Flash Card

LAKSHYA-75 [Day-17] Static Flash Cards for IAS Prelims 2020

Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve; Kayals; Cropping Seasons in India; River Systems of the Peninsular Drainage; Northern plain; Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ); Koeppen climate classification; Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve; Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve; Black Soil; Red and Yellow Soil; Laterite Soil; The Coastal Plains
By IASToppers
March 23, 2020

 

 

Why eastern coastal plain has number of ports and harbours than western coastal plain of India?

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Answer:

  • As compared to the western coastal plain, the eastern coastal plain is broader and is an example of an emergent coast. There are well developed deltas here such as deltas of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri. Because of its emergent nature, it has less number of ports and harbours.
  • The continental shelf extends up to 500 km into the sea, which makes it difficult for the development of good ports and harbours.

Enrich Your Learning:

The Coastal Plains

  • On the basis of the location and active geomorphological processes, it can be broadly divided into two: (i) the western coastal plains; (ii) the eastern coastal plains.
  • The western coastal plains are an example of submerged coastal plain. It is believed that the city of Dwaraka which was once a part of the Indian mainland situated along the west coast is submerged under water. Because of this submergence, it is a narrow belt and provides natural conditions for the development of ports and harbours.
  • Kandla, Mazagaon, JLN port Navha Sheva, Marmagao, Mangalore, Cochin, etc. are some of the important natural ports located along the west coast.
  • Extending from the Gujarat coast in the north to the Kerala coast in the south, the western coast may be divided into following divisions – the Kachchh and Kathiawar coast in Gujarat, Konkan coast in Maharashtra, Goan coast and Malabar coast in Karnataka and Kerala respectively.
  • The western coastal plains are narrow in the middle and get broader towards north and south. The rivers flowing through this coastal plain do not form any delta.
  • The Malabar coast has got certain distinguishing features in the form of ‘Kayals’ (backwaters), which are used for fishing, inland navigation and also due to its special attraction for tourists. Every year the famous Nehru Trophy Vallamkali (boat race) is held in Punnamada Kayal in Kerala.
  • As compared to the western coastal plain, the eastern coastal plain is broader and is an example of an emergent coast. There are well developed deltas here, formed by the rivers flowing eastward in to the Bay of Bengal. These include the deltas of the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri. Because of its emergent nature, it has less number of ports and harbours.
  • The continental shelf extends up to 500 km into the sea, which makes it difficult for the development of good ports and harbours.

 

 

These soils can be found in the southern parts of the middle Ganga plain. The fine-grained soils are normally fertile. They are generally poor in nitrogen, phosphorous and humus. Identify this soil type.

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Answer:

Red and Yellow soils

Enrich Your Learning:

On the basis of genesis, colour, composition and location, the soils of India have been classified into: (i) Alluvial soils (ii) Black soils (iii) Red and Yellow soils (iv) Laterite soils (v) Arid soils (vi) Saline soils (vii) Peaty soils (viii) Forest soils.

Black Soil

  • Black soil covers most of the Deccan Plateau which includes parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and some parts of Tamil Nadu. In the upper reaches of the Godavari and the Krishna, and the north western part of the Deccan Plateau, the black soil is very deep. These soils are also known as the ‘Regur Soil’ or the ‘Black Cotton Soil’.
  • The black soils are generally clayey, deep and impermeable. They swell and become sticky when wet and shrink when dried. So, during the dry season, these soil develop wide cracks. Thus, there occurs a kind of ‘self ploughing’.
  • Because of this character of slow absorption and loss of moisture, the black soil retains the moisture for a very long time, which helps the crops, especially, the rain fed ones, to sustain even during the dry season.
  • Chemically, the black soils are rich in lime, iron, magnesia and alumina. They also contain potash. But they lack in phosphorous, nitrogen and organic matter. The colour of the soil ranges from deep black to grey.

