Korean Peninsula
Overview
 
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. It extends southwards for about 684 miles (1,100 km) from continental Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 into the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

 to the south, and the Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

 to the west, the Korea Strait
Korea Strait
The Korea Strait is a sea passage between South Korea and Japan, connecting the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan in the northwest Pacific Ocean...

 connecting the first two bodies of water.

Until the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 was a single political entity whose territory roughly coincided with the Korean Peninsula. Since the Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 in 1953, the northern half has been occupied by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, while the southern half has been occupied by the Republic of Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

.

The northern boundaries for the Korean Peninsula are commonly (and tacitly) taken to coincide with today's political borders between North Korea and her northern neighbors, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (1,416 km along the provinces of Jilin
Jilin
Jilin , is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. Jilin borders North Korea and Russia to the east, Heilongjiang to the north, Liaoning to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west...

 and Liaoning
Liaoning
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northeast of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "辽" , a name taken from the Liao River that flows through the province. "Níng" means "peace"...

) and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (19 km).
Encyclopedia
The Korean Peninsula is a peninsula
Peninsula
A peninsula is a piece of land that is bordered by water on three sides but connected to mainland. In many Germanic and Celtic languages and also in Baltic, Slavic and Hungarian, peninsulas are called "half-islands"....

 in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. It extends southwards for about 684 miles (1,100 km) from continental Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 into the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan
Sea of Japan
The Sea of Japan is a marginal sea of the western Pacific Ocean, between the Asian mainland, the Japanese archipelago and Sakhalin. It is bordered by Japan, North Korea, Russia and South Korea. Like the Mediterranean Sea, it has almost no tides due to its nearly complete enclosure from the Pacific...

 to the south, and the Yellow Sea
Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea is the name given to the northern part of the East China Sea, which is a marginal sea of the Pacific Ocean. It is located between mainland China and the Korean Peninsula. Its name comes from the sand particles from Gobi Desert sand storms that turn the surface of the water golden...

 to the west, the Korea Strait
Korea Strait
The Korea Strait is a sea passage between South Korea and Japan, connecting the East China Sea and the Sea of Japan in the northwest Pacific Ocean...

 connecting the first two bodies of water.

Until the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

 was a single political entity whose territory roughly coincided with the Korean Peninsula. Since the Armistice Agreement ended the Korean War
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

 in 1953, the northern half has been occupied by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, while the southern half has been occupied by the Republic of Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

.

The northern boundaries for the Korean Peninsula are commonly (and tacitly) taken to coincide with today's political borders between North Korea and her northern neighbors, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 (1,416 km along the provinces of Jilin
Jilin
Jilin , is a province of the People's Republic of China located in the northeastern part of the country. Jilin borders North Korea and Russia to the east, Heilongjiang to the north, Liaoning to the south, and Inner Mongolia to the west...

 and Liaoning
Liaoning
' is a province of the People's Republic of China, located in the northeast of the country. Its one-character abbreviation is "辽" , a name taken from the Liao River that flows through the province. "Níng" means "peace"...

) and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (19 km). These borders are formed naturally by the rivers Yalu/Amnok
Yalu River
The Yalu River or the Amnok River is a river on the border between North Korea and the People's Republic of China....

 and Tumen/Tuman/Duman
Tumen River
The Tumen River is a 521 km-long river that serves as part of the boundary between China, North Korea, and Russia, rising in Mount Baekdu and flowing into the Sea of Japan....

. Taking this definition, the Korean Peninsula (including its islands) has an area of 220847 km² (85,270 sq mi).

The peninsula is called Chosŏn Pando (조선반도; 朝鮮半島) in North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 and Han Bando (한반도; 韓半島) in South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 based on the respective names of the two countries
Names of Korea
There are various names of Korea in use today, derived from ancient kingdoms and dynasties. The modern English name Korea is an exonym derived from the Goryeo period and is used by both North Korea and South Korea in international contexts...

. They both use "Korea" as part of their official English names.

Physical geography

Mountains cover 70 percent of the Korean Peninsula and arable plains are generally small and far in between the successive mountain ranges. The peninsula becomes more mountainous towards the north and the east, with the highest mountains (including Baekdu Mountain
Baekdu Mountain
Baekdu Mountain, also known in China as Changbai Mountain and Baitou Mountain , is a volcanic mountain on the border between North Korea and China, located at...

 which stands at 2,744 m or 9,003 feet) found in the north.

The peninsula has 8,460 kilometres of coastline, and the south and west coasts are highly irregular in particular; most of the 3,579 islands off the peninsula are found along the south and the west coasts.

Climate

The climate of the Korean Peninsula differs dramatically from north to south. The southern regions experience a relatively warm and wet climate similar to that of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, affected by warm ocean waters including the East Korea Warm Current
East Korea Warm Current
The East Korea Warm Current is an ocean current in the Sea of Japan . It branches off from the Tsushima Current at the eastern end of the Korea Strait, and flows north along the southeastern coast of the Korean peninsula. Between 36° and 38° N, it encounters the North Korea Cold Current and...

. The northern regions experience a colder and to some extent more inland climate, in common with Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

. For example, the annual precipitation of the Yalu River
Yalu River
The Yalu River or the Amnok River is a river on the border between North Korea and the People's Republic of China....

 valley (600 mm) is less than half of that on the south coast (1500 mm). Likewise, there is a 20 °C difference in January temperature between the peninsula's southern and northern tips.

The entire peninsula, however, is affected by similar general patterns, including the East Asian monsoon
East Asian monsoon
The East Asian monsoon is a monsoonal flow that carries moist air from the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean to East Asia. It affects approximately one-third of the global population, influencing the climate of Japan , the Koreas, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and much of mainland China...

 in midsummer and the frequent incidence of typhoons in autumn. The majority of rainfall takes place during the summer months, with nearly half during the monsoon alone. Winters are cold, with January temperatures typically below freezing outside of Jeju Island
Jeju-do
Jeju-do is the only special autonomous province of South Korea, situated on and coterminous with the country's largest island. Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946...

