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Landforms of the Earth, Definition, Types, Benefits

What are Landforms

A landform is small to a medium-sized area of the earth’s surface, and landscapes are collections of Connected landforms. Each landform is distinct in terms of its physical dimensions, composition, and shape due to the operation of specific geomorphic forces (s). The majority of geomorphic processes and agents move slowly, and as a result, the outcomes take a While to manifest. Each landform has a beginning and once developed, it can change in size, shape, and character slowly or quickly due to  ongoing geomorphic processes and agents.

Read about: Coastal Landforms

Landforms Definition

Landforms of the Earth: A landform is a small to medium-sized area of the earth’s surface, and landscapes are collections of connected landforms. Each landform is the consequence of certain endogenic and exogenic geomorphic processes and agents (rainfall, wind, glacier, waves). Once developed, each landform has its own distinct physical characteristics, including size, shape, and nature. These landforms may also change over time as a result of ongoing geomorphic processes and agents.

The steps of changing from one landform to another or the changes made to specific landforms after they are developed are referred to as the evolution of landforms. Thus, there are three stages of development for a Landform of the Earth: youth, maturity, and old age. The two key factors in the evolution of landforms are erosion and deposition. The majority of geomorphic processes are invisible (unobservable as they are very slow and long processes). Landform evolution is influenced by geomorphic forces, such as waves, winds, glaciers, and surface and subsurface water. These forces both produce some landforms through deposition and diminish landmasses through erosion. Deposition and erosion both alter the earth’s surface.

Read about: Fluvial Landforms

Types of Landforms of Earth

The surface of the ground is uneven; certain parts can be rough, while others might be smooth. There is limitless diversity of landforms on the planet.

Internal Process: The Internal Process causes the earth’s surface to rise and fall.

External Process: The land surface is continually being worn down and rebuilt by two processes, which are  Erosion and deposition  landforms can be categorised into the following groups based on slope and height.

  • Mountains
  • Plains
  • Plateaus
Landforms of the Earth
Landforms of the Earth

Read about: Glacial Landforms

Mountains Landforms

A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth’s crust that often has steep sides and exposed bedrock to a significant degree. A mountain is larger than a hill and differs from a plateau in that it normally rises at least 300 metres (1000 feet) above the surrounding terrain. It also typically has a smaller peak area. Most mountains are found in mountain ranges, while a handful are isolated summits.

Fold mountains: When two or more of the tectonic plates of Earth are forced together, fold mountains are formed. Rocks and debris are bent and rolled into rocky cliffs, hills, peaks, and entire mountainous regions at these interacting, compressing limits. Fold mountains and continental crust are frequently linked. Example: Himalayas, Alps

Block Mountains: Block mountains are created when the central block across two normal faults moves higher. Horst is another name for the block that is thrown up. Although the block mountain’s submission area has a smooth surface, the side elevations are exceedingly steep. Examples: Rhine valley, Vosges (Europe).

Volcanic Mountains: Volcanic mountains occur as a result of volcanic Eruption on the Earth’s surface.

Through the fractures on the Earth’s surface, the magma inside the planet emerges as lava. This repeatedly cools down to create volcanic mountains. Example: Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Mount Fujiyama (Japan).

Mountain Landforms Benefits

Many rivers have their beginnings in the glaciers in the mountains, which act as reservoirs for water. Reservoirs are used to collect and store water for human consumption. Water from the highlands is required for both hydroelectricity production and irrigation. Many different types of flora and animals can be found in mountains. Food, shelter, fuel, and other items like raisins, gum, etc. are all available in the woodlands. The mountains offer tranquilly to visitors.

Plains Landforms

The most significant landforms on earth’s surface are plains. A plain is a low-lying, relatively flat land surface with a gradual slope and little local relief. Plains make up approximately 55% of the earth’s land area. The majority of the plain was created by the deposition of river sediments. In addition to rivers, the wind, shifting glaciers, and tectonic activity have also contributed to the formation of some plains.

Examples: Asia and North America are where you can find the greatest plains created by rivers.

The Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers in India and the Yangtze in China create broad plains throughout Asia.

Plains Landforms Benefits

Plains are crucial for agriculture because they sustain grasslands that offer ideal grazing for cattle or because they contain deep, fertile soils that can be mechanised to produce crops where they were deposited as sediments. The Indo-Gangetic plains of India have the highest population densities.

Plateau Landforms

A plateau is a flat section of a highland that is raised abruptly just above the surrounding area on at least one side. Geology and physical geography refer to it as a tableland or a high plain. There will frequently be a side or sides with steep hills.

Examples: One of the oldest plateaus is in India’s Deccan region. Australia’s Western Plateau, Kenya’s East African Plateau, Tibet’s Tibetan Plateau, the world’s tallest plateau, etc.

Plateau Landforms Benefits

Because they contain a wealth of minerals that are utilised as raw materials by numerous businesses, plateaus are particularly beneficial. It gives us food supplies and the basic resources we need for our enterprises. The lava plateaus have abundant, productive black soil. Numerous plateaus are a major draw for tourists.

Formation of Landforms

  • Tectonic Processes
  • Erosion and Weathering
  • Glacial Activity

Unique Landforms Around the World

  • The Himalayan Mountains
  • The Grand Canyon
  • The Sahara Desert

Read about: Aeolian Landforms

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Landforms of the Earth FAQs

What is the oldest plateau in India?

India's Deccan region is the one of the oldest plateaus in India.

Which mountain is Himalayas?

Himalays belong to fold mountains. Andes and Rockys are also classified in fold mountains.

What is the purpose of plateau?

The plateau-inhabited lands are extremely important to humankind. These areas can be used for farming, including the raising of livestock and crop cultivation.

How much earth’s surface is made up of plateaus?

Over 33% of the earth's surface is made up of plateaus, which are important surface features.

How are the plains useful to India?

These plains, which include some of the most fertile landmasses on Indian territory, are ideal for farming, cultivation, crop production, and other agricultural pursuits.


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