Red and Yellow Soil

  • Red soil develops on crystalline igneous rocks in areas of low rainfall in the eastern and southern part of the Deccan Plateau.
  • Along the piedmont zone of the Western Ghat, long stretch of area is occupied by red loamy soil. Yellow and red soils are also found in parts of Odisha and Chattisgarh and in the southern parts of the middle Ganga plain.
  • The soil develops a reddish colour due to a wide diffusion of iron in crystalline and metamorphic rocks. It looks yellow when it occurs in a hydrated form.
  • The fine-grained red and yellow soils are normally fertile, whereas coarse-grained soils found in dry upland areas are poor in fertility. They are generally poor in nitrogen, phosphorous and humus.

Laterite Soil

  • Laterite has been derived from the Latin word ‘Later’ which means brick. The laterite soils develop in areas with high temperature and high rainfall.
  • These are the result of intense leaching due to tropical rains. With rain, lime and silica are leached away, and soils rich in iron oxide and aluminium compound are left behind. Humus content of the soil is removed fast by bacteria that thrives well in high temperature.
  • These soils are poor in organic matter, nitrogen, phosphate and calcium, while iron oxide and potash are in excess.
  • Hence, laterites are not suitable for cultivation; however, application of manures and fertilisers are required for making the soils fertile for cultivation. Red laterite soils in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala are more suitable for tree crops like cashewnut.
  • Laterite soils are widely cut as bricks for use in house construction. These soils have mainly developed in the higher areas of the Peninsular plateau.
  • The laterite soils are commonly found in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and the hilly areas of Odisha and Assam.

 

 

The major forest types of the Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve are a) Temperate OR b) Tropical?

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Answer:

The major forest types of the Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve are Temperate.

Enrich Your Learning:

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

  • The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (NBR), the first of the fourteen biosphere reserves of India, was established in September 1986.
  • It embraces the sanctuary complex of Wyanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, the entire forested hill slopes of Nilambur, the Upper Nilgiri plateau, Silent Valley and the Siruvani hills.
  • It possesses different habitat types, unspoilt areas of natural vegetation types with several dry scrubs, dry and moist deciduous, semievergreen and wet evergreen forests, evergreen sholas, grasslands and swamps. It includes the largest known population of two endangered animal species, namely the Nilgiri Tahr and the Lion-tailed macaque.
  • The largest south Indian population of elephant, tiger, gaur, sambar and chital as well as a good number of endemic and endangered plants are also found in this reserve. The habitat of a number of tribal groups remarkable for their traditional modes of harmonious use of the environment are also found here.
  • The topography of the NBR is extremely varied, ranging from an altitude of 250 m to 2,650 m. About 80 per cent of the flowering plants reported from the Western Ghats occur in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

  • The Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve situated in Uttarakhand includes parts of Chamoli, Almora, Pithoragarh and Bageshwar districts.
  • The major forest types of the reserve are temperate. A few important species are silver weed and orchids like latifolie and rhododendron.
  • The biosphere reserve has a rich fauna, for example the snow leopard, black bear, brown bear, musk deer, snowcock, golden eagle and black eagle.
  • Major threats to the ecosystem are the collection of endangered plants for medicinal use, forest fires and poaching.

Sunderbans Biosphere Reserve

  • It is located in the swampy delta of the river Ganga in West Bengal.
  • It extends over a vast area of 9,630 sq. km and consists of mangrove forests, swamps and forested islands.
  • Sunderbans is the home of nearly 200 Royal Bengal tigers.
  • The tangled mass of roots of mangrove trees provide safe homes for a large number of species, from fish to shrimp. More than 170 birds species are known to inhabit these mangrove forests.
  • Adapting itself to the saline and fresh water environment, the tigers at the park are good swimmers, and they hunt scarce preys such as chital deer, barking deer, wild pig and even macaques.
  • In the Sunderbans, the mangrove forests are characterised by Heritiera fomes, a species valued for its timber.

 

 

Enlist the 8 categories of India’s wetlands.

