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TOPIC OF THE DAY

Geography

LITHOSPHERE

Lithosphere

 It comprises the rocks of the earth’s crust and the thin layers of soil that contain nutrient elements which sustain organisms. Two – major divisions of the earth’s surface: Continents and Ocean Bodies.  All the oceans of the world are connected.

Sea Level

  • The level of seawater remains the same everywhere.  Elevation of land is measured from the level of the sea, which is taken as Zero.
  • For e.g., The highest mountain Mt. Everest is 8,848 m. above sea level.  The greatest depth of 11,022 m. is recorded at Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean.  Therefore the depth of the sea is much more than the highest point.

7 Continents

  • These are separated by large water bodies.   The greater part of the landmass lies in the Northern Hemisphere.

ASIA:

  • Largest continent.  Covers about one-third of the total area of the earth.  It lies in the Eastern Hemisphere.  The tropic of Cancer passes through this continent.
  • Ural Mountains separate Asia from Europe.  The combined landmasses of Europe and Asia is called Eurasia.

EUROPE:

  • Much smaller than Asia.  The continent lies to the west of Asia.  The Arctic Circle passes through it.  Bound by water bodies on three sides.

AFRICA:

  • Second largest after Asia.  The equator or 00 latitude runs through almost the middle of the continent.  A large part of Africa lies in the North Hemisphere.  It is the only continent through which the Tropic of Cancer, the Equator and the Tropic of Capricorn pass.
  • The Sahara Desert – the world’s largest hot desert is located in Africa.  The continent is bound on all sides by oceans and seas.
  • The Nile – World’s longest river flows through Africa.

NORTH AMERICA

  • Third largest Continent.  It is linked to South America by a very narrow strip of land called the Isthmus of Panama.  3 oceans surround this continent.

SOUTH AMERICA

  • Lies mostly in the Southern Hemisphere.  Surrounded by the Atlantic ocean in the East and Pacific ocean in the West.  The Andes, world’s longest mountain range, runs through its length from north to south.  It has the world’s largest river, the Amazon.

AUSTRALIA

  • The smallest continent that lies entirely in the Southern Hemisphere.  Surrounded by oceans and seas.  It is called an ‘Island Ocean’.

ANTARCTICA

  • Completely in the Southern Hemisphere.  The South pole lies almost at the centre of this continent.  It is located in the South Polar Region.  Hence covered with thick ice sheets.  There are no permanent human settlements.  Many countries have research centres/ stations in Antarctica.  India’s research stations are Maitri and Dhakshina Gangotri.

Strait

  • It is a narrow passage of water connecting two large water bodies like seas and oceans.   It most commonly refers to a channel of water that lies between two landmasses, but it may also refer to a navigable channel through a body of water that is otherwise not navigable, for example, because it is too shallow, or because it contains an unnavigable reef or archipelago.
  • E.g. 1) Palk strait = b/w India and SL    2) Torres Strait = New Guinea and Australia   3) Sunda Strait = Sumatra and Java    4) Dover Strait = Great Britain and France   5) Panama canal = N and S America.   6) Gibraltar Strait = Europe and Africa  7) Drake Passage = S. America and Antarctica    8) Cook Strait = North island and South island of New Zealand 9) Berring Strait = Pacific ocean and Antarctic ocean

Isthmus

  • A narrow strip of land joining two landmasses.
  • E.g. 1) Isthmus of Panama that connects North and South America (Panama canal passes thru it connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean),
  • Isthmus of  Kra in Southern Thailand (Thai canal or Kra canal) passes thru it connecting the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean)
  • Isthmus of Suez (in Egypt) linking Africa and Asia landmasses (Suez artificial waterway connects the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869, it allows ship transport between Europe and Asia without navigation around Africa.

 

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