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Geh Chang Leong

1) All stars revolve around earth in elliptical orbit. All planets revolve anti-clockwise
from west to east except Uranus.
Q Give the examples that shows earth is sphere and not flat ?
A Equatorial diameter is more than the poles. This shows that earth is not a perfect
sphere. 1) The round the earth voyage of magellan led to the return at the same point
pointing it as not flat. 2) The distant horizon appears as circular and it increases with
increasing altitude. 3) The mast of a ship appears first rather than the mast, if earth were
to be flat then whole ship would have been appeared together. 4) Sun rises and set
differently in different part of the world. This shows earth is not flat. 5) Shadow cast by
earth on moon is circular. 6) With technology such as satellites, we can see that earth is
sphere.
2) Rotation of earth causes day and night while revolution causes seasons and year.
When sun is exactly over equator two times in a year. That is called as equinox as all
parts of the world have equal days and nights. 21 June, sun is over tropic of cancer
called as summer solstice. 22 december, sun is over tropic of Capricorn called as
winter solstice. Beyond these lines sun is never overhead on any day.
Q Why summers are warm and bright while winters are dark and cold ?
A During summer the suns rays are direct of less inclined to earth causing greater
energy concentration on the surface. This leads to more heat while in winter the rays are
oblique and scatter in longer area and hence per unit area heat capture is less. This leads
to accumulation of less heat in atmosphere and hence cold climate. Days are longer than
night during summer and have more heat while opposite is true for winter.
3) During the dawn and twilight, earth receives refracted or diffused light. Sun rises
vertically at equator hence these periods are short while it increases towards poles due
to obliqueness.
4) Latitudes are measured angular angles from equator. These are parallel to equator and
hence called as parallels of latitude. The earth is flattened at the poles and hence linear
distance between latitudes is greater. Longitude is the angular distance from prime
meridian. These are called as meridians.
5) Earth rotates 1* in 4 minutes. Earth rotates from west to east and hence if we move
east time is advanced and reduced on the other side.
Q why the concept of local time arised ?
A If all towns keep time as per their longitude then time changes while moving from
one longitude to another. Travellers have to change their watch frequently which is
impractical. This reasoned for local time.
6) Perihelion is the nearest point to sun in the orbit of planet, asteroid and comet while
aphelion is farthest.
Q Why polar air routes follow great circles ?
A Great circle is any circle on a sphere which includes the centre. This circle provides
the shortest route between two points and hence minimum navigation time.
Q Effect of latitude on temperature and day and night?

A With increasing latitude the sun rays become slant falling on larger surface with less
energy received per unit area. This leads to less absorption and low temperature. During
summer, higher latitudes have longer days and shorter night while opposite is true in
winters. This is because earth is tilted at 22 * to is axis from vertical. The conditions are
opposite in other hemisphere.
Q Effect of longitude on time?
A One degree movement in east or west forward and retard time by 4 minutes.
Q Effect of altitude on temperature?
A Earth surface reflects the short wavelength sun rays with longer wavelength terrestrial
waves. These are absorbed by gases such as water vapour, carbon dioxide keeping the
atmosphere warm. These gases are mainly present in troposphere and hence temperature
decreases with height as the waves are captured more near the surface than in the upper
atmosphere.
7) The earth crust is made up of: upper part forming continent is of granitic rocks or
SiAl. The lower part is of basaltic rocks or SiMa which forms the ocean floor.
8) Types of rocks: 1) igneous rocks 2) metamorphic rocks 3) sedimentary rocks. 1)
These are formed by cooling of molten magma. These are crystalline and do not occur
in layers with no fossil fuels. When these contain high silica is acidic such as granite
which are less dense and of light colour than basic rocks. Basic rocks contain more
basic oxide such as magnesium, iron and aluminium and hence are dense and dark in
colour. a) Plutonic igneous rocks: These are formed under the surface due to slow
cooling of magma and hence are coarse grained. These are intrusive rocks. b)
Volcanic igneous rocks: These are formed on the surface due to fast cooling and hence
are fine grained. These are extrusive rocks and basalt is a good example. The molten
lava may force its way through vertical and horizontal gaps forming dykes and sills
respectively. Most igneous rocks are very hard and hence used in road making and
monuments. 2) These are formed due to accumulation of sediments over long period
of time usually under water. These are called as stratified rocks due to formation of
layers. These rocks can be soft or hard or fine or coarse grained. These are noncrystalline and contain fossils. a) mechanically formed: These are formed due to
accumulation and cemented. Sandstone is an example. b) organically formed: These
are formed when hard shells of organisms after decomposition of organic part is
accumulated under pressure. Calcareous is an example containing chalk and
limestone. Carbonaceous rock is formed from vegetative remains of forests and
swamps later becoming peat, lignite or coal. c) chemically formed: These are
precipitated chemically from solutions of one kind or the another. Gypsum or calcium
sulphate is formed after evaporation of salt lakes. 3) metamorphic rocks: All igneous
and sedimentary rocks can become metamorphic rocks under heat and pressure. The
character of rocks may change significantly.

9) Types of mountains: 1) Fold: These are widespread and most prominent. These are
formed due to stress generation of the underlying rocks due to various reasons. These
stresses cause wrinkling and folding along the weak lines. These shorten the earth
crust and create syncline (up fold) and anticlines (down fold). Himalayas, rocky and
alps are the examples. When stress is very high, fracture takes place and one part
slides over the other part forming mountains of elevation. These contain rich mineral
resources and volcanic activities. 2) Block mountains: When crust cracks faulting
occurs. It may be caused by tension or compression causing a section to subside and
another to rise. Subsided part is rift valley or graben and elevated part is horst or
block mountain. In general these are more due to tension rather than compression. 3)
Volcanic mountains: These are formed out of lava. These are called as mountain of
accumulation. 4) Residual mountains: These evolve by denudation. Some resistant
are may remain after denudation forming these mountains.
10) Plateaus: 1) Tectonic plateau: These are formed due to earth movement and are
generally of large size and uniform altitude. When these are enclosed by folded
mountains are called as intermont plateau such as Tibet and bolivian. 2) Volcanic
plateau: Due to spread of successive layer of basaltic lava such as Deccan plateau. 3)
Dissected plateau: Due to continuous erosion and weathering led to wearing down of
surface, turning it into irregular relief feature.
11) Plains: 1) Structural plains: These are structurally depressed areas. 2) Depositional
plains: These are formed due to deposition. 3) Erosional plains.
12) Igneous landforms: because of narrowness, dykes seldom form dominating
landforms. Due to denudation they may form the high standing walls or trenches
depending upon the adjacent rocks. Laccolith is dome shaped with flat base formed
inside crust due to pipe like feeding. Phacolith are formed when lava fills an anticline
forming a lens like structure.
13) Volcanoes: 1) Basic lava: These are hottest lava and highly fluidic. These are rich in
magnesium and iron but lack in silica. These are dark coloured like basalt. These flow
quietly without much explosion. They spread over greater areas. They form flattened
shield or dome of volcano. 2) Acid lava: These are highly viscous with high melting
point. High silica, low density and light coloured. This flow slowly and covers smaller
area. These congest the vent of volcano leading to explosions. Basic lava forms vast
basic or basaltic plateaus. High fluidic lava forms shield volcanoes or lava domes
such as volcanoes of Hawaii. These have gentle slope and broad flattened top. Less
fluidic lava volcanoes are explosive forming ash and cinder cones with steep slopes
and large crater. These are small volcanoes. Highest and most common volcanoes are
composite cones or strato-volcanoes. These are built up after several layers of lava.
Lava reaches to the surface through dykes or pipes and feed to parasitic cones.
14) Geysers and hot springs: Geysers are fountains of hot water and superheated steam
associated with volcanic regions. Hot springs are more common where water seeps
deep enough to get heated by interior forces.

15) Earthquakes are associated with volcanic regions.


Q Difference between cinder cones and lava domes ?
A Lava domes are formed due to high fluidic magma flow. Magma after eruption flows
to longer distances. These have gentle slopes but cover a large area. Cinder cones are
formed due to low fluidic lava. They do not travel longer distances and have steep slopes.
They are explosive in nature. Most of the time crater subdues inside the opening forming
large crater.
Q Crater and caldera, difference?
A Both of these are depressions made at the top of the volcano. Craters are formed
when magma erupts making an opening at the top causing the surrounding rocks to fall
down into it. Caldera: It is formed when due to creation of cavity beneath the ground due
to emptying of lava causes the overlaying rocks to collapse creating bigger depression
then crater. It is a circular crater with vertical sides. Later lava fills the floor of the caldera
and hence it is a feature as well as a process.
16) Denudation: It consists of four processes: 1) Weathering 2) Erosion 3) Transportation
4) Deposition. 1) Chemical weathering: It is a slow process that occurs due to exposure
to air and water. These agents contain chemical elements sufficient to start chemical
reaction with the rocks. These may dissolve the whole rock, a part thereof causing
loosening of it leading to weakening of whole surface. Some parts of weathered material
are carried away by water and air causing erosion but most part is responsible for soil
formation by staying at the point of origin. When soil exists the chemical weathering
intensifies as it captures moisture and keeps the reaction going. Rain water takes organic
acid from the soil and makes the process stronger. Three major process of it are: 1)
Solution: Rain water dissolves many minerals especially when it is rain water as presence
of carbon dioxide makes it a weak acid. It severely erodes limestone rocks. The rate of
solution is affected by mineral present and also its structure. Sedimentary rocks have
pores between grains which are captured by air and water. More the number of cracks,
stronger will be the process. The warm climate with heavy rainfall increases the intensity
of chemical reactions. Dry climate hinder this process. 2) Oxidation: This involves the
oxygen in air or water with minerals in the rock. Iron converts to iron oxide and falls
down causing weathering of rocks containing iron. 3) Decomposition by organic acids:
The bacteria present in the soil thrives on plant and animal remains. They produce acids
which on mixing with the water causes weathering. Sometimes micro-organisms and
lichens live on bare rock taking minerals from it and produce acids causing both
mechanical and chemical weathering.
17) Mechanical Weathering: These can start on fresh rock but generally work well on
weakened rocks, due to chemical weathering. 1) repeated temperature change: in
deserts rock are exposed to high change in temperature leading to expansion and
contraction of outer surface but the effect on inner surface is not sever. This leads to
breaking up of the outer surface. In crystalline rocks, different crystals expand and

