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Baekdu Mountain (Changbai Mountain) and Lake Tianchi, North Korea

April 28th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Baekdu Mountain, also known as Changbai Mountain in Chinese, is a volcanic mountain on the border between China and North Korea, located at 42°00′24″N, 128°03′18″E. At 2,744 m, it is the highest mountain of the Changbai Mountains to the north and Baekdudaegan to the south. It is also the highest mountain in Korea and Manchuria.

The Korean name, Baekdu-san, means "white-headed mountain". The Chinese name, Changbai Shan and Manchu name, Golmin Šanggiyan Alin both means "perpetually white mountain".

One of the highest crater lakes in the world, called Chonji (Lake Tianchi), lies at the top of the mountain.

The central section of the mountain rises about 3 mm every year, due to rising levels of magma below the central part of the mountain. The highest peak is called Janggun Peak, covered in snow about eight months of the year. The slope is relatively gentle until about 1800 m.

Sixteen peaks exceeding 2500 m surround Chonji. The crater lake was probably created in 1597, when a recorded eruption took place. Volcanic ash from this eruption has been found as far away as the southern part of Hokkaidō of Japan. The lake has a circumference of 12 to 14 kilometres, with an average depth of 213 m and maximum depth of 384 m. From mid-October to mid-June, the lake is covered with ice.

Water flows north out of the lake, and near the outlet there is a 70 meter waterfall. The mountain is the source of the Songhua, Tumen (Tuman) and Yalu (Amnok) rivers.

The weather on the mountain can be very erratic. The annual average temperature at the peak is about -8.3 degrees Celsius. During summer, temperatures of about 18 degrees Celsius can be reached, and during winter temperatures can drop to -48 degrees Celsius. Average temperature is -24 degrees Celsius in January, 10 degrees Celsius in July, remaining below freezing for eight months of the year. Average wind speed is 11.7 meters per second, reaching an average of 17.6 m/s in December. Relative humidity averages 74%.

There are five known species of plants in the lake on the peak, and some 168 were counted along the shores. The area is a known habitat for tigers, bears, leopards, wolves, and wild boars. Deer in the mountain forests, which cover the mountain up to about 2000 metres, are of the Paekdusan roe deer kind. Many wild birds such as black grouse, owls, and woodpecker are known to inhabit the area.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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