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TYPES OF CLIMATES
Koeppen divided the world climate into five major groups each designated by a letter code.
(a) Tropical Climate (b) Dry Climate (c) Humid Mesothermal Climate (d) Humid Microthermal Climate (e) Polar Climate
Koeppan also identified a sixth type that is Mountain or highland climate.
(a) Tropical Climate: This climate occurs in the tropical zone, where the mean monthly temperature remains generally
above 22 C. They do not have a perceptible winter season. The major subtypes of this climate are the Tropical
rainforest, tropical monsoon and tropical savanna climates. Tropical Rainforest is characterized by year round
precipitation and the areas support dense ever green forests of tall trees. The basis of the dense and tall forests is the
high temperature and a large amount of precipitation, generally over 250 cm. The average temperature in this region is
27 C. The climate of the equatorial regions such as Indonesia, the Congo Basin and Amazonia is of this type. In the
Tropical Monsoon, the rainfall is seasonal and generally occurs in summer and may be as high as 300 cm in favourable
locations. Due to this, the vegetations in these regions is of deciduous type that is the trees shed their leaves during the
dry season. The average temperature in this region is 26 C. India, China and her neighbours in South East Asia constitute
a major area of this type of climate. In the Tropical Savanna, the total amount of rainfall is lesser, about 160 cm. Annual
average temperature is about 23C. Due to lack of rainfall, the typical type of vegetation in these regions is the open
thorn type of forests and grasslands with occasional clumps of trees. Savanna type of climate is transitional between the
tropical wet climate towards the equator and the dry climates towards the poles. Parts of Northern Australia, the Veld
region of Africa and Venezuela are the areas of this type.
(b) Dry Climate:
This climate is characterized by a general water deficit. The annual precipitation is less than the
potential evaporation and no permanent streams originate from such regions. It has two major subtypes tropical and
subtropical deserts and the tropical and subtropical steppes. The Tropical and Subtropical Deserts have temperature of
about 38C with an annual range of about 25C. The average rainfall is about 25 to 40 cm. The typical areas of this type
are the Sahara, Atacama, the Thar, Gobi, Arabian and the Kalahari desert. This type of climate covers a vast area of
Australia also. Most of the tropical deserts occupy the western margins of the continents near the tropics. The
subtropical deserts are usually in the interiors of the continents where the moisture bearing winds fail to reach. Due to
lack of rainfall, the deserts have very limited plant and animal life. The tropical deserts are also called hot deserts. The
Steppes are areas of comparatively lower temperature and slightly more precipitation. Annual average temperature is
about 21C. Rainfall is not only limited. It is also highly variable. Temperature grasses are the chief vegetations of these
regions. They occupy pole ward margins of the tropical and subtropical deserts. Much of the precipitation in these
regions is provided by the cyclonic storms. North American Prairies, South American Pampas, South Africa Velds,
Hungary Postas, Australia Downs, New Zealand Canterbury and Eurasian Steppes are the major areas of these
grasslands. These regions are ideally suitable for the cultivation of grain crops such as wheat.
(3) Humid Meso thermal Climate: This type of climate is subdivided into three types Mediterranean, China and west
European type. Mediterranean Type of climate is typical of the western coastal parts between 30 and 45 latitudes in
both the hemispheres. The annual average temperature is 16C with a summer average of about 25C and a winter
average of 10C. Annual rainfall is 40 to 60 cm and occurs in winter and summers are dry. Olives, grapevine and citrus
fruits are the chief products of this region. Mediterranean Sea, Central region of Sea, Southern tip of South Africa and
South western part of Australia are the regions of this type of climate. The China type of climate is characterized by
warm summers and cool winters, the average temperature is being around 19C and annual rainfall about 120 cm. This
type is experienced in the eastern region of the continents in the same latitudes in which the Mediterranean type of
climate is found. Rainfall is available throughout the year. The major areas are China, Argentina, South eastern Part of
USA and eastern coastal region of Australia. The typical areas of the West European type of climate are the coastal
region of Western Europe. This region extends between the latitudes 40 and 60 N and S and includes Western Europe,
parts of North America, South America and South eastern coastal region of Australia. The summers are cool but winter is
cold and temperature goes below 10C. Rainfall occurs throughout the year but it is heavier in the winter season.
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(4) Humid Micro thermal Climate:


