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How are plains formed? | Class 6- The Earth: Our Habitat ( GEOGRAPHY), SOCIAL SCIENCE


How are plains formed?

( Chapter 6: Major Landforms of the Earth, Class 6- The Earth: Our Habitat ( GEOGRAPHY), SOCIAL SCIENCE)


Plains are one of the three major landforms of the earth, the other two are mountain and plateau. Plains are large flat land and generally not more than 200 meters above mean sea level.

Plains are primarily formed through several geological processes. The formation of plains can be attributed to the following factors:

Deposition by Rivers:

Many plains are created by the deposition of sediment carried by rivers. As rivers flow from mountains to lower elevations, they carry eroded material, like sand, silt, and clay.  When the river slows down, these sediments settle, gradually forming flat or gently sloping plains.

For example, the Northern plains of India are formed by Indus, Ganga, Brahmaputra, and its major tributaries. China plains are formed by the Yangtze rivers and its tributary.

Glacial  deposits:

The material deposited by glaciers, such as sand and gravel, contributes to the formation of these plains. When glaciers recede, they often leave behind flat plains called glacial outwash plains. For example, Alaska and Siberian plains are examples of glacial deposits.

Aeolian Processes:

Wind can transport and deposit fine-grained sediments, such as sand and loess, over time. These wind-deposited materials can accumulate to form plains. The great Indian desert plain is an example of such plains.

Lacustrine Processes:

Lakes can contribute to the formation of plains by depositing sediment along their shores over time. When a lake's water level decreases or the lake dries up, the sediments remain flat or gently sloping plains.

Coastal Processes:

Coastal plains are created by the accumulation of sediments along coastlines, often due to the action of tides, waves, and currents. 

The formation of plains is a dynamic process that can take thousands to millions of years, depending on the geological forces at play. Plains are vital for agriculture, human settlements, and transportation due to their relatively flat and fertile terrain. High population densities are found in plain areas as they provide flat land, fertile soil, water abundance, and flat terrain for constructing transport networks.

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