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Presentation Plus! Glencoe World Geography
Copyright © by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Developed by FSCreations, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Send all inquiries to:
GLENCOE DIVISION
Glencoe/McGraw-Hill
8787 Orion Place
Columbus, Ohio 43240
Chapter Introduction
Section 1 The Land
Section 2 Climate and Vegetation
Chapter Summary & Study Guide
Chapter Assessment
Click on a hyperlink to view the corresponding slides.
Chapter Objectives
• Identify the physical features and
natural resources of South Asia. 
• Discuss the effects of South Asia’s
climates on life in the region.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the information.
As you read this chapter, use your journal
to record the geographic features of the
countries of South Asia. Use descriptive
terms to contrast the mountains, deserts,
plains, and rivers of South Asia.
The Land
Objectives
• Identify the major landforms in South Asia. 
• Describe the three great river systems of South
Asia. 
• Explain how the peoples of South Asia use the
region’s natural resources.
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The Land
Terms to Know
• subcontinent 
• alluvial plain 
• mica
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The Land
Places to Locate
• Himalaya 
• Ganges Plain 
• Vindhya Range 
• Deccan Plateau 
• Indus River 
• Brahmaputra River 
• Ganges River
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the information.
Click the Speaker button
to listen to the audio again.
South Asia boasts the world’s tallest
mountains. Within India, Nepal, Pakistan,
and Kashmir are 24 mountains that soar
above 25,000 feet (7,620 m) high. Of all
the continents, Asia alone has mountains
of this height.
A Separate Land
Most of South Asia forms a peninsula
surrounded by the Arabian Sea, the Bay
of Bengal, and the Indian Ocean and is
cut off from the rest of Asia by mountains.
South Asia also includes Sri Lanka and
other smaller islands.
(page 569)
A Separate Land (cont.)
How might South Asia’s mountains
have helped shape the region’s
history?
Mountains physically limited contact
with the rest of Asia; however, mountain
passes allowed invaders and traders to
enter the subcontinent.
(page 569)
Click the mouse button or press the
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A Land of Great Variety
• The Himalaya Scientists believe that
about 60 million years ago, the Indian
subcontinent was part of the same
large landmass as Africa. 
• After breaking away, the subcontinent
drifted and smashed into the southern
edge of Asia. 
• The collision’s force created the
Himalaya, the ranges that contain
the world’s highest mountains.
(pages 570–571)
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A Land of Great Variety (cont.)
• Other Northern Landforms The
Himalaya, the Karakoram, and the
Hindu Kush form a mountainous barrier
between the subcontinent and the
rest of Asia. 
• Invaders, however, used crossing
places, such as the Khyber Pass,
to enter the region. 
• At the foot of the Himalaya lies the fertile
Ganges Plain, home to one-tenth of the
world’s population.
(pages 570–571)
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A Land of Great Variety (cont.)
• Three rivers–the Indus, the Ganges,
and the Brahmaputra–water the plain. 
• Central Landforms The Vindhya
Range divides India into northern and
southern regions, each of which
developed a distinct culture.
(pages 570–571)
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A Land of Great Variety (cont.)
• Southern Landforms 
- In southern India, two chains of eroded
mountains–the Eastern and Western Ghats–
form a triangle that holds the Deccan
Plateau. 
- The mountains’ blocking of rainy winds keeps
the plateau arid. 
- At India’s southern tip, the lush Karnataka
Plateau receives plenty of precipitation. 
- Maldives and Sri Lanka are island countries
south of India.
(pages 570–571)
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A Land of Great Variety (cont.)
- Sri Lanka once was part of the subcontinent. 
- Maldives is a chain of coral atolls and
volcanic outcroppings.
(pages 570–571)
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A Land of Great Variety (cont.)
What major effect has the Vindhya
Range had on India’s people?
The Vindhya Range has physically
divided India, giving rise to separate
northern and southern cultures.
(pages 570–571)
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Major River Systems
• Indus and Brahmaputra Rivers 
- The Indus River, which flows through
Pakistan to the Arabian Sea, serves as an
important waterway and water source. 
- The Indus River valley was the cradle of
ancient India, one of the world’s earliest
civilizations. 
- The Brahmaputra River flows east through
the Himalaya and then west into India and
Bangladesh, where it meets the Ganges
River. 
- The two rivers form a delta before emptying
into the Bay of Bengal.
(page 572)
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Major River Systems (cont.)
- The Brahmaputra is a major inland waterway
and provides Bangladesh with hydroelectric
power.
(page 572)
Major River Systems (cont.)
• Ganges River 
- The Ganges, South Asia’s most important
river, is fed year-round by water from the
Himalaya. 
