Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, referred to as Haibei Prefecture, is located in the northeast of Qinghai Province. It borders Haidong City and Xining City in the southeast, Hainan Prefecture in the south, Haixi Prefecture in the west, Zhangye City of Gansu Province in the north, and Wuwei City of Gansu Province in the east. Located at the southern foot of the middle section of the Qilian Mountains, the terrain is high in the north and low in the south. The northern part is formed by a series of parallel mountains and valleys, such as the Nanshan, Lenglong Ridge, Tuoleshan, Shulenanshan, and Dabanshan, which stretch from northwest to southeast. The southern part is the lake and the lakeside plain of north of Qinghai Lake, with vast grasslands. The Datong River runs diagonally across the entire territory from northwest to southeast. The main rivers include Black river, Huang river, Babao River, and Tole River. The State’s seat is in Xihai Town, Haiyan County.
In ancient times, Haibei Prefecture was a place where Xirong, Qiang, Tuyuhun and other ethnic groups lived together. Today, there are still many ethnic minorities living here. There are many tourist attractions, such as: China’s largest small rapeseed base, Xianmi National Forest Park, Black River Grand Canyon, Jinyintan Grassland, Qilian Mountain Grassland, which is one of the six most beautiful grasslands in China.
Cultural Relics Protection Units
As of 2007, there are 36 cultural relics in Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture. Among them, there are 1 site of Zhilongyi City (now Triangle City, Haiyan County) in Xihai County of the Western Han Dynasty that belong to the national cultural relics protection unit, which was announced on January 13, 1988; 11 provincial cultural relics protection units: Menyuan The ancient city of Jinbatai in Tang Dynasty, Beishan Township, the ancient city of Menyuan in Song Dynasty, the Ganglonggou Grotto Temple of Tang Dynasty, Ketu Ancient City of Ketu Village, Ancient Triangle City in Song Dynasty, Xiatangtai Culture site.
National key units
Ruins of the old city of Sohai County
The site of the first nuclear weapons development base
Menyuan Ancient City
There are total of 3 counties and 1 autonomous county under the jurisdiction of Haibei Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, including: Qilian County, Haiyan County, Gangcha County, and Menyuan Hui Autonomous County
Geography and climate
Most of the mountain peaks in Haibei Prefecture are around 4000 meters above sea level, and the highest point is 5287 meters above sea level. The southern grassland is vast. Datong River is the largest outflow river in Haibei Prefecture, with a length of 560 kilometers and a drainage area of 15,000 square kilometers.
Haibei Prefecture is 413 kilometers long from east to west, 261 kilometers wide from north to south, and the total land area is of 34,389.89 square kilometers.
The central part of the Qilian Mountains in Haibei Prefecture is located on the third stage of China’s topography. It is located in the northeast of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the western edge of the Loess Plateau. The highest altitude is 5287 meters, and the lowest altitude is 2180 meters. The area is with an altitude of more than 3000 meters accounts for more than 85% of the total area of the state.
From the perspective of geomorphology, there are tectonic landforms, flowing water landforms, aeolian landforms and glacier landforms; from the perspective of geomorphological form, there are valleys, basins, hills, low mountains, middle high mountains and high mountains. According to the characteristics of Haibei topography, the whole prefecture is divided into three geomorphological areas:
-1), The Qilian Mountain plateau landform area includes Qilian County and the area north of the Datong Mountain Watershed in Gangcha and Haiyan County. The geomorphic area presents a situation of “four mountains and four basins”. Between the Nanshan and Tuoler Shan, the Heihe and Babaohe rift basins are formed. The Tole fault basin and Mole sag basin are formed between the mountains, and the Tole River and Mole River (i.e Datong River) flow through them.
-2), The lakeside landform area in the northern part of Qinghai Lake is a part of the Qinghai Lake inland basin in China. It includes Haiyan county, the south of the Datongshan watershed in Gangcha County, the north of Qinghai Lake and the upper valley of Huangshui. The area is high in the north and low in the south. , The north is high mountain, the middle is low mountain and hilly land, the south is the lakeside plain and Huangshui valley. The Buha River, Gilmen River, Uhaalan River, Shaliu River, Hargai River and Ganzi River are important source of supply for the Qinghai Lake.
-3),The landform area of the Haomen River Valley includes all of Menyuan County, with Jingyangling in the northwest, Lenglongling in the north, and Daban Mountain in the south. Between the two mountain ranges, it is the Mesozoic and Cenozoic that are widely distributed and deposited during the Quaternary. In the rift basin, the low mountains and five mountains in the northwest are widely spread, and the east is a deep mountain valley area. The Haomen River flows through it from northwest to southeast.
The climate of Haibei Prefecture is long cold period, short warm period, sufficient sunlight, strong solar radiation, distinct dry and wet seasons, night rain and strong wind. The annual average temperature is -2.4℃～1.4℃, the highest temperature is 33℃, and the lowest temperature is -36℃. The annual average precipitation is 427 mm, the highest precipitation is 479 mm, and the lowest precipitation is 341 mm. There is no absolute frost-free period.
Population and ethnic group
Haibei Prefecture is a multi-ethnic region, including Salar, Uygur, Miao, Yi, Buyi, Zhuang, Korean, Manchu, Yao, Tujia, Kazakh, She, Gaoshan, Dongxiang, Qiang, Baoan, Yugu,Li, Dong, and Dai. Among the total population of the whole prefecture, Tibetans are the most widely distributed among ethnic groups.
As of the end of 2017, the permanent population of Haibei Prefecture was 283,000. The minority population is 201,200, accounting for 67.79%. Among the permanent population, the Han nationality accounts for 36%; the minority population accounts for 64%. Among them: Tibetan people account for 24%; Hui people account for 31%; Mongolian people account for 5.00%; Tu people account for 2.64%; Salar people account for 0.33%; other ethnic minorities account for 0.27%.