South Korea has an abundance of mountain ranges running in all directions. Approximately 70% of the total land surface is mountainous. Only about 15% of the land can be considered lowland, and this is mostly the product of erosion. Consequently, there are few areas devoid of hills that could be considered "plains" in the common usage of the word.

The highest elevations of the rugged topography of South Korea are mostly aligned north-south along the eastern one-half of the country.

Pohang Harbor is open and exposed to the northeast through Yeongil Bay (Figure 28). Yeongil Bay is formed on the east by the Yeongil Peninsula which extends about 8 nmi north-northeast from the Korean mainland. The topography of the peninsula is rugged, with elevations commonly exceeding 460 ft (140 m). One peak reaches 814 ft (248 m) within 4 nmi of the Harbor Entrance.

The terrain west of the Port is similarly rugged, with extensive areas of sharp rises dominating the countryside. The Taehwa Rift Valley, identified in The Environment of South Korea and Adjacent Sea Areas, extends southwest from Pohang on the east side of the Taebaek Mountain range. The general topography of the area adjacent to Pohang and the approximate location of the Taehwa Rift Valley are shown on Figure 29.

More detailed information on South Korean topography can be found in the South Korea Forecaster's Handbook in the Publications Section of the Naval Research Laboratory web site at