- Therefore, it retains its size even during the
dry season. 
- During the rainy season, however, it often
floods its banks. 
- Hindus consider the river’s waters to be
sacred. 
- The Ganges River flows through the Ganges
Plain, India’s most agriculturally productive
area and the world’s largest alluvial plain.
(page 572)
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Major River Systems (cont.)
- The Ganges Plain is also India’s most
densely populated area.
(page 572)
Major River Systems (cont.)
(page 572)
Click the Speaker button
to listen to the audio again.
Major River Systems (cont.)
Why do Hindus believe the waters of
the Ganges are sacred?
Possible answer: The Ganges is the
source of the freshwater that allows
everyone to drink, to bathe, and to
have good harvests every year. It is
literally a source of life.
(page 572)
Click the mouse button or press the
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Natural Resources
• Water South Asia’s rivers provide the
region with hydroelectric power,
transportation, drinking water, and fish. 
• Although rivers cross national
boundaries, countries sometimes
cooperate in managing this important
resource.
(pages 573–574)
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Natural Resources (cont.)
(pages 573–574)
Click the Speaker button
to listen to the audio again.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Energy Resources South Asia has
some oil and natural gas reserves, but
most of the region depends largely on
hydroelectricity, wood, coal, and
imported oil as sources of fuel. 
• Minerals India is a leading exporter of
iron ore and supplies 90 percent of the
world’s mica. 
• Sri Lanka is a major producer of
graphite and also mines rubies,
sapphires, and other valuable gems
and stones.
(pages 573–574)
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Natural Resources (cont.)
• Timber Overcutting threatens Nepal’s
forests, and the government has begun
conservation measures. 
• To protect its rain forests, Sri Lanka has
banned exports of timber. 
• India exports sandalwood, teak, and
sal from its rain forests.
(pages 573–574)
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Natural Resources (cont.)
(pages 573–574)
Click the Speaker button
to listen to the audio again.
Natural Resources (cont.)
Which natural resource plays the
greatest role in regional daily life?
Explain.
Water is used for farming and as a
source of fish, drinking and washing
water, and electric power.
(pages 573–574)
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Checking for Understanding
Define Match each definition in the left column with the
appropriate term in the right column.
__
C 1. silicate mineral that readily
splits into thin, shiny sheets
A. subcontinent
__
A 2. large landmass that is part of a
continent but still distinct from it,
such as India
C. mica
__
B 3. floodplain, such as the IndoGangetic Plain in South Asia,
on which flooding rivers have
deposited rich soil
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B. alluvial plain
Critical Thinking
Making Comparisons How does the
landscape of the Himalaya differ from that
of the Deccan Plateau? How do these
differences affect people’s lives?
The Himalaya is mountainous, steep, at
high altitudes, cold, and forested. The
Deccan Plateau is dry, hot, and flat. The
landscape and climate would influence
clothing, housing, and agriculture, among
other aspects of everyday life.
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Critical Thinking
Identifying Cause and Effect Why are
population densities so high on the Ganges
Plain?
The alluvial soil of the Ganges Plain
supports agriculture.
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Critical Thinking
Problem Solving How would you address
the problem of overcutting trees in Nepal?
How does your solution affect the timber
industry?
Analyzing Maps
Region Study this
physical-political map.
What areas of South
Asia would you
expect to be most
agriculturally
productive? Why?
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Analyzing Maps
The Ganges Plain,
Bangladesh, the
area between rivers
in northern
Pakistan, and Sri
Lanka would be
most agriculturally
productive because
of the presence
of rivers, alluvial
soil, climate
favorable to
agriculture, and
the absence of
landforms that block
rain.
Applying Geography
Managing Resources Think about the
physical geography of South Asia. Create
a sketch map highlighting potential sites of
conflict over water management among the
countries of South Asia.
Close
Choose a photograph from this chapter
(not limited to this section) and assume
the role of a visitor there. Write letters to
friends describing your chosen sites.
Climate and Vegetation
Objectives
• List the five major climate regions of South
Asia. 
• Discuss how seasonal weather patterns
present challenges to the region’s economy. 
• Explain how altitude and rainfall affect South
Asia’s vegetation.
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Climate and Vegetation
Terms to Know
• monsoon 
• cyclone
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Climate and Vegetation
Places to Locate
• Bay of Bengal 
• Great Indian Desert
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the information.
Click the Speaker button
to listen to the audio again.
Throughout the 1990s, India was shaken
by frequent major earthquakes. In 1993,
an earthquake in Maharashtra in southern
India killed over 9,000 people, according
to figures released by the Indian
government. Some people believe the
death toll may have been as high as
30,000. In January 2001, nearly 20,000
Indians were killed in another devastating
earthquake.