This type of climate is experienced in two large belts one each in North America
and Eurasia. Based on the type of forests growing there, this climate is also known as TAIGA. Most of the Siberian region
and high latitudes of USA and Canada have this climate, which have cool summers and cold winters. Total annual
precipitation is generally below 50 cm, but on account of the low temperatures this is enough to support the Coniferous
forests. Fur farming is very famous now a days in these region.
(5) Polar Climate:
This climate is also known as the TUNDRA type of climate and it experienced in the polar
regions. This is characterized by severe winters and even the summers are cold. The precipitation is very low, generally
below 30 cm. Due to low temperature, vegetation is practically non-existent. Only during the short summer season do
some small plants grow in the areas away from the polar ice caps. These regions are known for BLIZZARDS, which are
high velocity winds carrying ice particles with them. These regions are called cold deserts and they occupy the areas of
the Arctic margins of North America and Eurasia and Antarctic continent. Vegetation is Lichens and Mosses.
(6) The Highlands Climate:
This type of climate is experienced in the mountain regions of the Himalaya, Tibetan
Plateau, Rockies, Andes and the Alps.
HYDRO Logical Cycle and Global water balance
Water occurs in three major pools, namely in the form of ground water in the rocks of Earth, as surface water in rivers,
lakes, seas, oceans or as ice in the polar and high altitude regions and as vapour in the atmosphere. These three pools of
water are interconnected and the water keeps moving continuously from one pool to the other. This is called Hydro
logical cycle. The largest reservoir of free water is in the oceans and nearly 455,000 cubic km of water evaporates from
the oceans annually. Another about 62,000 cubic km of water evaporates from the continents. The quantity of water
added to the atmosphere and returned to the Earth in the form of precipitation, is equal. This is called the Global Water
Balance. However the distribution of precipitation is uneven. While more water is added to the atmosphere from the
oceans, more of the precipitation occurs on land. This excess quantity of water available on land flows into the water
bodies either as surface run off or as sub surface flow. Thus an overall balance is maintained in the amount of water lost
from the Earth and returned to it. On an average, oceans account for 97.2% of total water available on the Earth, the
atmosphere contains only about 0.001% and the ice caps and glaciers account for about 2.15 %. The ice caps are thus
the largest reservoirs of fresh water.
Out of the total amount of rainfall, apart is absorbed by the soil in the form of Soil Water. The remaining water flows
over the surface as Surface Run Off. When the soil gets saturated, the water starts moving downwards through the
rocks. The process of water entering the rocks of the Earth is called Percolation. The rate of percolation is a function of
the porosity and permeability of the rocks. Porosity refers to the presence of pores in the rocks while permeability
refers to the capacity of the rocks to allow water to move from the upper to the lower parts. The water percolating and
thus occurring in the rocks of the Earth is called the Ground Water. Some water may be present in the rocks of the Earth
right from the time of their formation. Such water is called connate water. That zone of rocks in which the pore space is
completely filled by water is called the Zone of Saturation. The upper most surface of this zone of Saturation is called
the Water table. The rocks of the Earth that contain water are called Aquifers. Some of the Earth are non porous and
they do not contain any water. Such rocks are called Aquicludes.
Spring Water: Spring is formed where the water table intersects the ground. Sometimes the water flows out of the
ground in a very small quantity from the saturated rocks. This type of limited flow is called Seepage. Springs may be
seasonal or perennial. In some of the springs emerging water is hot and they called as hot springs due to certain
minerals in the rocks, which upon reaction with water produce heat. Some springs have medicinal properties due to
some minerals. A large number of springs occur in Kumaon Himalayas in Uttara Khand and in Himachal Pradesh.
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Geysers:
A geyser is a periodic jet of hot water and steam. The source of geyser is very deep and the water at the
depth is heated by the surrounding hot rocks. The water changes into super heated steam and a jet of water is thrown
out followed by steam escaping with a hissing noise. Some of the water again flows into the opening and the whole
process is repeated at a regular interval. The most well known in the geysers is Old Faithfull in the Yellowstone National
Park in USA which erupts every 65 minutes. Japan, Malayan Archipelago, New Zealand and Alaska also have many
geysers.
Artesian Wells:
In artesian wells the water rises to the surface on its own and no power is needed to draw water
from it. The areas where the artesian wells can be dug are called artesian basins. The artesian basin of Australia is well
known area for artesian wells.
HYDROSPHERE

It is most important sphere of Earth and covers 71% of Earths surface and its average depth is 4 km.
Like surface, ocean floor is also very irregular.
Its depth is measured in fathom. 1 fathom = 1.8 m
The Pacific Ocean covering about 1/3rd of the total area of the Earth and is the largest and deepest ocean. Most
of the Eastern coast of this ocean is smooth and only along the western coast, large indentations occupied by
various marginal seas are found.
Continental Shelf: It is not so deep. It is the coastal part of the ocean and the slope of the bottom is very gentle
and it is not more than 100 fathoms. 20% (approx.) petrol and gas is found here. In regions where the mountains
extend along the coast is found narrow shelf. Marine life exists entirely here. In India the breadth of the Shelf is
less along the Bay of Bengal coast than along the Arabian Sea coast.
Continental Slope: This is the outermost part of the true ocean basin and extends seawards from the
continental shelf. The boundary between shelf and slope is called as Andesite Line. Its depth is up to 2000
fathoms.
Continental Rise: It is found at the foot of slope (convex slope) . It is the area slightly rising due to the
accumulation of debris transported on the slope. Large number of oil deposits is found here.
Ridges: These are the mountains of the sea. Many shape of the ridge is found in the ocean (Mid Atlantic Ocean
inverted Y shape and Indian Ocean Ridge is S shape). Some parts of the ridge or volcanic peaks reach the surface
of the oceans and form Islands (Example Hawaii). The ridges rising more than 1000 m above the ocean floor is
called Seamount. Those flat top seamounts are called Guyots maximum in pacific oceans.
Trenches: Trenches are deep and narrow areas of the ocean. Example, Marina Trench or challenger (deepest
trench) 11022 m in the western Pacific near Japan. Others are Tuscarora Deep (Off Japan), Tonga Trench (Pacific
Ocean, 11000 m), Comedic trench (Pacific Ocean, 10800 m), Java Trench (Indian Ocean, 7450 m), Poutorica
Trench (Atlantic Ocean, 91217 m).
The mid oceanic ridges are associated with plate divergence where the oceanic crust gets fractured and the
molten material rises to form ridges which push the older rocks towards the ocean margins. This phenomenon is
called Sea Floor Spreading. The relatively raised board areas on the sea floor are called Platforms and the
relatively lower bowled shaped areas are called Basins.
Salinity:
Marine Life of 1 Content
Percentage
Out of 1000 gm (sea water)
NaCl2
77.8%
27.213 g
MgCl2
10.8%
3.807 g
MgSO2
4.7%
1.658 g
CaSO2
3.6%
1.260 g
K2SO4
2.5%
0.863 g
CaSO3
0.55
0.123 g
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MgBr2
Total

0.1%
100.00%

0.076 g
35.00 g

Maximum Salinity:
Lake Van (330%) Turkey
Dead Sea (240%) West Asia
Maximum Saline Sea Red Sea
Average Salinity of Sea 35% g/litre
Chlorine is most abundant element.
It is maximum in tropics and decline towards Polar Regions.
It causes vertical circulation of water.

