Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon

Some Major Landforms on Earth

Last updated date: 22nd Mar 2024
Total views: 342k
Views today: 10.42k
hightlight icon
highlight icon
highlight icon
share icon
copy icon

What are the Major Landforms on Earth?

Over the years, numerous changes have taken place on the landforms of Earth. We, humans, have constructed buildings, planted trees, constructed poles, and other things. However, we aren't the only ones who change and move things around. Natural resources of the earth like wind and rain keep doing these things every now and then. This results in the creation of landforms. There are different landforms of earth we are living with today and naturally created. The shape of these landforms keeps changing, which also changes the overall ecological system of the earth.


Before we learn about different landforms of the world, let us first check what exactly these landforms are:


What are Landforms?

Landforms are physical features formed on the earth's surface. These include mountains, plateaus, and plains. Due to natural processes taking place regularly like the weathering, water, erosion of the soil, there is a constant change in the shape of the earth. However, this shaping of earth landforms doesn’t happen overnight but takes thousands of years. Basically, landforms of the world originate from natural geological processes.


Some of the Processes of Landform Shaping:

1. External Process- The change in the shape of mountains, plateaus, and plains happens due to external factors like rain and wind. These are also the external processes. Moreover, erosion of soil and deposition are also natural processes changing the surface of the earth. Many different landforms of the earth happen due to erosion. In clear words, erosion is the natural process in which sediments drop in different areas of the earth. These sediments are soil and rocks.


There are two external processes having a major impact on landforms of the earth:

  • Denudation: This natural process happens due to the wear of the earth's surface caused by the moving water. This leads to the reduction in elevation and landform reliefs. Weathering and erosion are also part of this denudation

  • Deposition: It is a geological process having sediments, soil, and rocks are added to the landform. The deposition is usually caused due to water, ice, and living organisms. The deposition of organic matter also affects the landforms.


2. Internal Process- The earth beneath our feet keeps moving and constantly changes. This movement of the earth's surface causes internal processes. The best example is the volcanic eruption and tectonic plates. Any major changes in the tectonics plate cause earthquakes. This internal process takes place due to intense heat in Earth's core causing molten rock movement in the mantle layer. This further creates uneven movement on the earth’s surface.


Students when learning major landforms of the earth class 5, get a complete understanding of how these internal and external processes work.


Some Major Landforms of the Earth:

Students often have confusion about what are the major landforms of the earth. As mentioned above, the earth’s surface consists of mountains, plateaus and plains. Let us have a look into different landforms of earth.


Mountains: Mountain is the natural face of earth surface elevation. Largely, mountains are narrow at the top and broad at the base. With the increase of the altitude, there is a decrease in the temperature, resulting in the covering of the top area with snow.  Like the different landforms of the earth. 


There Are Different Types of Mountains:

  • Hills: A hill landform is a land that is raised that has sloping sides. Hills come in many sizes from small and flat to high and rolling. They also come in many forms.

  • Fold Mountains: When the tectonic plate feels the pressure from both ends, it results in a fold. Some of this folded portion gets elevated in the form of mountains. Some examples of Fold Mountains are- The Himalayas, The Andes, and the Alps. However, the Aravali is the oldest example of the Fold Mountains.

  • Block Mountains: Block Mountains happen when large areas break and are displaced vertically. Uplifted blocks formed are called Horsts. Lowered blocks formed are called the Garden. Rhine Valley and Vosges Mountain in Europe are two of the best examples of Block Mountains.

  • Volcanic Mountains: These mountains are formed due to volcanic activities. Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Fujiyama are two examples of volcanic mountains. The Himalayas, the Alps in Europe, and the Andes in South America have huge storehouses of water. Many rivers flowing through different parts of the country originate from these mountains. These mountains are largely untouched by human civilization and have abundant natural habitats.

  • Plateaus: Plateaus are also major landforms of the Earth Mountains, and are usually flat lands standing high above the land. Plateaus have one or more sides with steep slopes and their height varies from each other. The Deccan Plateau is the best example of the plateau. These plateaus are formed due to lava. In other words, they are volcanic in nature. Other major examples of plateaus are the African plateau and the Tibetan plateau. The African plateau is famous for gold and diamond mining.

  • Plains The fertile regions, plains are stretches of flat land. These stretched lands are highly suitable for human settlement and agriculture purposes. Plains are usually formed by rivers, flowing down the mountains. As these rivers keep flowing, they keep depositing sediments in valleys. Indo-Gangetic plains are the best example and are the most densely populated region.


Importance of these Landforms:

These different landforms of the world carry importance and are necessary for the ecological system.


