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Introduction
Section 1:
The Land
Section 2:
Climate and Vegetation
Visual Summary
East Asia is a region of
contrasts —from towering
mountains in the west to fertile
plains in the east, from subarctic
forests in the north to tropical
rain forests in the south. A study
of the physical geography of
East Asia will explain how
geographic factors, such as
latitude, and certain physical
processes, such as shifting
tectonic plates, have shaped
and continue to shape the
landforms, climates, and
vegetation of this region.
Section 1:
The Land
Physical processes
shape Earth’s surface.
East Asia’s location at the
meeting point of multiple
tectonic plates leaves the
region vulnerable to
earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions, and ocean
flooding.
Section 2: Climate and
Vegetation
The physical
environment affects
people and their
activities. Latitude,
physical features, and
seasonal wind patterns
shape East Asia’s climates
and affect how people live
in diverse landscapes.
The Land
East Asia’s location at the
meeting point of tectonic
plates leaves the region
vulnerable to earthquakes,
volcanic eruptions, and
ocean flooding.
The Land
• tsunami
• loess
• archipelago
• layer
• dramatic
• range
The Land
A. Korean Peninsula
B. South China Sea
C. Pamirs
D. Himalaya
E. Plateau of Tibet
F. Northeast Plain
G. North China Plain
J. Huang He (Yellow River)
H. Taklimakan Desert
K. Chang Jiang (Yangtze River)
I. Gobi
L. Xi
The Land
Why is Japan vulnerable
to earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions, and ocean
flooding?
0%
D
C. Many islands and seas
A
0%
A
B
C0%
D
C
B. Tectonic plate activity
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A. Numerous cyclones
Landforms
Tectonic plate movements along the Ring of
Fire leave East Asia vulnerable to
earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and ocean
flooding.
• The Ring of Fire—zone of frequent earthquakes and
volcanic eruptions bordering the Pacific Ocean
East Asia: Earthquakes
Landforms (cont.)
• Peninsulas, Islands, and Seas:
– The Korean Peninsula
– Sea of Japan
– Yellow Sea
– East China Sea and South China Sea
– Sea of Okhotsk
– Philippine Sea
– Archipelago of Japan
Landforms (cont.)
• Mountains, Highlands, and Lowlands:
– Kunlun Shan and Tian Shan
– Altay Shan
– Himalaya
– Qinling Shandi
– Changbai Shan
Landforms (cont.)
– Mount Fuji
– Plateau of Tibet
– Mongolian Plateau
– Northeast Plain
– North China Plain
– Tarim Basin
– Taklimakan Desert
– Gobi
The Gobi
Which mountain is an
important spiritual symbol
to Japan’s people?
A. Altay Shan
B. Mount Fuji
C. Changbai Shan
D. Tian Shan
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Water Systems
Landforms and physical processes have
shaped East Asia’s rivers, which provide
transportation, water, and rich mineral
deposits for fertile soils.
• China’s rivers:
– Huang He
– Chang Jiang—Asia’s longest river
Water Systems (cont.)
– Xi
– China’s Grand Canal
Water Systems (cont.)
• Japan and Korea—short and swift rivers:
– Shinano
– Tone
– Han
– Yalu
Which river is the most
important in southern China?
A. Huang He
B. Chang Jiang
C. Xi
D. Grand Canal
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Natural Resources
Mineral resources are abundant in East Asia,
but they are unevenly distributed.
• China contains the greatest share and widest range
of minerals.
• China is the world’s leading producer of rice.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Seafood farming has become a major industry in
several countries.
Agricultural Income as a Percentage of GDP
How much of South
Korea’s land is suitable
for farming?
A. 10%
B. 20%
C. 25%
D. 40%
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Climate Regions
Latitude, physical features,
and seasonal wind
patterns shape East Asia’s
climates and affect how
people live in diverse
landscapes.
