Location: Located at the longitude 125°42′-130°10′E and the latitude 44°04′-46°40′N, Harbin is in the north of Northeastern China and the south of Heilongjiang Province.
Terrain: The terrain of Harbin urban area together with Shuangcheng city and Hulan district is smooth and low-lying, while the ten eastern counties (cities) have many mountains and a chain of undulating hills. Harbin is adjacent to the branch hills of Zhanguancai Ridge to the southeast, and the mountain areas of the Small Xing\'an Mountain to the north, and Songhua River passes through the middle part, with lower mountains, crisscross rivers and vast plains. The urban area of Harbin is mainly distributed on the three terraces formed by Songhua River. The first terrace is between 132 to 140 meters above sea level, mainly including Daoli and Daowai district, with plain terrain. The second terrace is between 145 to 175 meters above sea level, without clear boundaries, mainly including Nangang district and parts of Xiangfang district. Since this area has suffered from water corrosion for a long time, it is a little wavy, and the soil layer is thick and fruitful. It is an important agricultural district of Harbin. The third terrace is between 180 to 200 meters above sea level, mainly including the places such as Huangshanzuizi, the south of Pingfang district and so on. To the southeast, the terrain gradually transits into the branch of Zhangguangcai ridge, belonging to an area of undulating hills.
Hydrology: All the large and small rivers passing through Harbin area belongs to Songhua river and Mudan river system, mainly containing Songhua river, Hulan river, Ashi river, Lalin river, Mangniu river, Mayan river, East Langzhu river, Ni river, Piao river, Peiketu river, Shaoling river, Wuyue river, Woken river and so on. Songhua river originates from Changbaishan Tianchi of Jilin Province, and its main stream, the largest river course used for irrigating, goes through the middle part of Harbin. The rainfall of the whole year mainly concentrates between June and September, when the rainfall accounts for over 70 percent of the whole year. After liberation, Western Quanyang reservoir project, the largest irrigation project in the whole city, was closed and began to store water in 1996. The area of controlled watershed of the reservoir reaches 1,151 km2, and the reservoir covers an area of 40.86 km2. After the reservoir was set up, the newly added irrigating area has reached 15,133.3 hectares. The water resources of Harbin is characterized by small quantity of own water, rich passing water, unbalanced space-time location of the precipitation, showing abundance in the east and insufficiency in the west. The per capita occupancy volume of water in the whole city is 1,630 m3.
Soil. Due to the influence from natural elements such as terrain, climate, plants and human activities, the kinds of soil in Harbin are various, including 9 great soil groups, 21 subgroups, and 25 soil species. Black soil, the main soil group of the suburb and 12 counties (cities), is one of the most widespread and abundant great soil groups. The black soil in the whole city is divided into two subgroups (black soil and meadow chernozemic soil), 3 soil genuses (sticky, sandy and meadow chernozemic soil), and 7 soil species. Black soil is abundant in nutrient contents, fit for planting different crops. Chernozem, the main cultivated soil of the city, is mainly distributed on the middle plains and hillsides, including 3 subgroups such as chemozem, luvic chemozem and meadow chernozem, with a total of 8 soil species. The nutrient content in chemozem is only second to the black soil, fit for planting crops. Meadow soil is also the main cultivated soil of the city, mainly in low luvic places along the rivers and bench terrace and flood plain of Songhua River. The meadow soil in the city includes 6 subgroups including meadow soil, alkalified meadow soil, flood meadow soil, salted meadow soil, incobation meadow, and sulfate meadow soil, with a total of 10 soil species. Most meadow soil is not fit for planting crops, but fit for developing meadows and plant firewood forest. Sandy soil and boggy soil, distributed in the benchland and Low-lying alluvial land along the both sides of the rivers, is fit for developing fishery and livestock farming.
