mountains in southeastern China, occupying the South China Platform. The Tsinling Mountains form an arc that bulges out in the southeast. They include the Nanling and Wishan ranges, with a total length of about 2,000 km, as well as the mountain massifs situated between the ranges and the valley of the lower Yangtze River. The prevalent elevations are 800–1,000 m; the highest point is 2,158 m.
The axial zones of the ranges are composed chiefly of granites and other crystalline rocks; limestones, sandstones, and argillaceous schists occur along the periphery. Karst is developed. “Mushrooms,” “columns,” and other weathering forms are typical in the granites and sandstones. The stepped slopes are dissected by a labyrinth-like network of river valleys, chiefly belonging to the Yangtze River basin. Annual precipitation is 1,300–1,700 mm, falling primarily in the summer.
The Tsinling Mountains are an important climatic barrier, to the north of which subtropical landscapes predominate, and to the south, tropical landscapes. Broad-leaved forests of oak, elm, hornbeam, and beech occur on the northern slopes. On the southern slopes there are forests in which evergreen species predominate, such as laurels, magnolias, and camellias.