Ocean Currents
Pacific Ocean Currents
1. North Equatorial Current (Warm)
2. South Equatorial Current (Warm)
3. Equatorial Current (Warm)
4. Kuroshio or Japan Current and W Winds drift (warm)
5. California Current (Cold)
6. Oyashio or Kuril Current (Cold)
7. East Australian Current (Warm)
8. Peruvian Current (Cold)
9. South Pacific Current

Atlantic Ocean Currents


1.North Equatorial Current (Warm)
2. South Equatorial Current (Warm)
3.Equatorial Counter Current or Guinea
Current (warm)
4. Gulf Stream (Warm)
5. Canaries Current (Cold)
6. Labrador Current (Cold)
7. Brazil Current (Warm)
8. Benguela Current (Cold)
9. South Atlantic Current (Cold)

Indian Ocean Current


1. South Equatorial Current (Warm)
2. Equatorial Centre Current (Warm)
3. Monsoon Current (Warm)
4. Mozambique and Agulhas Current (Warm)
5. West Australian Current (cold)
6. South Indian Current (Cold)
(The Monsoon current flows from the South West in July and from the North east in January)
Types of Coasts:
1. Fjords:
Fjord coasts are not good ports because they are formed as a result of partial
submergence of a glaciated area. They have very steep sides. Example, Coast of Norway
2. Ria:
Ria forms better ports than Fjords because they have gentle slope due to partial
submergence of highland. Example Coast of south west Ireland.
3. Dalmation:
Good for ports because of the submergence of mountain ridges which run parallel to
the sea coast. Series of fold mountain range can be along the coast. Example, Yugoslavian Coast.
Major Canals:
Canals are man-made channels for water. There are two types of canal:
1. Waterways: navigable transportation canals used for carrying ships and boats shipping goods and conveying
people, further subdivided into two kinds:
1. Those connected to existing lakes, rivers, or oceans. Included are inter-basin canals, such as the Suez
Canal, Erie Canal, and the Panama Canal.
2. Those connected in a city network: such as the Canal Grande and others of Venice Italy and the
waterways of Bangkok.
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2. Aqueducts: water supply canals that are used for the conveyance and delivery of potable water for human
consumption, municipal uses, and agriculture irrigation. Rills and acequias are small versions.
1. Suez Canal:
Built in 1869 by the French engineer (Ferdenand de Lesseps) and was nationalized by
Col- Nasser (Egypt) 26, July, 1956. Connected between Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea. 193 Km long, 24
m deep and 205 m wide and is the Greatest Canal. Suez Canal also known as Highway to India.
2. Panama Canal: Connected Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) and Pacific Ocean. 58 km Long.
Opened in 1914.
3. Kiel Canal:
Connected London and Baltic Ports (North Sea and Baltic Sea). 98 Km long.

Major Water Transportation:


1. North Atlantic Sea Route: Connected Eastern coast of North America and Western Europe. Worlds Largest
busy transport route.
2. South Atlantic Sea Route: Connected South American countries and Western Europe.
3. North Pacific Route:
Connected North America and East Asia.
4. South Pacific Route:
Connected North America, Europe and Australia.
5. Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean Route:
Connected America, Europe, Asia and African countries.
This route is famous for oil trade.

Earth Quakes:
Earth quake is a vibration of Earth Surface produced by internal forces and its passage of waves is recorded by
seismograph. The point of origin of earth quake is called Seismic Centre or focus. Most of the earthquakes
originate at a depth of about 60 Km below the surface of the Earth. The intensity of waves is measured by
Richters Scale. The point on the earths surface vertically above the earths surface is called Epicenter. Types of
waves are Primary, secondary and surface or long waves. Primary waves travel very fast. It transmitted through
solids, liquid and gases. Travel from the point of happening by displacement of surrounding particles. Secondary
waves travel through solid matter only so that it cannot pass through core of the Earth. Surface waves or Long
waves causes maximum destruction on Earth and it travels on Earth surface. According to Elastic Rebound
Theory, the rocks of the Earth when pressed due to increasing overburden get pushed into the zone of high
density in the interior. However the rocks have a tendency to resume their original position if the pressure over
them is released. Whenever this type of movement of rocks occurs, an earthquake is caused.

ISOPLETHS:
Lines drawn on map along which the value of a particular phenomenon is uniform. Some important isopleths
are:
Isobars:
Pressure
Isobaths:
Depth in Sea
Isobronts:
Thunderstorm at the same time
Isohaline:
Salinity
Isohels:
Sunshine
Isohyets:
Rainfall
Isohypse:
or counter lines. Elevation above at sea level
Isonif:
Snow
Isotherms:
Temperature
Isoneph:
Cloudness
Isoclines:
Slope
Land forms continents
CONTINENTS
Asia
Africa

AREA (MILLION SQ KM)


43.6
30.4
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North America
South America
Antarctica
Europe
Australia
Oceania (including Australia)

25.3
17.6
13.3
10.5
7.7
8.5

Major Islands
ISLAND
Green land
New Guinea
Borneo
Madagascar
Sumatra
Baffin
Japan
Great Britain

SITUATION (OCEAN)
Atlantic
Pacific
Pacific
Indian
Indian
Arctic
Pacific
Atlantic

AREA (SQ. KM)


2175597
808510
757050
594180
524100
476068
230455
229876

Worlds Principal Deserts


NAME OF DESERT
The Sahara
Australian Desert
Arabian Desert
The Gobi
Kalahari
Takla Makan
Sonar an Desert
Namib Desert
Kara Kum
Thar Desert (Great Indian Desert
Somali Desert
Atacama Desert
Dasht-e-Lut
Mojave Desert

AREA IN 000 SQ KM
(approx)
8400
1550
1300
1040
520
320
310
310
270
260
260
180
52
35

TERRITORIES
North Africa
Australia
West Asia
Mongolia and China
Botswana
Sinkiang China
Arizona and California (USA) and Mexico
West Africa (Namibia)
Turkmenistan
India and Pakistan
Somalia
North Chile and Coastal Peru
East Iran
California (USA)

Major Water Bodies


OCEAN
Pacific Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
Indian Ocean
Arctic Ocean

Area 000 Sq Km
165384
82217
73481
14056

Max. Depth (m)


11034
9219
7449
5441
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Seas
SEAS
South China Sea
Mediterranean Sea
Barring Sea
Caribbean Sea
Andaman Sea
Black Sea
Red Sea
Baltic Sea

Area 000 Sq Km
2505
2318
2269
1943
777
461
440
411

Max. Depth (m)


4572
4404
4091
6946
4403
463
2134
2243

Important Boundaries
Durand Line
Radcliff Line
Mc Mohan Line
Maginot Line
Oder Neisse Line
Hindenburg Line (at the time of first
world war)
38th Parallel
49th Parallel

Pakistan and Afghanistan


India and Pakistan
India and China
France and Germany
Germany and Poland
Poland and Germany
North and south Korea
USA and Canada
Important Lakes

LAKE
Caspian Sea (Eurasia) Biggest Salt Lake
L Superior (U St Canada) Biggest Fresh Water Lake
L Victoria (E Central Africa) Source of Nile river
L Huron (U St Canada)
L Michigan (North America)
Aral Sea (Asia) Uzbekistan Kazakhstan
L Tanganyika (E Central Africa)
L Great Bear ( Canada North, America)
L Baykal (Asia, Russia)
L Bal Khas (Kazakhstan, Asia)