contract at different rates enhancing the process. Stresses are greater near the surface and
place with sharp angles and hence rectangular blocks are rounded in the process. When
outer layer of rounded blocks split up, process is called as onion peeling or exfoliation. 2)
repeated wetting and drying: In tropical region, where rain wet the rocks and sun shine
quickly dries them up. This also occurs in the coastal region where tides wet the rocks and
sun dries them up. When rocks are wetted, outer layer absorbs moisture and expands and
when dries this moisture evaporates and rocks shrinks. This is also important in desert
due to semi-arid rain storms apart from temperature change. 3) Frost action: In temperate
latitude, their effect is significant. Rock contains cracks and breaks. During rain water
gets into these areas and during night when temperature falls, they freeze and expands.
This expansion and later contraction breaks up the rock. 4) Biotic factor: In cracks,
plants take roots. When these roots expand they break up the rock.
18) Mass Movements: It is the movement of weathered material down the slope under
gravity. 1) Soil Creep: This is a slow but continuous movement down the hill slope. This
movement is not visible when slope is gentle and covered with vegetation. These are
common in damp region where water act as lubrication agent and soil particles move over
one another and over rock. When animals move over the soil, due to vibration and slope
soil starts to move. This causes tilting of trees, posts etc. 2) Soil flow of solifluction:
When soil is completely saturated with water, soil particles easily move over each other.
Soil acts like a liquid and a mud flow occurs. In temperate and tundra regions, frost melts
on warming up causing soil flow. Peat soil absorbs moisture but if more moisture than
saturation point, soil flow occurs and called as bog-bursts in Ireland. 3) Landslides or
slumping or sliding: These involve rapid movement of material down the slope. These
occur on steep slopes. Earthquake or volcanic activity or cloud burst can cause such
actions. Slumping occurs where permeable debris overlies impermeable rock. The water
sinks down and gives slippery surface to move over it.
19) Groundwater plays important role in weathering and mass movement. Porous rocks
are those which have pores between grains. Water is easily absorbed in these pores
and stored. Permeable or pervious rocks are those which allow water to pass through
them. Clay is porous but not permeable due to small pores which clog on entering
water. Granite is non-porous but permeable as crystals dont absorb water but cracks
and joints let water to pass through. The permeable rock overlying impermeable rock
storing water and getting saturated is called as aquifers. The upper surface of water is
water table. Springs: When water level in a rock reaches a surface water comes out of
it normally or as a fountain. In karst topography, water sinks down and by process of
solution flows through the rock till it hits a impermeable rock. At this point it comes
to surface as spring called as resurgence or vauclusian spring. Wells: Bores are dug
until water table is reached. Artisan well: When rocks are down-folded in shape of a
basin. When permeable rocks such as limestone or chalk are sandwiched between
impermeable rocks, these permeable rocks come to surface only at the edge of basin.
Water percolated down to the lower part of the basin. The lower and upper
impermeable rocks saturate the basin and stop any movement above and below. The

water is trapped under great pressure and when well is dug it comes out as fountain.
Water may sometime be no appropriate for agriculture etc. because it may be hot and
can contain minerals.
Q Name the natural forces that cause weathering?
A The major natural forces are: Temperature, gravity, waves, snow, rain water.
Q While internal forces are working to create the landforms and external forces are
working to level it down. Discuss?
A Internal forces includes earthquake, volcano which occur due to internal energy due
to radioactive decay and heat inside the earth crust. These forces change the face of earth
by creating land forms such as hills, plateaus, faults and fissures. The external forces level
them down by the process of weathering, erosion, transportation and deposition forming
plains, levelling highlands etc.
Q Screes accumulate at the foot of the mountains in temperate areas?
A Broken rock fragments due to weathering, due to gravity accumulate at the foot of the
hills. These are called as screes. These are generally formed due to ice. In temperate
areas, during rainfall water gets into cracks and joints. This due to drop in temperature
freezes and causes mechanical weathering. Chemical and other type of weathering also
plays their part.
Q There are many forms in which spring can form?
A When water percolates down the permeable rocks and settles down at impermeable
rocks. There are different ways for it to come out. It may come out when upper water
level reaches the surface; in this process the outcome may be is in the form of fountain or
normal flow tilted strata. It may come out where dykes or sills of impermeable rocks are
penetrated into permeable rock and through them water comes to the surface. Jointedrocks: water flows through joints till the time it comes to surface.
Q Difference between chemical and mechanical weathering?
A In chemical weathering no stresses are developed while mechanical weathering takes
place due to formation of stresses. Mechanical weathering is the physical breaking up of
the rock while chemical involves change in nature of mineral and agent chemically.
Chemical weathering is prominent in warm and humid climate like equatorial region
while physical weathering occurs well in temperate and arid regions. Physical weathering
works with mechanical forces, such as friction and impact, while chemical weathering
takes place at the molecular level with the exchange of ions and cations.
Q What type of landforms chemical weathering by solution is most prominent?

A It is prominent in limestone structure as limestone dissolves easily in water.


Sedimentary rocks have pores in which water and air can enter and increase chemical
reactions. This is seen in granite rocks in Malaysia.
20) Initial stream from watershed is called as consequent stream. When underlying rock
has equal resistance power to denudation by water tributaries join the consequent
stream obliquely as insequent stream. But when underlying rocks are hard and soft,
stream tends to follow the nature of rock system and if it allows, tributaries join at
right angles as subsequent streams. The first pattern is tree like and hence called as
dendric pattern. The second pattern will be rectangular in shape and called as trellised
drainage. River Load: Material in suspension sand, silt and mud, material in
solution and traction load such as pebbles, stones and rocks. Ability of river to carry
load depends upon velocity, volume and load type. Corrasion and abrasion: This
involves mechanical grinding of traction for with bed and bank. Lateral abrasion
widens the V-shaped valley while vertical abrasion deepens the river channel.
Corrosion or solution: chemical action of water on soluble or partly soluble rocks.
Hydraulic action: mechanical loosening and sweeping away of material by river
water itself. Water splashed along the bank and surges into the cracks. Attrition: wear
and tear of transported material themselves when they roll and collide with
themselves.
21) Courses of the river: 1) Upper stage: River flow speed is high due to steep slopes
and vertical abrasion is significant leading to V-Shaped valleys. Lateral abrasion is not
able to cope with the vertical in the upper stage. Places where rocks are very resistant,
narrow steep sided gorges are formed. In arid, areas where little rainfall gives less
incentive for side cutting, deep canyons are formed. Features: a) river capture: This
is also called as river piracy or river beheading. It depends on head ward development
or changes in source area. When one stream at source receives more rainfall than the
other stream. It moves its head towards source capturing the catchment area of the
other stream. The point at which this capture occurs is called as elbow of capture. The
beheaded stream is called misfit. The valley below the elbow is wind gap and good
for road and rail routes. b) rapids, cataract and waterfalls: These may occur in any
part of the river but are most seen in the upper course due to abrupt and frequent
change in slope. Hard rocks are eroded slower than soft rocks. The water sees small
jumps during its course called as rapids. These jumps of bigger dimension are called
as cataracts. When river plunges down a sudden height, it is called as waterfall.
Waterfalls may form due to faults and plateau edge. Hanging or U-Valleys due to
glaciations tributaries reaches to river with waterfall. Middle course: lateral erosion
overtakes vertical. Banks widens leading to widening of V-valleys. Volume of water
and load increases due to meeting of several tributaries. Some deposition but mainly
transportation takes place in this course. Velocity does not decrease much but the
erosion work is done in more subtle way opposed to upper course. Features: a)
Meanders: Due to relief and flow of work under gravity, river does not flow straight.
b) river cliff and slip-off slopes: When river flows in loops, it hits the outer side of

the course eroding and creating steep features there and water piles up in this area due
to centrifugal force, the lower end of the loop has gentle slope and hence deposition of
sediments takes place here. The outer feature is river cliff and lower is slip-off slope.
c) Interlocking spurs: when river progress with formation of menders, the bends area
controlled due to interlocking spurs dictated by the topography. In lower course,
meanders are fully developed in plains due to plain features.
22) Lower or Plain Course: Lateral cutting still goes on with vertical cutting almost
stops. The river mainly does the depositional work developing bed and forming
floodplains. Coarser materials are dropped and finer are carried to the mouth. Due to
deposition of sediments on the bed, braided channels are formed. a) Floodplains:
large sediments are deposited over the low-lying adjacent areas. These are called as
fertile plains. When river flows with large sediments, they are deposited on the bed
raising it and also along the banks forming levees. Water flows with the top of levees
and in order to minimise the risk of floods, embankments are created on natural levees
but this allows the river level to rise further. b) Ox-Bow Lakes: When meander
becomes much pronounced. Outside bank is so much eroded that it becomes a
complete circle. This later cut-off from the main river. The river then flow straight. c)
Delta: Fine material is deposited at the mouth forming alluvial area. This is seaward
extension of flood plains. Due to obstacles created by deposited sediments on the bed,
river divides into several channels called as distributaries. Factors such as rate of
sedimentation, depth of the river and sea-bed, tides, currents and waves influence
their formation. Conditions favourable for delta formations: Extensive vertical and
lateral cutting to provide adequate sediments, sheltered coast with minimum or no
tides, sea adjoining the mouth should be shallow otherwise load will sink into the
depth, no large lakes during the river course otherwise sediments will be diverted and
no strong current running at right angle to river mouth washing away the sediments.
23) River Rejuvenation: Due to the shift in earth crust, river bed me be uplifted or
depressed. Uplift of the river bed or fall in sea level will steepen the slope leading to
sharpening of down-cutting. This cutting of flood plains leaves terrace formation on
either side. The meeting point of old and rejuvenated profile involves some rapids.
This point is called as knick point. If it occurs in upper course then river valleys are
deepened and gorges are formed. In middle and lower course, vertical abrasion
replaces lateral and meanders are also deepened. When movement of the earth crust is
downward then it is called as positive movement raising sea level. This submerges the
coast and valleys leading to weak erosive power of river. Large quantities of
sediments are dropped. Lower course may be submerged and deposition takes place in
middle course. Upper course is affected very little in this case. Advantages and
disadvantages of features in three courses: rapids and waterfalls restrict navigation.
Large deposition in lower course will silt up ports, dams etc. though dredging can be
done but it is expensive, excessive floods will make floodplains not useful, gorges and
valleys provides sites for hydro-electricity generation, this also leads to establishment
of cement and other metallurgical industries due to cheap power, multipurpose