Climate Regions
• monsoon
• typhoon
• Japan
Current
• significant
• variation
• interaction
Climate Regions
A. Taiwan
B. Hainan
Climate Regions
Which type of vegetation
covers most of East Asia?
A. Tropical rain forest
0%
D
C
D. Desert scrub and desert
waste
B
C. Mixed forest
A. A
B. B
C. C
0%
0%
0%
D. D
A
B. Temperature grassland
Climate Regions
East Asia’s natural vegetation tends to
parallel the region’s climate zones, which
are influenced by latitude and physical
features.
• Midlatitude climates:
– Humid subtropical
– Humid continental
East Asia: Climate
Climate Regions (cont.)
• Important plants:
– Bamboo
– Mulberry tree
– Tea bush
East Asia: Natural Vegetation
Climate Regions (cont.)
• Dry climates:
– Desert—Gobi and Taklimakan
– Steppe
Climate Regions (cont.)
• Tropical climates:
– Tropical wet—Hainan
– Tropical dry
Most of Mongolia consists
of which type of climate?
A. Humid continental
B. Steppe
0%
D
A
0%
A
B
C
0%
D
C
D. Desert
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
C. Tropical wet
Seasonal Weather Patterns
Prevailing winds and ocean currents
influence East Asia’s climates.
• Influences on the climate:
– Monsoons
– Ocean currents—Japan Current, Kuril Current
– Warm, humid air over the tropical ocean results in
typhoons.
Which ocean current is warm?
A. Japan Current
B. Kuril Current
A. A
B. B
0%
A
0%
B
A. Mountains
•
Mountain ranges
fan out from
Pamirs, including
Kunlun Shan and
Tian Shan.
•
Altay Shan form
a natural border
between China
and Mongolia.
•
Himalaya, the
world’s highest
mountains,
separate China
from South Asia.
B. Deserts
•
Taklimakan
Desert lies in far
western China;
has large oil
deposits
•
Gobi is located in
southern
Mongolia and
north-central
China.
C. Korean
Peninsula
• Juts southeast
from China’s
Northeast Plain
• Separates the
Sea of Japan from
the Yellow Sea;
characterized by
midlatitude
climates
• Home to North
Korea and South
Korea
D. Plateaus and
Plains
• Plateau of Tibet in
southwest China;
East Asia’s
highest plateau
region;
headwaters of
China’s major
rivers
• North China Plain
is an important
agricultural area
between Huang
He and Chang
Jiang.
E. Japanese
Archipelago
• Four large,
mountainous
islands and
thousands of
smaller ones
• Created by
tectonic activity;
Mount Fuji is a
dormant volcano
on island of
Honshu.
F. Huang He
•
Also known as
Yellow River;
located in
northern China
•
Carries tons of
loess blown by
winds from the
western deserts
•
Makes North
China Plain a
major wheat and
soybean farming
area
G. Ring of Fire
•
Pacific,
Philippine, and
Eurasian tectonic
plates meet in
this region.
•
Volcanoes
bordering Pacific
Ocean
•
Most
mountainous
islands in the
region created
through tectonic
activity.
•
Underwater
earthquakes
generate
tsunamis
H. Chang Jiang
•
Also known as
Yangtze River;
located in central
China
•
Asia’s longest
river; meets
Pacific at
Shanghai
•
Important
transportation
route; Three
Gorges Dam
constructed
I. Xi
•
Also known as
West River;
southern China’s
most important
river system
•
Soil deposits
near Guangzhou
and Macau form
fertile delta.
Chengdu
tsunami
Japanese term used for a huge sea
wave caused by an undersea
earthquake
archipelago
a group or chain of islands
loess (LEHS)
fine, yellowish-brown topsoil made up
of particles of silt and clay, usually
carried by the wind
monsoon
in Asia, seasonal wind that brings
warm, moist air from the oceans in
summer and cold, dry air from inland
in winter
Japan Current
a warm-water ocean current that adds
moisture to the winter monsoons
typhoon
a violent tropical storm that forms in
the Pacific Ocean, usually in late
summer
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