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The Tibetan Plateau is surrounded by large mountain ranges.
The plateau is bordered to the northwest by the Kunlun Range which
separates it from the Tarim Basin, and to the northeast by the Qilian
Range which separates the plateau from the Hexi Corridor and Gobi
Desert. Near the south the plateau is transected by the Yarlung
Tsangpo River valley which flows along the base of the Himalayas, and
by the vast Indo-Gangetic Plain. To the east and southeast the plateau
gives way to the forested gorge and ridge geography of the mountainous
headwaters of the Salween, Mekong, and Yangtze rivers in western
Sichuan and southwest Qinghai. In the west it is embraced by the curve
of the rugged Karakoram range of northern Kashmir.
It has been empirically shown to be the most remote place on Earth.
The Tibetan plateau has been an important strategic area throughout Chinese history.
The plateau is a high-altitude arid steppe interspersed with mountain ranges and large brackish lakes. Annual precipitation ranges from 100 mm to 300 mm and falls mainly as hailstorms. The southern and eastern edges of the steppe have grasslands which can sustainably support populations of nomadic herdsmen, although frost occurs for six months of the year. Permafrost occurs over extensive parts of the plateau. Proceeding to the north and northwest, the plateau becomes progressively higher, colder and drier, until reaching the remote Changthang region in the northwestern part of the plateau. Here the average altitude exceeds 5,000 meters (16,500 feet) and year-round temperatures average −4 °C, dipping to −40 °C in winter. As a result of this extremely inhospitable environment, the Changthang region (together with the adjoining Kekexili region) is the least populated region in Asia, and the third least populated area in the world after Antarctica and northern Greenland. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tibetan_Plateau