projects help control floods, in regions of insufficient rainfall these are useful, the
stream capture at the head of source help highways and rail route construction, fishing
and tourism.
Q- Describe features at the upper, middle and lower course of river.
A Upper course: In the upper course, river flows with very high velocity and vertical
cutting is prominent as compared to lateral cutting. This gives rise to V-Shaped valleys.
Where rocks are more resistant gorges are formed. The places of low rainfall in upper
course, not enough water leads to narrow but deep cutting of rocks called as canyons.
Rapids are formed when alternative hard and soft rocks occur during the river course. The
rapids on larger scale are called as cataract. When river flows down off fault, side of a
plateau waterfalls are formed. Glaciers deposit the debris at the base of the valleys,
forming U-valleys. Water flows down into these forming waterfalls. In this phase, erosion
is the most important activity. Middle course: In this course, velocity of the river
decreases but is still significant due to absence of very steep slopes. Sediment carrying
capacity of the river depends on volume of water and it velocity.
Q Describe constructive and destructive processes at work during the course of
river.
Q Esturies and Delta.
A Delta: 1. The triangular deposits made by the rivers at their mouth form Delta. 2.
Deltas are formed in the regions of low tides and coastal plains. 3. Deltas are fertile lands.
4. Ganga and Brahmaputra, Krishna, Kaveri and Mahanadi form delta. Estuary: 1. The
sharp edged mouth of rivers, devoid of any deposits is known as Estuary. 2. Regions of
high tides and rift valleys witness Estuaries. 3. Estuary does not have fertile lands. 4.
Narmada and Tapi rivers form Estuaries.
An estuary is an area where streams and rivers converge into the seawater from oceans.
Bays, lagoons, harbours, inlets can be types of estuaries. Estuaries contains the mixture of
salt and fresh water and results in brackish water. An estuary is all about meeting of a
river with an ocean or a sea typically in a single line. It has no concerned with the
distributaries of a river. On the other hand, delta usually gets developed when a river
meets the still water body with many distributaries. A delta is formed in coastal areas
which have plains and marked by low tides. On the other hand, an estuary gets formed in
a coastal area marked by high tides. Deltas are rich in sediments, and therefore they are
beneficial for agriculture, whereas the coastal areas near estuaries tend to be suitable
natural harbours.
Q Incised meanders are features of river rejuvenation.
24) Glacier moves faster in the middle than the sides due to friction. Glaciation gives rise
to Erosional features in the highlands and depositional features in the lowlands.
Glacier erodes its valley by two processes 1) plucking 2) abrasion. By plucking,
glacier freezes the joints and beds of rocks and tears them away with itself. By
abrasion, glacier scratches, scrapes and polishes the valley floor with debris frozen in
it. Rate of abrasion is determined by velocity of the flow, gradient of the slope, weight

of the glacier, temperature of ice and geological structure of the valley. Features: 1)
Corrie, cirque or cwm: When glacier moves downwards it leaves a depression.
Plucking operates on back-wall, steepening it and movement of the ice abrades the
floor, deepening it into a horse-shoe shaped basin called as cirque. It is also called as
corrie in Scotland and cwm in wales. There is a ridge at the exit of corrie, when ice
melts corrie lake or tarn is formed. 2) Aretes and pyramidal peaks: when two
corries are cut on opposite side of mountain knife-edge ridges are formed called as
artes. Their recession will form an angular horn or pyramidal peak. 3) U-shaped
glacial trough: glacier while moving downwards, take ice from other corries like
tributaries and wear away sides and floor. Interlocking spurs become truncated spurs
and floor of the valley is deepened. This give rise to a valley with U-shape. After
melting of ice, ribbon lakes are formed. 4) hanging valley: Main valley is eroded
much faster than tributary valley as former contain more snow. When snow melts,
tributary valley hangs over main valley, producing waterfalls. These are hanging
valleys and may form natural head for hydro-electricity. 5) Moraines: Moraines are
made up of pieces that are shattered by frost action, brought down with glacier. Those
falls on side of glacier forms lateral moraines. When two glacier converges, their
inside lateral moraines unite to form a medial moraine. Those which dragged along
till glacier ice melts and spreads across the floor called as grounds moraine. The
glacier eventually melts on reaching the foot of the valley, and pile of material left
behind is called as terminal moraine.
25) All deserts are confined to 15 30 N and S of equator. They lie in trade wind belt on
the western side of continents where these winds are off-shore. They are bathed by
cold current leading to less moisture in the atmosphere and less rain. In the interior of
the continents such as gobi and Turkestan are characterised by extreme weather.
Types: 1) Rocky desert: Bare rocks swept clear of sand and dust by the wind.
Exposed rock is polished. 2) Stony desert: These are composed on pebbles and
gravels which wind is not able to transport. These are accessible than sand desert,
hence, large herds of camels are kept there. 3) Sandy desert 4) Badlands: Erosion
due to water form gullies and revines. 5) Mountain desert: These are found on
highlands such as plateau and mountain ranges.
26) Low precipitation, rapid evaporation, weathering, erosion together leads to formation
of deserts. Due to little vegetation and moisture to bind the sand particles together
wind erosion is enormous. Wind Erosion: 1) Deflation: It involves lifting and
blowing away of loose material from the ground. It forms deflation hollows by
lowering the land. 2) Abrasion: Sand blasting of rock surface is called as abrasion. It
is most effective at the lower surface where wind carry large number of material. This
is why telegraph posts are protected from the bottom by metal sheets. 3) Attrition:
The particles flowing with the wind rolls against each other wearing each other. This
forms fine grains.
27) Mushroom rocks: Due to abrasion, irregular edges are formed on rocks due to
alternating soft and hard layers. Such structures are further eroded at their base where

abrasion is greatest. Zeugen: These are tabular land; soft layer is lying under the hard
layer at the surface. Mechanical weathering initiates their weathering. Wind then eats
up the soft layer to create furrows, hard rock then stands on top of the furrow as a
ridge. Yardangs: Similar to zeugen, but these are steep sided. Instead of horizontal
layer of soft and hard rock, here these layers are arranged vertically and in the
direction of the wind. Soft rock is eroded to form long vertical corridors. Mesas and
buttes: It is a flat, table-like landmass with very resistant horizontal layer and very
steep sides. Outside layer protests from wind and water erosion. It may form in
canyon region. Continuous erosion for centuries may turn them in isolated table
flatlands called as Buttes. Inselberg: These are isolated abruptly rising hills from
ground. They have steep slopes and rounded tops. Deflation Hollows: Winds wear
away lowlands. If there is some faulting, it can also initiate depressions and winds
will erode rocks until water table is reached. Water the forms swamps. Large areas in
western USA stripped off their natural vegetation for farming; these are then deflated
by winds creating dust storms. This area is called as the great dust bowl.
28) Wind-borne material are shifted according to their coarseness, it can be expected that
the coarser sands will be too heavy to be blown out of the desert limits. They remain
as dunes or other depositional landforms within the desert themselves. These are not
static and their migration depends upon size of particles, direction and velocity of
wind, location and nature of surfaces over which these are transported and presence or
absence of water and vegetation. Depositional landforms: 1) Dunes: These may be
live or inactive, those with vegetation. These are most visible in sand deserts. a)
Barchans: These are moon-shaped dunes occurring individually or in groups. These
are live dunes. Most prevalent in sahara and Turkestan. These are initiated by chance,
due to accumulation on obstacles. These occur transversely to the wind so that their
horns thin out and become lower in the direction of the wind due to the reduced
frictional retardation of the wind around the edges. The windward side is gently
sloping and is convex, whereas leeward side is concave and steep. Crest of the dune
moves forward as more and more sand is accumulated over it. Sand on reaching the
crest slips downward making the dune to move. This invokes the threat that they may
encroach upon the oasis. Long rooted trees and grass are planted to halt their advance.
Seifs or longitudinal dunes: These are long and narrow ridges of sand lying parallel
to the direction of wind. The crestline falls and rises with peak and saddles in regular
successions. The gap between the dunes is kept clear by strong winds. The eddies that
are set up in between the corridors have less power drop the sand to form the dunes.
This leads to increase in length of dunes into tapering linear ridges while the
occasional cross winds tend to increase the height and width of dunes. Loess: The
fine dust blown outside the desert limit is deposited as loess. This material is yellow
and fertile. This is extremely porous and rich in lime. Water sinks readily leaving the
surface always dry. Streams cut deep valley out of these loess forming badland
topography. These are so soft that road constructed soon sinks.

29) In deserts though rainfall is very less, but thunderstorms may drop large quantity of
water in short interval. Due to little vegetation large material is washed in flashfloods. These form badland topography.
30) Limestone and chalk: These are sedimentary rocks or organic origin due to corals
and shells. In pure form it is of calcium carbonate and when occurs with magnesium
called as dolomite. Chalk is pure and soft form of limestone. Limestone dissolves in
water and with carbon dioxide form weak acid. A region with limestone forms karst
topography such as Yugoslavia. Karst Region: It has bleak topography, absence of
surface drainage as most of the water flows underground, the water cuts through joints
and fissures wearing them out and forming underground channel. When water reaches
to non-porous rock, it emerges out in the form of spring called as resurgence.
Limestone rocks are well jointed which helps in there chemical weathering. Water
wears away these joints, forming trenches called as limestone pavements. On the
surface there are shallow holes which are small depressions carved out by solution
where rain water sinks into limestone at points of weaknesses. These are called as
sinkholes. When water forms passages through limestone while passing, when roof of
these passages collapses, gorges are formed called as limestone gorges. When a
number of sinkholes join, doline is formed. Due to subsidence many doline joins to
form uvala. During rainy season, areas which are near to water table become lakes
while drier parts support villages. When subterranean stream descends from sinkholes
to underground passages, a region where a number of cavities are linked just like a
honeycomb is formed with caves. These may contain ponds and lakes. Some of them
may contain lakes and ponds. Stalactites: These are sharp, slender, downwardgrowing pinnacles hanging from the roof. Water carries calcium with it, when water
evaporates calcium form these structures. When moisture drops from the roof tickling
down from stalactites, falls onto the floor to form stalagmites. These are shorter,
fatter and more rounded. Ovetime, stalactites and stalagmites join each other forming
pillars.
31) Most important area is N-W Yugoslavia, causses district of southern france, pennies of
Britain etc. Karst region are mostly barren and atmost contain minimum soil. Porous
rocks and absence of surface drainage make vegetation difficult. These areas support
short grass and short turf. Some sheep grazing is possible. Limestone vegetation in
tropical areas is rich due to rains throughout the year. The important mineral is lead
which occurs in association with limestone. Good quality limestone is used in
buildings and cement industry.
32) Chalk: these have different topography than limestone. There is little or no surface
drainage and valleys which once supported rivers run dry. These are called coombes.
Because of easy to crumble nature of rock, caves, sinkholes do not develop.
Q Give outstanding features of krast topography?
A 1) No surface drainage. 2) Underground caves, passages and pillars. 3) Springs when
water reaches non-porous rocks. 4) sinkholes, dolines and uvalas.

