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Part 004 – Physical Geography Previous Year Questions

Q1. Shale is metamorphosed into which of the following rocks?
(a) Graphite (b) Gneiss
(c) Marble (d) Slate
Ans: (d) From depth of burial by continual sediment deposition from above, or from compressional stress from tectonic plate collisions, shale is metamorphosed into slate over periods of millions of years. During this compression, the clay minerals making up the shale decompose as they become unstable in the high pressure environment, and their chemical components are gradually transformed into minerals that are more stable in the newly forming higher pressure environment.

Q2. Where are the hot deserts generally found ?

(a) On the eastern margins of the Tropics
(b) On the western margins of the Tropics
(c) Nearer the Equator
(d) In the middle of the Continents
Ans: (b) The deserts lie in the belt of the trade winds which blow from northeast in the northern hemisphere and southeast in the southern hemisphere. There-fore, the general direction of the trade winds is from the east to west. These winds shed their moisture on the eastern margins of the continents and by the time they reach the west they have lost their moisture. The hot desert climate is found around the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer, usually on the west side of continents. Examples are the Thar Desert in Pakistan and the Atacama desert in Chile.

Q3. Why are winters more severe in Southern Hemisphere than in Northern Hemisphere?

(a) Earth is titled towards the sun in the Northern Hemisphere
(b) Northern Hemisphere receives more sunlight
(c) Because of more iceberg activity in Southern Hemisphere
(d) Southern Hemisphere is less inhabited
Ans: (a) The winter in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when the Northern hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun. From the perspective of an observer on the Earth, the winter Sun has a lower maximum altitude in the sky than the summer Sun.

Q4. Marble is the metamorphosed form of

(a) Shale (b) Basalt
(c) Sandstone (d) Limestone
Ans: (d) Marble is a non-foliated metamorphic rock composed of re-crystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Geologists use the term “marble” to refer to metamorphosed limestone. Marble is a rock resulting from metamorphism of sedimentary carbonate rocks, most commonly limestone or dolomite rock. Metamorphism causes variable recrystallization of the original carbonate mineral grains. The resulting marble rock is typically composed of an interlocking mosaic of carbonate crystals. Primary sedimentary textures and structures of the original carbonate rock (protolith) have typically been modified or destroyed.

Q5. The highest mountain peak of the Himalayas is situated in—

(a) India (b) Tibet
(c) Nepal (d) China
Ans: (c) Overall, the Himalayan mountain system is the world’s highest, and is home to the world’s highest peaks, the Eight-thousanders. The Mount Everest is the highest peak having elevation of 8848 m and is situated in East of Kathmandu on Sagarmatha Zone Nepal. Mount Everest is the Earth’s highest mountain, with a peak at 8,848 metres above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international border between China and Nepal runs across the precise summit point.

Q6. Metamorphic rocks originate from—

(a) igneous rocks
(b) sedimentary rocks
(c) both igneous and sedimentary rocks
(d) None of these
Ans: (c) Metamorphic rocks are rocks that have “morphed” into another kind of rock. These rocks were once igneous or sedimentary rocks. How do sedimentary and igneous rocks change? The rocks are under tons and tons of pressure, which fosters heat build-up, and this causes them to change. If you exam metamorphic rock samples closely, you’ll discover how flattened some of the grains in the rock are.

Q7. The term ‘epicentre’ is associated with—

(a) earthquake (b) folding
(c) faulting (d) earth’s interior
Ans: (a) The epicenter is the point on the Earth’s surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates. In the case of earthquakes, the epicenter is directly above the point where the fault begins to rupture, and in most cases, it is the area of greatest damage. However, in larger events, the length of the fault rupture is much longer, and damage can be spread across the rupture zone..

Q8. The Earth rotates on its axis at an inclination of

(a) 23 1 2 (b) 22 1 2 
(c) 21 1 2 (d) 20°
Ans: (a) The Earth is rotating around an axis (called its rotational axis). Some objects rotate about a horizontal axis, like a rolling log. Some objects, such as a skater, rotate about a vertical axis. The Earth’s axis is tipped over about 23.5° from vertical.

Q9. Dolomite is a/an

(a) Sedimentary rock
(b) Plutonic rock
(c) Igneous rock
(d) Metamorphic rock
Ans: (a) Dolomite a sedimentary rock resembling limestone but consisting principally of the mineral dolomite. It is an important source of magnesium and its compounds, and is used as a building material and refractory. Dolomite is used as an ornamental stone, a concrete aggregate, a source of magnesium oxide and in the Pidgeon process for the production of magnesium. It is an important petroleum reservoir rock, and serves as the host rock for large stratabound Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) ore deposits of base metals such as lead, zinc, and copper. Where calcite limestone is uncommon or too costly, dolomite is sometimes used in its place as a flux for the smelting of iron and steel. Large quantities of processed dolomite are used in the production of float glass.

