Changbai Mountains

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Changbai Mountains
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese 長白山
Simplified Chinese 长白山
Literal meaning Perpetually White Mountain Region
Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl 장백산맥
Hancha 長白山脈
Manchu name
Manchu script Changbai mnc.png
Romanization Golmin šanggiyan alin
Sanjiaolong Crater Lake in the Longwanqun National Forest Park, Huinan County

The Changbai Mountain Range is a mountain range on the border between China and North Korea (41°41' to 42°51'N; 127°43' to 128°16'E). In Russia this range is called "Vostochno-Manchzhurskie gory" ("East Manchurian mountain range") and considered as a part of more long Manchu-Korean mountain range ("Manchzuro-Koreiskie gory"), which separates China from Korea and Russian Primorsky Krai.

The range extends from the Northeast Chinese provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning to the North Korean provinces of Ryanggang and Chagang. Most peaks exceed 2,000 metres in height, with the highest mountain being Changbai Mountain.


The range represents the mythical birthplace of Bukūri Yongšon, ancestor of Nurhaci and the Aisin Gioro Imperial family, who were the founders of the Manchu state and the Chinese Qing Dynasty. The name literally means "Perpetually White Mountain Region" in Mandarin Chinese.[clarification needed]

Changbaishan Nature Reserve, established in 1960, was involved in the UNESCO's "Man and Biosphere" program in 1980 and becomes part of the world's biosphere reserves. Approved by the State Council in 1986, it becomes a State-level reserve.[citation needed]


The range plays an important economic role. It is known for a variety of ginseng that grows there. In addition, the heavily forested slopes are an important area for logging. In recent years, tourism has also become an increasingly important source of revenue on the Chinese side.[citation needed]

Geography and climate[edit]

The highest mountain is Baekdu Mountain (2,745 m), an active volcano which is also known locally in China as Changbai Mountain.[citation needed]

The mountains are the source of the Songhua, Tumen and Yalu rivers.[1]

The Changbai Mountains are characterized by long and cold winters. Precipitation is low in the winter but higher in the summer and autumn with annual averages reaching as high as 1400 mm (55 inches).[2]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Painting from the Manchu Veritable Records

The rugged terrain of the Changbai Mountains provides refuge for many rare animals, including Amur leopards, bears, and Siberian tigers. A large portion of the Jilin Province side is protected as the Changbai Nature Reserve (長白山自然保護區), which covers more than 2,100 square kilometres.[citation needed]

The vegetation of the mountain slopes is divided into several different zones. At the top, above 2000 metres, tundra predominates. From 1700 to 2000 metres, vegetation is dominated by mountain birch and larch. Below this zone, and down to 1100 metres, the dominant trees are spruce, fir, and Korean pine. From 600 to 1100 metres, the landscape is dominated by mixed forest, consisting of Amur linden, Korean pine, maple, and elm. Further down, a temperate hardwood forest is found, dominated by second-growth poplar and birch. (Liu et al., p. 3388).

Protected areas[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Changbai Mountains -- Scenic Wonderland". Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Changbai Mountains mixed forests (PA0414)". WildWorld Ecoregion Profile, National Geographic Society. World Wildlife Fund. Archived from the original on 2010-03-08. Retrieved 9 February 2015. 
  • Liu, Q.J., Takamura, T., Takeuchi, N., Shao, G. (2002). Mapping of boreal vegetation of a temperate mountain in China by multitemporal LANDSAT imagery. International Journal of Remote Sensing 23(17), 3385–3405.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°43′59″N 128°04′01″E / 41.733°N 128.067°E / 41.733; 128.067