Mongolia is a landlocked country in Northern Asia, strategically located between China and Russia.
At 1,564,116 km2 (603,909 sq mi), Mongolia is the world"s 19th-largest country (after Iran). It is significantly larger than the next-largest country, Peru.
The geography of Mongolia is varied with the Gobi Desert to the south and with cold and mountainous regions to the north and west. Much of Mongolia consists of steppes and much of the Gobi Desert.
The terrain is one of mountains and rolling plateaus, with a high degree of relief. Overall, the land slopes from the high Altai Mountains of the west and the north to plains and depressions in the east and the south. The Khuiten Peak in extreme western Mongolia on the Chinese border is the highest point (4,374 meters). The lowest is 518 meters, an otherwise undistinguished spot in the eastern Mongolian plain. The country has an average elevation of 1,580 meters. The landscape includes one of Asia"s largest freshwater lakes (Lake Khuvsgul), many salt lakes, marshes, sand dunes, rolling grasslands, alpine forests, and permanent mountain glaciers. Northern and western Mongolia are seismically active zones, with frequent earthquakes and many hot springs and extinct volcanoes.
The productive regions of Mongolia—a tableland ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 ft (914 to 1,524 m) in elevation—are in the north, which is well drained by numerous rivers, including the Hovd, Onon, Selenge and Tuul.