Fundamentals of Physical Geography (Class XI) Chapter-1-GEOGRAPHY AS A DISCIPLINE

What is Geography? 

  • Geography is concerned with the description and explanation of the areal differentiation of the earth’s important for human beings.
  • Landforms provide the base on which human activities are located. The plains are utilised for agriculture.
  • Plateaus provide forests and minerals.
  • Mountains provide pastures, forests, tourist spots and are sources of rivers providing water to lowlands.

BRANCHES OF GEOGRAPHY 1. Physical Geography

(i) Geomorphology is devoted to the study of landforms, their evolution and related processes.

(ii) Climatology encompasses the study of structure of atmosphere and elements of weather and climates and climatic types and regions.

(iii) Hydrology studies the realm of water over the surface of the earth including oceans, lakes, rivers and other water bodies and its effect on different life forms including human life and their activities.

(iv) Soil Geography is devoted to study the processes of soil formation, soil types, their fertility status, distribution and use.

2. Human Geography

(i) Social/Cultural Geography encom- passes the study of society and its spatial dynamics as well as the cultural elements contributed by the society.

(ii) Population and Settlement Geography (Rural and Urban). It studies population growth, distribution, density, sex ratio, migration and occupational structure etc. Settlement geography studies the characteristics of rural and urban settlements.

(iii) Economic Geography studies economic activities of the people including agriculture, industry, tourism, trade, and transport, infrastructure and services, etc.

(iv) Historical Geography studies the historical processes through which the space gets organised. Every region has undergone some historical experiences before attaining the present day status. The geographical features also experience temporal changes and these form the concerns of historical geography.

(v) Political Geography looks at the space from the angle of political events and studies boundaries, space relations between neighbouring political units, delimitation of constituencies, election scenario and develops theoretical framework to understand the political behaviour of the population.

3. Biogeography

The interface between physical geography and human geography has lead to the development of Biogeography which includes:

(i) Plant Geography which studies the spatial pattern of natural vegetation in their habitats.

(ii) Zoo Geography which studies the spatial patterns and geographic characteristics of animals and their habitats.

(iii) Ecology /Ecosystem deals with the scientific study of the habitats characteristic of species.

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