Minerals. Harbin is abundant in minerals. 63 kinds of minerals have been found, and 25 kinds have been verified as proper for industrial application. The minerals such as coal, natural gas, copper, zinc, tungsten, molybdenum, pyrite, smelted crystal, serpentinite, arsenic, construction stone, and mineral water play an important role in Heilongjiang Province. Among the verified minerals, 20 kinds rank top one in the Province, of which pyrite accounts for 55.8%, smelted crystal accounts for 61.2%, serpentinite accounts for 43.3%, and arsenic accounts for 49%, and there are other 8 kinds such as asbestine, Dinas rock, marble, tellurium (rare element).
Forestry. The forestland of Harbin includes timber forest, economic forest, firewood forest, protection forest and so on. The forestland is mainly distributed in the eastern mountain area, at the northwest mountain foot of Zhangguangcai ridge, and on the south slope of the Small Xingan Mountain. The main varieties of trees are pinus densiflora, dahurian larch, pinus sylvestris, ashtree, phellodendron amurense, juglans mandshurica, quercus mongolica, Tilia, elm, poplar, birch and so on. Among them, pinus densiflora is now widely known both at home and abroad for its excellent quality, and ashtree is famous for its beautiful patterns. In addition, there are some temperate fruit gardens such as Huangtaiping, Daqiuguo, apple, grape and so on, as well as special economic forest, black soybean and the like. Wild fruit trees with high economic value include Doudianguo, Xuangouzi, Cimeigui, yangtao, Schisandra chinensis, eastern berry, etc. Wild rose bud is abundant in Harbin, and has become an important export resource.
Plants. Harbin has rich plant resources in various kinds, including phycophyta and bryophytes, which are characterized by concentrated distribution and high economic value. Among medicine plants, rare medicinal herbs include wild radix ginseng, golden cypress, pberetima, kuh-seng, radix euphorbiae lantu, Astragalus mongholicus, Schisandra chinensis, Aesculus wilsonii Rehd, Codonopsis pilosula, Poria cocos, HungPing and so on. Grass plants mainly include deyeuxia angustifolia, one of the three northeast treatures, and fodder alkali grass. Wild food plants include over ten kinds such as fiddlehead, qsmunda japonica thunb, Huotuicai, Guanshencai, aralia elata seem, Mingyecai, Qiangtoucai, Maozhua and so on. There are a number of food mushrooms such as Hericium erinaceus, armillaria mellea, hohenbuehelia serotina, agaric and so on. Wild oil bearing plants include pine nut and hazelnut. Wild flowers reach to over 130 kinds, among which there are over 20 kinds worth seeing such as Lilium tenuifolium, lilium concolor, lilium pumilum, iris laevigata, iris ensata thunb, long petaled lotus flower and so on. The water plants with economic value include Semen Euryales, lotus, northeast hornwort, water chestnut, calamus, reed, wula sedge. Wild fruits include apricot, plum, mountain peach, peach, amur grape and so on.
Animals. Harbin Wild Animal Zoo boasts rich wild animals, in large quantities and various kinds. Beasts include northeast tiger, spotted deer, sable, Otter, lynx, black bear, wild pig, musk deer, yellow weasel, squirrel, fox, Nycteteutes procyonoides, Meles meles, wolf and so on. Amphibians include frog, snake, turtle, lizard, etc. Birds include stork, Ciconianigra, and a white-tailed eagle listed as first-grade state protection species, as well as platalea leucorodia, anser albifrons, whooper swan, mandarin duck, tetrastes bonasia, little whimbrel numenius minutus, owl, and fierce birds listed in Falconiformes and strigiformes. Among the 227 kinds of migrant birds inhabiting in Japan and China as listed in the Agreement on Migratory Birds and Their Habitat Environment signed by and between Japan and China in March, 1981, 141 kinds of migrant birds are observed in Harbin. There are also rich freshwater fish resources. The freshwater fish in Songhua river passing through Harbin and its branches, the swamp along the both sides and the reservoirs has food value. There are more than 40 kinds of main economic fish, including river carp, johnny carp, luce, dace, Mongolian culter, Erythroculter ilishaeformis in the Songhua River, bream, triangular bream, mandarin fish, catfish, etc.