is the Gobi Desert, touching parts of China and Mongolia. Unlike the Arabian Desert, it is a cold desert, which means that it often sees snowfall. However, it also exhibits wild fluctuations of temperature, even with a single day.

The Caspian Sea-bounded by Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan-is considered the largest lake in the world. It has no outflows, and covers an area of 371,000 square kilometers.

Other lakes in Asia are: Poyang Lake, Dal Lake, Lake Toba, and others.

Last Updated on: October 5th, 2017