The succession of ranges which follow one another from the deserts of Takla-makan and Gobi up to the plateau proper of Tibet rise in steps or terraces, each range being higher than the range to the north of it and lower than the range to the south of it.
Along with the desert of Gobi East Turkestan occupies the lower terrace of the great central Asian plateau, which projects from the Himalayas north-east towards the Bering Straits.
Between November 1870 and September 1873, accompanied by only three men and with ridiculously small pecuniary resources, he crossed the Gobi desert, reached Peking, and, pushing westwards and south-westwards, explored the Ordos and the Ala-shan, as well as the upper part of the Yangtsze-kiang.
The former, belonging to the Khalkas, occupy the Gobi and the regions of the Kentei Mountains and Khingan Mountains, while the second, divided into numerous minor branches, roam over south-eastern and southern Mongolia.
But as each successive range, proceeding south, represents a higher step in the terraced ascent from the desert of Gobi to the plateau of Tibet, the ranges when viewed from the north frequently appear like veritable upstanding mountain ranges, and this appearance is accentuated by the general steepness of the ascent; whereas, when viewed on the other hand from the south, these several ranges, owing to their long and gentle slope in that direction, have the appearance of comparatively gentle swellings of the earth's service rather than of well-defined mountain ranges.
He crossed, and named, the Dzungarian extension of the Gobi desert, and then traversed the Gobi itself from Hami to Sachu, which became a point of junction between his journeys and those of Krishna.
In south-east Siberia there are fortythree new species belonging to the north Manchurian or Amur fauna; and in south-east Transbaikalia, on the borders of the Gobi steppe, only 103 species were found by G.
Thus between Tibet and the low-lying sands of Gobi we have, thrust in, a system of elevated valleys (Tsaidam), 8000 to 9000 ft.
The great central depression of the continent which reaches from the foot of the Pamir plateau on the west through the Tarim desert to Lop Nor and the Gobi has yielded up many interesting Chinese secrets.
Above sea, and modern researches tend to prove that in the central portions of the Gobi (about Lop Nor) it may be actually below sea-level.