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Geography of South Asia

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1 Geography of South Asia

2 A Diamond Breaks Away Because this region is so large and separated by water from other land areas, it is called a subcontinent. According to a theory called plate tectonics, Earth’s surface is made of several slowly moving plates. The subcontinent may have once been part of a huge landmass that included the continents of South America, Africa, Australia, and Antarctica. Its plate may have broken off and moved very slowly northward until it collided with a larger plate.


4 The movement of these plates also formed the Himalayas Mountains
The movement of these plates also formed the Himalayas Mountains. Mount Everest is its highest peak. This region is also prone to earthquakes because of constantly moving plates.

5 THINK What action formed the Himalayas?
Why is South Asian land likely to have earthquakes? A smaller plate pushing up under a larger plate Moving plates that make up Earth’s surface cause earthquakes.

6 Snow to Monsoon This region has many different landforms:
Hindu Kush mountain range in the northwest Himalayas in the northeast A huge desert stretches across Pakistan and northwest India A large river delta in the east Mountains in Nepal and Bhutan A lush, green plain south of the Himalayas A plateau in the middle and tip of India The Indian Ocean surrounds the subcontinent

7 THINK What forms the border between South Asia and the rest of the Asian subcontinent? If you were moving to South Asia, where would you want to live? Why? The Hindu Kush mountain range and the Himalayas. Answers will vary.

8 Climate Despite the differences in landforms, much of South Asia has a similar climate. Temperatures are mild to cool from October through February. They shift to very hot from March through May. Then comes monsoon season, which lasts from June through September.

9 Monsoon Season Nearly all of the yearly precipitation falls during monsoon season. After the monsoon season, the land is refreshed and full of life again. Why do you think the monsoon is important to people in South Asia?

10 THINK Suppose you could visit South Asia. Based on what you have learned about the different seasons, when would you decide to go? Why?

11 Great Rivers, Great Plain
Three rivers flow through the subcontinent: Indus Ganges Brahmaputra Label the Indus and Ganges on your purple map.


13 These rivers fan out through the Indo- Ganges Plain
These rivers fan out through the Indo- Ganges Plain. The rivers carry water and silt into farmlands to irrigate and enrich the fields. Monsoon season rains cause flooding, which spreads more silt. This keeps the soil rich for the next year.

14 Farming Many families grow food just for themselves. This process is called subsistence farming because people live on the food they grow. They do not sell much of their crops.

15 THINK Why do you think that much of the population of India lives in villages on the Indo-Ganges plain? The land is good for growing crops, and many people subsist, or live, on the food they grow.

16 Plateau, Coast, and Islands
The Deccan Plateau is located where the land makes a point like a diamond. It lies between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. Climate: dry More irrigation for farming is needed; however, the plateau has rich, volcanic soil. Label the Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Indian Ocean on your map

17 The Deccan Plateau is framed on the west and east by rugged mountains, the Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats

18 Most people work as farmers in India
Most people work as farmers in India. People fish and farm along southern India’s heavily populated coasts too. Many people also work in the clothing and textile industries.

19 THINK What does the geography of South Asia reveal about the many differences within the subcontinent? The wide variety of landforms promotes many different lifestyles, including those of mountain people, subsistence farmers on the plains, and people working in manufacturing.

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