The surface shape of the continent Asia is extraordinarily diverse. The largest of the lowlands is the West Siberian lowlands (2.6 million km 2), in which large parts of the marshland are swampy due to the low gradient and the long ice drift in the estuaries of the Ob and Irtysh. East of the Caspian Sea extends the Turan lowlands with the Karakum and Kysylkum sand deserts and the Aral Sea, which has no drainage and has been drying out since 1960, which because of its enormous water loss – mainly due to the massive withdrawal of water from its tributaries – considerably lost its size and volume. The large river landscapes are generally densely populated and fertile: Mesopotamia, which extends between the Euphrates and Tigris (this is where ancient Babylonia was located in the area of the irrigated sub-Iraqi region), the industrial lowlands (Pakistan), the Ganges-Brahmaputra plain (in India, delta mainly in Bangladesh), the river lowlands of the Irrawaddy (Myanmar), the plain of the Chao Phraya (Thailand), the Mekong and Tonle Sap basins (Cambodia), the Mekong delta and the delta of the Red River (Vietnam) as well as the lowland areas of China. The latter include the Manchurian plain (Dongbei region), the north Chinese plain on the Hwangho.
In the huge mountains of the Himalayas and Karakoram are the highest mountains on earth, the eight-thousanders (Mount Everest 8,850 m above sea level). The Karakoram is one of the folded mountains in the Paleozoic; it is the most heavily glaciated mountain range in Asia. The Himalayas are part of the young (tertiary) fold mountain belt, that crosses the continent from west to east. These include the Caucasus (Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan), Pontic Mountains and Taurus (Turkey), Elburs, Koppe Dagh and Zagros Mountains (Iran), Hindu Kush and Pamir. The tertiary fold mountain belt adjoins the Himalayas in Southeast Asia and extends to the island world of the Malay Archipelago on both sides of the equator, which mainly includes the national territory of Indonesia. The mountains in the north of the archipelago, like those of the Philippines, belong to the young, circumpacific orrogen belt.
North of the Himalayas, between the Pamir, the “roof of the world”, and the Great Chingan in northeast China, the world’s most extensive highlands (together 8 million km 2). These highlands of Central Asia, which are characterized by drought and are only sparsely populated, include the highlands of Tibet, which has an average altitude of more than 4,000 m above sea level, the tarim basin (800–1,400 m above sea level) with no outflow and the Takla desert. Makan, Djungaria, in the center of which there are also sandy deserts, and the Mongolian highlands with the Gobi desert (an average of over 1,000 m above sea level). They are framed in the north by the southern Siberian peripheral mountains (Russian Altai, Sajan, mountains on Lake Baikal and Transbaikal) and separated from each other by chain mountains (Kunlun Shan, Tian Shan, Mongolian Altai). Common feature of the basins and chain mountains of this area, to which tectonically both Precambrian masses and mountains of ancient and early Paleozoic folds belong,
In East Asia, the incline from the Central Asian highlands to the Pacific extends over several continental levels. The Great Chingan, Gobi and the eastern Tibetan border chains are considered to be the boundaries of East Asia. It thus covers most of China with the fertile Red Basin in Sichuan through which the Yangtze River flows, the Hunan Basin and the vast lowlands of China, the mountainous Korean peninsula protruding to the south and the Japanese arches. The latter only broke away from the mainland at the turn of the Pliocene to the Pleistocene; it represents the peaks of a mountain system rising steeply from the Pacific.
In the south-west and south of the continent, the highlands of Western Asia, which are characterized by drought – the highlands of Anatolia, the Ararat highlands and the highlands of Iran – as well as the striking depression of the Jordan Valley and the three large peninsulas are to be mentioned as important units : Arabian Peninsula, the Dekhan (the actual peninsula of South Asia) and the great peninsula of Southeast Asia. In the Jordan Rift, part of the East African rift system, the water level of the Sea of Galilee is 209 m below sea level, that of the Dead Sea (salt lake) is below 400 m below sea level (constantly decreasing due to evaporation and water abstraction from the Jordan). The Arabian Peninsula and the Dechan are relatively poorly structured in their outlines and in their relief; both peninsulas, including Ceylon, are remnants of the southern continent of Gondwana. The deserts of the Arabian Peninsula include the largest sandy desert on earth, the Rub al-Khali (780,000 km 2). In the Dechan, the trapezoidal blankets are to be emphasized, which are among the most extensive volcanic blankets on earth. According to countryaah, the large peninsula of Southeast Asia consists of highlands, meridional chain mountains and lowland basins.
In the north of the continent, the Precambrian Siberian table in the area of the Central Siberian Mountains (between Yenisei and Lena) is covered by flat Paleozoic and Mesozoic sedimentary rocks and by plateau basalt (“Siberian Trapp”). Against this is the mountainous country Northeast Asia (mountains of Northeast Siberia and north of the Amur) does not represent a unit in terms of geological structure. The permafrost soil is characteristic of large parts of North Asia. – The northern Siberian peninsula of Kamchatka has 29 active volcanoes (out of a total of about 160). These belong to the volcanic belt that stretches along the outer edge of the continent over Japan (out of more than 240 volcanoes 40 active), the Philippines (out of more than 100 volcanoes 20 active) and Indonesia (out of a few hundred still around 76 active).