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Answer:

  • the reservoirs of the Deccan Plateau in the south together with the lagoons and other wetlands of the southern west coast;
  • the vast saline expanses of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the Gulf of Kachchh;
  • freshwater lakes and reservoirs from Gujarat eastwards through Rajasthan (Keoladeo National Park) and Madhya Pradesh;
  • the delta wetlands and lagoons of India’s east coast (Chilika Lake);
  • the freshwater marshes of the Gangetic Plain;
  • the floodplains of the Brahmaputra; the marshes and swamps in the hills of northeast India and the Himalayan foothills;
  • the lakes and rivers of the montane region of Kashmir and Ladakh; and
  • the mangrove forest and other wetlands of the island arcs of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

 

Enrich Your Learning:

Littoral and Swamp Forests

  • About 70 per cent of this comprises areas under paddy cultivation. The total area of wet land is 3.9 million hectares. Two sites — Chilika Lake (Odisha) and Keoladeo National Park (Bharatpur) are protected as water-fowl habitats under the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention).

The country’s wetlands have been grouped into eight categories, viz.

  • the reservoirs of the Deccan Plateau in the south together with the lagoons and other wetlands of the southern west coast;
  • the vast saline expanses of Rajasthan, Gujarat and the Gulf of Kachchh;
  • freshwater lakes and reservoirs from Gujarat eastwards through Rajasthan (Keoladeo National Park) and Madhya Pradesh;
  • the delta wetlands and lagoons of India’s east coast (Chilika Lake);
  • the freshwater marshes of the Gangetic Plain;
  • the floodplains of the Brahmaputra; the marshes and swamps in the hills of northeast India and the Himalayan foothills;
  • the lakes and rivers of the montane region of Kashmir and Ladakh; and
  • the mangrove forest and other wetlands of the island arcs of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • Mangroves grow along the coasts in the salt marshes, tidal creeks, mud flats and estuaries.
  • They consist of a number of salt-tolerant species of plants. Crisscrossed by creeks of stagnant water and tidal flows, these forests give shelter to a wide variety of birds.
  • In India, the mangrove forests spread over 6,740 sq. km which is 7 per cent of the world’s mangrove forests. They are highly developed in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and the Sunderbans of West Bengal. Other areas of significance are the Mahanadi, the Godavari and the Krishna deltas. These forests too, are being encroached upon, and hence, need conservation.

 

 

Give the name of 8 climatic regions of India according to Koppen classification.

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Answer:

Enrich Your Learning:

Climatic Regions of India

  • The whole of India has a monsoon type of climate. But the combination of elements of the weather, however, reveal many regional variations. These variations represent the subtypes of the monsoon climate. It is on this basis that the climatic regions can be identified.
  • A climatic region has a homogeneous climatic condition which is the result of a combination of factors. Temperature and rainfall are two important elements which are considered to be decisive in all the schemes of climatic classification.
  • The classification of climate, however, is a complex exercise. There are different schemes of classification of climate.

Major climatic types of India based on Koeppen’s scheme have been described below:

He identified five major climatic types, namely:

  1. Tropical climates, where mean monthly temperature throughout the year is over 18°C.
  2. Dry climates, where precipitation is very low in comparison to temperature, and hence, dry. If dryness is less, it is semiarid (S); if it is more, the climate is arid(W).
  3. Warm temperate climates, where mean temperature of the coldest month is between 18°C and minus 3°C.
  4. Cool temperate climates, where mean temperature of the warmest month is over 10°C, and mean temperature of the coldest month is under minus 3°C.
  5. Ice climates, where mean temperature of the warmest month is under 10°C.

Koeppen used letter symbols to denote climatic types as given above. Each type is further sub-divided into sub-types on the basis of seasonal variations in the distributional pattern of rainfall and temperature.

He used S for semi-arid and W for arid and the following small letters to define sub-types: f (sufficient precipitation), m (rain forest despite a dry monsoon season), w (dry season in winter), h (dry and hot), c (less than four months with mean temperature over 10°C), and g (Gangetic plain). Accordingly, India can be divided into eight climatic regions.

 

 

In winter, the Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) moves southward in a) Summer OR b) Winter OR C) Does not move?  