AREA (Sq Km)


371795
83270
69485
60700
58016
36500
31792
31792
30510
17301

LITHOSPHERE
The centre of the Earth is occupied by the CORE, about 3475 km in radius. The outer part of the core is believed to have
the properties of a liquid and innermost part of the core, about 1255 km in radius, may be called solid or crystalline. The
core is the densest part of the Earth, and is known as NIFE (Nickel and Iron). The temperature of the Earths core is
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between 2200C and 2750C. Density of this part of the Earth (17.2) is many times greater than the average density of
the Earth (5.5).
Outside the Core lies the MANTLE, a layer about 2895 km thick, composed of minerals in a semi solid state. The rocks in
this layer may be in a glassy state. This part of the Earth is also known as SIMA (Silica and Magnesium). The rocks in this
part exhibit rigidity and high density. The average density of this layer is about 5.68. The transitional zone separating the
core from the mantle is called Gutenberg Discontinuity. The outermost and thinnest zone is called the CRUST. Its
thickness varies from about 8 to 40 km and is separated from the mantle by Mohorovicic Discontinuity or MOHO,
identified on the basis of rock density. The thickness of the crust is more under the continents and less under the
oceans. Under mountains, the thickness of the crust may be as much as 70 km. This layer is called SIAL (Silica and
Aluminium) and it is customary to divide it into the upper silicate zone and the lower silicate zone. The average density
of this layer is 2.7 which is much lower than the overall density of the Earth.
Most abundant element of this layer is oxygen (46.6%).
Another theory, the Earth is divided into Lithosphere (solid upper part), Asthenosphere (the glassy or plastic layer) and
the centrospheres (having very high temperature and behaves like solid due to immense pressure of the overlying
rocks).
Rocks can be classified into 4 parts:
Igneous Rocks:
are primary rocks and formed by the cooling and solidification of lava. They are
crystalline and contain no fossils. They are hard and cannot be scratched. Sometimes, lava comes to the surface
and solidifies forming volcanic rocks (basic lava rocks) like Basalt. Silica contents of such lava are less and it
contains metallic minerals in a high proportion. In other cases, the lava solidifies before reaching the surface of
the Earth, thus forming Plutonic rocks (acid lava rocks) like Granite. Such lava is richer in Silica and contains a
lesser amount of metallic minerals. Some of the important igneous rocks are Granite, Rhyolite, Pegmatite,
Andesite, Gabbro, Basalt, Dolerite and Periodotite.
Sedimentary Rocks:
are made up of sediments derived from other rocks and deposited by water or rivers on
the beds of lakes and seas. They are formed by compaction and cementation of layers of sediments. These two
processes together constitute the process of Lithification. They have a layered structure. Fossils are found in
such rocks. These rocks are also called stratified or argillaceous rocks. About 3/4th of the Earths surface is
covered by sedimentary rocks. Limestone, sandstone, gypsum, dolomite etc. are the examples of these rocks.
Metamorphic rocks: are altered rocks. When exposed to excessive heat or pressure or both, igneous or
sedimentary rocks become hard and compact and the joints if any, get thoroughly compressed. Sometimes the
rocks also get crystallized. Common examples of these are Slate, marble, quartzite, schist and gneiss. The
process of conversion of sedimentary rocks or other rocks into metamorphic rocks is called metamorphism.
Organic rocks: are formed from remains of plants and animals. Coal is an example of rocks formed from
remains of plant life and coral is an example formed from remains of animals. Chalk is also an example made up
of microscopic remains of lime secreting organisms.

LANDFORMS OF THE FIRST ORDER-OCEANS AND CONTINENTS


7 continents (29% of total surface of the Earth) and 4 Oceans (71%) are called Landforms of the first order. Various
views about the distribution of oceans and continents are based on either of the two groups of theories, namely, the
Contractionist theories or the theories assuming horizontal displacement of continents and oceans.
The best contactionist theory is the tetrahedral theory of L Green. According to this theory, as the Earth cooled, its
crust became solid first of all, further loss of heat resulted in reduction of its volume due to contraction. As the crust of
the Earth already had become solid, reduction in its volume resulted in distortion of the shape of the Earth to a
tetrahedron (a shape having a very low volume for a given surface area). The raised edges of the tetrahedron become
continents and depressed faces became the oceans.
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Best theory based on the displacement of continents is the Continental Drift Theory of A Wegner. According to this
theory, the entire landmass of the Earth constituted a single continent, called PANGEA. Pangea consisted of two parts,
northern block called Lauratia and a southern block called Gondwanaland. These two blocks separated from each other
by a shallow sea called Tethys. Before the carboniferous time, under the influence of differential forces (tidal force and
gravitational force), the Pangea got fractured into different blocks and they got displaced in different directions. These
blocks became the present day continents and the intervening space was occupied by the oceans.
Latest and most accepted theory explaining the distribution of oceans and continents is the Plate Tectonics Theory.
According to this theory, the lithosphere is divided into a number of relatively rigid plates. These plates are like floating
rafts over the molten asthenosphere. Due to convection currents originating in the interior of the Earth, the plates move
in various directions. This movement of plate has been responsible for the present distribution of oceans and continents.
LANDFORMS OF THE SECOND ORDER

