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Physical Geography of South Asia

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1 Physical Geography of South Asia
Chapter 24 Physical Geography of South Asia

2 Landforms and Resources
Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to summit Everest in 1953. Mountains and Plateaus The Himalayas form part of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives, known as South Asia. South Asia is called a subcontinent. It has 1/5th of the world’s population.

3 Northern Mountains South Asia was part of East Africa.
50 million years ago it split and moved northward. It collided with the Eurasian continent and created the Himalayas. They have nearly two dozen peaks above 24,000 ft, making the Himalayas the highest mountain chain.


5 Northern Mountains: cont’d
The Hindu Kush are in the west part of the chain and form the boundaries between Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Karakoram Mountains lie in the northeast. They are home to the 2nd tallest peak, K2.



8 Southern Plateaus The Deccan Plateau tilts east toward the Bay of Bengal. It makes up most of India. The Eastern and Western Ghats separate the plateau from the coast. It also prevents moist air from reaching the interior.


10 Rivers, Deltas, and Plains
The 3 great rivers start in the Himalayas. The Indus flows west and then south through Pakistan and into the Arabian Sea The Ganges flows eastward across Northern India. The Brahmaputra goes through Bangladesh. The Ganges and Brahmaputra join before entering the Bay of Bengal.

11 Fertile Plains These rivers deposit soil on alluvial plains.
The Indo-Gangetic Plains are the most fertile and most populated plains. To the south lies the Great Indian Desert.

12 Offshore Islands Sri Lanka The Maldives
A tear shaped island to the south east of India. Has mountains higher than 8,000 ft. Has a very tropical climate. The Maldives An archipelago, or island group. They are the low-lying tops of submerged volcanoes.

13 Natural Resources Water and Soil Forests
The rivers bring alluvial soil to enrich the land and water for irrigation. The rivers also supply transportation. Forests Woods such as teak, bamboo, and soft wood trees like pine are common. These woods make for many products.

14 Minerals India ranks 4th in the world in coal production.
It has enough petroleum to supply half of its needs. Uranium helps with nuclear power. The Deccan Plateau has huge iron ore deposits. Supplies much of the world’s mica.

15 Climate and Vegetation
Climate Zones Southeast Asia has 6 main climate zones. The Himalayas are cold highlands. Nepal and Bhutan are humid sub-tropical. The western end of the Plains is semiarid. The Indus Valley makes up the desert. Coasts of Bangladesh and India are tropical wet zones. Northern Sri Lanka is tropical wet-dry.

16 Monsoons and Cyclones Monsoons are seasonal winds.
October through February monsoons bring in dry air from the north. June through September they bring moist air from the south to create the rainy season. These monsoons can cause severe flooding.

17 Monsoons and Cyclones Cyclone – a violent storm with fierce wind and heavy rain. Most destructive in Bangladesh. They can kill thousands of people. In 1970, one cyclone killed 300,000 people.

18 Vegetation Zones The most forested parts are in the tropical wet zone.
The Highland zone has many evergreens. The humid subtropical zones carry palms and other species of trees like oak. In semiarid regions there is less plant life such as shrubs.

19 Human Environment Interaction
The Ganges River drains an area more than 3 times the size of France. It provides water for farming, transportation, and drinking. The Hindus worship the river and believe that it has healing powers. Daily rituals occur on the Ganges in order to honor what it brings the people.


21 A Polluted River After centuries of human use, the Ganges has become one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Raw sewage is emptied into it, as well as dead animals and even human corpses. It will take a great deal of time, effort, and money to reverse the effects that humans have had on it.


23 Controlling the Feni River
Located in Bangladesh, the river usually floods during monsoon season. There have been attempts to build dams and dikes in order to control this flooding. In the 1980’s, attempts were made to build a dam at the mouth of the river, but Bangladesh is poor and unable to afford the cost.

24 Using People Power In 1984, engineers from the Netherlands came to help build the dam. They emphasized the use of cheap materials. After 6 months, workers had partially blocked the river. February 28, 1985 was the day they shut off the river.

25 Completing the Dam After the river closed, the dam was reinforced with concrete and other materials. Three months later, a monsoon hit the area and the dam held.

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