Mountains, Rivers and Lakes of Tibetan Plateau33.2N 84.3E
Riverwater collects in basins on the Tibetan Plateau after draining downward from tall ridges of mountains in this orthorectified image.
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.