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UPSC IAS Prelims 2021: Important Questions on World Geography - Topic 6 (Antarctica)

Sakshi Saroha

Antarctica s the southernmost continent and lies entirely within the Antarctic Circle spread around the South Pole. To the south of India, beyond the Indian Ocean lies the frozen continent of Antarctica. The name means – opposite the Arctic. It is separated from the rest of the world by the icy waters of the Southern Ocean which comprises the southern portions of the Indian, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans. Its area is over 14 million square kilometers.  It is the coldest, driest, and windiest continent, and has the highest average elevation of all the continents. It is governed by the parties to the Antarctic Treaty System.

Also Check: Topic-wise Important Questions & Answers on World Geography

Ques 1: Consider the following statements:

  1. Antarctica is the sixth largest continent of the world.
  2. Mount Erebus is the highest mountain peak of the continent.

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 nad 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: d


Antarctica is the fifth-largest continent. It is larger than Europe and is twice the size of Australia. 

Mount Erebus is an active volcano, the second-highest in Antarctica and the southernmost active volcano on Earth. It is the sixth-highest ultra mountain on the continent. 

Ques 2: An aurora, sometimes referred to as polar lights witnessed in the winters here is called:

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(a) Aurora Borealis 

(b) Aurora Australis

(c) Oceania

(d) Antarctic Aurora

Ans: b


In winter, there is a continuous night for 3 months in the polar regions. Curtains of brilliant colored lights appear on these dark nights. They are caused by magnetic storms in the upper atmosphere.

They are called Aurora Australis in the south and Aurora Borealis in the north.

Ques 3: Which of the following mountain range divides the Antarctica into two parts?

(a) Trans-Antarctica Mountains

(b) Great Dividing Range

(c) Queen Maud Range

(d) Cordillera de Los Andes

Ans: c


The Queen Maud Mountains are a major group of mountains, ranges and subordinate features of the Transantarctic Mountains, lying between the Beardmore and Reedy Glaciers and including the area from the head of the Ross Ice Shelf to the Antarctic Plateau in Antarctica.

Ques 4: Which of the following minerals is not found on the Antarctic region?

(a) Gold

(b) Platinum

(c) Iron

(d) Petroleum

Ans: c


Scientific studies have shown Antarctica to be rich in gold, platinum, nickel, copper, and petroleum. But by the international Agreement, this continent is to be used only by the scientists to study the climate of the Earth and the origin of its crust.

Ques 5: What was the name of the first Indian scientific station set up in Antarctica?

(a) Dakshin Gangotr

(b) Mount Indira

(c) Maitri

(d) Himadri

Ans: a


Indian expedition to Antarctica had a 21 member team with Dr. S. Z.Quasim as its leader. It left Goa on the 6th of December 1981 and landed on the frozen continent on 9th January 1982.

Ques 6: Consider the following statements regarding Antarctic Treaty:

  1. The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1949.
  2. It prohibits nuclear explosions and the disposal of radioactive waste;

Which of the given statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only

(b) 2 only

(c) Both 1 nad 2

(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: b


The Antarctic Treaty was signed in Washington on 1 December 1959 by the twelve nations that had been active during the IGY (Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, United Kingdom, United States, and USSR). The Treaty, which applies to the area south of 60° South latitude, is surprisingly short, but remarkably effective. Through this agreement, the countries active in Antarctica consult on the uses of a whole continent, with a commitment that it should not become the scene or object of international discord. In its fourteen articles the Treaty:

Ques 7: Consider the following statements regarding Aurora or Northern lights.

  1. Auroras are the glowing lights at high latitude.
  2. Auroras can be normally observed in the stratosphere.
  3. Change in the atmospheric temperature cause Auroras.

Which of the above statement is/are correct?

(a) 1, 3

(b) 1 only

(c) 2, 3

)d) 1, 2, 3

Ans: b


An aurora, sometimes referred to as polar lights, northern lights (aurora borealis) or southern lights (aurora

australis), is a natural light display in the Earth’s sky, predominantly seen in the high latitude regions (around the Arctic and Antarctic).

Auroras are produced when the magnetosphere is sufficiently disturbed by the solar wind. It usually occurs in the upper atmosphere (thermosphere/exosphere) due to Earth’s magnetic field.

Ques 8: Which of the following is the main vegetation of Antarctica?

(a) Cactus

(b) Eucalyptus 

(c) Lichen & Moss

(d) None of the above

Ans: c


There are lichens, (200 species) bryophytes (over 50 species of mosses and liverworts), fungi and over 700 species of algae found in the Antarctica. 

Ques 9; Which of the following lake of Antarctica is as saline as the Dead Sea?

(a) Lake Superior

(b) Lake Huron

(c) Vinson Massif

(d) Vida

Ans: d


Vida is a 19m thick ice layer saline lake in Antarctica. Its salinity is equal to that of Dead Sea.

Ques 10: When is the Sun not visible in Antarctica?

(a) From 22 March to 23 September

(b) From 22 April to 23 August

(c) From 22 May to 23 October

(d) From 22 January to 23 December

Ans: a


In winter, there is a continuous night for 3 months in the polar regions. In the winter months of May, June, and July the sun never rises and the temperature at the South Pole falls to minus 90°C.

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