Taihang Mountains is a mountain range in China that runs down the eastern edge of the Loess Plateau. The mountain range is located at the intersection of Tibetan region, North China Plain region, Loess Plateau region, and the Inner Mongolia-Xinjiang region, specifically in the provinces of Hebei, Henan, and Shanxi. Taihang Mountains extend over 250 miles north to south. It rises steeply from the North China Plain to about 4,000 feet above the sea level and reaches 9,455 feet. The mountain range is dominated by complex biological components, making it an important region of global biodiversity. It also represents a unique landform characterized by towering peaks, peculiar caves, waterfalls, and deep gorges which together forms a rare landscape in China.
About the Mountain Range
The Taihang Mountains is often erroneously referred to as the mountains of Tai-hsing Range, especially by the western writers. Although the origin of the name “Taihang” is not clear, some of the provinces in the country, especially those that are crossed by the mountains derived their names from the mountain. For instance, Shanxi Province whose name translates to “western mountains” derived its name from its location on the western part of the mountain while Shandong Province which means “eastern mountains” is located on the eastern side. The mountain range is a unique form of the mountain chain that is typical of mountain chains in eastern Asia. It has an average elevation of 4,900 to 6,600 feet above the sea level. The highest peak is the Xiao Wutaishan at 9,455 feet. On the southern edge of the mountains is the Red Flag Canal while the Shitai Passenger Railway passes under the mountains.
Taihang Mountains is a fault block mountain range that has flat and open peaks and a large area of planation surfaces. It may have been formed during the Jurassic Period, about 145 million years ago. The mountain range was formed by a series of tectonic activities of the earth’s crust and the upward lifting of the fault blocks on the ancient continents. The Taihang Mountains has a very long geological history that no other mountain range can match. The mountain sits on a unique step-fault zone of North China Plain and Loess Plateau and is covered by good vegetation. The soils are mainly of brown forest and cinnamon types. Taihang Mountain range is mainly drained to the east by the many tributaries of the Hai River System. The Zhang and Hutuo rivers originate from the main range and drain the interior basin.