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world geography notes

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World Geography notes.pdf

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Plateaus of china are Tibetan plateau, Yunnan plateau and loess plateau. 1/3rd of china is mountainous and 90% of china lives on the eastern coast.

                               plateaus of china                                                                

                                                                                                                                                        Fig 1: Plateaus of China

Climate of China:

Climate of northern china is Laurentian type in the north and china type in the south.

China type climate sees rainfall throughout the year, in summer intense heating in central Asia which attracts the south east monsoon rain. In winter the Siberian plateau becomes high pressure zone and cold air flows outwards as northwest winds lead to snowfall and rain on windward side of mountains.

Rainfall is also due to typhoons in late summer.

rainfall of china

 Fig 2: Rainfall in China

 Vegetation in China:

High rainfall, long growing season and warm temperature are seen in china type climate. Evergreen vegetation have broadleaved forest with grass, fern, bamboos and palms.

Intensive agriculture is practiced and China is the largest producer of rice, wheat, rapeseed, silk, cotton and groundnut. Around 10-15% of China is arable.


Huang He (yellow river) is a perennial river cutting across the loess plateau. It is the highest sediment carrying river in the world that shifts constantly. It is important for wheat cultivation.

Yangtze river is responsible for half of China’s agricultural produce. 35% population of Chinalives along it. Highest navigable river in China. Shanghai is the world busiest container port and financial center of China. Hydroelectricity is generated by dams on the river.

Manchurian basin to the north of China is a major cultivation area. It has rich black soil and is major producer of soya bean, wheat. Petroleum, coal, uranium are found in this region.

rivers of china
Fig 3: Rivers of China

Political Map of China:

There are 23 provinces, 5 autonomous regions, 4 centrally administrative region and 2 special administrative region.

Coal reserve of China:

Coal reserve of China is present in the eastern region. 2Nd largest reserve of coal in the world. 2/3rd of the coal reserves are present there. Iron and petroleum reserves are located also in the east.

China is the largest producer of tin in the world

Rare earth elements are produced by China and it has a monopoly. 90% of it comes from China. Rare earth metals are used in gadgets, camera lenses, magnets, solar panels and missile defense systems.

However refining the rare earth reserve of China a large amount of toxic acids are needed. 2000 tons of waste is generated for 1 ton of rare earth metals. China imposing tariff restrictions on rare earth to generate funds to reduce the environmental damage. India is 2nd largest rare earth element producer.



China and Japan are separated by the Korean strait, sea of china and la Perouse strait. Japan is at the junction of three plates which have collided. The ocean ocean plate collision has created volcanic mountains in japan. The possibility of earthquakes and tsunamis are higher in japan.

location of japan
                                                                                                                                                                     Fig 4: Japan

Most of the population lives on the eastern coast of japan. 80% of the topography is rugged. No large river system in japan.

population density of japanFig 5: Japanese demography


  • The northern part of china is Laurentian type and southern part of japan is china type.
  • Rainfall from south east monsoon in summer and north west monsoon in winter is seen.
  • 20% land is cultivable so indoor farming is practiced. LED’s are used for photosynthesis.
  • Fishery sector of japan is well developed. It is one of the largest in the world. Deep sea fishing, aqua culture, artificial insemination and modern hatching techniques.
  • Large continental shelf, temperate waters, indented coastline and meeting of warm and cold currents have led to this.

Mineral wealth:

Japan is the largest importer of coal, natural gas and oil. 95% of iron, tin, copper needed for domestic demand is imported. Copper, petrol, iron reserves are seen in japan.




It is the biggest country in the world with total 8 time zones. The ports of Russia allow it access to Baltic sea, Caspian sea, sea of japan and Barents sea. Ural mountains separate Asia from Europe.

West Siberian region is the extensive region of Russia. It is a source of natural gas and petroleum for the world. Central Siberian region is extensive petroleum reserve.

The rivers are navigable but only in summer. They freeze at the mouth of the arctic region. Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake in the world.

russian topography
Fig 1: Russia topography

Russia has arctic climate most prevalent – Tundra and Taiga.

Potato is an important staple food and crop of Russia. Agriculture has limited growing period.

Russia is the largest diamond producer and 2nd in arms export. It has the largest reserve of natural gas and 2nd largest in coal. It is the largest exporter of crude oil. 40% of nickel reserve.

coal fields of russia
                                                                                                                                            Fig 2: Coal fields

oil fields of russia
                                                                                                                                                         Fig 3: Oil fields

South east Countries:

south east asia                                                                                                                                                      Fig 4: South east Asia


It has three main rivers Irrawaddy [rice bowl of Myanmar], Chindwin and Salween [largest]. Tropic of cancer passes only through Myanmar in South east Asia.