Plains:
A plain is defined as an area with gently sloping land and very low local relief (difference
between the highest and lowest point). Plain can be classified as (1) Peneplains are formed by the
wearing down of land due to weathering and erosion. (2) Flood Plains, Delta Plains and Alluvial Plains
are all formed through the deposition of eroded materials by rivers. The Ganga Yamuna Doab plain ia an
example of a flood plain and the Sunder ban plains is delta plain. (3) Coastal Plains are those parts of the
continental shelf which have been uplifted. (4) Lacustrine Plains are old lake beds and are made up of
sediments deposited by rivers. (5) Karst Plains are formed in limestone areas mainly by the agency of
underground water. (6) Glacial Plains are formed through glacial erosion and deposition.
Plateau:
An extensive level or near level area of elevated land is termed a plateau. Plateaus can
be classified as (1) Intermontane plateaus are formed in association with mountains and are enclosed
by them, example is Tibetan Plateau. (2) Piedmont Plateaus lie between mountains on one side and the
sea or plains on the other, example the Patagonian Plateau in South America. (3) Continental Plateau
rise abruptly from the seas or low lands and are extensive, example the Indian Plateau (Peninsular India)
and Greenland. Most of the continental plateaus are ancient shield areas made up of volcanic rocks.
Mountains:
Unlike the plateaus they have sharp conical peaks and many of them are formed of a
series of ranges. Mountains are classified as Fold Mountains are formed when the rocks of the crust of
the Earth get folded under stress, mainly by the forces of compression. The crests or unfolds are called
anticlines and the troughs or the down folds are known as synclines. The Himalayas, the Andes and the
Rockies are the fold mountain. Sometimes the crust of the Earth gets fractured due to stress upon the
rocks, usually as a result of forces causing tension. This phenomenon is known as Faulting. The
mountains so formed are called Block Mountains. The Basin ranges of USA, the Black forest Mountains
and Vosges of Europe are the examples of Block Mountain. The steep sided depressions resulting
through faulting are called Rift Valleys. The Red Sea, Dead Sea, Narmada valley are examples of Rift
Valleys. Areas uplifted due to faulting are called Horsts. Volcanic Mountains are formed through
deposition of lava due to volcanic eruption. They are thus mountains of accumulation. The Fujiyama and
the Hawaii Islands are the examples of Volcanic Mountain. Sometimes mountains are carved out as a
result of erosion of plateaus and high plains by various agents of erosion. These are known as Residual
Mountains. The highlands of Scotland and the Sierras of Central Spain are its examples.
Lakes:
A lake is defined as a large inland body of water. Generally, water in lake is stagnant.
Lakes are formed in a number of ways, example by the erosional and depositional activity of rivers,
glaciers, wind and waves in the coastal areas. The Great lakes of North America and most of the lakes of
Canada have been formed through glacial erosion. Many lakes have been formed due to damming up of
sections of river channels, for example, the Ox-bow lakes. In desert Playa lakes are found which are
formed due to flowing in of rain water into local depressions sometimes carved by wind erosion. They
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are generally seasonal and much smaller in dry season. Lake Chad in Africa and Smbhar Lake in
Rajasthan are examples of such lakes. Lagoon Lakes are produced due to erosional and depositional
action of waves in the coastal regions. Lake Chilka in Orissa is the example of Lagoon Lake. Many lakes
occupy structural depressions like the fault basins. A large number of lakes in Africa and Lake Baykal in
Russia occupy such basins. Craters of Volcanoes also form lakes and they are called crater lakes. Some
lakes like the Caspian Sea are remnants of ancient ocean and sea areas.
Lakes are either Fresh water or Salt water lakes. Most of the lakes receiving a continuous inflow of fresh
water through rivers or glaciers are fresh water lakes. Lake Wular in Kashmir valley and the Great Lakes
of North America are all fresh water lakes. On the other hand, Lake situated in the desert, which receive
limited inflow of water and where the rate of evaporation is very high, are salty lakes. Lake Van in Utah,
Dead Sea and the Lakes of Rajasthan are such salty lakes.
Faulting:
implies fracture and vertical or horizontal displacement of fractured rock strata under the influence of
tensional forces. The plane along which the rocks are fractured is called the fault plane.
Warping:
is also a result of the compression deformation of the earths crust. However warping may involve minor
uplift or downward movements and the rocks are not folded. Warping results information of Domes, Shields and
Depressions.
EROSIONS
Erosion means wearing down of the Earths surface. It involves removal of rock materials from higher areas. Cycle of
erosion is one of the most important concepts in Geomorphology, put forth by W. M. Davis. This concepts deals with the
development of landforms under the influence of the agent of erosion. Some of the landforms made by various agents
are as follow.
Landforms Made by Rivers:
The ultimate level up to which a stream can erode its bed is called the Base level
of erosion. The major erosional landforms made by rivers include the V-shaped valley (due to more erosion in
the central part of the channel), gorge (a very deep v-shaped valley in the mountains), canyon (a steep sided
deep valley in areas of soft rocks), waterfalls and rapids (a series of low waterfalls). The major depositional
landforms include the alluvial fan, alluvial cone, flood plain, delta etc. The serpentine course of a river is called
meandering course and cut off parts of the meanders form ox-bow lakes.
Landforms made by Glaciers: The major landforms made through glacial erosion include cirques (armchair
shaped depressions on hill slopes), U-shaped valleys (due to the solid mass of the glacier, the width of the valley
is almost equal from top to bottom), hanging valleys (the valley of main glacier is lowered more than that of a
smaller tributary glacier), cols (high passages through mountain ranges), saddles (broad passages through
mountain ranges), passes and fjords (submerged glacial valleys). The depositional features include the outwash
plains (selective deposition of debris where the glacier melts), kames, eskers (deposition in the tunnel under the
glacier), drumlins etc. Depending upon the part of the glacier carrying the moraine during transportation, they
are classified as ground moraine (bottom of the glacier), lateral moraine (along the side of the glacial valley),
medial moraine (central part of the glacier) and terminal moraine (in front of the glacier).
Landforms made by Wind:
The major erosional features made by wind are Mushroom rocks (where winds
blow from different directions), desert pavements (area smoothened through wind erosion), deflation hollows
(removal of lose particles by wind) and inselbergs (remnants of hard rocks in arid areas) etc. The most common
among the depositional features made by winds are the dunes. One of the peculiar dune formation is called a
bar khan. It is a large dune having a tall concave face and a long sloping tail. Besides dunes, wind deposition also
forms loess (deposition of fine grained wind borne material over a large area away from the source, in thick
layers) plains. Hwang Ho plain in China is an example of such plain.
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Landforms made by Waves:


In the coastal area, major wave eroded landforms include the sea cliffs (rocks
eroded to almost a vertical face), caves, arches, stalks (tall rocks standing in the sea at some distance from the
coast) and bays. The major depositional features are beaches, off-shore bars, barrier bars, spits and lagoons.
Landforms made by Underwater:
In the limestone regions it is very important. Due to solubility of the
rocks in such areas, the streams become underground and the surface flow is generally absent. Most of the
erosional work by the underground water is performed through solution action. Areas rich in lime stone, where
the action of underground water has been important are called Karst Type or Karst regions so named after the
Karst region of Yugoslavia where such landforms are formed. Major erosional landforms found in such regions
include sink holes and dolines (small holes through which surface water becomes underground), underground
caverns or caves karst lakes and poljees (a large depression in the karst region formed usually through collapse
of cavern roofs). The major depositional features include the stalactites (conical pillars growing downwards from
the roof of a cavern), stalagmites (conical pillars growing upwards from the floor of a cavern), cave pillars and
veins (thin deposits of limestone in the joints of insoluble rocks) etc.