South Asia’s Climates
Although much of the subcontinent lies
south of the Tropic of Cancer and has a
tropical climate, the climates of the
northern and western parts of the region
vary widely from highlands to deserts.
(pages 575–577)
South Asia’s Climates (cont.)
• Tropical and Subtropical Climates 
- The west coast of India, the Ganges Delta,
and southern Sri Lanka have tropical rain
forest climates. 
- The rain forests absorb much of the heavy
annual rainfall. 
- The central Indian steppe and eastern Sri
Lanka have a tropical savanna climate, with
wet and dry seasons, grasslands, and
deciduous forests. 
- A humid subtropical climate extends across
Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and
northeastern India.
(pages 575–577)
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South Asia’s Climates (cont.)
• Highlands Climates Snow never melts
in the Himalayan highlands. 
• On the lower slopes, the climate is
temperate enough to support deciduous
and coniferous forests. 
• The foothills support grasslands and
stands of bamboo.
(pages 575–577)
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South Asia’s Climates (cont.)
• Dry Climates Dry climates, which occur
along the lower Indus River, produce the
Great Indian Desert and the surrounding
steppes. 
• Dry deciduous forests cover vast
stretches of India’s interior.
(pages 575–577)
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South Asia’s Climates (cont.)
In which areas do you think most of the
region’s people live? Why do you think
so?
They probably live in the tropical and
subtropical areas, where there is
abundant rainfall. The highlands are too
cold and rugged to support substantial
human settlement, nor can the arid
areas support large human populations.
(pages 575–577)
Click the mouse button or press the
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Monsoons
South Asia’s three seasons–hot, cool, and
wet–depend on the seasonal monsoons
that blow from the north and northeast to
produce the cool, dry season and from the
south and southwest to produce the rainy
season.
(pages 577–579)
Monsoons (cont.)
• Monsoon Rains Monsoon rains are
heaviest in eastern South Asia. 
• When the rains sweep over the GangesBrahmaputra delta, the Himalaya block
them from moving north. 
• As a result, the rains move west to the
Ganges Plain, bringing needed rainfall
for crops.
(pages 577–579)
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Monsoons (cont.)
• Natural Disasters Both the high
temperatures of the hot season and the
heavy rains of the wet season have
positive and negative effects. 
• Extremely high temperatures and lack
of rain can dry out the soil, causing
drought. 
• Too much rain caused by monsoons
brings floods and results in great
damage to land and property, as well
as loss of human life.
(pages 577–579)
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Monsoons (cont.)
• Cyclones, another kind of catastrophic
weather event, are equally destructive.
(pages 577–579)
Monsoons (cont.)
Compare and contrast South Asia’s
cycle of seasons with those of the
United States.
In most of the United States there are
four seasons. The general weather
pattern does not depend on the
seasonal monsoons, and the extremes
of hot, dry, cool, and wet are not as
drastic as those of South Asia.
(pages 577–579)
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Checking for Understanding
Define Match each definition in the left column with the
appropriate term in the right column.
__
B 1. storm with heavy rains and high
winds that blow in a circular
pattern around an area of low
atmospheric pressure
__
A 2. in Asia, seasonal wind that
brings warm, moist air from the
oceans in summer and cold, dry
air from inland in winter
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A. monsoon
B. cyclone
Critical Thinking
Analyzing Information Analyze the
reaction of South Asia’s environment to
the monsoons.
The summer monsoon winds bring moist
ocean air from the southwest, which triggers
rainfall that supports agriculture in a region
without much other annual precipitation.
These winds can also trigger flooding. Winter
monsoons bring dry air that may cause
droughts.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Critical Thinking
Decision Making Suppose that you wanted
to establish a lumber business in South Asia.
Where would you locate it? Why?
Critical Thinking
Comparing and Contrasting Are the
effects of the very hot temperatures in much
of South Asia more positive or more
negative? Explain.
The effects of the very hot temperatures are
probably more negative, because of the
effects on the soil (drying it out, removing
nutrients) and the possibility of drought in
a region with limited freshwater access.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Analyzing Maps
Region Compare the maps of South
Asia’s climate and vegetation below.
Explain how climate and vegetation are
related in the region.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Analyzing Maps
Each climate has vegetation typical
of its area. Highlands climate
vegetation varies with elevation.
Applying Geography
Visiting Sri Lanka Think about the
attractions of Sri Lanka’s climate and
vegetation. Write a descriptive paragraph
urging people to visit and enjoy Sri Lanka’s
natural features.
