The topography of Xinjiang.
The topography of Xinjiang is remarkable not only in absolute relief. It has a series of lofty mountains towering about 7000 to 8000 m above sea level and a lot of vast low-lying lands with their deepest point of more than one hundred meter below sea level.
The regional structures of Xinjiang can be classified into two large units: platform and geosyncline A platform is a relatively stable area of the earth crust. The Tarim Basin and Junggar Basin separately lie on two platform A geosyncline is a relatively active area of the earth crust. The Altay Mountain , Tianshan Mountain, Kunlun Mountain, and Karakurum Mountain are all located in geosyncline area. The Tarim and Junggar basins have been quite stable all along. Almost no folding and faulting have occurred within the basins. Thus integrated landforms can still be seen in these two basins. The circumstances in geosynclinals area are just the opposite. Where the Tianshan Mountains. Altay Mountains and Kunlun Mountains are located had suffered from intensive depression and folding during the Palaeozoic Era and Mesozoic Era, thus resulting in the formation of sedimentary rocks of great thickness. They had been uplifted and became mountainlands in the end of the Paleozoic. During the Middle of Cenozoic, another much more intensive neotectonic movement uplifted them much higher.
The present macroscopic topography of Xinjiang is the end product of tectonic movements in the past. Such external agents of the earth as running water, freezing, drying and wind, as well as human activites, not only made it much more diversified but also exerted direct or indirect influences on a number of environmental factors of Xinjiang.
Xinjiang situated in the central part of Eurasia continental climate. Its annual precipitation is only 145 mm, while its annual evaporation reaches 2000 to 2500 mm, thus making most of the places in Xinjiang exceedingly arid desert landscapes they have a total area of about 530 thousand km2. The Taklimakan Desert in the Tarim basin and the Gurbantungut desert in Junggar basin are respectively the largest and third largest desert in China. Besides, many such desert landscapes as gobi, rocky desert, mud desert and salt desert can also be seen in Xinjiang.
From a special angle, some tourism resources formed under such arid conditions of Xinjiang possess a lot of unique characteristics, which will lend a great charm to the tourists. In addition, intermontane streams and rivers, sparkling lakes, beautiful will also offer a great attraction to tours
Updated: 28th, December 2010
Sources from: Traveling Around Xinjiang (Book)