Q Explain why krast topography has little surface drainage?


Q Why subterranean stream forms magnificent scenery?
Q Limestone areas have little agriculture and sparsely populated?
33) Caspian Sea is a lake, but due to its vastness is called as sea. Most of the lakes in the
world are freshwater lakes fed by rivers and out-flowing streams. In areas of low
precipitation and strong evaporation, rivers are not strong enough to go to sea and
form inland drainage. Because of intense evaporation these lakes are saline. This is
why; salt lakes are common features of water. Black sea is different as it has less
salinity due to large river drainage. Lakes are temporary features which will be
eliminated by draining and silting. In unreliable rainfall areas, lakes dry up during dry
season. In hot deserts, lake dries up due to, evaporation, outflow and percolation.
Formed by earth movement: 1) Tectonic lakes: Tectonic depression occurs, due to
warping, bending and fracturing. Lake Titicaca is an example in intermontane plateau
of Andes and is the highest lake in the world. Caspian Sea is largest followed by Lake
Superior. 2) Rift Valley lake: Due to faulting, a rift valley is formed by the sinking of
land between two parallel faults, deep and narrow and elongated in character. An
example is east African rift valley. It includes Lake Tanganyika, worlds deepest lake.
Dead Sea is worlds lowest lake. Lakes formed by glaciations: 1) Cirque lakes of
tarns: Glacier while moving down the valley leaves circular hollows in the heads of
the valleys up in the mountain. These are called as cirques and when filled with water
is called as cirque lakes. Red Tarn in the English Lake District is an example. Those
occupy glacial troughs are long and deep and are termed as ribbon lakes. Example:
Lake Ullswater. 2) Kettle Lakes: These are outwash plains left by melting of ice of
stagnant water. These are irregular because of uneven morainic surface and are never
of any great size or depth. Keetle lake in Scotland and meres in England. 3) Rock
hollow lakes: These are formed by ice-scouring when valley glaciers or ice sheets
scoop out hollow on the surface. These are abundant in finland called as land of lakes.
4) Lakes due to morainic damming of valleys: Valley glaciers often deposit
morainic debris across a valley so that lakes are formed when water accumulates
behind the barrier. Both lateral and terminal moraines are capable of damming
valleys. Lake windermere in England. 5) Lakes due to deposition of glacial drifts:
in glaciated lowlands with a predominant drumlin landscape, where drainage is poor,
there are intervening depressions. These get waterlogged forming small lakes such as
county down in Ireland.
34) Lakes formed by volcanic activity: 1) Crater and caldera lakes: During eruption
top is blown off leaving behind a central depression called crater. This may be
enlarged by subsidence called as caldera. There are roughly circular in shape, bound
by high cliffs and are normally dry. In dormant and extinct volcanoes these are filled
with water forming the lakes. Crater lake in USA occupies a caldera, lake toba in
Sumatra and lake avernus in naples. 2) Lava blocked lakes: Lava may flows across
the valley damming it forming lava lakes. Galilee Sea in Jordan is an example. 3)

Lake due to subsidence of volcanic land surface: The crust of hollow lava may
collapse forming hollows, which when filled with water form lakes. Myvatn of
Iceland is an example. 4) Lakes formed by erosion: 1) Karst lakes: Limestone
forms sinkholes due to chemical weathering, these when filled with debris forms
lakes. Collapse of walls of underground caverns exposes the underground lakes such
as Lac de Chaillexon in Jura Mountains. 2) Wind deflated rocks: Deflation action of
wind forms hollow. These may reach groundwater, where water seeps in forming
lakes. Excessive evaporation leads them into salt lakes or playas. Great basin of Utah
in USA. Lakes formed by deposition: 1) Lakes formed due to river deposits: Oxbow lakes. 2) Lakes formed due to marine deposits: Action of waves and wind may
isolate lagoons along coasts by building spits or bars. These lagoons are shallow and
circled by narrow spit of land. In low tides, these get drained. These are found off the
ganga and nile delta. Strong on-shore winds pushed coastal sand dunes landwards and
these may enclose marshy lagoons such as in france in landes. 3) Lakes due to
landslide, scree and avalanche: These are also called as barrier lakes. Landslides
and scree may dam the river, these are short lived lakes. Sudden release of water due
to opening of dam due to water force causes floods.
35) Man-made lakes: due to construction of dam for multipurpose and hydroelectric
projects. Lake mead above hoover dam in USA over Colorado river is an example.
Lakes made by animals: Animals such as beavers live in communities and construct
dams of timber across the river, such dams are quite permanent and found in north
America such as beaver lake in Yellowstone national park in USA. Other types:
These includes ornamental lakes especially made to attract tourist. Fishing culture
promotes inland fishing lakes, mining fill up forms lakes.
36) Lakes have played important role in human life. 1) Means of communication: Large
lakes such as great lakes of north America provide cheap transport mode. 2)
Economic development: early settlement and towns came up near lakes. Agriculture,
fishing and industries development near lakes. 3) Water storage: For domestic and
industrial use waste can be obtained. 4) Hydro-electricity generation: These furnish
a good head of water in hilly areas. Natural lakes are preferred to artificial reservoirs
because the volume of water in them varies little throughout the year. 5) Agriculture:
When lakes dry up their bed provide fertile alluvial ground for agriculture. 6)
Regulating river flows: A river with large number of lakes seldom experience flood
or lack of flow. By absorbing excess water during rainy season, it helps in controlling
floods and in fry season they provide steady flow of water. Climate moderation
effect due to presence of lakes. They provide minerals: Salt lakes provides
common salt, borax is mined in salt lakes of Mojave Desert. They attract tourists
and create economic opportunities.
37) Coastal landforms: on calm days waves do little damage and also assist in beach
formation. In storms, these damage coastal landforms. Tides and currents, on contact
with the shores, make very little direct attack on the coastlines. Tides affect marine
erosion mainly by extending a line of erosion into a zone of erosion. This zone

corresponds to the area between the low water level and high water level. Current
help to move eroded debris and deposit it as silt, sand and gravel along the coast.
38) Mechanism of marine erosion: Most powerful agent is wave. 1) Corrasion: Waves
armed with debris charge against the cliff and wear them back by Corrasion.
Oncoming currents and tides sweep away the eroded material. 2) Attrition: The
material carried by waves, hurl towards each other and broken down by this process.
This is responsible for fine sand deposited on the beach. 3) Hydraulic action: Waves
splash against the coast may enter joints and crevices in the rocks. The air inside is
compressed immediately. When wave retracts, the air expands explosively. This
enlarges the cracks and leads to rock fragments. 4) Solvent action: on limestone
coast, solvent action of sea water starts chemical changes in the rocks and
disintegration takes place. This process is limited to limestone coasts.
39) Coastal features of marine erosion: 1) Capes and Bays: Due to hard and soft rocks
on the coasts, erosion takes place irregularly. This is particularly pronounced when
granite and limestone, hard rocks, and, soft rock, sand and clay, are found in alternate
bands. Softer rocks are worn back into bays and hard rock persist forming capes. Even
where same rock is found, irregularity may come due to changes in same rock. 2)
Cliff and wave-cut platform: Any steep rock facing coast, forms a cliff. Best known
cliffs are chalk cliffs of English Channel. At the base of cliff, a notch can be seen
which collapses the cliff. 3) Cave, arch, stack and stump: At the base of cliff, waves
forms caves in weak regions, when to caves approach and unites, they are called as
arch. Further, erosion will collapse the arch. The seaward portion of the headland will
remain as a pillar of rock known as stack. 4) Goes and gloups: The splashing of wave
against the roof of a cave may enlarge the joints due to air compression and
expansion. Natural shaft is formed which enlarge and pierce through the surface. This
shaft is called as gloup or blow-hole. When due to prolonged action, roof collapses
and called as goes.
40) Features of marine deposition: 1) Beaches: Sand and gravel loosened from the land
and deposited along the shore are beaches. The longshore drift deposit material with
moving windward direction. Backwash removes some of the material and deposits
them on the off-shore terraces. The coarser material is deposited at the beach, finer are
deposited closer to the sea. 2) Spits and bars: The longshore drift deposit material
where there is a bay or cape at their inlet. On continuous deposition, embankments
called as spit are formed, with one end attached to the land and other looking over the
sea. 3) Marine dunes and dune belt: with the force of on-shore winds, a large
amount of coastal sand is driven landward forming extensive marine dunes that
stretch into dune belts. To stop there advance, marram grass and pines are planted.
41) Type of coasts: 1) Coastlines of submergence: These are formed due to sinking of
land or rise in sea level. 2) Coastlines of emergence: These are due to uplift of land
or fall in sea level. These are less common.