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Answer:

  • In winter, the ITCZ moves southward, and so the reversal of winds from northeast to south and southwest, takes place. They are called northeast monsoons.

 

Enrich Your Learning:

Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)

  • The Inter Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is a low pressure zone located at the equator where trade winds converge, and so, it is a zone where air tends to ascend.
  • In July, the ITCZ is located around 20°N-25°N latitudes (over the Gangetic plain), sometimes called the monsoon trough. This monsoon trough encourages the development of thermal low over north and northwest India.
  • Due to the shift of ITCZ, the trade winds of the southern hemisphere cross the equator between 40° and 60°E longitudes and start blowing from southwest to northeast due to the Coriolis force.
  • It becomes southwest monsoon. In winter, the ITCZ moves southward, and so the reversal of winds from northeast to south and southwest, takes place. They are called northeast monsoons.

 

 

Bhabar and Tarai are the major zones of Coastal Plains of India. True OR False.

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Answer:

False

Correct Statement

Bhabar and Tarai are the major zones of Northern Plains of India.

Enrich Your Learning:

Northern plain

  • The northern plains are formed by the alluvial deposits brought by the riversthe Indus, the Ganga and the Brahmaputra. These plains extend approximately 3,200 km from the east to the west. The average width of these plains varies between 150-300 km.
  • The maximum depth of alluvium deposits varies between 1,000-2,000 m. From the north to the south, these can be divided into three major zones: the Bhabar, the Tarai and the alluvial plains.
  • The alluvial plains can be further divided into the Khadar and the Bhangar. Bhabar is a narrow belt ranging between 8-10 km parallel to the Shiwalik foothills at the break-up of the slope. As a result of this, the streams and rivers coming from the mountains deposit heavy materials of rocks and boulders, and at times, disappear in this zone.
  • South of the Bhabar is the Tarai belt, with an approximate width of 10-20 km where most of the streams and rivers re-emerge without having any properly demarcated channel, thereby, creating marshy and swampy conditions known as the Tarai.
  • This has a luxurious growth of natural vegetation and houses a varied wild life. The south of Tarai is a belt consisting of old and new alluvial deposits known as the Bhangar and Khadar respectively.
  • These plains have characteristic features of mature stage of fluvial erosional and depositional landforms such as sand bars, meanders, oxbow lakes and braided channels. The Brahmaputra plains are known for their riverine islands and sand bars.
  • Most of these areas are subjected to periodic floods and shifting river courses forming braided streams.
  • The mouths of these mighty rivers also form some of the largest deltas of the world, for example, the famous Sunderbans delta. Otherwise, this is a featureless plain with a general elevation of 50-150 m above the mean sea level. The states of Haryana and Delhi form a water divide between the Indus and the Ganga river systems.
  • As opposed to this, the Brahmaputra river flows from the northeast to the southwest direction before it takes an almost 90° southward turn at Dhubri before it enters into Bangladesh. These river valley plains have a fertile alluvial soil cover which supports a variety of crops like wheat, rice, sugarcane and jute, and hence, supports a large population.

 

 

Which is the second largest east flowing Peninsular River in India?

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Answer:

River Krishna

Enrich Your Learning:

River Systems of the Peninsular Drainage

There are a large number of river systems in the Peninsular drainage. A brief account of the major Peninsular river systems is given below:

Mahanadi

The Mahanadi rises near Sihawa in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh and runs through Odisha to discharge its water into the Bay of Bengal. It is 851 km long and its catchment area spreads over 1.42 lakh sq. km. Some navigation is carried on in the lower course of this river. 50% of the drainage basin of this river lies in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, while 47 % lies in Odisha.

Godavari

The Godavari is the largest Peninsular river system. It is also called the Dakshin Ganga. It rises in the Nasik district of Maharashtra and discharges its water into the Bay of Bengal. Its tributaries run through the states of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh. It is 1,465 km long with a catchment area spreading over 3.13 lakh sq. km 49 % of this, lies in Maharashtra, 20 % in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, and the rest in Andhra Pradesh. The Penganga, the Indravati, the Pranhita, and the Manjra are its principal tributaries. The Godavari is subjected to heavy floods in its lower reaches to the south of Polavaram, where it forms a picturesque gorge. It is navigable only in the deltaic stretch. The river after Rajamundri splits into several branches forming a large delta.

