Tian Shan

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tian Shan / Tengri Tagh
Highest peak Dschengisch Tschokusu ( 7439  m )
location Kyrgyzstan , Kazakhstan , Tajikistan , Xinjiang ( PR China ), Uzbekistan
Tian Shan / Tengri Tagh (Xinjiang)
Tian Shan / Tengri Tagh
Coordinates 42 ° 2 ′  N , 80 ° 8 ′  E Coordinates: 42 ° 2 ′  N , 80 ° 8 ′  E
Type Fold Mountains
Satellite image of the Tarim Basin with the Taklamakan Desert;  in the southwest foothills of the Himalayas.  The Tian Shan Mountains are located north of the Tarim Basin in the upper part of the picture.  Lake Issyk Kul in the upper left corner of the picture.  (NASA / MODIS / Blue Marble)

Satellite image of the Tarim Basin with the Taklamakan Desert; in the southwest foothills of the Himalayas . The Tian Shan Mountains are located north of the Tarim Basin in the upper part of the picture. Lake Issyk Kul in the upper left corner of the picture. (NASA / MODIS / Blue Marble)

Part of the Tian Shan with the Dschengisch Tschokusu (front left) and the Khan Tengri (center).

Part of the Tian Shan with the Dschengisch Tschokusu (front left) and the Khan Tengri (center).


The Tian Shan , Germanized Tienschan , is an approximately 2450 km long, 400 km wide and 7439  m high mountain range in the large Turkestan region in the interior of Asia . It separates the north and south of Turkestan from each other and extends over the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as well as the Uyghur Autonomous Region Xinjiang in the northwest of the People's Republic of China .

2013 was the Tian Shan Mountains in Xinjiang in the People's Republic of China by the UNESCO for World Heritage declared in 2016 was followed by the Western Tian Shan Mountains in the states of Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan .

Name origin

The name of the mountain comes from the Chinese 天山 , tiān shān  - "Heavenly Mountains / Divine Mountains" (from which Kyrgyz Тян Шан / Tjan Schan ). In Uighur it is called mountainsتەڭرىتاغ Təngritaƣ / Täŋritağ "God's mountain". In English the name "Celestial Mountains" is common, in Russian it is also known as Tjan Schan ( Тянь Шань ).


The Tian Shan Mountains, which extend over the national territory of China , Kazakhstan , Kyrgyzstan , Uzbekistan and Tajikistan , are located to the west and north of the Tarim Basin , east of the Kyzylkum , southeast of the Kazakh threshold and south of the high basin of Djungaristan .

The Tian Shan is around 2,450 km long, 400 km wide and up to 7439 m high.

In the southwest, separated by the Ferghana valley , the elongated mountain range of the Alai joins. The Tian Shan runs from the former Soviet republics of Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan essentially in an east-west direction to far into China, where it ends in the plains of the Gobi desert .

The Chinese Tian Shan is geographically divided into West Tian Shan and East Tian Shan along the road that runs from Urumqi to Korla . The East Tian Shan extends to the east and is tectonically divided into three further mountain belts, of which the more northerly ends after 700 km with the Karlik Shan ridge , not far from the Mongolian border, in the middle of the Gobi desert, between the Dzungarian basin in the north and the Turfan Hami Basin in the south.

The highest mountains of the Tian Shan are Dschengisch Tschokusu (Kyrgyz. Жеңиш Чокусу; Chinese. Tuōmù'ěr Fēng 托 木 尔 峰; Russian. Пик Победы / Pik Pobedy  “Summit of Victory”) with 7439  m and Khan Tengri (Russian. Тенган Тенган)  "Lord of the Spirits") with 7010  m . The southern Inyltschek Glacier , with a length of 60 kilometers one of the largest extra-polar valley glaciers in the world, has its origins in the widespread firn basin between these two mountains .

Mountain ranges of the Tian Shan include: Barkol Shan , Bei Shan, Bogda Shan , Ili Mountains , Irenchabirga , Karlik Shan , Kyrgyz Mountains , Kokschaal-Tau , Kungej-Alatau , Kuruk Tagh , Talas-Alatau , Terskej-Alatau and Transili- Alatau .

Between the mountain ranges of the Kungej-Alatau and the Terskej-Alatau lies the high mountain lake Issykköl on Kyrgyz territory at an altitude of 1609 m . The Kölsuu is also located in this area.

The main rivers in the Tian Shan include the Ili , Syr Darja and Tarim with its tributaries Konqi and Aqsu .

The Silk Road with its various branch routes runs on the south side of the mountains .

UNESCO world heritage

Parts of the Tian Shan in Xinjiang was in June 2013 under the name Tian Shan Mountains in Xinjiang to the UNESCO World Heritage declared. The four protected areas of this natural heritage site cover a total of 606,833 hectares .

In 2016, UNESCO also included parts of the Tian Shan in Central Asia under the name of the Western Tian Shan Mountains on the World Heritage List. A total of thirteen areas belong to this natural heritage site, seven of them in Kazakhstan , four in Kyrgyzstan and two in Uzbekistan . These have a total protection area of ​​around 500,000 hectares .

