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Mongolia:
Geography

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Background
Definition
The Mongols gained fame in the 13th century when under Chinggis KHAN they conquered a huge Eurasian empire. After his death the empire was divided into several powerful Mongol states, but these broke apart in the 14th century. The Mongols eventually retired to their original steppe homelands and in the late 17th century came under Chinese rule. Mongolia won its independence in 1921 with Soviet backing. A Communist regime was installed in 1924. Following a peaceful democratic revolution, the ex-Communist Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party (MPRP) won elections in 1990 and 1992, but was defeated by the Democratic Union Coalition (DUC) in the 1996 parliamentary election. Since then, parliamentary elections returned the MPRP overwhelmingly to power in 2000, but 2004 elections reduced MPRP representation and, therefore, its authority.
Location
Definition
Northern Asia, between China and Russia
Geographic coordinates
Definition
46 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references
Definition
Asia
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 1,564,116 sq km
land: 1,554,731 sq km
water: 9,385 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries
Definition
total: 8,220 km
border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km
Coastline
Definition
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims
Definition
none (landlocked)
Climate
Definition
desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
Terrain
Definition
vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Hoh Nuur 518 m
highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
Natural resources
Definition
oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 0.76%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.24% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
840 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
Definition
34.8 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Definition
total: 0.44 cu km/yr (20%/27%/52%)
per capita: 166 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
Definition
dust storms, grassland and forest fires, drought, and "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
Environment - current issues
Definition
limited natural fresh water resources in some areas; the policies of former Communist regimes promoted rapid urbanization and industrial growth that had negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws severely polluted the air in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation, overgrazing, and the converting of virgin land to agricultural production increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification and mining activities had a deleterious effect on the environment
Environment - international agreements
Definition
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Definition
landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia


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