42) Coast of submergence:1) Ria Coast: During ice age, most water is frozen. With
melting, the mountains which are perpendicular to the sea, valleys were filled by
water with highlands separating them. They are not glaciated and their depth increases
seawards. Rias are generally backed by highlands, they support few large ports though
they have deep water and offer sheltered anchorage. They have been used for siting
fishing ports and naval bases. 2) Fiord Coasts: These are submerged U-shaped
glacial troughs. They mark the paths of glaciers that plunged down from the
highlands. These have steep walls, with tributaries branches joining the inlet at right
angle. Due to greater erosion, these are deep even in inland but shallow at the sea
side. These are confined to high latitude of temperate regions which were once
glaciated. Their mountainous background attract few settlements. Agriculture is
confined to deltaic fans built up where stream flow down to fiords. 3) Dalmatian
Coasts: These are longitudinal coasts running parallel to the coast. The submergence
of coastlines produces long, narrow inlets with a chain of islands parallel to the coasts.
Mountainous nature hinders communication inland. It has deep sheltered harbours but
no distinguished ports. 4) Esturies coasts: In submerged lowlands, the mouth of the
rivers are drowned so that funnel-shaped estuaries are formed. if these are not silted,
they form good site for ports.
43) Coastlines of emergence: 1) Uplifted lowland coast: These produces smooth, gently
sloping lowland. The off-shore water is shallow with lagoons, salt-marshes and mudflats, where a deposit from continental shelves is deposited. 2) Emerged upland
coasts: Faulting and earth movements may thrust up coastal plateaux so that the
whole region is raised, with consequent emergent features. The raised beach is beyond
the reach of waves. It has little potential for port sites.
44) Continental Islands: These are formerly part of the continent but not are detached.
They are separated by shallow lagoon or deep channel. This may be due to subsidence
of a part of land or rise in sea level, so that lowlands are filled with water. These may
appear as: 1) Individual island: These lie outside the continent, very much associated
with the characteristic features of mainland of which they were once part. 2)
Archipelago or group of island 3) Fastoons or island arcs: These are the group of
island in a loop at the edge of the continent showing the continuation of mountain
range.
45) Oceanic Islands: These are generally small. The flora and fauna is unrelated to
mainland unlike continental islands. There are sparsely populated. 1) Volcanic island:
These are generally topmost part of the volcano. 2) Coral island: These are lower as
compared to volcanic island and just emerge over the sea level. These are build up by
coral animas found near the mainland and also in middle of the ocean.
46) Coral Reefs: In tropical seas, large colonies of coral animals such as coral polyps,
calcareous algae and lime-secreting plants. Though they are small but with high
capacity to secrete calcium carbonate. Polyps are most abundant and most important.
Each polyp resides inside coral to form coral reefs. When they die their structure gets

cemented to form the coral islands. There are also non-reef building species such as
precious corals of the Pacific Ocean and red coral of the Mediterranean which can
survive in cold and deep water. As a rule, they thrive only in warm and tropical areas.
47) Conditions for coral survival: 1) Water temperature must not fall below 20*C. This
limits their distribution to tropical and sub-tropical areas. They dont flourish where
cold currents because cold water upwelling lowers the temperature. This is the reason
that coral reefs are absent on western margins of continents. Warming effect of warm
currents such as Gulf Stream means that corals are found far to the north of the West
Indies in Atlantic Ocean. Pacific and Indian Ocean have most numerous coral reefs. 2)
The depth of water should not exceed 180 feet because sunlight cannot penetrate
beyond this depth which is needed for photosynthesis. These are essential for
microscopic algae on which corals thrive. There should be plenty of water as corals
cannot survive for too long outside the water. 3) The water should be saltish and free
from sediments. These survive in moving water away from silt coasts and muddy
mouths of streams. Corals are best developed on seaward side of the reef, where
moving water maintains an abundant supply of clean and oxygenated water. They also
bring adequate supply of microscopic organism as food.
48) Types of reefs: 1) Fringing reefs: It is a corralling platform lying close to the shore
extending outwards from the mainland. It is sometime separated from the shore by a
shallow lagoon. These are widest when fringing a protruding headland but absent at
the mouth of stream. Outer edge grows faster due to supply of fresh water and food.
Slope is steeply seaward side. 2) Barrier reef: The reef is separated from land by
deeper channel or lagoon. The reef is partially submerged. Where it lies above the
water level and sand accumulates over it, little vegetation is possible. These reefs have
narrow gaps at several places to allow water from lagoon to open sea. Such gaps are
important as they are the only channel that provides access to ships. Great barrier reef,
Australia. 3) Atolls: These are similar to barrier reef except these are circular in
shape. Enclosing a shallow lagoon without any land in the centre. The encircling ring
is broken at few places to allow free water to flow. On inside, limestone debris and
sand collects and palm trees like coconut may grow. Such palm trees thrive well in
brackish water of lagoon.
49) Relief of the ocean: 1) Continental Shelf: It is a shallow extension of continent of
sea side. There shallowness enables sunlight to penetrate through the water, which
encourages the growth of minute plants and other microscopic organisms. These are
rich in planktons and hence these are richest fishing grounds. The low depth keeps out
cold under currents and increases the height of tides. This hinders docking as ship can
only enter and come out during tides. 2) Continental shelf 3) Deep sea plain: It
covers 2/3 of ocean bottom and called as abyssal plain. 4) Ocean deeps: These are
long narrow trenches. These trenches are mostly found near continents and not in
midst of the ocean particularly in pacific. Oceanic deposits: The material derived
from by the river when not deposited at the mouth drops into the sea. These sediments
filters and deposits on the ocean floor layer by layer. 1) Muds: These are derived

from the land and deposited on the continental shelves. The mud may be red, green or
blue depending upon the chemical content. 2) oozes: These are derived from the
ocean. These are made up of skeletons of marine organisms. These have fine; flour
like texture and either occur as accumulated deposits or float about in suspension. 3)
Clay: These are red clays which occur deepest parts of the ocean basin and are
particularly absent in Pacific Ocean. The red clay is due to accumulation of volcanic
dust.
50) Salinity: Baltic Sea where dilution is high, salinity is low. In red sea due to high
evaporation and low fresh water addition, salinity is higher. In inland sea, salinity is
very high, such as Caspian and Dead Sea. Lake Van is Asia Minor has highest salinity.
This salt lake collects its salt from shore. The density of water is so high in Dead Sea
and Lake Van that it is impossible to sink. Factors affecting salinity: 1) Rate of
evaporation: Between 20* to 30* N and S, due to high temperature and humidity.
Temperate oceans have lower salinity due to low temperature and humidity. 2)
Amount of fresh water added by precipitation etc.: Salinity is lower in equatorial
water because of high rainfall. Oceans where huge rivers such as amazon, ganga etc.
drains have low salinity. Baltic, arctic and Antarctic have low salinity due to fresh
water added by ice caps, low temperature etc. 3)Degree of water mixing by
currents: In inland seas such as Caspian, Mediterranean sea , red sea and Persian gulf
due to no contact ocean, salinity is higher.
51) The annual range of water temperature in oceans is lower as water heat up and cools
slower than land. Reduction of temperature with latitude is not uniform due to cold
and warm currents, air masses and winds. The highest water temperature is in inland
seas of tropics like red sea. The water temperature decreases with depth first quickly
and then slowly.
52) Ocean Currents: Current flowing from equator towards the poles are warm currents
and those from poles towards equator are cold currents. Why currents follow
pattern: 1) Planetary winds: between equator and tropics blow, the trade winds,
move equatorial water pole wards and westwards and warm the eastern coasts of
continents. N-E trade winds move Northern equatorial current such as Florida current
and gulf stream westward to warm the eastern and southern coast of America.
Similarly, South equatorial current warms the eastern coast of Brazil by warm
Brazilian current. In the temperate latitude blow the westerlies, they are less reliable
than trade winds, they result in N-E flow in northern hemisphere. Warm Gulf Stream
is blown to western margins as cold north Atlantic drift. Similarly, westerlies in
southern hemisphere drive the west wind drift equator wards as Peruvian current off
south America and benguela current off south Africa. 2) Temperature: The
temperature difference between equator and pole is high. The warm water move pole
wards on surface and cold water move towards equator near the ocean floor. 3)
Salinity: Water of high salinity region is denser than others. High salinity water move
along the bottom while those of low salinity move on the surface towards each other.
The water of Atlantic has low salinity and that of closed Mediterranean Sea has higher

salinity, water from Atlantic move into the sea and from the sea move into ocean. 4)
Earth Rotation: Earth rotation deflects towards right, in NH it is clockwise and in
SH this is counter clockwise. 5) Land: Landmass obstructs and directs the current.
The southern tip of Chile diverts part of west wind drift as Peruvian current. Similarly,
Brazilian shoulder divides west flowing equatorial current.
53) Circulation of Atlantic Ocean: Trade winds move north and south equatorial current
westward. The shoulder of N-E Brazil split the SEC into two streams, cayenne current
which flows along the Guiana coast and another southward known as Brazilian
current along the east coast of Brazil. In north Atlantic ocean, cayenne current is
joined and reinforced by the north equatorial current heads north-westwards into
Caribbean sea. Part of the current enters Gulf of Mexico and emerges as Florida
current. The rest of the current move northwards east of Antilles to join the Gulf
Stream off south-eastern USA. Gulf Stream is one of the strongest oceans current. It
touches Cape hatteras of USA and deflects eastwards due to earth rotation and
westerlies. It reaches Europe as north Atlantic Drift. This carries warm water to
Europe. It divides itself into 3 branches, one eastward towards Britain, one northward
towards Arctic and one southward towards Iberian coast, as cool Canaries Current.
This southward current merges with north equatorial current completing the cycle.
Within this ring, there is an area in the middle has no perceptible zone. Large amount
of floating sea-weed gathers and the area is called as Sargasso Sea. Current from
Arctic also enters North Atlantic. These cold currents move southwards due to
prevailing winds. East Greenland current flows between Iceland and Greenland, cools
the north Atlantic drift. The cold Labrador current drifts south-eastwards between
west Greenland and Baffin island to meet the warm gulf stream off Newfoundland
where iceberg carried southward by cold current melts. The collection of sea-weeds is
not that distinctive in southern hemisphere. The current that moves south along the
Brazilian coast has deep blue waters distinguishable with yellow, muddy water carried
by the Amazon further north. On reaching much south, due to earth rotation and
westerlies, it joins south Atlantic current. On reaching the west coast of Africa, is gets
diverted northward as Benguela Current. It brings the Antarctic cold current into
tropical region. Circulation of Pacific Ocean: North equatorial current flows
westward with counter current in opposite direction. Due to less obstruction of land
mass and much greater expanse of pacific, water volume is very high here. Trade
winds blow this current to northward from Philippines coast into east china sea as
Kuroshio or Japan current. This warm current is carried pole ward through north
Pacific drift, keeping Alaskan coast ice free during the winter. Cold Bering current
move southward from narrow baring strait and joined by Okhotsk current to meet the
warm Japan current as oyashio. Cold water sinks beneath warm north Pacific drift,
part of this move eastward as California current. South equatorial current moves
southwest along the eastern Australian coast. Bringing warm water into temperate
areas. It moves towards New Zealand in the east due to westerlies in the Tasman Sea
and merges with cold west wind drift as the south pacific current. Obstructed by the
southern tip of Chile, it moves northward as Peruvian current. This chills the air,

