Thursday, December 24, 2009

Continent facts

largest continent , covering almost third of the world’s land area

highest place on the earth :Mount Everest (8848mtrs above sea level

lowest place on the earth: Dead Sea shore (399mtrs below sea level)

physical division
  • Northern Lowlands :comprise the Serbian plain which extends between the Ural mountains (W) and river Lena (E)
  • Central mountains :comprising fold mountains and plateaus
  • Southern plateaus :formed of very old rocks , the southern plateaus comprising the plateau of Arabia, the Deccan plateau and the plateau of Yunnan
  • Great river valleys: some of these river systems – the Tigris-Euphrates, The Indus, The Ganga-Brahmaputra, the Ayeryarwaddy, the Mekong, the Sikiang, the Chang Jiang (Yangtze- kiang) and the Huang He – are very old.
  • Island groups : Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan
mountains Asia has more mountain than any other continent.

Himalaya, Karakoram, Altai, Elbruz, Zagros, Urals. Kunlun , Tein Shan

Pamir Knot(Roof of the world):large group of rugged peaks and deep valleys(lies where Afghanistan, china , Pakistan and Central Asian Republics meet)

Tarim Basin : Between the Kunlun and the Tein Shan

rivers Euphrates, Tigris, Ganga, Hwang Ho, Amur, Sikiang, the Yangtze is Asia’s longest river.
deserts Arabian Desert, Gobi Desert, Thar Desert
lakes Baikal (Siberia ): deepest lake in world ; Caspian Sea, Aral Sea
straits Strait of Malacca, Bering Strait
Coastline 129077km

Africa Second largest continent, one-fifth of the land area: separated from Europe by the Mediterranean Sea and from Asia by the Red Sea. In the north-west: Gibraltar, northeast: Suez Canal; strait of Bab-el Mandeb connect Africa to Eurasia: Africa has largest tropical area in the world.
physical division
  • Low Africa (consisting northern, western nd central )
  • Costal Lowlands
  • Northern highlands
  • Saharan Plateau
  • Western Plateau
  • Nile Basin
  • Congo Basin
  • High Africa (consisting eastern and southern Africa)
  • Rift system: spl physical feature of Africa, consist of the Great Rift Valley (series of parallel cracks in the earth), extends from Ethiopia in the East to Mozambique in the southeast. Rich in volcanic soil
  • Eastern highlands
  • Southern Plateau
  • Coastal Lowlands
  • Madagascar
mountains Atlas( extending from Morocco to Tunisia ,non –volcanic), Drakensberg, Mt. Kilimanjaro(in Tanzania) and Mt. Kenye (in Kenya) are volcanic activity
rivers Nile(longest river in the world, drains into the Mediterranean sea ) , Zaire(Congo: carries the greatest volume of water among all the rivers of Africa)), Niger(discharge into the Atlantic), Limpopo and Zambezi(drain into Indian ocean)
, Orange, ,Nyasa, Turkana
deserts cover two-fifths of Africa

Sahara(world’s largest desert; stretches across northern Africa from the Atlantic sea to the red sea),

Kalahari, Namib

lakes Victoria: largest lake in Africa and source of river

Tanganyika, Rudolf, Albert ,Nyasa, Turkana

straits strait of Babel-Mandeb, strait of Gibraltar
Coastline ----

north America Third largest continent, extending from the Arctic Ocean in the north to south America in the south.
physical division
  • Canadian Shield: huge area of ancient rocks covers most of Canada; reservoir of valuable mineral resources like gold, silver, nickel, iron, and copper, platinum; made up of swamps nd no. of lakes: Great Bear, Winnipeg and Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, Erie, Ontario, and Michigan). The famous Niagara Falls is located between Lake Erie and lake Ontario
  • The Appalachian Mountains/Eastern Highlands
  • The Central plains :cover flat river basin of the Missouri-Mississippi
  • Western Cordilleras: intermontane Plateaus- the Great Basin (largest intermontane Plateau of continent) active volcano in Alaska and Mexico.
mountains Rockies(north America’s largest mountain range), Alaska(north America’s highest mountain range), Cascade, Sierra Madre

