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31 Jan

Major Landforms – Mountains, Plateaus, and Plains

Forces inside and outside the earth can change the shape of earth’s surface. We have already seen the effects of geomorphic forces in our previous Geography notes. Endogenic forces and exogenic forces can create a lot of landforms. A landform is a natural feature of the solid surface of the Earth. Examples include Mountains, Plateaus, and Plains. In this post, SA IAS brings you a brief overview of the major landforms of the earth, in a reader-friendly format, which helps in faster-learning. You will also be able to learn the economic significance of mountains, plateaus and plains. Aspirants who prepare for UPSC exams can surely expect many questions from this topic.


  • ➢ Nearly 27% of the world’s land surface is covered by mountains.
  • ➢ It is from the mountains that up to 80% of the planet’s fresh surface water come from.
  • ➢ According to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about 12% of the world’s population lives in the mountains, but over 50% are directly or indirectly dependent on mountain resources.

Classification of mountains The mountains, on the basis of their mode of formation, can be classified as:

  • 1. Fold Mountains
  • 2. Block Mountains
  • 3. Volcanic Mountains/ Accumulated Mountains
  • 4. Residual Mountains/ Relict Mountains

Fold Mountains

  • ➢ Mountain ranges mainly consisting of uplifted folded sedimentary rocks are called Fold Mountains.
  • ➢ They are formed due to the force of compression arising from the endogenic or internal forces.
  • ➢ Synclines (trough) and anticlines (crest) are part of Fold Mountains.
  • ➢ The Himalayas in Asia, the Alps in Europe, the Rockies in North America, and the Andes in South America are the most prominent fold mountains of the world.
  • ➢ Since these mountain ranges were formed during the most recent mountain building period, they are also known as Young Fold Mountains.


For More Details About Major Landforms – Mountains, Plateaus, and Plainsrefer PDF..!


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