Some Major Landforms of the 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 Process 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:

2. 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

3. 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.

4. 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.

1. 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:

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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. 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.

6. 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.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Difference Between Mountains and Plateau?

Ans: 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?

Ans: 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.