Close
Imagine you live in a part of South Asia
dependent upon monsoon rainfalls. Work
with your classmates to create a festival
celebrating the coming of the rains.
Section 1: The Land (pages 569–574)
Key Points
• The landforms of South Asia include
mountains, plateaus, plains, and islands. 
• South Asia has three great river systems–the
Indus, Brahmaputra, and Ganges–and the
world’s longest alluvial plain. 
• South Asia has few significant oil reserves, but
has substantial mineral deposits, including iron
ore and mica.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the information.
Section 2: Climate and Vegetation
(pages 575–579)
Key Points
• South Asia has highlands, tropical, and desert
climates. 
• The monsoon is a seasonal change in wind
direction that brings heavy rainfall to much of
South Asia from June to September. 
• South Asia’s vegetation is affected by elevation,
rainfall, and human activity.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the information.
Reviewing Key Terms
Insert the key term that matches the definition below.
alluvial plain
monsoons
cyclone
subcontinent
mica
1. ___________________
seasonal winds
monsoons
cyclone
2. ___________________
a storm with high winds
and heavy rains
3. ___________________
a layered mineral used to
mica
make electrical
components
4. ___________________
a very large, distinct
subcontinent
landmass that is part of a
continent
5. ___________________
an area of rich, fertile soil
alluvial plain
found along a river
Click the mouse button or press the
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Reviewing Facts
Section 1: The Land
Why might the region of South Asia be
referred to as “a land of great variety”?
The region might be referred to as “a land
of great variety” because of its many
different landforms, climates, and types
of vegetation.
Click the mouse button or press the
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Reviewing Facts
Section 1: The Land
How have the mountains of the Vindhya
Range affected the people of India?
The mountains have affected the people
of India by separating India into distinct
northern and southern parts. The Vindhya
Range has given rise to two different Indian
cultures.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Reviewing Facts
Section 1: The Land
Why is the management of water resources
important in South Asia?
The management of water resources is
important because the major rivers cross
international boundaries. Access to
freshwater is limited in much of the region,
and most rainfall is limited to seasonal
monsoons.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Reviewing Facts
Section 2: Climate and Vegetation
Where can you find a steppe climate region
in South Asia?
A steppe climate region can be found on
the Deccan Plateau, and surrounding the
Great Indian Desert except on the coast.
Click the mouse button or press the
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Reviewing Facts
Section 2: Climate and Vegetation
When do the three seasons found in much
of South Asia occur, and how would you
describe each?
The hot season is from late February to
June. The wet season is from June or July
until September, and the cool season is
from October to late February.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Reviewing Facts
Section 2: Climate and Vegetation
What factors enable South Asia’s rain
forests to thrive?
The rain forests thrive because they are
directly in the path of the monsoon rains,
with no mountains to block them.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Critical Thinking
Identifying Cause and Effect In what
way are the Himalaya responsible for the
richness of the soil in the northern plains
of the Indian subcontinent?
The Himalaya block the summer monsoon
winds and redirect the rainfall to the plains.
Click the mouse button or press the
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Critical Thinking
Comparing and Contrasting What are
the advantages and disadvantages of
the monsoons to South Asia?
The summer monsoon winds bring moist
ocean air from the southwest, which
triggers rainfall that supports agriculture.
These winds can also trigger flooding.
Winter monsoons bring dry air that may
cause droughts.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Locating Places
Match the letters on the map with the places and physical
features of South Asia.
__1.
C
__2.
I
__3.
F
__4.
J
__5.
A
__6.
H
__7.
G
Arabian Sea
Bay of Bengal
Ganges River
Deccan Plateau
Sri Lanka
Himalaya
Brahmaputra
River
__8.
Great Indian
E
Desert
__9.
Pakistan
B
__10.
Indus River
D
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Which of South Asia’s natural resources
hold the most potential for further
economic development?
The natural resources that hold the most
potential for further economic development
include hydroelectric power, offshore
petroleum deposits, natural gas, and
uranium.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Explore online information about the topics
introduced in this chapter.
Click on the Connect button to launch your browser and go to the
Glencoe World Geography Web site. At this site, you will find
interactive activities, current events information, and Web sites
correlated with the chapters and units in the textbook. When you
finish exploring, exit the browser program to return to this
presentation. If you experience difficulty connecting to the Web
site, manually launch your Web browser and go to
http://geography.glencoe.com
Study the elevation profile below. Then choose the
best answer for the following multiple-choice
questions. If you have trouble answering the
questions, use the process of elimination to narrow
your choices.