leaving Chile and Peru rainless. The region is rich in microscopic plants and animals
attracting a lot of fishes and birds. The beats of birds completely whiten the coastal
cliffs, a valuable source of fertilizer.
Q Explain with examples the effects of ocean currents on climate, navigation and
economic activities.
Q In what ways, relief of ocean are different from that of the land.
Q The richest fishing ground are located on ocean shelf, Why?
Q The salinity of Baltic sea is less than dead sea, Why?
Q Temperature of ocean varies both horizontally and vertically, Why?
Q Dominant influence on ocean current is of wind?
54) Climate refers to the average atmospheric condition of an area over long duration of
time. Climate of temperate areas is more variable than that of tropics. Climate of
British Isles is changes so frequently that people say it has only weather and no
climate and Egypts climate is so static that it has only climate and no weather. Death
rates are high in tropics than in deserts as high temperature discourages germs from
being transmitted in areas with high climate and low humidity. Elements of weather:
1) Rainfall: It is measured by rain gauge. Places with same annual rainfall fall on the
line isohyets. 2) Pressure: Air pressure varies from place to place. The pressure is
exerted due to the weight of gases present in atmosphere. Liquid is used in mercury as
it is the heaviest liquid known, this helps in controlling the height generated in the
barometer. Places with equal pressure fall on isobars. In temperate areas, pressure
changes vary rapidly resulting in formation of cyclones and anti-cyclones. Pressure
decreases with height because amount of air column above decreases. Barometer is
also sensitive to gravitational forces and temperature. Mercury expands with
temperature, hence corrective methods needs to be adopted with barometer. Barogram
is used for continuous pressure monitoring, altimeter is used in aeroplanes to measure
height where drop in the height of mercury is related to the height from surface in
feet, mercury barometer which dips in mercury are not portable and hence aneroid
barometer which is less accurate is used. 3) Temperature: Thermometer works on the
principle that mercury expands and contracts with change in temperature. F = (1.8 x
*C) + 32 F. To access the possible damages due to frost to agriculture in temperate
latitudes grass temperature is used. Temperature that we know are of shades, i.e., of
air and not that of direct sunlight. Large self-recording instruments are thermogram or
hygrogram. The difference between maximum and minimum temperature of a day
gives diurnal range of temperature. Isotherms shows the temperature lines, these lines
are shows temperature reduced to sea level. 4) Humidity: It is a measure of dampness
of the atmosphere. Absolute number of water vapour in air, gram/cubic meter, is
absolute humidity. Relative humidity is the ratio of actual amount of water vapour to
maximum amount air can absorb at a given temperature. Equatorial areas generally

have high humidity due to high temperatures or warm air. The temperature at which
air gets saturated is called as dew point. Hygrometer is used to measure humidity. 5)
Winds: Wind wane or weather cock is used to measure wind direction. These needs to
put in open areas to avoid any obstacle of buildings and trees. Winds are always
named after from the direction they blow. The speed of wind is measured by
anemometer. 6) Sunshine: It depends on latitude, clear and cloudy climate, revolution
of earth. Tourist places in the temperate are concentrated based on hours they get
sunshine; this is not a criterion as tropics get ample sunshine. Sunshine duration is
measured by sun-dial. Places of equal sunshine lie on isohels. 7) Clouds: When air
rises, it cools due to expansion. After dew point, condensation starts. Places with
equal cloud conditions are joined by isonephs, as cloud very quickly, this line has
little significance. Classification of clouds: 1) High Clouds: a) Cirrus of feathery:
These are fibrous and small in blue sky. They represent clean weather and produces
good sunset. b) Cirrocumulus: White globular mass forming ripples in the sky. c)
Cirrostratus: This resembles thin white sheet, sky looks milky and sun and moon
shines through it with halo. 2) Medium Clouds: a) Altocumulus: These are woolly,
bumpy clouds arranged in layer and appearing like waves in the blue sky. They
indicate fine weather. b) Altostratus: These are denser, greyish clouds with a watery
look. These have fibrous structure and sun shines faintly through it. 3) Low Clouds:
a) Stratocumulus: There is great contrast between bright and shaded part. Almost
similar but more pronounced structure than altocumulus. b) Stratus: This is very low
cloud, uniformly grey and thick, which appears like a low ceiling or highland fog. It
brings dull weather with little drizzle. It reduces the visibility of aircrafts and thus
dangerous. c) Nimbostratus: This is dark and dull cloud, clearly layered, and is also
called as rain cloud. 4) Clouds with vertical extent: a) Cumulus: This has rounded
top and horizontal base. Typical of humid tropical region, associated with uprising
conventional currents. Its great white globular masses may look grey against the sun
but it is a fair weather cloud. b) Cumulonimbus: It is an overgrown cumulus cloud. It
has cauliflower top. These are seen in tropical afternoons. This are called as thunder
clouds and are accompanied by lightening, rain and thunder.
55) Haze: This is caused by smoke and dust in industrial areas or may be due to unequal
refraction of light in air of different densities in the lower atmosphere. This is referred
in areas with low humidity and in relation to visibility. Mist: The condensation of
water vapour in the air causes small droplets of water to float about forming clouds at
ground level. Unlike haze, mist occurs in wet air, when relative humidity is above
75%. Fog: When water condenses on particles like smoke from houses and industries.
It only occurs in lower strata of atmosphere. Thick smoky fog is called as smog, in
industrial areas. A Hill fog occurs in mountains during morning and disperses as soon
as sun shines. In temperate areas, during calm and clear nights after a hot day, fogs
forms due to cooling of land due to radiation called as radiation fog. When damp
stream is brought over cold ocean surface, sea fog develops. Fogs are more common
over sea than land and are more prevalent over coastal areas. Dense fogs occur in high
and middle latitudes rather than tropics. Dry interior experiences haze and mist.

56) Troposphere: Weather is confined to the lower layer called as troposphere. In this
layer temperature falls with increasing height. The water content varies from place to
place and this is the reason that there is great contrast in weather and climate over
different part of the world. Stratosphere: This layer is very cold, no cloud, thin air
without dust, smoke or water vapour but with remarkable seasonal change.
Ionosphere: It has electrically conducting layer which reflects short-radio waves
making their communication possible.
57) Insolation: Only source of energy on earth is sun. This energy reaches earth through
radiation and called as insolation. This consist of visible light, infra-red and UV. UV
causes sun-burn when exposed for too long. Infra-red rays can penetrate dust and fog
and are used in photography. Only that part of suns radiation which reaches earth is
called as insolation. On its entry, most part is reflected by cloud, dust and air
molecules. Significant part is absorbed by carbon dioxide, water vapour and other
gases. Its interception by air causes diffusion and scattering of visible light between
infra-red and UV, this causes blueness in the sky. Earth surface gets heated, in turn
heating the air near surface by conduction and then upper atmosphere by convection
due to upward movement of the air. Land gets heated more quickly than water. Water
is transparent and hence it is heated more slowly and it is always moving, hence
absorbed heat is distributed over a greater depth and area. Opaque nature of land
allows greater absorption and concentration of radiation raises the temperature
rapidly. Land also cools rapidly than water.
58) Temperature: It influences the amount of water vapour in the air and hence controls
the moisture carrying capacity of air. It decides the rate of evaporation and
condensation and hence influences the stability of atmosphere. Relative humidity
controls the type of cloud formation and precipitation; it is directly related to the
temperature. Factors affecting temperature: 1) Latitude: Due to inclination of the
earth, sun shine overhead between the tropics and its rays reaches beyond tropics in
an oblique manner. This is why, temperature decreases as we move from equator to
poles. The oblique rays travels through longer distance through which greater
absorption takes place, also rays are concentrated on larger area, both these factor
reduces the energy exchanges and hence lower temperature. In tropics, rays travel
shorter distance leading to less absorption and also fall on smaller area, more
absorption and hence high temperature.
59) Altitude: Atmosphere is mainly heated through conduction; hence places near the
surface are warmer than those at a height. The rate of decrease is called as lapse rate
and is never constant. It is usually more in summer than winter. It is greater during
day than at night, also it is greater on elevated lands than on plains.
60) Continentality: Land is heated more quickly than water due to higher specific heat of
water. This leads to warmer summer, colder winter and greater range of temperature
of continental interiors as compared to maritime districts.

61) Ocean currents and winds: Both ocean currents and winds affects temperature by
transporting their heat or coldness into adjacent regions. Cold currents lower the
summer temperature especially when they are carried towards land by on-shore
winds. On shore westerlies, draw warm currents with it to the shore in the winter.
These westerlies bring cold current in summer and warm in winter towards the British
and Norway coasts, and produce most significant moderation effect.
62) Slope, shelter and aspect: Steep slope expect more rapid change in temperature than
gentle slope. Mountain range aligning east-west experience more temperature on
southern slope which is sunny than northern which is sheltered side. Southern slope is
best suited for vine cultivation and has a more flourishing vegetative cover. There are
more settlement on southern side and is better utilised. In hilly areas, land gets heated
during the day, if nights are calm and cloudless, air cools more rapidly at greater
height causing it to move downward, this pushes warm air at the bottom to move up.
This causes lower temperature at lower heights than at elevation, called as inversion
of temperature.
63) Natural vegetation and soil: In forested region, such as Amazon, light never reaches
the ground due to dense tree canopy, this sustains lower temperature in forest than
open areas. Trees lose water by evapo-transpiration during the day; this cools the air
above the forests. Relative humidity increases and mist and fog may form. Light soil
reflects more rays than dark soil, this induces variation in temperature. Dry soil are
more sensitive to temperature than wet soil such as clay, they retain more moisture
and warm or cool more slowly.
64) Precipitation: When air is at its dew point, water vapour starts to condense around
dust particles. When these float as water particles or as ice high above surface, they
are called as clouds. When condensation occurs near earth surface, it takes the form of
haze, mist or fog. In higher latitudes, where condensation takes place below freezing
points, snowfall takes place. When moist air ascends rapidly to cold air, water
particles freeze to form hails, which falls onto the surface in the form of hailstorms.
Very these hails freezes and melts alternately while coming down, this forms sleet.
65) Rainfall: 1) Conventional Rainfall: This type of rainfall is common in regions
which were intensely heated, such as tropics during the day and continental interiors
in the summer. Air takes hear from surface and as it temperature increases, it expands
and becomes lighter. The air rises due to convection, on rising it becomes cool due to
expansion and lower temperature at altitudes. This causes condensation of water
vapours forming cumulonimbus clouds with greater vertical extent. This reaches its
maximum in afternoon when convectional system is well developed. Hot rising air
has good moisture absorbing capacity, which is abundant in regions of high relative
humidity. As air rises, it cools and on reaching saturation point rain occurs
accompanied by thunder and lightning. Summer shower in temperate regions are
equally heavy with occasional thunderstorms. 2) Orographic or relief rain: This
occurs when moist air is force to ascend a mountain barrier. As the rain ascends, it

