5) The Coastal Plains (east & west)
- The peninsular plateau is flanked by a stretch of narrow coastal strips, running along the Arabian Season the west and the Bay of Bengal on the east.
- Lakshadweep Islands are located in the Arabian Sea.
- These are coral islands located off the coast of Kerala.
- Andaman and the Nicobar Islands lie to the southeast of the Indian mainland in the Bay of Bengal.
The western coast
- Sandwiched between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea, is a narrow plain. It consists of three sections.
- The northern part of the coast is called the Konkan (Mumbai – Goa),
- The central stretch is called the Kannad Plain
- The southern stretch is referred to as the Malabar Coast.
The plain along the Bay of Bengal are wide and level
- In the northern part, it is referred to as the Northern Circa
- The southern part is known as the Coromandal Coast.
- Large rivers such as the Mahanadi, the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri have farmed extensive delta on this coast.
- Lake Chilika is an important feature along the eastern coast
- The Chilika Lake is the largest saltwater lake in India. It lies in the state of Orissa, to the south of the Mahanadi delta.
6) The Islands
- The country has also two groups of islands.
- Lakshadweep Islands group lying close to the Malabar coast of Kerala
- This group of islands is composed of small coral islands.
- It covers a small area of 32 sq. km.
- Kavaratti Island is the administrative headquarters of Lakshadweep.
- This island group has the great diversity of flora and fauna.
- The Pitli Island, which is uninhabited, has a bird sanctuary
- Coral polyps are short-lived microscopic organisms, which live in colonies
- They flourish in shallow, mud free and warm waters.
- They secrete hard rock like substance
- The coral secretion and their skeletons from coral deposits in the form of reefs:
- They are mainly of three kinds
- Barrier reef
- Fringing reef
- The Great Barrier Reef of Australia is a good example of the first kind of coral reefs. Atolls are circular or horseshoe shaped coral reefs
Andaman and Nicobar islands
- Elongated chain of islands located in the Bay of Bengal extending from north to south
- They are bigger in size and are more numerous and scattered.
- Divided into two broad categories
- The Andaman in the north
- The Nicobar in the south
- It is believed that these islands are an elevated portion of submarine mountains.
- These islands lie close to equator and experience equatorial climate and have thick forest cover.
- India’s only active volcano is found on Barren Island in Andaman and Nicobar group of Islands.
- Each region complements the other and makes the country richer in its natural resources.
- The northern mountains are the major sources of water and forest wealth.
- The northern plains are the granaries of the country.
- The plateau is a storehouse of minerals, which has played a crucial role in the industrialisation of the country.
- The coastal region and island groups provide sites for fishing and port activities
- Refers to the sum total of weather conditions and variations over a large area for a long period of time (more than thirty years).
- Refers to the state of the atmosphere over an area at any point of time.
- The elements of weather and climate are the same, i.e. temperature, atmospheric pressure, the wind, humidity, and precipitation.
- The word monsoon is derived from the Arabic word ‘mausim’ which literally means season.
- Monsoon’ refers to the seasonal reversal in the wind direction during a year.
- The climate of India is described as the ‘monsoon’ type
- This type of climate is found mainly in the south and the Southeast Asia
- In the Thar Desert, the day temperature may rise to 50°C, and drop down to near 15°C the same night.
- There is hardly any difference in day and night temperatures in the Andaman and Nicobar islands or in Kerala.
- There are six major controls of the climate of any place
- Wind system
- Distance from the sea
- Ocean currents and relief features.
- Due to the curvature of the earth, the amount of solar energy received varies according to latitude
- As one goes from the surface of the earth to higher altitudes, the atmosphere becomes less dense and temperature decreases. The hills are therefore cooler during summers.
Pressure and the wind
- The pressure and wind system of any area depend on the latitude and altitude of the place. Thus it influences the temperature and rainfall pattern.
Distance from the sea
- The sea exerts a moderating influence on climate: As the distance from the sea increases, its moderating influence decreases and the people experience extreme weather conditions. This condition is known as continentally (i.e. very hot during summers and very cold during winters).
- Ocean currents along with onshore winds affect the climate of the coastal areas, For example, any coastal area with warm or cold currents flowing past it will be warmed or cooled if the winds are onshore.
- Plays a major role in determining the climate of a place. High mountains act as barriers for cold or hot winds; they may also cause precipitation if they are high enough and lie in the path of rain-bearing winds. The leeward side of mountains remains dry.