It was never colonized. The main geographical regions are Korat plateau, Dawna range and isthmus of Kra. The Mekong river [longest in SE Asia; known as lifeline of Cambodia] forms boundary between Thailand and Laos. The other river is Chao Phraya [lifeline of Thailand].


The Philippines has 7500 islands with manila located on the largest one. Manila is the HQ of Asian development bank. Worlds highest disaster risk country.


Largest archipelago in the world with 13500 islands. Java is the most populated island of the world. 2/3rd area is under forest. Coffee, rubber and oil plantations are seen. Only this country has land south of equator in the SE countries.


Western peninsula is more populated than the east. Oil, gas reserves and rubber plantations are famous.


Highest population density in the world. It is a city state and located on the straight of Malacca.

SE Asian countries receive rainfall from south west monsoon. Island nations get equatorial climate. Typhoons in summer are seen.

Economy of SE Asian countries

Agriculture is the main occupation except in Singapore and Brunei. Wet paddy cultivation is done. Rubber, palm oil, cocoa are crops grown here. Malaysia and Thailand have advanced agricultural practices but not in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam.

Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia are responsible for half of the tin production in the world.

Chapter 3: WEST ASIA


Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, turkey, Bahrain, Qatar are countries. Arabian peninsula is the largest in the world. In the eastern parts there is salt desert, western parts there is sandy desert.

west asia


Tigris and Euphrates are lifelines of Iraq. Jordan river forms boundary between Israel and Jordan. But its a shallow, meandering river which cant be used for navigation.

bosphorus strait


Strait of Hormuz is between Iran and UAE connects Persian gulf with Gulf of Oman and then Arabian sea.

hormuz strait

Gulf of Aqaba connects red sea with Israel, gulf of Suez connects red sea with Mediterranean sea.

gulf of aqaba

Countries on the western part have Mediterranean climate and on eastern part have tropical climate.

More than ½ of World’s oil reserve and 40% of worlds natural gas reserve is found here. India’s has top sources of crude oil are Saudi Arabia and then Iraq. Top natural gas sources are Qatar and Egypt.

Oil, Natural Gas in Middle east and World


Chapter 4: AFRICA


Atlas mountain range is the only mountain range in Africa. It is to the north. Sahara, Namib, Lubian, Libyan and Kalahari Desert are present in Africa. Chad, Sudan and Congo basin are present in the central region.
map of africa

It lies mostly in the northern hemisphere. But only continent throughwhich both the tropic lines and the equator pass through.

Rivers and Lakes

Nile river is the longest river. It is the lifeline of Egypt. Nile originates at lake Victoria and empties into the Mediterranean sea.

Lake Victoria is at the border of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

important rivers and mountains of africa

Lake Tanganyika is between Congo, Zambia, Burandi and Tanzania and Lake Malawi is between Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.

Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water lake in the world by area. It is the largest tropical lake in the world.

Lake Tanganyika, the world’s second largest fresh water lake by volume and depth. It is the worlds longest freshwater lake.

Collectively, they contain about 25% of the planet’s unfrozen surface fresh water.

Islands between Africa and Latin America are all British overseas territories.

great lakes of africa


Cultivable lands are three times more than those currently under cultivation.

Low productivity and subsistence farming goes on in Africa and most of the land is un-irrigated.

Also there is low access to fertilizer and no awareness of soil conservation. Cocoa is the most exported agro product comprising 70% of total exports.

Central African region has 50% of the water resources but only 20% of the population.

Foreign investment led to expulsion of local people. There were instances of land grabbing.

Chapter 5: AUSTRALIA


It is a Continent country with 6 states. It’s the Smallest continent but largest island.

The population of 24 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated in the eastern states and on the coast.

continent of australia


Artesian basin of Australia is confined groundwater storage. It is the largest and deepest freshwater storage in the world and responsible for water supply to the central region of Australia.

Murray and darling river basin are found in south Australia. Their basin forms the temperate grassland called downs. It is known for dairy farming and wheat cultivation.

Sheep rearing of merino breed is done as they give high quality wool.

Australia has the world’s largest known uranium reserve. 10% of gold reserve of world is here. Argyle diamond mine is one of the largest in the world. It has valuable pink and red diamonds.

Coal, Uranium and Natural gas reserves


Great Barrier Reef:  largest coral reef system. Coral is important part of marine ecology. It is also a world heritage site. 

The maximum population is seen in the eastern part of Australia. Perth in west, Darwin in north are other major cities.

 Australian climate map


New Zealand:

It has a north island and south island separated by cooks straight. Mount Tauhara is the dormant volcano with Lake Taupo in it.

Climate of north island is china type and south island is Laurentian type.

Meat, wool processing and dairy industry are known here.