1. About how much higher is Mt. Everest than the Indus River?
A
2,500 feet
B
19,000 feet
C
25,000 feet
D
1,900 feet
Test-Taking Tip Note that the question asks for the difference in height
between the two locations. You can arrive at the answer by subtracting.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
2. Based on elevation, which locations on the profile would be unsuited
for farming?
F
Ganges Plain
G
Great Indian Desert
H
Mt. Everest and the Great Indian Desert
J
Mt. Everest
Test-Taking Tip Read the question carefully. The phrase based on
elevation is important. The Great Indian Desert is unsuited to farming,
but not because of its elevation. Once you apply the standard asked for
in the question, it is easy to eliminate wrong answers.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Mount Everest was named for a man who never saw
it. British scientist George Everest–pronounced
EEV•ruhst–headed the Great Trigonometrical Survey
that measured the Indian subcontinent in the 1800s.
Mistakenly thinking the peak had no local name,
British mapmakers assigned Everest’s name to it.
India Rice is so important to South Asian culture that
the Hindi phrase for “Have you eaten?” translates
literally as “Have you taken rice?”
Reading an Elevation Profile
If you were planning a long-distance cycling expedition, you
might want to check elevations of places along your route.
Elevation, the vertical distance above sea level of a place or
landform, can be shown in a number of ways. An elevation
profile gives you elevation information in a visual form.
Reading an Elevation Profile
Learning the Skill
An elevation profile presents visual information about the
elevation of a particular area, route, or landform in a twodimensional way. The base of an elevation profile is sea level,
the point from which land elevation is measured. A vertical
scale measures elevation above sea level.
Reading an Elevation Profile
Learning the Skill
Reading an elevation profile is similar to reading a line graph.
The vertical scale corresponds to the y-axis. In some
elevation profiles, a horizontal scale, corresponding to the xaxis, measures the length of the route, area, or landform in
miles or kilometers. The profile, or top edge of the landscape
shown, corresponds to the line in a line graph. This line
shows elevation at specific points. Some elevation profiles
provide information on more than one route, area, or
landform, using different colors or patterns to distinguish each
profile.
Reading an Elevation Profile
Learning the Skill
Follow these steps to read an elevation profile: 
• Look at the landscape profile as a whole. This will give
you a general sense of the variations in elevation shown. 
• Find the highest and lowest points. Use the vertical scale
to find their elevations. Calculate the approximate difference
in elevation between the highest and lowest points. 
• Use your finger to trace the profile. If your finger must
jump up and down to follow the profile, the area has
dramatic differences in elevation. 
• If more than one area or landform is profiled, follow the
procedure for each profile. Then use the information to
compare the profiled areas.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the information.
Reading an Elevation Profile
Practicing the Skill
Study the elevation profile contrasting the Rocky Mountains
with the Himalaya on page 580 of your textbook. Then answer
these questions.
1. What is the highest peak in the Rocky Mountains? About
how many feet above sea level does it rise?
The highest peak is Mount Elbert. Its elevation is 14,433
feet.
2. What is the approximate elevation of the highest peak in
the Himalaya?
The highest peak of the Himalaya is 29,035 feet (8,850 m).
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display possible answers.
Reading an Elevation Profile
Practicing the Skill
Study the elevation profile contrasting the Rocky Mountains
with the Himalaya on page 580 of your textbook. Then answer
these questions.
3. What is the approximate difference in elevation between
the highest point in the Rocky Mountains and the highest
point in the Himalaya?
The approximate difference in elevation is 14,595 feet.
4. Which range contains the greater variation in elevation?
The Himalaya contains a greater variation in elevation.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display possible answers.
Reading an Elevation Profile
Practicing the Skill
Study the elevation profile contrasting the Rocky Mountains
with the Himalaya on page 580 of your textbook. Then answer
these questions.
5. Which range stretches over a greater distance?
The Rockies stretch over a greater distance.
6. What does the elevation profile reveal about the relative
elevations of these mountain ranges?
While the variations between the high and low points of
the Himalaya are greater than those of the Rockies,
overall, the peaks of the Himalaya are closer to the same
height.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display possible answers.
Maps
South Asia: Physical-Political
South Asia: Climate Regions
South Asia: Natural Vegetation
Charts
Comparing Climate Regions: India and
the United States
South Asia: Monsoons
Click on a hyperlink to view the corresponding slide.
Possible answer:
Bangladesh has almost
five times as much
arable land as Nepal.
And about four times
more land is irrigated in
Bangladesh.
Click the mouse button or press the
Space Bar to display the answer.
Click the mouse button or press the
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End of Custom Shows
WARNING! Do Not Remove
This slide is intentionally blank and is set to auto-advance to end custom
shows and return to the main presentation.