cools due to expansion and subsequent decrease in atmospheric pressure and


temperature at higher altitude. Most rain falls on windward side of mountain. On
leeward side, decrease in altitude leads to increase in pressure and temperature, the air
is compressed as warmed. This results in drop in relative humidity. 3) Cyclonic or
frontal rainfall: This is associated with cyclonic activity whether in the temperate
regions (depressions) or tropical regions (cyclones). This occurs basically due to the
convergence of two different airmass. The cold landmass tries to remain near ground
while warm tries to move upwards, at this front, rising air cools down causing rainfall.
The colder airmass pushes up the warmer airmass up, clearing the sky again.
66) Pressure and planetary winds: 5* N and S of equator exists, equatorial low pressure
belt. Due to intense heating, the air rises up. This belt is called as doldrums. It is the
zone of wind convergence or ascending winds. At 30* N and S, occurs sub-tropical
high pressure belt called as horse latitude. Winds here are dry, calm and light. This is a
zone of wind divergence or descending winds. Anticyclonic activities are prevalent
here. At 60* N and S, temperate low pressure belt occurs. This is a zone of
convergence with cyclonic activity. These are best developed near oceans where
temperature difference between summer and winter are negligible. At 90* N and S,
temperatures are permanently low and are called as polar highs. Unlike watermass in
south pole, north pole is dominated by landmass, this creates some pressure difference
between summer and winter. Planetary winds: Winds tend to blow from high
pressure to low pressure; these winds dont blow straight because of deflection given
by Coriolis force. In southern hemisphere these are deflected towards right while in
south the deflection is towards left. This is called as Ferrells law of deflection.
Coriolis force is absent at equator and increases as one move towards poles. Due to
this effect, winds blowing from sub-tropical high pressure belt when move towards
equatorial low pressure belt deflects rightward and becomes N-E trade winds. While
in southern hemisphere, winds become S-E trade winds. These winds are more regular
of all planetary winds. These blow with great force and are constant in direction.
These are helpful to traders while sailing and hence are called as trade winds. Since,
trade winds are cold and dry; these have high capacity to hold moisture and bring
heavy rainfall on eastern coast of the continents within the tropics. On the west coast,
the loose most of the moisture, and hence deserts such as Sahara, Kalahari are formed
on the western margins of the continents in tropics. From sub-tropical high pressure
belts winds blow towards temperate low pressure belts, these are variable and called
as westerlies. These blow from S-W in northern hemisphere to N-W in southern
hemisphere due to Coriolis force. These are more variable in northern hemisphere, but
bring warm ocean currents to western borders of temperate regions. These winds with
local pressure difference generates variable climate in temperate lands dominated by
cyclones and anti-cyclones. In southern hemisphere, due to vast ocean span,
westerlies blow more constantly and power. They bring much precipitation to western
coasts of the continents. The weather is damp and cloudy and seas are violent and
stormy. Not all coasts receives westerlies throughout the year, this is because the belts
shift with the position of the sun that depends on earths revolution. The

Mediterranean part of southern hemisphere comes under the influence of westerlies


and receives rain in June during summer solstice. While during winter solstice,
Europe and California comes under the influence of westerlies and receives rain in
December. Polar easterlies blow from poles towards temperate low pressure belt,
these are less regular in SH than in NH.
67) Land and Sea breeze and Monsoon: Land and sea breeze are monsoon winds on a
smaller scale. Both these blow due to temperature difference between land and sea.
Former is diurnal in natural while later is seasonal. Land heats up faster than sea; this
causes warm air to rise up forming a low pressure area. Sea remains cooler in
comparison with high pressure area, this sets wind motion from sea to land called as
sea breeze. These are stronger in tropics than in temperate region. At night, reversal
takes place. In tropics fisherman takes advantage of land breeze and sails out in night
and returns with sea breeze during the day. Monsoon is of similar nature, intense
heating of continental inlands forms low pressure region, this creates an S-W wind
system to fill up this low pressure area. Similarly, during winter, high pressure area is
created over inlands and air moves out in the form of N-E monsoon.
68) Fohn and Chinook Winds: These are dry winds experienced on leeward side of the
mountains. They get compressed due to increase in pressure while descending. Fohn
winds are experienced in Alps mainly in Switzerland during spring. Fohn winds may
rise temperature suddenly, causing melting of snow and avalanche. Chinook winds are
experienced on eastern slope of rockeys in USA and Canada during winter. These
winds are good too, because it melts the ice and helps in growth of crops and fruits
and also frees snow covered pasture lands.
69) Cyclonic Activity: Typhoons, hurricanes and tornadoes are different types of tropical
cyclones. These are well developed low pressure systems into which violent winds
blow. Typhoons occur in China Sea, tropical cyclones in Indian Ocean, hurricanes in
West Indies in Caribbean, tornadoes in West Africa and whirl-wind in southern USA
and willy-willies in N-W Australia. Typhoons occur between 6* to 20* N and S,
during July and October. These are smaller than temperate cyclones but with much
steeper pressure gradient. Torrential rainfall is accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Hurricanes have calm, rainless centres where pressure is lowest but wind strength
around this eye. Tornadoes are small but very violent tropical and sub-tropical
cyclones. It appears as dark funnel cloud. These are most frequent in spring but can
occur at any time. These are common to USA and occur in Mississippi region.
70) Cyclones: These are called as depressions and are confined to temperate latitudes.
Lowest pressure occurs in the centre. They remain quite stationary or move slowly.
Wind blow inward into the low pressure region at the eye circulating in anticlockwise
direction in NH and clockwise in SH. Rainfall occurs due to convergence of warm
tropical air and cold polar air. Isobars are closer to each other in these. Cyclones are
also characterized by low-level convergence and ascending air within the system.

71) Anticyclones: These have high pressure region at the centre with isobars are far apart
from each other. Pressure gradient is gentle and winds are light. These are accompanied
by calm winds, fine weather and clear sky. In winter, intense cooling of lower atmosphere
may cause fog formation. Winds blow outward and get deflected. These blows clockwise
in NH and anticlockwise in SH. Anticyclones are usually characterized by low-level
divergence and subsiding air. Anticyclones form from air masses cooling more than their
surroundings, which causes the air to contract slightly making the air denser. Since dense
air weighs more, the weight of the atmosphere overlying a location increases, causing
increased surface air pressure.
Q Why anticyclones are more frequent in summer?
Q Without water vapour and dust there would be no weather. Explain?
Hot and wet equatorial climate: This is found between 5* to 10* N and S of equator. Its
greatest extent is in lowland of Amazon. Away from equator due to trade winds, modified
kind of climate with monsoonal effect occurs. Within tropics, at higher altitudes, we have
cooler climates. Climate: Most outstanding feature of the equatorial climate is its great
uniformity of temperature throughout the year. There is no winter, cloudiness and heavy
precipitation causes moderation of daily temperature so that even at equator itself, climate is
unbearable. Also, regular land and sea breeze assist in maintaining an equitable climate.
Precipitation: There is no dry season and it experiences heavy rains throughout the year.
There are two heavy rainfall season coinciding with equinoxes. This feature is not found in
any other climate. But this pattern is upset by local conditions, coastal areas experiences
monsoon climates. Due to great heat, mornings are sunny and bright. Both relief and
conventional rainfall occurs here. There are some cyclonic rainfalls due to convergence in
doldrums. Relative humidity is constantly high. Vegetation: High temperature and rainfall
give rise to tropical rainforests. In Amazon lowlands, forests are so dense that they are called
as Salvas. Growing seasons are not confined to particular part of the year. There are neither
draught nor cold to check the vegetation. Great variety of vegetation: Evergreen forest
provides hardwood trees such as mahogany and ebony. There are smaller tress like palm
trees, climbers, parasitic plants and epiphytes. Distinct layer arrangement: Thick canopy of
trees is only broken when there is a passing river. Struggle for sunlight gives unique character
to vegetation. Ground tress can tolerate shade. Because trees cut out most of the sunlight,
undergrowth is not dense. Multiple species: Unlike temperate areas, where few species are
grown in particular areas, here no species are found in single stands. This makes commercial
exploitation a difficult task. Hardwood does not float on water making their transport costly.
This is why tropical countries are timber importers. Forest clearing: forests are cleared for
shifting agriculture or lumbering. When these cleared regions are re-vegetated secondary
forests called as Belukar in Malaysia springs up. These are characterised by short trees and
dense undergrowth. In coastal areas, brackish water, mangrove forests are found. These areas
are sparsely populated, primitive people practice hunting and gathering, while advanced ones
practice shifting agriculture. Food is abundant in these regions. The most cultivated cash crop
is natural rubber. Rubber trees are first found in Amazon, these were transported to Malaysia
and Indonesia which are now leading producers. The home country Brazil now exports no

rubber; this is because of tree disease and lack of commercial organisation of Indians in
Amazon lowlands. Another tropical crop which is highly successful is cocoa. It is extensively
cultivated in west Africa near gulf of guinea. Ghana and Nigeria are major producers. Most of
the crop leaves for Europe and North America for cocoa and chocolate industry.
Factors affecting development of equatorial region: Equatorial climate and health:
More prone to diseases and low productivity due to high humidity, heat and rainfall.
Prevalence of bacteria and pests: The climate promotes rapid plant growth, also encourages
spread of insects and pests. As germs and bacteria are easily transmitted through moist air,
equatorial conditions are ideal for the survival of such organisms. Rapid deterioration of
tropical soil: tropical crops are fertile only in start, due to accumulation of heavy leaf-fall
and their decomposition by bacteria; a heavy layer of humus is formed. But once it is cleared
for shifting cultivation, heavy rainfall soon washes out most of the soil nutrients. Indonesian
island of java is an exception due to its volcanic ashes and energetic local people. Livestock
farming: It is handicapped by absence of meadow grass even on highlands. The grass is so
tall and coarse that it is not nutritious. The animals in Africa are also attacked by tsetse flies
causing deadly diseases.
Q Plantation agriculture is best suited in equatorial regions, why?
A This region has two rainy seasons starting with equinox. This provides for two growing
seasons opposed to one per year in general.
Tropical monsoon and tropical maritime climate: Tropical monsoon lands are those which
experience monsoon winds in form of S-W in summer and N-E in winter. This kind of
climate is experienced in few geographical locations such as Indian sub-continent, Indonesia,
Vietnam etc. Outside this range, its influence is moderated by trade winds leading to tropical
maritime climate.
Tropical monsoon lands: In summer, sun is overhead cancer, this creates low pressure area
in central Asia, this draws SH trade winds and also from interior of Australia to come into NH
in form of S-W monsoon. In winter, high pressure area over central Asia, forces wind to
move out up to northern Australia in the form of N-E monsoon. Seasons: 1) Cool and dry
season: October to February: temperature are low with heavy sinking air. Frost may occur in
colder north. Centre of high pressure is over Punjab, Outblowing dry winds of N-E monsoon
brings little rainfall. Punjab receives little rainfall from cyclonic sources which is essential for
winter cereals. When N-E monsoon blows over BOB, it acquires moisture and brings rain
over southern tip of India. Hot and dry season: March to mid-June: Temperature rises with
sun being overhead cancer. Rainy season: heavy rainfall in summer is a characteristic of this
climate. Retreating monsoon.
Tropical maritime climate: This is experienced along the eastern coast of tropical lands,
receiving steady rainfall from trade winds all the time. The rainfall is both relief and
conventional due to heating during the day and cooling at night. In summer, it is maximum
but there is no distinct dry season. This climate is more suited for habitations but it is prone to
cyclones.

