Officially called The Republic of China, Taiwan is an island nation located off of the southeast coast of The People's Republic of China. In terms of size, Taiwan ranks 137th globally. With an area of 13, 855 sq miles (35,883 sq km), Taiwan is at a size similar to Belgium and Switzerland. The majority of this island nation is mountainous.
The eastern two-thirds of Taiwan are particularly mountainous. The eastern terrain of Taiwan contrasts sharply with the rolling hills of the western portion of Taiwan.There are several mountain ranges spanning in a north-south direction. This island is home to several mountain peaks with elevations of 12,000 ft and higher.
Highest Mountain in Taiwan
The highest mountain in Taiwan is Yushan. Yushan has an elevation of 12,966 ft (3,952 meters) above sea level at its peak. Based on this, Taiwan highest point is the 4th highest among highest elevations on islands. Yushan is also one of the highest mountains of the western Pacific Rim region. The Tropic of Cancer runs through this island, putting this nation in the tropics. The Tropic of Cancer also where Yushan is located. Yushan is the highest mountain located on the Tropic of Cancer. This is also the only location on the Tropic of Cancer where there are any signs that Quaternary glaciation took place.
Meaning of Yushan
Yushan means "Jade Mountain" in Chinese. During the winter mountains, snow covers Yushan in high amounts. The heavy snow cover makes it look like jade under sunshine, which his is how the mountain gets its name. Yushan also shares its name with the mountain range to which it belongs.
Geology of Yushan
Yushan's origins are rooted in tectonic activity. Taiwan is located in between the Eurasian, Okinawa, and Philippine Sea tectonic plates. Yushan used to be submerged by the sea as late as the Paleozoic era. It would reach a high elevation due to tectonic activity. The Eurasian plate slid under the Philippine Sea plate. With two plates meeting and bumping against one another, buckling and folding of the land would take place. This is what created the mountains located in Taiwan, thus creating Yushan.
Cultural, Environmental, and Human Value of Yushan
Yushan is a valued mountain in Taiwan. It has a cultural significance in Taiwan. Yushan is featured as the background for the NT$1,000 dollarbills. Yushan is also part of a protected area. Yushan is located within Yu Shan National Park. This is the highest and most difficult national park to reach. Regardless of the difficulty in reaching Yushan, this is a popular mountain for hikers and mountain climbers. Yushan, along with Mount Fuji, and Gunung Kinabalu are part of the "Asian Trilogy" for hiking up high mountains. Mountain climbers from throughout the world climb Yushan for that very reason.
The national park where Yushan is located is home to pristine forests at the base of the mountain. Towards the top of the mountain, there are mosses and liverworts. Yushan is surrounded by the largest concentration of wilderness in Taiwan.