Mountains: Major Landforms of Earth|Geography NCERT|KAS Kerala Administrative Service Exam

Major Landforms of Earth for KAS Kerala Administrative Service Exam

Major Landforms of Earth

The earth has an infinite variety of landforms. Some parts of the lithosphere may be rugged and some flat.

These landforms are a result of two processes. 

1. Internal Process

2. External Process

Within the earth, a continuous movement is taking place. 

1. Internal Process

The internal process leads to the upliftment and sinking of the earth’s surface at several places.

2. External Process

The external process is the continuous wearing down and rebuilding of the land surface. 

The wearing away of the earth’s surface is called erosion.

The surface is being lowered by the process of erosion and rebuilt by the process of deposition

These two processes are carried out by running water, ice and wind. 

Broadly, we can group different landforms depending on elevation and slope as mountains, plateaus, and plains.


A mountain is any natural elevation of the earth’s surface. 

The mountains may have a small summit and a broad base. It is considerably higher than in the surrounding area. 

Some mountains are even higher than the clouds.

 As you go higher, the climate becomes colder.

What is called a glacier?

In some mountains, there are permanently frozen rivers of ice. They are called glaciers. 

There are some mountains you cannot see as they are under the sea.

Because of the harsh climate, fewer people live in mountain areas. 

Since the slopes are steep, less land is available for farming.

Mountains may be arranged in a line known as the range. 

Many mountain systems consist of a series of parallel ranges extending over hundreds of kilometres.

The Himalayas, the Alps, and the Andes are mountain ranges of Asia, Europe, and South America, respectively. 

 Mountains vary in their heights and shape.

There are three types of mountains- 

1. Fold Mountains,

2. Block Mountains  

3. Volcanic Mountains. 

The Himalayan Mountains and the Alps are young fold mountains with rugged relief and high conical peaks

The Aravali range in India is one of the oldest fold mountain systems in the world.

The range has considerably worn down due to the processes of erosion. 

The Appalachians in North America and the Ural mountains in Russia have rounded features and low elevation. 

They are very old fold mountains.

 2.Block Mountains:

 Block Mountains are created when large areas are broken and displaced vertically.

 The uplifted blocks are termed as horsts and the lowered blocks are called graben. 

The Rhine valley and the Vosges mountain in Europe are examples of such mountain systems. 

3. Volcanic mountains

Volcanic mountains are formed due to volcanic activity.

 Mt.Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mt.Fujiyama in Japan are examples of such mountains.

Uses of Mountains:

The mountains are very useful. 

  • The mountains are a storehouse of water. 
  • Many rivers have their source in the glaciers in the mountains.
  • Reservoirs are made and the water is harnessed for the use of people. 
  • Water from the mountains is also used for irrigation and the generation of hydro-electricity. 
  • The river valleys and terraces are ideal for the cultivation of crops. 
  • Mountains have a rich variety of flora and fauna. The forests provide fuel, fodder, shelter and other products like gum, raisins, etc. 
  • Mountains provide an idyllic site for tourists. They visit the mountains for their scenic beauty. Several sports like paragliding, hang gliding, river rafting and skiing are popular in the mountains.

In the coming posts, we will study about plateaus and plains.

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Read Also; click the below links to read the notes

KAS Syllabus Download PDF

– Best Books for KAS

– How to prepare for KAS Kerala Administrative Service Exam?

– What is Geography? Branches of Geography

– Natural and Human Environment

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