Krishna

The Krishna is the second largest eastflowing Peninsular river which rises near Mahabaleshwar in Sahyadri. Its total length is 1,401 km. The Koyna, the Tungbhadra and the Bhima are its major tributaries. Of the total catchment area of the Krishna, 27 per cent lies in Maharashtra, 44 per cent in Karnataka and 29 per cent in Andhra Pradesh.4

Kaveri

The Kaveri rises in Brahmagiri hills (1,341m) of Kogadu district in Karnataka. Its length is 800 km and it drains an area of 81,155 sq. km. Since the upper catchment area receives rainfall during the southwest monsoon season (summer) and the lower part during the northeast monsoon season (winter), the river carries water throughout the year with comparatively less fluctuation than the other Peninsular rivers. About 3 per cent of the Kaveri basin falls in Kerala, 41 per cent in Karnataka and 56 per cent in Tamil Nadu. Its important tributaries are the Kabini, the Bhavani and the Amravati.

 

 

Zaid is a short duration summer cropping season beginning after harvesting of rabi crops. True OR False.

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Answer:

True

Enrich Your Learning:

Cropping Seasons in India

  • There are three distinct crop seasons in the northern and interior parts of country, namely kharif, rabi and zaid.
  • The kharif season largely coincides with Southwest Monsoon under which the cultivation of tropical crops such as rice, cotton, jute, jowar, bajra and tur is possible.
  • The rabi season begins with the onset of winter in October-November and ends in March-April. The low temperature conditions during this season facilitate the cultivation of temperate and subtropical crops such as wheat, gram and mustard.
  • Zaid is a short duration summer cropping season beginning after harvesting of rabi crops. The cultivation of watermelons, cucumbers, vegetables and fodder crops during this season is done on irrigated lands.
  • However, this type of distinction in the cropping season does not exist in southern parts of the country. Here, the temperature is high enough to grow tropical crops during any period in the year provided the soil moisture is available. Therefore, in this region same crops can be grown thrice in an agricultural year provided there is sufficient soil moisture

Cropping Seasons

Northern States

Southern States

Kharif (June- September)

Rice, Cotton, Maize, Jowar, Bajra, Tur

Rice, Maize, Ragi, Jowar, Groundnut

Rabi (October – March)

Wheat, Gram, Rapeseeds, Mustard and Barley

Rice, Maize, Ragi, Groundnut, Jowar

Zaid (April – June)

Vegetables, Fruits, Fodder

Rice, Vegetables, Fodder

 

 

In context of Indian Geography, what are Kayals?

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Answer:

The backwaters in the Malabar Coast are called Kayals

Enrich Your Learning:

What are Kayals and How are they formed?

  • The backwaters in the Malabar Coast are called Kayals. Kayals are the shallow lagoons or inlets of the sea, lying parallel to the coastline. The largest among these is the Vembanad Lake. The kayals are formed by the action of waves and shore currents creating low barrier islands across the mouths of the many rivers flowing down from the Western Ghats range.

Map of Backwaters

  • As the fresh water from the rivers meets the seawater from the Arabian Sea, this creates a unique ecosystem.  The fauna found in Kayals are crabs, frogs and mudskippers, water birds such as terns, kingfishers, darters and cormorants, and animals such as otters and turtles. While the flora includes Palm trees, pandanus shrubs, various leafy plants, and bushes.

What are the benefits of Kayals?

  • Kayals are used for fishing, inland navigation and for tourism.
  • Kayals have facilitated the functioning of the National Waterway 3 from Kollam to Kottapuram, which covers a distance of 205 kilometres (127 mi) and runs almost parallel to the coastline of southern Kerala facilitating both tourism and cargo movement.
  • Every year the famous Nehru Trophy Vallamkali (boat race) is held in Punnamada Kayal in Kerala
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