Importance of Mountains:

  • They are rich with resources and many important rivers originate from mountains

  • Ideal for cultivation, especially in river valleys

  • Many mountains provide natural products like herbs, medicinal plants, honey, etc.


Importance of Plateaus:

  • Many plateaus in India are huge mining areas

  • Many plateaus have waterfalls that pass through different regions. Jog Fall in Karnataka is the best example

  • Lava plateaus have a deposit of black soil which is good for the cultivation


Importance of Plains:

  • Plains are ideal for cultivation and human habitation

  • Many densely populated regions in the world are located in plains. Indo-Gangetic plains are the example

  • Best for transport networking.


The Economic Significance of Plateaus

  • Plateaus contain the majority of the world's minerals. Mineral extraction on plateaus is less difficult than it is on mountains. The majority of industrial raw resources come from plateaus. We receive copper, diamond, and gold from Africa's plateaus; gold from Western Australia's plateau and coal, iron, manganese, and mica from India's Chotanagpur Plateau.

  • Waterfalls grow on the borders of plateaus, making them suitable locations for generating hydel power.

  • Even in tropical and subtropical countries, the highest sections of the plateaus have a cold climate.

  • Plateaus offer extensive grassland regions that are ideal for animal raising, particularly sheep, goats, and cattle. When compared to other plateaus, lava plateaus are richer in minerals and hence employed for agriculture since the soil is particularly fruitful.

The Economic Significance of Plains

  • The soil on the plains is often deep and productive. Because they have a flat surface, irrigation may be simply implemented. That is why plains are known as the "World's Food Baskets."

  • The abundance of agricultural resources, particularly in the alluvial plains, has helped the creation of agro-based companies. Because the plains are densely inhabited, there is enough labour available for intensive farming and supplying the personnel for the industries.

  • The level surface of plains lends itself to the construction of roadways, airports, and railway lines.

  • The development of cities and towns has stemmed from the ease of movement on land and the rise of agriculture and industry in the plains. The world's most developed commerce centres and ports are only located on the plains, where up to 80% of the world's population resides.

  • Many civilizations have their centres on the plains.


This article majorly focuses on the Major Landforms on Earth and their significance. Landforms affect our lives as well and the disasters that take place are an outcome of human interference. You can prepare for any exam by reading through the above content properly.

FAQs on Some Major Landforms on Earth

1. What is the Difference Between Mountains and Plateau?

Since, there are different landforms of earth; many usually get confused between mountains and plateaus.

Mountains usually have small summits and broad bases. Plateau, on the other hand, is a flat-topped table on the surface of the earth.

Mountains are of three types:

  1. Fold Mountains

  2. Block Mountains

  3. Volcanic Mountain

Plateaus are of different heights forming a few hundred meters or several thousand meters.

2. What Happens When We Reach the High Altitude of Mountains?

The top area of the mountain has less oxygen and the temperature keeps dropping. This is why there is always snow in high-altitude Mountains.

3. How are mountains useful to man?

A mountain is a type of landform that rises above the surrounding terrain. They often have a conical form and are regarded to be steeper than a hill. They originate as a result of tectonic processes or, in certain circumstances, volcanism. Mountains are beneficial to human in a number of ways:

  • Mountains are known for retaining water. The primary necessity of humans is water, which is stored in mountains. Reservoirs are built, and water is harnessed for human usage. Water is utilised for cultivation and hydroelectric power generation.

  • Mountain water is also used for cultivation and the development of hydroelectric power.

  • In river valleys and terraces, crop planting is a good option.

  • Mountains are home to a diverse range of vegetation and wildlife.

  • Tourists will find the mountains to be a lovely setting. They go to the mountains to enjoy the scenery. Paragliding, hang gliding, river rafting, and skiing are all popular sports in the Mountains.

4. Why are the river plains thickly populated?

The Indo-Gangetic-Brahmaputra plains are the geographical area in India with the most alluvial soil deposits. This makes it ideal for farming since not only is the soil fertile, but the rivers that run across the plains provide an abundant source of irrigation. River plains are the best places for humans to live. They are densely inhabited because there is more flatland accessible for housing development and crop production. In river plains, it is also simple to build a transportation network. River plains are extensively inhabited due to the plains' fertility. As a result, creating a transportation network is much easier. Plains have a lot of flat land accessible. Furthermore, the accessible land is often fertile. As a result, plains are the most useful locations for human living and farming. Greater settlements provide cities and towns with work possibilities and a source of income, attracting people to the plains. Because the plains are located at a low elevation, the climate is often pleasant.