South Asia: Physical Geography

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Chapter
14 Section 1
Objectives
In this section you will:
• Learn about the landforms of South Asia.
• Discover the most important factor that
affects climate in South Asia.
• Examine how people use the land and
resources of South Asia.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
Key Terms
• subcontinent (SUB kahn tih nunt) n. a large landmass
that is a major part of a continent
• alluvial (uh LOO vee ul) adj. made of soil deposited by
rivers
• cash crop (kash krahp) n. a crop that is raised or
gathered to be sold for money on the local or world
market
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
Scientists believe that all of Earth’s continents
were once joined, and the Indian
subcontinent was attached to the east coast
of Africa.
They think that the Indian subcontinent broke
from Africa and slid slowly toward Asia about
200 million years ago.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
About 50 million years ago, the Indian
subcontinent collided with Asia, crumpling the
land where they met and forming the
Himalaya Mountains.
The Himalayas form a barrier between South
Asia and the rest of Asia.
They stretch 1,550 miles from east to west
and include Mount Everest, the highest peak
in the world.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
Nations in South Asia include:
• Bangladesh
• Bhutan
• India
• The Maldives (islands)
• Nepal
• Pakistan
• Sri Lanka (island)
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
South Asia is one of the most densely
populated regions in the world.
Most of the people live in areas that have
abundant rainfall, including coastal areas,
northeastern India, and Bangladesh.
About 70 percent of the population of South
Asia live in rural areas, especially fertile river
valleys.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
South Asia: Physical
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
The Ganges and the Indus—the two major rivers in South
Asia—both begin in the Himalayas.
The Ganges flows across northern India and empties into
the Bay of Bengal, and the Indus flows west from the
Himalayas into Pakistan.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
Huge alluvial plains stretch from the mouth of the Indus
River to the mouth of the Ganges River.
The plains have fertile soil, so they are good for farming
and are heavily populated.
South of India’s plains lies the Deccan Plateau, which is
framed by two mountain ranges, the Western Ghats and
the Eastern Ghats.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
South Asia:
Climate and Region
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
Monsoons are the single most important factor affecting
the climate of South Asia.
During the summer, steady monsoon winds blow from the
southwest across the surface of the Arabian Sea and the
Indian Ocean.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
The winds pick up moisture and drop it as
rain over the hot western tip of India.
The rain cools the land, so when the next air
mass blows in, it travels further inland before
dropping rain on the land.
In this way, the monsoon rains work their way
inland until they finally reach the Himalayas.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
During the winter, the monsoons change
direction, and the winds blow from the frigid
northeast.
The Himalayas block the cold air, so South
Asia has dry, mild winter weather.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
Some countries in South Asia grow cash
crops such as tea, cotton, coffee, and sugar
cane.
Cash crops bring in money, but countries
must be careful not to rely on them too much
or their economies might suffer if global
prices drop.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
India has a vast supply of minerals, including
iron ore, coal, copper, limestone, and bauxite.
India has only a small amount of oil, though,
so it relies heavily on hydroelectricity and
nuclear power plants.
South Asia: Physical Geography
Chapter
14 Section 1
Ganges River
Indus River
Bay of Bengal
Himalaya Mts.
Alluvial Plain
Deccan Plateau
Eastern and Western Ghats
South Asia: Physical Geography
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