Wiens, Herold J. Formerly, Department of Geography, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Fellmann, Jerome D. Formerly, Department of Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, Illinois.
McTaggart, W. Donald Department of Geography, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
Last reviewed:July 2015
Show previous versions
- Mountain chains
- Hill lands and plateaus
- Lowland plains
- General soil patterns
- Major vegetation patterns
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
The largest of the world's continents. With its peninsular extension, commonly called the continent of Europe, it is the major portion of the broad east-west extent of the Northern Hemisphere landmasses. In many ways Asia is more a cultural concept than a physical entity. There is no logical physical separation between Asia and Europe, and even Africa is separated from Asia merely by the width of the Suez Canal. For convenience, however, the Eurasian landmass is considered to be divided by the Ural Mountains into Europe in the west and Asia in the east (Fig. 1). Thus restricted Asia has an area of about 17,700,000 mi2 (45,800,000 km2), about one-third of the land area of the Earth. In the north, mainland Siberia reaches past the 77th parallel. Southward, India and Sri Lanka reach nearer than 10° north of the Equator, while the Indonesian islands extend more than 10° south of the Equator. The continental heart of Asia is more than 2000 mi (3200 km) from the nearest ocean. These vast distances have great significance in the climates and vegetation of Asia and thus in the erosional and depositional patterns of the land. See also: Continent; Europe
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 43 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information