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a group of natural lands in Asia, located approximately from 60° to 20° N lat.; the area includes the eastern part of the USSR, as well as China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, South Korea, and Japan.
Eastern Asia includes the Kamchatka Peninsula, the Kuril Islands, Sakhalin Island, the Primor’e and Amur regions, Northeastern and Eastern China (along with the islands of Taiwan and Hainan), the Korean Peninsula, and the islands that constitute Japan. The seas along the extreme edge of the Pacific Ocean, which separate the mainland part of Eastern Asia from the island part, are located along the edges of the continental shelf or of the continental slope. Characteristic of the western part of Eastern Asia is a predominance of geological structures and movements of the Mesozoic epochs of formation, whereas in the eastern part there is a prevalence of structures of the Western Pacific geosyncline belt, with its great mobility and its current high seismic activity and intense volcanism (Kamchatka, the Japanese islands, and elsewhere).
In the topography of Eastern Asia medium-elevation and high mountains and highlands (Dzhugdzhur, Sikhote-Alin’, the Bureia Mountain Range, Greater Khingan, Tsinling [with elevations of up to 4,107 m], Nan Ling, the mountains of Kamchatka [with elevations of up to 4,750 m], and others) alternate with large aggradation plains (for example, the plains of the Amur Region, Northeast China, and the Great Chinese Plain). Eastern Asia is characterized by a monsoon climate with summers that are wet and winters that —especially in the continental part of Eastern Asia—are relatively dry. During the summer and autumn Eastern Asia has frequent typhoons. Characteristic of the water regimes of the rivers are considerable rises in the water level in summer and autumn, which frequently cause flooding. The natural vegetation is represented primarily by woods formations, exhibiting considerable diversity of species and preserving many ancient elements of flora. Representative of the moderate zone are mixed and broad-leaved taiga forests; prevalent in the subtropical and tropical zones are mixed deciduous and evergreen forests. In the drier regions are forest steppe and steppe formations. In the important plain areas wild vegetation has been eliminated; it has been replaced by cultivated lands.
R. A. ERAMOV