Q10. A geyser is a spring which

(a) throws water continuously
(b) throws water intermittently
(c) throws water and steam at regular intervals
(d) throws only steam
Ans: (c) A geyser is a spring characterized by intermittent discharge of water ejected turbulently and accompanied by a vapour phase (steam). The word geyser comes from Geysir, the name of an erupting spring at Haukadalur, Iceland; that name, in turn, comes from the Icelandic verb geysa, “to gush”, the verb itself from Old Norse.

Q11. Which one of the following is igneous rock ?

(a) Limestone (b) Granite
(c) Marble (d) Slate
Ans: (b) Igneous rock (derived from the Latin word ignis meaning fire) is one of the three main rock types, the others being sedimentary and metamorphic rock. Igneous rock is formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava. Igneous rock may form with or without crystallization, either below the surface as intrusive (plutonic) rocks or on the surface as extrusive (volcanic) rocks. This magma can be derived from partial melts of pre-existing rocks in either a planet’s mantle or crust. Typically, the melting is caused by one or more of three processes: an increase in temperature, a decrease in pressure, or a change in composition. Granite is the best-known igneous rock. Many people recognize granite because it is the most common igneous rock found at Earth’s surface and because granite is used to make many objects that we encounter in daily life.

Q12. How many minutes for each degree of longitude does the local time of any place vary from the Greenwich time ?

(a) Two minutes
(b) Four minutes
(c) Six minutes
(d) Eight minutes
Ans: (b) The first of these ideas is the relationship between time and the rotation of the Earth. It takes an average time of 24 hours for the Earth to rotate 360 degrees. If you divide the number degrees in a circle by the number of hours in a day, we find that the Earth turns 15 degrees each hour.360° / 24 hours = 15° per hour. We can take this a step further and state that the Earth turns one degree in four minutes.1 hour = 60 minutes / 15° = 4 minutes per degree

Q13. The tropical grassland is called

(a) Pampas (b) Llanas
(c) Savanah (d) Veld
Ans: (c) Tropical grasslands (Savannas) are located near the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. They cover much of Africa as well as large areas of Australia, South America, and India. They are found in tropical wet and dry climates. These areas are hot year-round, usually never dropping under 64 degrees Farenheit. Although these areas are overall very dry, they do have a season of heavy rain. Annual rainfall is from 20-50 inches per year. It is crucial that the rainfall is concentrated in six or eight months of the year, followed by a long period of drought when fires can occur. Savannas are associated with several types of biomes. Savannas are frequently in a transitional zone between forest and desert or grassland. Savanna covers approximately 20% of the Earth’s land area.

Q14. The topography of plateau is ideal for

(a) cultivation (b) forestry
(c) mining
(d) generation of hydro power
Ans: (d) The prospect of producing electricity from the hydrological resources of the Plateau region lies not, as has been suggested, in the ‘region’s fast flowing rivers’. The flow rate of most rivers in the region is relatively slow. However, the sloped topography of the plateau itself provides enormous capacity to generate electricity. All existing and planned hydropower projects in the region are based on the simple engineering principle of utilizing gravity to generate energy from the region’s rivers. The steep escarpments found in the south-eastern portion of the region provide the natural topographical mechanism to subject the region’s water resources to the energy-producing force of gravity.

Q15. Which of the following statements is correct ?

(a) Lava and magma both have gas
(b) Neither the lava nor the magma has gas
(c) Magma has gas while lava has no gas
(d) Lava has gas while magma has no gas
Ans: (a) Highly viscous lava tends to entrap gas, which form vesicles (bubbles) within the rock as they rise to the surface. Lava with low viscosity tends to easily release bubbling gases as they are formed. Lavas also may contain many other components, sometimes including solid crystals of various minerals, fragments of exotic rocks known as xenoliths and fragments of previously solidified lava. Volcanic eruptions are caused by magma (a mixture of liquid rock, crystals, and dissolved gas) expelled onto the Earth’s surface. At depth in the Earth nearly all magmas contain gas dissolved in the liquid, but the gas forms a separate vapor phase when pressure is decreased as magma rises toward the surface of the Earth. This is similar to carbonated beverages which are bottled at high pressure. The high pressure keeps the gas in solution in the liquid. Gas gives magmas their explosive character, because volume of gas expands as pressure is reduced.

Q16. Which one of the following is the example of sedimentary rocks ?