SOILS
Most mature soils have layered arrangement of strata called horizons. The uppermost is the A horizon and the lower
one is the bed rock. Most mature soils have three horizons A, B and C. This arrangement of soil layers is called the soil
profile. Most soils take a long time to develop and a number of soil-forming complexes (pedogenic regime) are involved
in their evolution and profile development. The most important pedogenic regimes are podzolisation, laterisation,
calcification, salinisation, gleisation. Podzolisation commonly occurs in areas of humid temperate climate and is a typical
regime of the coniferous forest regions. Soils formed under this regime lack in bases, colloids and oxides of iron as these
constituents of soil are leached away to the lower layer. Leaching is the process of removal of minerals in solution from
the upper layers to the lower layers of the soil. Therefore these soils are low in fertility. Laterisation is associated with
warm and humid tropical areas where wet and dry seasons alternate. These soils are highly porous and display a red
colour due to the presence of iron oxide. They are low in fertility. Calcification is associated with area where evaporation
on an average exceeds precipitation. Since leaching is low, calcium and magnesium ions remain in soil. They usually have
high fertility. Salinisation is associated with poorly drained areas with a desert climate. Salts like sulphates and chlorides
of calcium and sodium are commonly found in these soils. Due to high concentration of salts in the upper layers, these
soils are not suitable for cultivation. However, irrigation can help leach away the harmful salts and make them suitable
for farming.
Gleisation occurs in poorly drained but not saline, environment in areas of moist and cool or cold climate where organic
matter accumulates due to lack of bacterial activity and forms a surface Layer of peaty material. These soils are not
suitable for cultivation.
Classification and Distribution of World Soils

Zonal Soils:
are mature soils, the development of which has been influenced by the local climate and
vegetation. They have a perfectly developed profile. Podzols are examples of such soils.
Intra zonal Soils:
are those soils the development of which has been influenced by factors like terrain or
the parent material and the role of vegetation has been limited. The profile of these soils is not fully developed.
Calcimorphic and hydromorphic soils are examples of such soils.
Azonal Soils:
are poorly developed soils where climatic or terrain or time restrictions have hampered
the development of a profile. Tundra Soils and Alluvial Soils are examples of such soils.
The major soil types of the world are:
Podzols:
are zonal soils and they occurring dominantly in areas of cool humid climate in Northern Europe,
Asia and North America. The soil has an ash gray colour and humus accumulation occurs on the surface. Since
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they are highly leached, they lack in bases, are acidic in reaction and are not very fertile. They support
coniferous forests. In areas of slightly lesser rainfall, the true podzols are replaced by gray brown podzolic soils
which are richer in bases. Parts of Western Europe and Northern China have this type of soil. In somewhat
warmer areas, the podzols are replaced by red yellow podzolic soils. Southern parts of USA and Coastal zones in
Africa, Australia and New Zealand have such type of soils.
Laterites:
are the reddish soils of humid tropical areas. They are also highly leached but lack accumulation
of humus. Thus they are poor in organic matter. India have red soil of this type and they are sufficiently
productive if organic matter is added regularly. The soils of rainy tropical areas have accumulation of iron and
aluminium oxide. This type of soils is collectively called Latosols. Latosols occur in India, South East Asia, the
Congo Basin and the Amazon Basin.
Prairie Soils: developed in areas of humid continental climate and they are also called Brunizems. Prairies of
North America have this type of soil. Leaching is imperfect and the soluble salts occur in abundance, a giving
them a dark colour. They are light black in colour and can support large farming populations.
Chernozems: are also known as Black Earth. They are the soils of the temperate grasslands and are found
extensively in Steppe regions in Ukraine, Russia, United States and in the Deccan of India (regur or black cotton
soils). In India they are also called Regur soils.
Desert Soils: lack in humus and are brownish in colour. They are usually sandy in texture and contain soluble
salts large in amounts. They can be fertile if irrigated. Sahara, Atacama, Arabian Desert and Thar desert are the
examples of such soils.
Calcimorphic Soils:
are intrazonal soils which develop parent material which is highly rich in lime.
Calcimorphic soils found in the sub humid tropics are fairly fertile. Large areas of South America and areas
around the Mediterranean Sea have this type of soil.
Tundra Soils: are the soils of cold zones which are poorly drained. They are stony in texture and have very
poor development of profile. They are found in the Tundra regions of Eurasia and North America. Poor grasses
are the natural vegetation of these regions.
Hydromorphic Soils: are associated with marshes bogs or poorly drained flat uplands. They often contain
accumulations of peaty organic matter. Parts of Western Europe and foothills of Himalayas have these soils.
However, the distribution of these soils is in patches rather than in belts.
Alluvial Soils: are not really separate groups as they comprise deposits of eroded material transported by
rivers from other areas. Their nature depends upon the source material from which the alluvium originated.
They usually do not show horizons and consists of material like sand, silt and clay. The Indo-Gangetic Plains and
Egypts Nile Valley and Delta are the examples of that regions which have this type of soil. They are easy to
cultivate and are usually fertile. They are poor in organic matter and need frequent mannuring.
POPULATION STRUCTURE
Birth Rate:
Number of live births per 1000 of population per year.
Death Rate:
Number of death per 1000 of population per year.
Natural Growth Rate: Birth Rate minus Death rate. A negative growth rate means decreasing population and
positive growth rate means increasing population.
Infant Mortality Rate: Number of death of children below one year of age per 1000 live birth.
Life Expectancy:
Average age to which a person at the time of his birth is expected to live.
Net Reproduction Rate:
The rate at which women are replaced by daughters who will have children.
Sex Ratio:
Number of females per 1000 males. If the number of females is less than that of the males, the
sex ratio is said to be unfavourable to females and vice versa.
Crude Density or Density of Population:
Number of persons living per unit area (Sq Km) in an area
assuming uniform distribution of population. It is calculated by dividing by total population by total area.
Agricultural Density of Population:
Total population divided by cultivated area.
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Races and Tribes