Tropical monsoon forests: It depends upon amount of summer rainfall. Trees are deciduous
due to dry spell in which they shed their leaves to withstand draught. In regions of heavy
rainfall, dense forests are found. These forests have less species than equatorial forests. Most
forests provide timber and known for their durable hardwoods. Teak is best known such tree.
It is known for its great durability, immunity to shrinkage, fungus attack and insects. In
northern Burma, teak plantation is widespread, teak takes more than 100 years to yield
mature timber. It is heavy and hence difficult to float, for this reason it is poisoned few years
before its felling to make it dry and light enough to float. With decrease in rainfall during
summer, forests thin out into thorny scrubland or savannas with scattered trees and tall grass.
In some part, due to very less rainfall desert conditions also exist. These areas show diverse
vegetation. Tropical agriculture: It depends on monsoon and occupies a large labour force.
Wet padi cultivation: Rice is most important staple crop. It has two varieties, wet padi
which is grown on lowlands in flooded fields or in terraced uplands. Dry padi is grown in
areas with less rainfall. Shifting cultivation: It is entirely for subsidence. Tropical soils are
latosolic i.e., rapidly leached and easily exhausted, first crop may be good but then
subsequent harvest deteriorates.
Savannas or Sudan climate: It is a transitional climate between equatorial and trade wind
hot desert. It is confined to tropics and most evident in Sudan where dry and wet seasons are
most distinct. Rainfall: It is characterised by alternate hot, rainy, cool and dry seasons. Both
length of rainy season and total rainfall decreases from equator towards desert fringes.
Temperature: Range of temperature increases when one moves away from the equator.
Highest temperature does not coincide with movement of sun but occur just before the onset
of rainy season. Nights with clear sky causes rapid loss of heat. Hence, frosts are not
uncommon in this season. This extreme diurnal range of temperature is another characteristic.
Winds: Prevailing winds are trade winds; hence rainfall is in coastal areas. These winds lose
moisture by the time they reach western side of continents and hence grass and scattered
short trees are predominant. In West Africa, N-E trade winds blows off-shore from Sahara
desert towards guinea coast as a dry, dust laden wind called as Harmatten, meaning doctor.
These are so dry that they increase the humidity. This air provides relied from damp laden air
of guinea land by increasing the rate of evaporation with resultant cooling effect. These are
such a dry winds that they ruins the crops, cause thick dusty haze and impede inland water
navigation. Natural vegetation: It is characterised by tall grasses and short trees. Trees are
dense and long near equator and around the coast but their density as well as height decreases
away from the equator. Trees are deciduous shedding their leaves to resist excess
transpiration. There are certain varieties with water storing devices such as broad trunks, to
survive. Many trees are umbrella shaped exposing only a narrow edge to strong winds. Palm
which cannot withstand draught is confined to wettest areas. Grass is long with long roots to
absorb water from depth. Animal Life: Herbivorous species are well camouflaged species
and their presence among the tall greenish-brown grass cannot be easily detected.
Hot desert climate: These are consists of hot deserts like Sahara and mid-latitude desert like
Gobi. Aridity in hot deserts is due to off-shore trade winds because of which these are also
called as trade wind deserts. Temperate deserts are rainless because they are in interior of the

continents, well away from rain-bearing winds. Major hot deserts are located on western
margins of the continents between 15* to 30* N and S. This is because the trade winds are
off-shore and by the time they reach western margins they are virtually moisture less.
Climate: 1) Rainfall: Sub-tropical high pressure belt lie in between hot deserts where air
descends, which are mostly moisture less. Trade winds and westerlies which are on-shore
blow outside the limits of these deserts. Winds blow into deserts from polar side which are
cooler, on reaching deserts their relative humidity is raised making precipitation impossible.
On western coasts, cold currents cool the on-shore winds which provide little rainfall. 2)
Temperature: Reasons for high temperatures are obvious: clear and cloudless sky, intense
insolation, dry air and rapid rate of evaporation. Coastal deserts by virtue of the cooling effect
of cold current have much lower temperature.
Life in desert: 1) Primitive hunters and collectors: They grow no crops and no domestication
of animal is practised. Dew is gathered from leaves in the morning and stored in ostrich eggs.
They also grow deep hole in damp sand and such out water from it. Distinction between
people of Kalahari desert and Australia desert is that, in the later case they stay close to water
bodies as they did not know the ways to collect water. Basin irrigation: When nile floods in
summer, overflowed water is collected in basins with raised banks and this water is used for
irrigation. Date palm is most important tree grown in dug-out hollows so that its roots can
penetrate deep into the ground in search of water.
Q How aridity of the desert is related to: 1) off-shore winds 2) Sun-tropical high
pressure belts 3) Cold ocean currents.
Q Bring out the difference between a) climate b) vegetation c) way of life in temperate
and hot deserts.
Q Why annual range of temperature is larger in Gobi desert than Atacama in SA.
Q Patagonia is a desert in rain shadow of the Andes.
Mediterranean (wind rain climate) climate: It is found in relatively few areas. These are
confined to the western margins of the continents between 30* and 45* N and S. The basic
reason for this type of climate is the shifting of wind belts. The best developed climate of this
type is found in central Chile.
Climate: 1) Dry, warm summer with off-shore trades: Summer months have a relatively
high temperature. The highest temperatures are experienced further away from the coast in
the more continental eastern Mediterranean in the interior of Balkan Peninsula. Sun during
summer is overhead of Tropic of Cancer, the belt of influence of the Westerlies is shifted a
little polewards. Rain bearing winds therefore not likely to reach Mediterranean lands. The
prevailing trade winds are off-shore and hence there is practically no rain. The air is dry, heat
is intense and relatively humidity is low. Days are excessively warm and in the interior,
prolonged droughts are common. At night, there is rapid radiation but frosts are rare. 2)
Concentration of rainfall in winter with on-shore westerlies: Mediterranean receives most
of the precipitation during winter, when westerlies moves towards equator. This causes much

of the rain in the region. Rain comes in heavy showers and only on a few days with bright
sunny periods between them. This is another characteristic of this climate. This region is
backed by mountains of some kind which presents effective barriers to westerlies. This is
why; Portuguese coast is much wetter than eastern Spain. The floods come so quickly that
there is no time to do anything. Snow rarely occurs on lowlands and coastal areas, even if it
does fall on the highlands, it is moderate and is a source of water supply for hydro-electric
power generation and for irrigation. 3) Bright, sunny weather with hot dry summers and
wet, mild winters. 4) Prominence of local winds around the Mediterranean Sea: a)
Sirocco: This is a hot, dry dusty wind which originates in the Sahara Desert. It may occur in
any part of the year but it is dominant in spring and only lasts only for a few days. These
winds blow outward in southerly direction from the desert interiors into the cooler
Mediterranean Sea. These are associated with depressions, after crossing Mediterranean Sea
are cooled by the absorption of the water vapour. The damage due to these winds when it
occurs during vines and olives are in blossom. The rain is called as blood rain because the
wind is carrying the red dust of Sahara Desert. b) Mistral: It is a cold wind from the north
rushing down the Rhone valley. The velocity of the winds increases by the funnelling effect
in the valley between Alps and the Central Massif. In winter, when these winds are most
frequent, the temperature of the wind may be below freezing-point, though the sky may be
clear and cloudless. As a protective measure, many of the houses and orchards of the Rhone
valley and Riviera have thick rows of trees and hedges planted to shield them from the
Mistral.
Natural vegetation: There is no rain over half of the year; hence, natural vegetation is not
luxuriant. Trees with small broad leaves are widely spaced and never very tall. There are
many branches which are short and carry few leaves. Absence of shade is a distinct feature of
Mediterranean lands. Growth is slow in the cooler and wetter season, even though more rain
comes in winter. Growth is restricted to autumn and spring season when there is warm
temperature and moisture sufficient for this. The long summer drought checks the growth.
The plants become drought-resistant plants just as in desert areas. Mediterranean evergreen
forests: These are open woodlands with evergreen oaks. Cork oaks have special value for
their thick barks, used in wine bottle corks. Evergreen coniferous trees: These appear on
cooler highlands and where droughts are less sever. Mediterranean bushes and shrubs:
These are most prominent vegetation. Grass: Conditions do not favour growth of grass as
most of the rain comes in the cool season when growth is slow. Slow growing vegetation
which cannot replenish its foliage readily, and which is without deep-penetrating roots, is
least suited. Even if grass survives, they are wiry and bunchy that they are not suitable for
animal farming. Cattle rearing hence unimportant in these regions.
Orchard farming: These regions are called as worlds orchard lands. Wide range of citrus
fruits such as lemon, oranges etc. are grown. Fruit tress has deep roots to pull water during
summer. Enable irrigation system also helps these fruit crops. Thick, leathery skin of fruits
prevents excessive transpiration and the long, sunny summer enables the fruits to be ripened
and harvested. Olive tree is probably the most typical of all Mediterranean cultivated
vegetation. It is hard and has very deep roots such that it can survive even on very poor

limestone soils. Wine production: Best wine is made from grapes. Viticulture is major
occupation in these regions.
Steppe Climate: Bordering the deserts, away from the Mediterranean regions and in the
interiors of continents are the temperate grasslands. These are under westerly winds; they are
so remote from maritime influence that the grasslands are practically treeless. In Eurasia
these are called as steppes, in NA it is called as prairies. In NH these are extensive with
totally continental while in SH these are restricted and less continental and enjoys less
maritime climate. In Argentina, these are called as pampas, In South Africa these are velds
and in Australia are called as downs.