Paleogeography and prehistoric climate - Tian Shan during the Ice Age -

View over the Bayan Bulak grassland with oxbow lakes of the Kaidu

On the northern edge of the Tarim Basin, the 100 to 120 km wide Tian Shan Plateau with its superimposed mountain landscape extends between the Kokshaaltoo mountain range in the south and the Terskej-Alatau mountain range in the north. The Kokshaal Tau continues for a total length of 570 km from west of Pik Dankow ( Dankowa , 5986  m ) to east-northeast to Dschengisch Tschokusu ( Tomur Feng , 7439  m ) and beyond. Both this mountain range as well as that of the 300 km long parallel mountain range of the Terskej-Alatau and the Tian-Shan plateau in between were covered by interconnected ice flow networks and a plateau glacier during the Ice Age. The interglacial remainder of this glaciation is formed by the southern Engiltschek glacier , which is still around 60 km long today . The outlet glacier tongues of the Plateau glacier flowed north to Lake Issyk Kul at 1609  m and calved into this 160 km long lake. The high mountain range of the Kungej-Alatau, which is more than 50 km wide and connects north of the Issyk Kul and extends to the foothills near Almaty , was similarly glaciated . The Kungej-Alatau is 230 km long. The Ice Age glaciers also calved from the Kungej-Alatau into the Issyk Kul. Its Tschong-Kemin (valley), which runs to the west, was glaciated up to its confluence with the Tschüi valley. From the western extension of the Kungej-Alatau - that is the Kyrgyz mountains (42 ° 25'N / 74 ° - 75 ° E) - the ice age glaciers flowed down into the foothills at 900  m (near the city of Bishkek ). There, among other things, the Ak-Sai valley glacier formed a mountain foothills glacier .

Overall, the ice age Tian Shan glaciation took up an area of ​​about 118,000 km². The glacier snow limit (ELA), as the height limit between the glacier nutrient area and the melting zone, was lowered by 1200 meters compared to today. Under the condition of comparable precipitation conditions, this would result in a decrease in the annual mean temperature of 7.2 to 8.4 ° C for the last glacial period (Last Glacial Period = MIS 2) compared to today.

Web links

Commons : Tian Shan  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
  • Tian Shan on Peakbagger.com (English)
  • Eldridge M. Moores, Rhodes Whitmore Fairbridge: Encyclopedia of European and Asian regional geology (Geology of the Tian Shan). (books.google.nl)

Individual evidence

  1. Duden online, keyword "Tienschan"
  2. a b c Article Тянь-Шань (Tian Shan) in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (BSE) , 3rd edition 1969–1978 (Russian)http: //vorlage_gse.test/1%3D113335~2a%3D%D0%A2%D1%8F%D0%BD%D1%8C-%D0%A8%D0%B0%D0%BD%D1%8C%20 % 28Tian% 20Shan% 29 ~ 2b% 3D% D0% A2% D1% 8F% D0% BD% D1% 8C-% D0% A8% D0% B0% D0% BD% D1% 8C% 20% 28Tian% 20Shan% 29
  3. X. Chen, L. Shu, M. Santosh, X. Zhao: Island arc-type bimodal magmatism in the eastern Tianshan Belt, Northwest China: geochemistry, zircon U – Pb geochronology and implications for the Paleozoic crustal evolution in Central Asia. In: Lithos. 168, 2013, pp. 48-66. (PDF)
  4. ^ Encyclopedia of world geography. Volume 1, p. 898. (books.google.nl)
  5. Engl .: "Xinjiang Tianshan", German translation according to the World Heritage List. In: Unesco.de. Retrieved February 7, 2017 .
  6. Xinjiang Tianshan , on whc.unesco.org
  7. UNESCO World Heritage Center: Western Tien-Shan. In: whc.unesco.org. Retrieved February 7, 2017 .
  8. a b c M. Kuhle: New Findings on the Ice-cover between Issyk-Kul and K2 (Tian Shan, Karakorum) during the Last Glaciation. In: Zheng Du, Zhang Qingsong, Pan Yusheng (eds.): Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Karakorum and Kunlun Mountains (ISKKM), Kashi, China, June 1992. China Meteorological Press, Beijing, pp. 185-197.
  9. ^ MG Grosswald, M. Kuhle, JL Fastook: Würm Glaciation of Lake Issyk-Kul Area, Tian Shan Mts .: A Case Study in Glacial History of Central Asia. Kuhle, M. (Ed.): Tibet and High Asia. Results of the Sino-German and Russian-German Joint Expeditions (III). In: GeoJournal. 33, (2/3), Kluwer, Dordrecht / Boston / London 1994, pp. 273-310.
  10. a b M. Kuhle: The High Glacial (Last Ice Age and LGM) glacier cover in High and Central Asia. Accompanying text to the mapwork in hand with detailed references to the literature of the underlying empirical investigations. In: J. Ehlers, PL Gibbard (Ed.): Extent and Chronology of Glaciations. Vol. 3: Latin America, Asia, Africa, Australia, Antarctica. Elsevier BV, Amsterdam 2004, pp. 175-199.
  11. M. Kuhle, N. Schröder: New Investigations and Results on the Maximum Glaciation of the Kirgisen Shan and Tian Shan Plateau between Kokshaal Tau and Terskey Alatau. In: W. Zech (Ed.): Pamir and Tian Shan. Contribution of the Quaternary History. International Workshop at the University of Bayreuth. Abstracts. University Bayreuth, Bayreuth 2000, p. 8.