UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Check Important Questions from Physical Geography asked in Last 5 Years

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020 exam date is approaching and aspirants must be revising for the exam in full swing. It is to note that UPSC does not follow any fixed pattern while asking questions. Hence, one should thoroughly prepare every section of the subject. Indian River System, Soils of India, International Water bodies, and their land neighbors are some of the topics from the Physical Geography that are often covered in the UPSC IAS exam. In this article, we have provided all the questions and their explained solutions that were asked in the last 5 years from the Physical Geography section.  

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Subject-Wise Study Material for Preparation/ Revision

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Important Questions from Physical Geography asked in 2019

Ques: With reference to the cultivation of Kharif crops in India in the last five years, consider the following statements:

  1. Area under rice cultivation is the highest.
  2. Area under the cultivation of jowar is more than that of oilseeds.
  3. Area of cotton cultivation is more than that of sugarcane.
  4. Area under sugarcane cultivation has steadily decreased.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

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(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2, 3 and 4 only

(c) 2 and 4 only

(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: a

Explanation: IMAGE

Ques: Consider the following pairs

Famous place

River

Pandharpur

Chandrabhaga

Tiruchirappalli

Cauvery

Hampi

Malaprabha

Which of the pairs given above are correctly matched?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer:

Explanation: Pandharpur is a holy place of Shri.Vitthal and Shri.Rukmini. It is also known as the Southern Kashi of India and Kuldaivat of Maharashtra State. The Chandrabhaga (Bhima) river flows through the City. Tiruchirappalli, situated on the banks of the river Cauvery is the fourth largest city in Tamil Nadu. It was a citadel of the early Cholas which later fell to the Pallavas.

Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India located near Hospet town in the Karnataka state, on the south bank of the Tungabhadra river.

Ques: On 21st June, the Sun

(a) does not set below the horizon at the Arctic Circle

(b) does not set below the horizon at Antarctic Circle

(c) shines vertically overhead at noon on the Equator

(d) shines vertically overhead at the Tropic of Capricorn

Answer: a

Explanation: 21st June is the longest day of the year as countries lying to the north of the equator, including India, witness ‘Summer Solstice’.The ‘summer solstice’ occurs exactly when the earth’s axial tilt is most inclined towards the sun at its maximum of 23 degrees 26’.During ‘summer solstice’, the Northern Hemisphere witnesses its longest day of the year while the Southern Hemisphere sees its shortest day.

On the June solstice, the Earth’s the North Pole is at its maximum tilt toward the sun. At this time, the sun appears directly overhead at 23.5 degrees north latitude, along the Tropic of Cancer.

Around the Arctic Circle, the location of sunrise and sunset start to converge in the northern sky, until eventually the sun never sinks below the horizon. Hence, the appearance of the midnight sun.

Ques: Why are dewdrops not formed on a cloudy night?

(a) Clouds absorb the radiation released from the Earth's surface.

(b) Clouds reflect back the Earth's radiation.

(c) The Earth's surface would have the low temperature on cloudy nights.

(d) Clouds deflect the blowing wind to ground level.

Answer: b

Explanation: Dew is a type of precipitation where water droplets form on the ground, or on objects near the ground in a process called condensation of moisture. The favorable weather elements for dew include clear skies, light wind, decent soil moisture, and low night-time dew point depressions.

Dew forms when the temperature becomes equal to the dew point. This often happens first at ground level for two reasons. First, longwave emission causes the earth's surface to cool at night. Cloud cover prevents this from happening as it reflects the earth's radiation.

Ques:  Consider the following States:

  1. Chhattisgarh
  2. Madhya Pradesh
  3. Maharashtra
  4. Odisha

With reference to the States mentioned above, in terms of percentage of forest cover to the total area of State, which one of the following is the correct ascending order?

(a) 2-3-1-4

(b) 2-3-4-1

(c) 3-2-4-1

(d) 3-2-1-4

Answer: c

Explanation:

State

Percentage of Forest Cover (Approx.)

Chhattisgarh

41%

Madhya Pradesh

25%

Maharashtra

16%

Odisha

32%

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Important Questions from Physical Geography asked in 2018

Ques: Which of the following leaf modifications occur(s) in the desert areas to inhibit water loss?

