Physical Features Of Asia: Political Division Of Asia The Largest Continent

Asia is the largest continent in the world in terms of both land area and population. It covers around 17 million square miles and is home to over four billion individuals. Asia is divided into 48 countries, three of which are trans-continental. Let us learn about the physical features of Asia and its political division.

Political Division of Asia:

Asia is the largest continent in the world. The countries of Asia are usually grouped into the following six categories.

a. East Asia: The area of East Asia includes Japan, South Korea, China, Mongolia, and Taiwan.

b. South East Asia: The area of South East Asia includes Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines.

c. South Asia: South Asia includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the Maldives.

d. West Asia: Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Turkey, these countries are grouped under West Asia.

e. Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan.

f. North Asia: Russia, Russia spans the continents of Europe and Asia. The part of Asia is referred to as Asiatic Russia. Russia and Turkey lie both in Asia and Europe.

Physical Features of Asia:

Asia is a continent of a great variety of landforms and climates. The massive continent of Asia can be divided broadly into five physical divisions.

They are.
a. The Great River Basins
b. The Northern Lowlands
c. The central Highlands
d. The Southern Plateaus
e. The Island.

The Great River Basins: River valleys are the most important regions of Asia. Many rivers originated from the snow-covered mountains and plateaus in the central highlands. They are made up of vast stretches of fertile alluvial plains and the most thickly populated regions of the world.

Do you know the fact that Many great river valleys in Asia have been the cradles of different civilizations, e.g., the Indus Valley Civilisation, Mesopotamian Civilisation, and Chinese Civilisation?

(i) The Valley of Mesopotamia in Iraq. Why the name Mesopotamia is given to this place? In Greek, Mesopotamia means between the rivers. This is formed by rivers Euphrates and Tigris. These rivers flow into the Persian Gulf.

(ii) The Valley of Indus: We often hear the name Valley of Indus because it is in India and Pakistan. It is formed by the river Indus and its five tributaries- Ravi, Jhelum, Beas, Sutlej, and Chenab. The valley covers a large area in India and Pakistan.

(iii) The valley of Ganga and Brahmaputra in India forms the great plains, Indo-Gangetic and Brahmaputra plain, stretching from Indus valley in the west to the Brahmaputra in the east.

(iv) The Great plains of China are formed by the three large rivers, The Huang Ho. The Chang Jiang(Yangtze) and Sikiang. These rivers empty into the Pacific ocean.

Do you Know?

Huang ho river is also known as the yellow river, named for the color of the silts that are carried downstream in its flow.

The Central Highlands and Islands of Asia:

The folded mountains and the plateaus of central highlands make up the core of the mountain system of Asia. The mountain ranges radiate from Pamir Knot in the south of Central Asia. The Pamir knot is the meeting point for the Central Asian mountain ranges.

From Pamir, the chains spread out in different directions – to the Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and to the west. These ranges make up the skeleton of the continent.

Do you which is the highest Plateau in the world? The Pamir knot with a height of 6000m is the highest Plateau in the world.

There are two ranges to the west of Pamir Knot:

The Sulaiman Range: This range extends in the southwest and continues as Zagros mountain along the coast of Iran.

The Hindukush Mountain: It runs westward through northern Tajikistan, Pakistan, afganistan, and to the border of Iran.

It continues westward as the Elburz mountains, from the Armenian knot, the Elburz mountains continue westward into Turkey as the Pontic mountains.

Two intermontane plateaus are enclosed by these mountain ranges- The Plateau of Iran between Elburzin in the north and Zagros in the south. The Plateau of Anatolia in Turkey lies between the Pontic in the north and the Taurus in the south. This region is called Asia Minor.

The Karakoram Range: It includes mountain and plateau regions to the East and Northeast. The mountain range that runs north of the Himalayas is called the Karakoram.

• Godwin Austen also known as K2 is the second-highest peak situated in this region. In the East, this region is called Kailash. The Ladakh Plateau lies between the Karakoram and Himalayas.

• A second mountain range that starts from the Himalayas proceeds in two parts- the southern part which continues in China is called Kunlun. In the north it is called Altyn, in the east, it is known as Nanshan.

• Between Kunlun in the North and Himalayas in the South lies the Plateau of Tibet, the largest plateau known as the Roof of the world.

• The Tien Shan is known as a heavenly mountain in Chinese stretch to the northeast of Pamirs. Further north in Altai mountain.

• To the north of Tienshan lie three mountain ranges, khingan, Altar, and Stanovoi mountains and to the northeast lie the Yablonovy Mountains. The great Mongolian plateau lies between Khingan and Nanshan.

The Himalayan Mountain Ranges: These proceed to the southeast and then to the east. In the northeast of Arunachal Pradesh, this mountain range turns southward and is called Patkai Range along the border of India and Myanmar.

Physical Features of Asia: The Islands

There are many groups of islands that lie towards the east and southeast of the mainland of Asia. Most of these islands are mountainous and surrounded by narrow coastal plains.

Some islands have dormant volcanoes and active volcanoes and thus experience frequent earthquakes, as they are the parts of the Pacific ring of fire (a chain of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific ocean).

• From north to south, there are three major island groups namely Japan, the Phillippines, and Indonesia.
• The Malay Archipelago is the largest island group in the world.
• Mud Volcano Island- NASA’s Earth observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured the birth of a new island. The island is oozing out methane and mud. Hence it is named Mud Volcano Island.
• Kuril Island- They extended from the Kamchatka peninsula upto the main island of Japan.

Do you Know?

Lake Baikal, the deepest lake in the world, and Mt. Everest, (8,848m) the highest peak in the world both are in Asia.

Physical Features Of Asia: Multiple choice questions:

1. Which of these mountain ranges lies to the west of the Pamir knot?
a. Tien shah
b. Kunlun
c. Karakoram
d. Zagros

2. Which of these mountains lies to the northeast ofTienshan.
a. Khingan
b. Altar
c. Stanovoi
d. Yablonovy

3. The __________ lies between the Karakoram and Himalaya.
a. Pamir knot plateau
b. Plateau of Iran
c. Plataeu of Tibet
d. Ladakh Plateau

4. The __________ is the largest island group in the world.
a. Phillippines
b. Indonesia
c. Kuril Island
d. Malay Archipelago

5. Which of these Islands is oozing out methane and mud?
a. Sumatra
b. Mindanao
c. Kuril
d. Mud Volcano Island

Physical Features Of Asia: MCQs

1. Which of these rivers does not form the Great Eastern plains in China?
a. Si Kiang
b. Chang Jiang
c. Huang Ho
d. Tigris

2. The valley of Mesopotamia is formed between the rivers ____________.
a. Ravi and Jhelum
b. Beas and Sutlej
c. Sutlej and Chenab
d. Euphrates and Tigris

3. Which of these is not the tributaries of river Indus.
a. Beas
b. Sutlej
c. Chenab
d. Brahmaputra

4. The valley of Mesopotamia means _______________ in Greek.
a. Between the lakes
b. Between the Islands
c. Between the plains
d. Between the rivers

5. Which of these is not included in South Asia
a. Pakistan
b. Bangladesh
c. Bhutan
d. China

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