Anthropologists classify the people of the world into five racial groups: Caucasoid (White), Mongoloid (Yellow), Negroid
(Black), Australoid (Black) and Hottentots and Bushmen of the Kalahari. Hottentots and Bushmen are two major groups
of Negroids. The two races are dying and the first three flourishing. The Caucasoid are numerically the largest group,
followed by the Mongoloids. The Caucasoid group includes not only White Europeans and the people of European origin
living elsewhere, but also Arabs and most of the people of the Indian subcontinent. They are also called the wavy haired
people. Caucasoid are also divided into Nordic (Northern Europe), Alpine (Central Europe), and Mediterranean People
(Arabs, Jews and people of the Indian subcontinent). Mongoloids are also called straight haired people. Amerinds (native
American Indians) are perhaps an early off shoot while the Polynesians are a subgroup are the Mongoloids with a great
deal of racial intermixture. The Negroids are represented by the African people. They are also called wooly haired
people.
There are also numbers of groups of people identified as tribes. Some of these are:
Aborigines:
The term is generally used to refer to any original people of a region. It is specially used to
denote the original inhabitants of Australia.
Amerinds:
People of mixed Indian and European blood in North America.
Bantus:
Negroes of Central and Southern Africa.
Bedouins:
Nomadic tribe of Arab Stock in Africa and South West Asia.
Berbers:
Tribals of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
Bushmen:
Tribal inhabitants of the Kalahari Desert in Africa. They are excellent stalkers and hunters.
Bindibu:
Natives of Western Australia.
Eskimos:
natives of the Tundra region (very cold high latitude areas) in Canada and Greenland.
Finns:
People of European Tundra.
Gaucho:
Nomads of the Pampas in Uruguay and Argentina.
Hamites:
Dark Skinned Muslims in North West Africa.
Hottentots:
One of the original races inhabiting tropical Africa.
Kirghiz:
People of the Steppe type region in Asia.
Kikuyu:
A tribe of East Africa.
Lapps:
People of the European Tundra.
Maoris:
The original inhabitants of New Zealand.
Masai:
A Negro tribe of East Africa.
Mestizos:
People of Mixed Indian and European blood in South America.
Mulattos:
People of Mixed European and Black blood inhabiting South America.
Papuans:
Tribals of New Guinea.
Pygmies:
Extremely short statured people of the Zaire Basin in Africa.
Red Indians: Aborigines of North America.
Samoyeds:
People of the Asiatic Tundra (Northern Russia).
Semites:
Jews and Ethiopians.
Tartar:
A mixed group of people in Siberia.
Veddas:
The racial stock of Sri Lanka.
Yakuts:
People in the Tundra region in Russia.
Zambos:
People of mixed Black and Indian blood in South America.
Migration:
People migrate due to economic, social and political factors. These factors operate in the form of push
factors and pull factor. A push factor represented by the difficulties which make people move from their original place of
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living. Over population, poverty, unemployment, climatic and other hardship constitute the push factor in the migration.
The pull factor is represented by the attractions of the new place to which people migrate. Availability of virgin lands,
mineral resources, under-population, a congenial climate and an emigration favouring government policy constitute the
pull factor. Migration affects the demographic and economic structure in the areas of emigration (areas from where
people move away) and areas of immigration (areas to which people move).
Resources and their Classification:
Biotic and Abiotic Resources: Substances derived from living beings or living beings themselves constitute
biotic resources. Animals, forests, fish and substances derived from them such as timber and coal are examples
of biotic resources. Manpower is also a biotic resource. The substances obtained from non living things are
called the Abiotic resources. Land, water, minerals etc are the examples of Abiotic resource.
Potential and Developed Resources: A substance is a resource only if it can be used beneficially at the
prevailing levels of technology. Thus the amount of resources varies with time. The resources being utilized
currently with the available technology are called the developed resources. The mineral resources being mined
presently are an example of such resources. Besides these resources the region concerned might have some
resources which are not being used at present either due to lack of a suitable technology or because they are
not required at the present time. However their existence is known. Such resources are called potential
resources. Deposits of minerals known but not being utilized at present is an example of potential resources.
Exhaustible and Inexhaustible Resource:
Some of the resources are created in the natural systems
continuously and they are likely to be available for all times to come. Such resources are called inexhaustible
resources. Solar is an example of such resources. On the other hand, some of the resources, are not created
regularly in the natural systems and they are available in limited quantity. They are not likely to be available
after being used once. Such resources are called exhaustible resources. Most of the minerals mined from the
rocks of the Earth are exhaustible.
Renewable and Non renewable Resources:
Those resources which can be created regularly are called
renewable resources. Most of the biotic resources like forest are renewable resources. Some of the renewable
resources are also inexhaustible as their supply is very large, for example solar energy and wind energy.
However, the renewable resources can be exhaustible if the rate of their exploitation is higher than the rate of
natural accrual. The forest and fish resources though both renewable are exhaustible, if the rate of exploitation
are too high. The resources which cannot be created once they are used are called the non renewable
resources. Most of the exhaustible resources such as mineral resources are non-renewable.
Some more examples are energy or fuel resources (coal, petroleum, hydro electricity, nuclear minerals), raw
materials (used as basic inputs to industrial production), pastoral resources (based upon the animals),
agricultural resources (the cultivated plants constitute this resources).
One particular resource can be included in more than one category as the criteria used for their identification
differ from one instance to the other. For example, coal is an example of mineral resources, energy resources,
exhaustible resources, developed resources and biotic resources.
ESTATE FARMING
has been a typical type of farming in the areas of new land where large cultivable areas were
available to the settlers from the European continent. It was a traditional type of farming in Southern Europe. Such large
farms cultivated with the help of a large number of workers are called latifundia in Europe, ranches in North America,
haciendas and fazendas in Latin America, stations in Australia, and plantations in many other areas.
COOPERATIVE FARMING
is a typical system of developed countries where the individual farmers pool their land
and other resources, cultivate the land and share the return in proportion to their contribution to the farming. Sweden,
Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark are well known for this type of farming.
COLECTIVE FARMING adopted in the former Soviet Union. It is based on the principle of social ownership of land and
collective labour in which there is no exploitation of one person by another. Such farms are infact state cooperatives run
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by a managing committee responsible to the government. After the collapse of communism in most of Europe, the
farmland under this system has gone to individuals.
KIBBUTIZIM FARMING is practiced in Israel. Farmers living on the Kibbutz work on the land collectively but get no
payment. Instead they are provided food, housing, clothing, medicare, education and some spending money.
INTENSIVE FAMING
Intensive farming or cultivation is the system under which a small area of land is cultivated
intensively and the input of manual labour, manure, fertilizer etc per unit of area is very high. This system is thus labour
intensive and is practiced in areas of high population density and per hectare yields are higher, as the emphasis is on
increasing productivity. Rice cultivation in West Bengal is the example. China, Japan, India, East Asian countries of
Western Europe is typically intensive.
EXTENSIVE FARMING It is practiced on large farms with the help of machines. The input of labour and animal power is
less. As much of the land is cultivated or sown only once in a year, this practice is possible only in areas of lower density
of population. Per hectare production and use of fertilizers are both low. Wheat in North America and Australia is the
example. Specialization of crops is the Hallmark of extensive farming. Use of chemical fertilizers and irrigation are now
adopted to increase per hectare yields.
TYPES OF CULTIVATION
Sedentary Cultivation:
Also called settled cultivation. It is the practice of continuous use of land year
after year. This type of practice is use in most parts of the world including India.
Shifting Cultivation:
Land is used for a few years until the fertility level drops. The farmer then moves
on to a new plot of land. This is practiced by less advanced societies in the tropical regions. In India, it is practiced
mostly by tribal. It is called JHOOM in Assam, ONAM in Kerala, PODU in Andhra, and Orissa, BEWAR, MASHA, PENDA
& BERA in various parts of Madhya Pradesh. Other areas are South East Asia, Africa and parts of Latin America.
Terrace Cultivation:
In the mountains, the cultivation is done on terrace fields. This method is
adopted to conserve soil on steep slopes.
Wet or Irrigated cultivation:
This is the practice of farming with the help of irrigation in regions where rainfall
is not adequate or where it is highly seasonal. Rice and Sugarcane are crops typical of this system in India.
Dry Cultivation:
Dry farming is done in areas where there are no irrigation facilities and the
rainfall is also limited in amount. Crops grown here are resistant to dry conditions. In some areas, crops grown
normally by irrigated cultivation are also grown without irrigation facilities. Large areas of Russia, South West Asia,
North America, Australia and India come under this type of farming.
Crop Rotation:
This is the practice of growing different crops in succession so that the soil
remain fertile.
Mixed and Multiple Cropping:
Sometimes a number of crops of different periods of maturity are grown
together. This is known as mixed cropping. Growing of two or more crops on a given plot of land in succession in one
year, on the other hand, is called multiple cropping. Under another system called relay cropping, a number of crops
are sown simultaneously so that when one crops matures and is harvested the other crops starts growing. In this
system the land is never vacant. Such practices of obtaining more than one crop from the same land are typical of
regions having a high pressure of populations on land, example, Parts of Europe, China, Japan and India. These
practices adopted generally in areas of irrigated farming.
Nomadic Farming

Live Stock Ranching

Based on the rearing of animals on natural pastures and is


followed by the people of the semi arid and arid regions.
They keep moving with their animals in search of natural
pastures and lead a nomadic life.
Based on the rearing of animals but farmers live a settled
life. This type of farming has developed on a commercial

Northern Africa, parts of


Arabia and parts of northern
Eurasia
Low rainfall areas of North
America, South America and
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Shifting Cultivation

Rudimentary
Sedentary Tillage

Intensive
Subsistence
Farming with Rice
Dominant
Intensive
Subsistence
Farming without
Rice Dominant
Commercial
Plantation
Mediterranean
Agriculture

Commercial grain
Farming
Commercial
Livestock and Grain
Farming
Subsistence Crop
and Stock Farming

Commercial Dairy
Farming
Specialized
Horticulture

basis in those areas of the world where large areas are


available for animal grazing. Animals are reared mainly for
meat and wool and they are kept on large farms called
Ranches.
Adopted generally in the tropics. Under this system, land for
cultivation is obtained by clearing the forests with the help
of slashing and burning techniques. The land is cultivated till
the fertility declines or is overtaken by weeds etc. The land is
then abandoned and a new plot is cleared for cultivation.
Major emphasis on the grain crops.
Same plot of land is cultivated continuously year after year.
Besides grain crops, some tree crops, such as rubber are also
grown. Fallowing (leaving land for sometime so that fertility
is restored) of land is commonly adopted to maintain the soil
fertility and is adopted in tropical regions.
Practiced in tropical regions and having a high density of
population and receiving a large amount of precipitation.
Rice is dominant crop as it can employ and feed large
number of people per unit area.
This is a slightly dry climatic variant of the foregoing type
and as the amount of rainfall is not very high. These regions
grow grain crops wheat and millets other than rice.

Australia

Major products are the tropical crops such as tea, coffee,


rubber, oil, palm etc.
The rugged relief of the Mediterranean region has resulted
in typical live stock and crop combinations in this region.
Wheat, vineyards and citrus fruits are the major crops.
Horticulture is the major activity in this region.
Monoculture of the wheat is general practice

Parts of Asia, Africa, Latin


America

Commonly known as mixed farming, this practice has


originated in the humid areas of the middle latitudes except
in Asia. Its development is related to the availability of the
market facilities and is typical European type of farming.
This resembles the foregoing type in terms of the crops and
type of livestock but differs in the sense that practically
nothing is said off the farms. This type of farming is common
in areas of the middle latitudes with lower fertility of soils
and rough terrain.
It has its origin in Europe. Close proximity to the market and
temperate climatic conditions are two reasons for the
development of this type.
This has developed to take advantage of the large demand
for products of horticulture.

Tropical forest region of


South East Asia.

South East Asian

Less wet areas of Asia,


Northern Africa, parts of
Middle East, Southern Africa
and central America.

The prairies Steppes, and the


temperate grasslands of
South America and Australia
Great Britain and new
Zealand

Russia (but now decline)

Denmark and Sweden

Vineyard cultivation areas of


France, Northern Hungary
and The Swiss Lake regions
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