Chapter 6: EUROPE


In the east the Ural mountains range is present. Then the north European plain followed by plateau and then Iberian peninsula. Below the plateau is the alps mountain range.

landforms of europe

In the north we have the Bay of Biscay, English Channel, North Sea and the Baltic sea from west to east. In he south we get the Mediterranean sea which is connected to the Atlantic ocean by the strait of Gibraltar.

gibraltar strait

Ruhr – Rhine region is one of the largest industrial regions in the world. Ruhr has bituminous coal, steel, manufacturing and chemical factories.

Climate of Europe is steppe type in east, Mediterranean type in south, British type in north and taiga type in Scandinavian region.

climate of europe

                                                                                                                                         Fig 3: Climate zones in Europe

forests in europe


European countries are largest growers and consumers of wine.

Brent Crude Oil:

Sweet light crude oil. Sweet means low sulfur content. Light means produces higher amount of petrol, diesel after refining. Major oil price benchmark for Atlantic basin crude oil.

Other oil: West Texas Intermediate [W.T.I] – sweetest and lightest oil.



The continent has Rocky mountain ranges to western side and Appalachian mountains to the eastern coast. In between the ranges the Great plains are present called Prairies “Granaries of the World”.

Prairies lie in USA and 3 states of Canada. They are temperate grasslands with nutritious grass known for wheat cultivation and animal rearing.

This continent has the largest coastline.

North America landforms

                                                                                                                             Fig 1: North America landforms

Shale gas reserves are found in huge proportions in the US.

The US has overtaken Russia as the largest gas producer and Saudi as the largest oil producer. This led to low imports for US and boosted manufacturing there.

Oil and natural gas reserves of north america

                                                                                                                                   Fig 3: Oil and natural gas reserves

Shale gas reserves of north america

                                                                                                                                                  Fig 4: Shale gas reserves



Agriculture pattern from east to west is cotton and tobacco, followed by corn and soybean belt and then wheat belt in prairies.

 The Appalachian mountains are old fold mountains which are a source of coal – bituminous, anthracite.

Ocean continent collision led to ocean plate Farallon subdued under north American plate. This led to extensive volcanism and formation of rockies. Colorado plateau is also seen.

San Andreas fault was formed due to transverse plate movement i.e. the north American plate moving south west and pacific plate moving north west.


Rivers of USA are Mississippi river, Colorado, Hudson, Rio Grande and Columbia river. The Rio Grande is at the border of USA and Mexico. Mississippi is the most important river system in USA. It is the second largest river after Missouri and empties into the Atlantic ocean.

Great lakes are at the boundary of USA and Canada. Lakes are superior, Michigan, Hudson, Ontario and Erie. It is a largest, freshwater glacial system. Together holds almost 1/5th of the earths fresh water.

Lake Michigan is the largest lake fully within a country.

USA has 4 deserts, 3 on the west coast and 1 along Mexican border. It has 50 states and 9 time zones.

Canada has a flourishing paper and lumber industry. This is due to temperate forests, hydroelectricity from rivers and labor. It also has a large uranium reserve [22% of the world]. Climate is tundra and taiga type.

North American climate zones



  1. Mexico city is the largest city in North America.
  2. Only continent that has all types of climate and all types of biomes i.e. grassland, marine, desert etc
  3. 24 countries are in it.
  4. Mount McKinley, Alaska is the tallest mountain.
  5. Death valley, California is the lowest point on it.
  6. US second largest coal producer after China. India is 4th largest.



South America has three topographical regions: Eastern region, western highlands and Paraguayan region below the eastern region.

In the north, llanos grasslands are seen. These are treeless Savannah with swampy grass. Salves are equatorial forests.

Amazon river system is the main river system. Petroleum reserves are present at the mouth.

Patagonia desert located on the rain shadow region of the Andes range.

south american landforms


Equatorial crops are cocoa, avocado, coffee, pineapple and rubber. Tropical regions grow crops like corn, potato, tomato, tobacco. Mediterranean climate is seen in middle Chile where viticulture and livestock farming is seen.

Andes is the longest mountain range. Angel waterfalls, Venezuela is the highest waterfalls.


  1. Fourth largest continent and fifth in terms of population.
  2. Sao Paulo, Brazil is largest city. Brazil is largest country.
  3. Amazon is the second longest river after Nile but largest in terms of volume of water it carries.
  4. Lake Titicaca between Peru and Bolivia is the highest commercially navigable lake in the world and largest in South America.
  5. Atacama desert in Chile is driest in the world.
  6. Puerto Toro, Chile is the southern most inhabitated place in the world. Ushuaia, Argentina is the southern most city in the world.
  7. La Paz, Bolivia is the highest capital city in the world.
  8. Amazon rainforest is the largest in the world.