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Paektu, Mount

Paektu or Baekdu, Mount, volcanic peak, 9,003 ft (2,744 m) high, in the Changbai Mts. on the border between North Korea and China. The highest mountain in Korea, it rises from a basalt lava plateau that is the headwaters of the Yalu (Amnok), Tuman (Tumen), and Songhua rivers. A crater lake, Heaven Lake, is at the top of the mountain. A massive eruption in AD 946 created the caldera where the lake is located and deposited 2 in. (5 cm) of volcanic ash as far away as S Hokkaido, Japan. The stratovolcano's last eruption was in 1903. Koreans consider the mountain, which is traditionally regarded as their ancestral place of origin, to be sacred, and it is a popular tourist destination. Mt. Paektu, called Changbai Shan or Baitou Shan by the Chinese, is also known as White Head Mt.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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