(a) Loess (b) Basalt
(c) Granite (d) Gabbro
Ans: (a) Loess is an Aeolian sediment formed by the accumulation of wind-blown silt, typically in the 20– 50 micrometer size range, twenty percent or less clay and the balance equal parts sand and silt that are loosely cemented by calcium carbonate. It is usually homogeneous and highly porous and is traversed by vertical capillaries that permit the sediment to fracture and form vertical bluffs. The word loess, with connotations of origin by winddeposited accumulation, is of German origin and means “loose.” It was first applied to Rhine River valley loess about 1821.

Q17. Mica is found in which one of the following pairs of rocks ?

(a) Slate- Sandstone
(b) Schist-Gneiss
(c) Limestone-Sandstone
(d) Shale- Limestone
Ans: (b) The schists constitute a group of medium-grade metamorphic rocks, chiefly notable for the preponderance of lamellar minerals such as micas, chlorite, talc, hornblende, graphite, and others. Gneissic rocks are usually medium- to coarse-foliated and largely recrystallized but do not carry large quantities of micas, chlorite or other platy minerals. Mica minerals make some rocks sparkle They are often found in igneous rocks such as granite and metamorphic rocks such as schist. Most schists are mica schists, but graphite and chlorite schists are also common. Schist is a crystalline metamorphic rock, mostly composed of more than 50% tabular and elongated minerals.

Q18. The Mohorovicic (Moho) Discontinuity separates

(a) Outer core and Mantle
(b) Inner and Outer core
(c) Sima and Nife
(d) Crust and Mantle
Ans: (d) The Mohorovicic discontinuity, usually referred to as the Moho, is the boundary between the Earth’s crust and the mantle. Named after the pioneering Croatian seismologist Andrija Mohorovicic, the Moho separates both the oceanic crust and continental crust from underlying mantle. The Moho mostly lies entirely within the lithosphere; only beneath mid-ocean ridges does it define the lithosphere – asthenosphere boundary..

Q19. Suppose if we measure the time lapse between the two Sunsets by sitting in the beach, from this we can estimate

(a) The distance between the sun and the earth
(b) The depth of the ocean
(c) The radius of the earth
(d) The radius of the sun
Ans: (c) A method is described whereby, using primitive equipment anyone can measure the size of the earth to an accuracy of order of magnitude 10% by observing two sunsets in the space of a few seconds.

Q20. What is the International Date Line ?

(a) It is the equator
(b) It is the 0° longitude
(c) It is the 90° east longitude
(d) It is the 180° longitude
Ans: (d) The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line on the surface of the Earth, that runs from the north to the south pole and demarcates one calendar day from the next. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° longitude but it deviates to pass around some territories and island groups.

Q21. Earthquake is caused by

(a) disturbance of earth surface
(b) adjustment of layers of earth’s crust
(c) breakage of rock system
(d) upliftment of rocks
Ans: (a) Most earthquakes are minor tremors. Larger earthquakes usually begin with slight tremors but rapidly take the form of one or more violent shocks, and end in vibrations of gradually diminishing force called aftershocks. The subterranean point of origin of an earthquake is called its focus; the point on the surface directly above the focus is the epicenter.

Q22. The highest grade and best quality coal is

(a) Lignite (b) Peat
(c) Bituminous (d) Anthracite
Ans: (d) Anthracite is usually considered to be the highest grade of coal and is actually considered to be metamorphic. Compared to other coals it is much harder, has a glassy luster, and is denser and blacker with few impurities. It is largely used for heating domestically as it burns with little smoke.

Q23. River erosion is at its greatest where river’s

(a) depth is more
(b) breadth is more
(c) flow is fast
(d) gradient is more
Ans: (c) The outer bank (called a cut bank) has the greatest erosion because the water is flowing faster along the outer bank than the inner bank. The slower water allows sediment to be deposited (called a point bar).

Q24. In which of the following is the Great Barrier Reef located ?

(a) Coral Sea
(b) Solomon Sea
(c) Bismarck Sea
(d) Arafura Sea
Ans: (a) The Great Barrier Reef is in the Coral Sea, on Australia’s north-eastern coast. It stretches more than 2,300km along the state of Queensland’s coastline, beginning at the tip of Cape York Peninsula in the north and extending down to Bundaberg in the south. The Great Barrier Reef is ideal for Cairns Scuba Diving.

Q25. The term ‘epicentre’ is associated with

(a) Earthquakes (b) Volcanoes
(c) Cyclones (d) Landslides
Ans: (a) Epicenter is the point on the Earth’s surface that is directly above the hypocenter or focus, the point where an earthquake or underground explosion originates. Epicentral distance is used in calculating seismic magnitudes developed by Richter and Gutenberg.

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