. Winter precipitation is minimal, with little snow accumulation outside of mountainous areas.

Biology

Surveys of Korean flora have identified more than 3,000 species on the peninsula, of which more than 500 are endemic
Endemic (ecology)
Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

. The peninsula's floristic provinces are commonly divided between warm-temperate, temperate, and cold-temperate zones. The warm-temperate zone prevails over the southern coast and islands, including Jeju-do
Jeju-do
Jeju-do is the only special autonomous province of South Korea, situated on and coterminous with the country's largest island. Jeju-do lies in the Korea Strait, southwest of Jeollanam-do Province, of which it was a part before it became a separate province in 1946...

. It is largely typified by broad-leaved
Broad-leaved tree
A broad-leaved tree or broad-leaf tree or broadleaf tree is any tree that has wide leaves, rather than slim, needle-like leaves as found in conifers...

 evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

s.

The temperate zone covers the great majority of the peninsula, away from the southern coast and high mountains. It is dominated by the Korean pine
Korean Pine
The tree species Pinus koraiensis is commonly called Korean Pine. It is native to eastern Asia, Korea, Manchuria, far eastern Russia, and central Japan. In the north of its range, it grows at moderate altitudes, typically to , whereas further south, it is a mountain tree, growing at to altitude...

 and various broad-leaved deciduous trees. Cold-temperate vegetation is found along the peninsula's northern fringe and in the high mountains, including the upper reaches of Hallasan
Hallasan
Hallasan is a shield volcano on Jeju Island of South Korea. Hallasan is the highest mountain of South Korea. The area around the mountain is a designated national park, the Hallasan National Park...

 on Jeju. Evergreens in this area include larch
Larch
Larches are conifers in the genus Larix, in the family Pinaceae. Growing from 15 to 50m tall, they are native to much of the cooler temperate northern hemisphere, on lowlands in the north and high on mountains further south...

 and juniper
Juniper
Junipers are coniferous plants in the genus Juniperus of the cypress family Cupressaceae. Depending on taxonomic viewpoint, there are between 50-67 species of juniper, widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, from the Arctic, south to tropical Africa in the Old World, and to the...

. Much of this vegetation is shared with Manchuria.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature
World Wide Fund for Nature
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organization working on issues regarding the conservation, research and restoration of the environment, formerly named the World Wildlife Fund, which remains its official name in Canada and the United States...

, the Korean Peninsula consists of several ecoregion
Ecoregion
An ecoregion , sometimes called a bioregion, is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than an ecozone and larger than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural...

s. The Southern Korea evergreen forests
Southern Korea evergreen forests
The Southern Korea evergreen forests ecoregion, within the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome, is at the southern end of the Korean Peninsula.-Setting:...

 occupy the southernmost portion of the peninsula, as well as the island of Jeju
Jeju
Jeju may refer to:*Jeju-do, a province of South Korea** Jeju-do, the main island of Jeju-do**Jeju City, the biggest city on Jeju-do and capital of Jeju-do**Jeju dog, a dog native to Jeju-do...

. The Central Korea deciduous forests occupy the more temperate central portion of the peninsula. The Manchurian mixed forests occupy the northern lowlands and low hills of the peninsula, and extend north into Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

 as far as the Amur River on the Russia-China border. The Changbai Mountains mixed forests include the higher elevation mountain region along the North Korea-China border, where forests are dominated by conifers, with alpine meadows and rock slopes on the highest peaks.
games

Geology

The terrain of the Korean Peninsula is rumpled, covered with low mountains. Most rocks are of Precambrian
Precambrian
The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

 origin, although isolated pockets of Paleozoic
Paleozoic
The Paleozoic era is the earliest of three geologic eras of the Phanerozoic eon, spanning from roughly...

, Mesozoic
Mesozoic
The Mesozoic era is an interval of geological time from about 250 million years ago to about 65 million years ago. It is often referred to as the age of reptiles because reptiles, namely dinosaurs, were the dominant terrestrial and marine vertebrates of the time...

, and Cenozoic
Cenozoic
The Cenozoic era is the current and most recent of the three Phanerozoic geological eras and covers the period from 65.5 mya to the present. The era began in the wake of the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous that saw the demise of the last non-avian dinosaurs and...

 rock can also be found.

There are no active volcanoes on the peninsula. However, Baekdu Mountain
Baekdu Mountain
Baekdu Mountain, also known in China as Changbai Mountain and Baitou Mountain , is a volcanic mountain on the border between North Korea and China, located at...

 in the north and Hallasan
Hallasan
Hallasan is a shield volcano on Jeju Island of South Korea. Hallasan is the highest mountain of South Korea. The area around the mountain is a designated national park, the Hallasan National Park...

 in the south have crater lake
Crater lake
A crater lake is a lake that forms in a volcanic crater or caldera, such as a maar; less commonly and with lower association to the term a lake may form in an impact crater caused by a meteorite. Sometimes lakes which form inside calderas are called caldera lakes, but often this distinction is not...

s, indicating that they were active not long ago. Furthermore, hot springs
Hot Springs
Hot Springs may refer to:* Hot Springs, Arkansas** Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas*Hot Springs, California**Hot Springs, Lassen County, California**Hot Springs, Modoc County, California**Hot Springs, Placer County, California...

 indicative of low-level volcanic activity are widespread throughout the peninsula. Roughly two earthquakes are recorded per year, but few have any major impact.

See also


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK