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INTRODUCTION India is a vast country with varied landforms. Our country has practically all major physical features of the earth i.e. mountains, plains, deserts, plateaus and islands. India is a large landmass formed during different geological periods which has influenced her relief. Besides geological formations, a number of processes such as weathering, erosion and deposition have created and modified the relief its present form.


CAUSES OF PLATE MOVEMENT The movement of the plates results in the building up of stresses within the plates and the continental rocks above, leading to folding, faulting and volcanic activity.

Plate Boundaries :

Plate Boundaries Basically there are three types of plate boundaries: Transform Boundary- In the event of two plates coming together they may either collide and crumble, or one may slide under the other. At times, they may also move horizontally past each other and form transform boundary.

2. Convergent Boundary-:

2. Convergent Boundary- While some plates come towards each other and form convergent boundary.


3.DIVERGENT BOUNDARY- Some plates move away from each other and form divergent boundary.


PLATE MOVEMENT The movement of these plates have changed the position and size of the continents over millions of years. Such movements have also influenced the evolution of the present landform features relief of India

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The oldest landmass, (the Peninsula part), was a part of the Gondwana land. The Gondwanaland included India, Australia, South Africa and South America as one single land mass. The convectional currents split the crust into a number of pieces, thus leading to the drifting of the Indo-Australian plate after being separated from the Gondwana land, towards north. The northward drift resulted in the collision of the plate with the much larger Eurasian Plate. Due to this collision, the sedimentary rocks which were accumulated in the geosynclines known as the Tethys were folded to form the mountain system of western Asia and Himalaya. The Himalayan uplift out of the Tethys sea and subsidence of the northern flank of the peninsular plateau resulted in the formation of a large basin. In due course of time this depression, gradually got filled with deposition of sediments by the rivers flowing from the mountains in the north and the peninsular plateau in the south

Major Physiographic Divisions Of India:

Major Physiographic Divisions Of India The Himalayan Mountains The Northern Plains The Peninsular Plateau The Indian Desert The Coastal Plains The Islands

The Himalayan Mountains:

The Himalayan Mountains The Himalayas, geologically young and structurally fold mountains stretch over the northern borders of India. These mountain ranges run in a west-east direction from the Indus to the Brahmaputra. The Himalayas represent the loftiest and one of the most rugged mountain barriers of the world. They form an arc, which covers a distance of about 2,400 Km. Their width varies from 400 Km in Kashmir to 150 Km in Arunachal Pradesh. The altitudinal variations are greater in the eastern half than those in the western half.

The Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in its longitudinal extent. :

The Himalaya consists of three parallel ranges in its longitudinal extent.

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(i)The greater Himalayas (ii) The lesser Himalayas (iii) The Siwalik hill ranges


THE GREATER OR INNER HIMALAYA It is the most continuous range consisting of the loftiest peaks with an average height of 6,000 metres. It contains all the prominent Himalayan peaks like – Mt. Everest (8,848m) in Nepal and Kanchenjunga(8,598) Sikkim in India. The folds of Great Himalayas are asymmetrical in nature. The core of this part of Himalayas is composed of granite. It is perennially snow bound, and a number of glaciers descend from this range.

Himachal or lesser Himalaya:

Himachal or lesser Himalaya The ranges are mainly composed of highly compressed and altered rocks. The altitude varies between 3,700 and 4,500 metres and the average width is of 50 Km. While the Pir Panjal range forms the longest and the most important range, the Dhaula Dhar and the Mahabharata ranges are also prominent ones. This range consists of the famous valley of Kashmir, the Kangra and Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh. This region is well known for its hill stations


THE SHIWALIKS They extend over a width of 10-50 Km and have an altitude varying between 900 and 1100 metres. These ranges are composed of unconsolidated material such as mud, silt and soft rocks and is prone to earthquakes and Landslides. Some narrow valleys are found between Shiwaliks and Himachal. They are called duns. For example Dehradun.

Some Highest Peaks of the Himalayas:

Some Highest Peaks of the Himalayas

The Northern Plain:

The Northern Plain The northern plain has been formed by the interplay of the three major river systems, namely– the Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra along with their tributaries. This plain is formed of alluvial soil. The deposition of alluvium in a vast basin lying at the foothills of the Himalaya over millions of years, formed this fertile plain. It spreads over an area of 7 lakh sq. km. The plain being about 2400 Km long and 240 to 320 Km broad, is a densely populated physiographic division. With a rich soil cover combined with adequate water supply and favourable climate it is agriculturally a very productive part of India

The northern plains broadly is divided into 3 sections:

The northern plains broadly is divided into 3 sections THE PUNJAB PLAIN THE GANGA PLAIN THE BRAHMAPUTRA PLAIN


THE PUNJAB PLAIN The Western Part of the northern plain is called the Punjab Plain. It is formed by Indus and its tributaries. The large part of this plain lies in Pakistan. The Indus and its tributaries :-the Ravi, the Chenab ,etc. The section of the plain is dominated by Doabs.


THE GANGA PLAIN It extends between Ghaggar and testa river.


THE BRAHMAPUTRA PLAIN It spreads over the states of North India , Haryana, Delhi , Bihar, U.P. , Jharkhand ,and West Bengal, particularly in Assam lies the Brahmaputra

The Northern Plains can be divided into 4 regions:

The Northern Plains can be divided into 4 regions The narrow belt of about 8 to 16 km in width lying parallel to the slopes of shiwalik are called bhabar. The streams and rivers re-emerge and create a wet ,swampy and marshy region known as terai. The flood plains of the rivers and present a terrace like feature is known as bhangar. The soil in this region contains calcareous deposits known as kankar.

The Peninsular Plateau:

The Peninsular Plateau

The Peninsular plateau is a tableland composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks. It was formed due to the breaking and drifting of the Gondwana land. The plateau has broad and shallow valleys and rounded hills. :

The Peninsular plateau is a tableland composed of the old crystalline, igneous and metamorphic rocks. It was formed due to the breaking and drifting of the Gondwana land. The plateau has broad and shallow valleys and rounded hills.

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This plateau consists of two broad divisions are: Central highlands Deccan plateau

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The Central Highlands The Deccan Plateau

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The Central Highlands The part of peninsular plateau lying to the north of the narmada river covering a major area of the malwa plateau is known as the central highlands. The extend of central highlands is from vindhya to aravalli hills. The slope of central highlands is from south-west to north-east

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The rivers chambal,sind,betwa and ken flow are according to the slope of the plateau. The central highlands are wider in the west and are narrower in the east. The chotanagpur plateau is the eastward extension of central highlands. The chotanagpur plateau is drained from damodar river.

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Deccan Plateau The deccan plateau is a triangular landmass that lies to the south of the river narmada. The deccan plateau is higher in the west and slopes gently eastwards. It is separated by fault from the chotanagpur plateau.

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The Western Ghats Western Ghats lie parallel to the western coast. They are continuous and can be crossed through passes only. The Western Ghats are higher than the Eastern Ghats. Their average elevation is 900– 1600 metres

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The Eastern Ghats The Eastern Ghats stretch from the Mahanadi Valley to the Nigiris in the south. The Eastern Ghats are discontinuous and irregular and dissected by rivers draining into he Bay of Bengal. Their average elevation is 600 metres

The Indian Desert:

The Indian Desert

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The Indian desert lies towards the western margins of the Aravali Hills. It is an undulating sandy plain covered with sand dunes. This region receives very low rainfall below 150 mm per year. It has arid climate with low vegetation cover. Streams appear during the rainy season.



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HOT DESERT The largest hot desert in the world, northern Africa's Sahara, reaches temperatures of up to 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) during the day. covering 9 million square kilometers and 12 countries. Hot deserts usually have a large diurnal and seasonal temperature range, with high daytime temperatures, and low nighttime temperatures (due to extremely low humidity). In hot deserts the temperature in the daytime can reach 45 °C/113 °F or higher in the summer, and dip to 0 °C/32 °F or lower at nighttime in the winter. Urban areas in deserts lack large (more than 14 °C/25 °F) daily temperature variations, partially due to the urban heat island effect. Many deserts are formed by rain shadows; mountains blocking the path of precipitation to the desert (on the lee side of the mountain).




COOL DESERT The common conceptions of deserts as dry and hot, there are cold deserts as well. Desert animals have adapted ways to help them keep cool and use less water. FOR EXAMPLE, camel can go for days without food and water. Many desert animals are nocturnal, coming out only when the brutal sun has descended to hunt. Some animals, like the desert tortoise in the southwestern United States, spend much of their time underground. Most desert birds are nomadic, crisscrossing the skies in search of food. Because of their very special adaptations, desert animals are extremely vulnerable to introduced predators and changes to their habitat.



The Coastal Plains:

The Coastal Plains The northern part of the coast is called the Konkan (Mumbai – Goa), the central stretch is called the Kannad Plain while the southern stretch is referred to as the Malabar coast The plain along the Bay of Bengal are wide and level In the northern part, it is referred to as the Northern Circar, while the southern part is known as the Coromandal Coast. Large rivers such as the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri have formed extensive delta on this coast. Lake Chilika is an important feature along the eastern coast


THE ISLAND An  island   is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago. An island may still be described as such despite the presence of an artificial land bridge, for example Singapore and its causeway, or the various Dutch delta islands, such as Ijssel monde. Some places may even retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a wide land bridge, such as Coney Island. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal, it is generally not considered an island.

Lakshadweep Islands:

Lakshadweep Islands Lakshadweep Islands group are lying close to the Malabar coast of Kerala. This group of islands is composed of small coral islands. Earlier they were known as Laccadive, Minicoy and Amindive. In 1973 these were named as Lakshadweep. It covers small area of 32 sq km. Kavaratti island is the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep. This island group has great diversity of flora and fauna. The Pitli island, which is uninhabited, has a bird sanctuary.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands :

Andaman and Nicobar Islands They are bigger in size and are more numerous and scattered. The entire group of islands is divided into two broad categories – The Andaman in the north and the Nicobar in the south. It is believed that these islands are an elevated portion of submarine mountains. These island groups are of great strategic importance for the country.


DO YOU KNOW? Most volcanoes and earthquakes in the world are located at plate margins, but some do occur within the plates. Majuli, in the Brahmaputra River is the largest inhabited riverine island in the world. ‘Doab’ is made up of two words- ‘do’ meaning two and ‘ab’ meaning water. Similarly ‘Punjab’ is also made up two words- ‘Punj’ meaning five and ‘ab’ meaning water.

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The Chilika Lake is the largest salt water lake in India. It lies in the state of Orissa, to the south of the Mahanadi delta. India’s only active volcano is found on Barren island in Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands.

Thank you :

Thank you BY: SMIT IX A

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