Mt McKinley(6194m): north America’s highest mountain

rivers Mississippi, Missouri, Rio Grande, Mackenzie. Columbia

Mississippi- Missouri-Ohio: continent’s largest river system

Grand Canyon of river Colorado- largest in world

deserts Mojave, Sonoran
lakes Superior(largest freshwater lake in world), Huron, Erie, Ontario, Great Bear , Great Slave , Great Salt Lake in Utah ( saltier than sea)
straits Bering strait
Coastline About 300000km (longer than any other continent )

South America fourth largest continent , surrounded by water – the Caribbean Sea (north), the Atlantic Ocean (northeast and east) , the Pacific ocean (west) and the Dark Passage (south)

the Isthmus of Panama : connected to central America by narrow strip of land

physical division
  • Western coastal strip
  • Western Mountains
  • The central plains :covering about three-fifths of south Africa made up of LALMOS (rolling grasslands in Orinoco river basin of Colombia and Venezuela), THE SELVA:tropical rain forest of the Amazon river basin in Bolivia, Brazil and Peru) , THE GRAN CHACO(HARDWOOD SERIAL FOREST IN NORTHG-CENTRAL Argentina , western Paraguay and southern Bolivia ), THE PAMPAS(vast grasslands in Argentina)
  • Eastern Highlands: consist of the Guyana Highlands and the Brazilian Highlands
mountains Andes : called western mountains, from Venezuela in the north to Tierra del Fuego in the south , young fold mountain second highest mountain system in the world ,next to Himalaya , world’s largest mountain ranges above sea level

Mt Aconcagua(6959m)in Argentina : tallest mountain in western hemisphere

Cotopaxi in Ecuador: highest active volcano in the world.

rivers Amazon: world’s second longest river but has the largest drainage basin , Orinoco, Parana, Paraguay , The Rio de le Plata, the Magdalena-Cauca, the San Francisco

the Angel Falls in southern-eastern Venezuela- highest water fall in the world

deserts Atacama, Patagonia
lakes lake Maracaibo, Lake Titicaca
straits Strait of Magellan
coastline 32000km , Tierra del Fuego( largest islands ), the Juan Fernandez the Falkland and the Galapagos
Europe sixth in terms of area of continents ; extends from the arctic Ocean (North) to the Mediterranean Sea , the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains (south) and from the Atlantic Ocean (west)
physical division
  • Northwest Mountains: include some of the oldest rock formations on earth
  • North European Plains: extends from Urals in east to Atlantic coast in west.
  • The Central Uplands: include the Meseta (Spain and Portugal)The Massif Central and Juna Mountains (France), the Black Forest (Germany)
  • The Alpine System :stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in west to Caspian sea in East
mountains Alps(covering part of south –eastern France, north Italy, most of Switzerland ,parts of southern Germany, Austria and Northern Yugoslavia), the Apennines, the Alpines Pyrenees, Carpathians, Urals, Balkans

The highest mountain peak of Europe is Mount Elbrus (5633m) in the Caucasus.

rivers Volga: longest river of Europe (flowing thru Russia – Caspian Sea), Danube( 2nd longest river of Europe , drains into Black Sea) , Rhine(flows thru Alps –western Germany – Netherlands- North Sea) ,Po, Dnieper, Don, Vistula, Elbe, Oder
deserts No desert
lakes Lake Ladoga (Europe’s largest freshwater lake in Russia). The salt water Caspian sea: which lies partly in Europe and partly in Asia, is the world’s largest lake (Europe’s lowest point). Finland : country of 60000 lakes, known as ‘land of thousand lakes’
straits Strait of Gibraltar
coastline 60957km

Australia lies entirely in Southern Hemisphere
physical division
  • Western Plateau : covers two-third of Australia ; The Nullarbor Plain : vast, dry ,treeless plateau
  • Central Lowlands:
  • Eastern Highlands
mountains Great Dividing Range , Mount Kosciusky(2228m)- highest peak in Australia
rivers Murray: originating from the Snowy mountains in Alps , continents’ longest permanently flowing river, fed by Darling in dry season ;Darling
deserts Gibson Desert, Great Sandy Desert, Great Victoria Desert, Simpson Desert ; cover third of Australia
lakes Lake Eyre (lowest point in Australia)

Bass Strait ; world largest coral reef: Barrier Reef

Nisha Dolas

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