  1. Hard and waxy leaves
  2. Tiny leaves
  3. Thorns instead of leaves

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 2 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Explanation: Structural adaptations are important to plant survival in the desert. Wax coatings on leaves prevent water loss through evaporation, which in the hot desert can cause loss of water from both the surface and the inside of leaves. Leaves are also smaller on desert plants, further reducing the possibility for water loss.

They have hard, thick coatings and some are covered in prickly spines to prevent water loss and to protect them from animals who might try to chew through them to get to their moisture. Hence all the statements are correct.

Ques:  1. The Earth's magnetic field has reversed every few hundred thousand years.

  1. When the Earth was created more than 4000 million years ago, there was 54% oxygen and no carbon dioxide.
  2. When living organisms originated, they modified the early atmosphere of the Earth.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

Explanation: S1: A change in the Earth’s magnetic field resulting in the magnetic north being aligned with the geographic south, and the magnetic south being aligned with the geographic north is called a geomagnetic reversal. Complete magnetic reversals have happened every 200,000 to 300,000 years over the past 20 million years. But that regularity hasn’t continued, as the last known reversal occurred roughly 780,000 years ago. 

S2: Between 4.5 and 2.5 billion years (the Archaean and Proterozoic time), the earliest atmosphere contained carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), water vapor (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), a little nitrogen (N), and hydrogen (H).

S3: When living organisms originated, they did not affect the early atmosphere because they lacked the ability to do so. The early atmosphere of earth was modified by solar winds. This happened not only in the case of the earth but also in all the terrestrial planets, which were supposed to have lost their primordial atmosphere through the impact of solar winds

Ques:  Which of the following is/are the possible consequence/s of heavy sand mining in riverbeds?

  1. Decreased salinity in the river
  2. Pollution of groundwater
  3. Lowering of the water-table

Select the correct answer using the code given below :

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1 ,2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation: The removal of sand from the river bed increases the velocity of the flowing water, with the distorted flow-regime eventually eroding the river banks. The sand acts like a sponge, which helps in recharging the water table; its progressive depletion in the river is accompanied by declining water tables in the nearby areas. Depletion of sand in the stream bed causes the deepening of rivers and estuaries, and the enlargement of river mouths and coastal inlets. It leads to saline-water intrusion. The sand acts as an efficient filter for various pollutants and thus maintains the quality of water in rivers and other aquatic ecosystems.

Ques: With reference to agricultural soils, consider the following statements :

  1. A high content of organic matter in soil drastically reduces its water holding capacity.
  2. Soil does not play any role in the sulfur cycle.
  3. Irrigation over a period of time can contribute to the salinization of some agricultural lands. Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:  S1: Soil water holding capacity is the amount of water that a given soil can hold for crop use. Soil texture and organic matter are the key components that determine soil water holding capacity. Organic matter influences the physical conditions of the soil in several ways. Plant residues that cover the soil surface protect the soil from sealing and crusting by raindrop impact, thereby enhancing rainwater infiltration and reducing runoff. Each 1 percent increase in soil organic matter helps soil hold 20,000 gallons more water per acre.

S2: Sulphur is one of three nutrients that are cycled between the soil, plant matter, and the atmosphere. The sulphur cycle describes the movement of sulphur through the atmosphere, mineral, and organic forms, and through living things. Although sulphur is primarily found in sedimentary rocks, it is particularly important to living things because it is a component of many proteins

S3: Salinization is a major problem associated with irrigation because deposits of salts build up in the soil and can reach levels that are harmful to crops. Hence statement 3 is correct

Ques: Consider the following statements

  1. Most of the world's coral reefs are in tropical waters.
  2. More than one-third of the world's coral reefs are located in the territories of Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
  3. Coral reefs host far more number of animal phyla than those hosted by tropical rainforests.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c)  1and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Ques: Among the following cities, which one lies on a longitude closest to that of Delhi?

(a) Bengaluru

(b) Hyderabad

(c) Nagpur

(d) Pune

Answer: a:

Also Read: Important Topics from Indian Physical Geography

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Important Questions from Physical Geography asked in 2017

Ques: With reference to river Teesta, consider the following statements:

  1. The source of river Teesta is the same as that of Brahmaputra but it flows through Sikkim.
  2. River Rangeet originates in Sikkim and it is a tributary of river Teesta.
  3. River Teesta flows into Bay of Bengal on the border of India and Bangladesh.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: b

Explanation:  Statement 1 and 3: Teesta River originates from the Pahunri glacier. The Brahmaputra originates in the Angsi glacier. Teesta is a tributary of Brahmaputra. So, 1 is wrong.

But, Teesta flows through West Bengal and Sikkim, before going to the Bay of Bengal through Bangladesh. Statement 3 is incorrect.

Ques: Consider the following statements:

  1. In India, the Himalayas are spread over five States only.
  2. Western Ghats are spread over five States only.
  3. Pulicat Lake is spread over two States only.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1 and 3 only

Answer: b

Explanation: Statement 1: The Himalayas are spread over almost all the Northern and north-eastern Indian states. Statement 1 is wrong.

Statement 2: the Western Ghats traverse the States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, and Gujarat (6 states).

Statement 3: Pulicat Lake (second largest brackish water lake in India)straddles the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states (2 states).

Ques: Which of the following is geographically closest to Great Nicobar?

(a) Sumatra

(b) Borneo

(c) Java

(d) Sri Lanka

Answer: a

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Important Questions from Physical Geography asked in 2016

Ques: Which of the following is/are tributary tributaries of Brahmaputra?

  1. Dibang
  2. Kameng
  3. Lohit

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 1 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Ques:  In which of the following regions of India are shale gas resources found?

  1. Cambay Basin
  2. Cauvery Basin
  3. Krishna-Godavari Basin

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: d

Explanation: The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MoPNG) has identified six basins as potentially shale gas bearing. These are Cambay, Assam-Arakan, Gondwana, Krishna-Godavari, Kaveri, and the Indo-Gangetic plain.

UPSC (IAS) Prelims 2020: Important Questions from Physical Geography asked in 2015

Ques: Tides occur in oceans and seas due to which of the following?

  1. Gravitational Force of the Sun
  2. Gravitational Force of the Moon
  3. Gravitational Force of the Earth

Select the correct answer using the code given below

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 and 3 only
  3. c) 1 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2, and 3

Answer: d

Explanation: Tides are the rise and fall of sea levels caused by the combined effects of gravitational forces exerted by the Moon, Sun, and rotation of the Earth.

Ques: Consider the following States:

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Himachal Pradesh
  3. Mizoram

In which of the following states do “Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests” occur?

  1. a) 1 only
  2. b) 2 and 3 only
  3. c) 1 and 3 only
  4. d) 1, 2 and 3

Answer: c

Explanation: These are typical rain forests that grow in those areas where the annual rainfall exceeds 250 cm, the annual temperature is about 25°-27°C the average annual humidity exceeds 77 percent and the dry season is distinctly short.

The true evergreen forests are found along the western side of the Western Ghats (between 500 to 1370 meters above sea level) south of Mumbai, in a strip running from northeast to south-west direction across Arunachal Pradesh, Upper Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura up to a height of 1070 meters and in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Ques: In India, in which one of the following types of forests is teak a dominant tree species?

  1. a) Tropical moist deciduous forest
  2. b) Tropical rain forest
  3. c) Tropical thorn scrub forest
  4. d) Temperate forest with grasslands

Answer: A

Explanation: Tropical moist deciduous forests exist mostly in the eastern part of the country – northeastern states, along the foothills of the Himalayas, Jharkhand, West Orissa and Chhattisgarh, and on the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats.

Teak is the most dominant species of this forest. Bamboos, sal, shisham, sandalwood, khair, kusum, arjun, mulberry are other commercially important species.

Ques: In the South Atlantic and South Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the reason?

  1. a) Sea Surface temperature are low
  2. b) Inter Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs
  3. c) Coriolis force is too weak
  4. d) Absence of land in those regions

Answer: a

Explanation: Option C is wrong. Coriolis force is weak only in the region around 0-5 degrees North or South latitudes.

Option B is also wrong. ITCZ formation is not essential to the formation of cyclones. Cyclones are formed in regions where ITCZ does not form, for e.g. in North Atlantic.

Option D is wrong as the absence of land boosts cyclones. The presence of land cuts off moisture from the cyclone. So, the most appropriate answer should be a.

Ques: Consider the following rivers :

  1. Vamsadhara
  2. Indravati
  3. Pranahita
  4. Pennar

Which of the above are tributaries of Godavari?

  1. a) 1,2 and 3
  2. b) 2,3 and 4
  3. c) 1,2 and 4
  4. d) 2 and 3 only

Answer: d

Also Check: How to Study Indian and World Geography Through Maps?




 

 

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