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Part 010 – Physical Geography Previous Year Questions

Q1. Tropical storm in Chinese Sea is known as–
(a) Wave (b) Tornado
(c) Typhoon (d) Cyclone
Ans: (c) Tropical Cyclones (also known as Typhoons (in the western Pacific), Hurricanes (Atlantic), or Tropical Revolving Storms) occur all year round over the northern South China Sea. However, the “Typhoon Season” is taken to be from the Autumn transition (Oct) to the first half of the Northeast monsoon (Nov- Dec), when they occur most frequently in the South China Sea.

Q2. Convectional Rainfall occurs in:

(a) Equatorial region
(b) Temperate region
(c) Tropical region
(d) Polar region
Ans: (a) Convection rain commonly occurs in warmed or heated areas such as equatorial/tropical regions, where there is almost daily occurrence and even distribution of rain, and temperate areas in summer. It is also common in the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ). It happens when the ground surface is locally overheated and the adjacent air, heated by conduction, expands and rises.

Q3. Land and sea-breezes occur due to :

(a) Conduction (b) Convection
(c) Radiation (d) Tides
Ans: (b) During the day, the sun warming the land also warms the air. Since land heats up quicker than water does, the air over land gets warmer than the air over the water. Consequently, the warmer air, being less dense moves up. To fill its place the cooler air over the water moves in to fill its place creating what is known as a Sea Breeze. Reversely, at night the land cools down faster than the water does, and creates a Land Breeze.

Q4. Trade winds blow from the

(a) equatorial low pressure
(b) polar high pressure
(c) subtropical high pressure
(d) subpolar low pressure
Ans: (c) Wind flows outward down the pressure gradient away from the subtropical highs. As it does so, it encounters the Coriolis Effect caused by the rotation of the Earth. This force causes the winds in the Northern Hemisphere to move from the east towards the west below the subtropical high, and from the west towards the east above the subtropical high. The opposite is true in the Southern Hemisphere. Above the subtropical high winds move from east to west, and below the subtropical high winds move from west to the east.

Q5. Equatorial regions experience

(a) warm and dry climate
(b) hot and humid climate
(c) wet and windy climate
(d) moderately pleasant climate
Ans: (b) The temperature of the equatorial regions is hot throughout the year, with a very low temperature range usually of less than 3 degrees celsius. Tropical rainforest climate is a type of tropical climate in which there is little or no dry season – all months have mean precipitation values of at least 60 mm. Tropical rainforest climates have no pronounced summer or winter; it is typically hot and wet throughout the year and rainfall is both heavy and frequent. One day in an equatorial climate can be very similar to the next, while the change in temperature between day and night may be larger than the average change in temperature between “summer” and “winter”.

Q6. What happens to atmospheric pressure with increase in altitude ?

(a) It remains constant
(b) It decreases
(c) It increases
(d) It constantly fluctuates
Ans: (b) In most circumstances atmospheric pressure is closely approximated by the hydrostatic pressure caused by the mass of air above the measurement point. Low-pressure areas have less atmospheric mass above their location, whereas high-pressure areas have more atmospheric mass above their location. Likewise, as elevation increases, there is less overlying atmospheric mass, so that pressure decreases with increasing elevation.

Q7. Mediterranean type of climate is characterized by

(a) dry summer and wet winter
(b) wet summer and dry winter
(c) dry summer and dry winter
(d) wet summer and wet winter
Ans: (a) The climate is characterized by warm to hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters. Mediterranean climate zones are associated with the five large subtropical high pressure cells of the oceans: the Azores High, South Atlantic High, North Pacific High, South Pacific High, and Indian Ocean High. These high pressure cells shift towards the poles in the summer and towards the equator in the winter, playing a major role in the formation of the world’s tropical deserts and the Mediterranean Basin’s climate.

Q8. Which of the following winds is called anti-trade wind ?

(a) Chinook (b) Cyclone
(c) Typhoon (d) Westerlies
Ans: (a) Westerlies are rather stormy and variable though the main direction remains from west to east. But as their general direction is from the west, they are called the “Westerlies”. They are also known as “Anti-Trade Winds”, because their movement is in the opposite direction from that of the trade wind.

Q9. The solar radiation coming to Earth is called

(a) Radiant energy
(b) Insolation
(c) Sunshine
(d) Terrestrial radiation
Ans: (b) Insolation is the solar radiation that reaches the earth’s surface. It is measured by the amount of solar energy received per square centimetre per minute. Insolation affects temperature. The more the insolation, the higher the temperature. In any given day, the strongest insolation is received at noon. The insolation into a surface is largest when the surface directly faces the Sun. As the angle increases between the direction at a right angle to the surface and the direction of the rays of sunlight, the insolation is reduced in proportion to the cosine of the angle.

Q10. Hailstorms are caused due to

(a) condensation
(b) convection
(c) sublimation
(d) freezing
Ans: (d) In a hailstorm, small ice particles that form above the freezing level (which occurs in all thunderstorms) collect either rain water or cloud water on them, forming a water shell that freezes. The tilted updraft and downdraft structure of the storm is important in order for hailstones to grow because they can be ‘recycled’ several times, until they either become too large for the updraft to carry them, or they get caught in a downdraft, and they finally reach the ground.

Q11. Blizzards are characteristic features of—

(a) equatorial region
(b) tropical region
(c) Antarctic region
(d) temperate region
Ans: (c) Blizzards are characterized by low temperatures (usually below 20 degrees Fahrenheit) and accompanied by winds that are at least 35 mph or greater. Blizzards also have sufficient falling and/or blowing snow that reduces visibility to 1/4 mile or less at least three hours and is main feature of Antarctic region.

Q12. If there is no carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, the temperature of earth’s surface would be

(a) dependent on the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere
(b) higher than the present
(c) less than the present
(d) the same
Ans: (c) If there is no carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere, the temperature of earth’s surface would be less than the present because carbon emission in the atmosphere is one of the major causes of global warming.

Q13. Name the continent where ‘Tundra’ type of climate is not found

(a) Europe (b) Asia
(c) Africa (d) North America
Ans: (c) The meaning of the word ‘tundra’ is ‘a region in continents of Asia, Europe and North America, where the growth of trees is prevented due to low temperatures and permanently frozen subsoil’. These kinds of geographic areas are found near the North Pole and the South Pole. In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine tundra, and Antarctic tundra. In tundra, the vegetation is composed of dwarf shrubs, sedges and grasses, mosses, and lichens. Scattered trees grow in some tundra.

Q14. Which one of the following is not the example of planetary winds ?

(a) Monsoon
(b) Trade wind
(c) Land and sea breezes
(d) Chinook
Ans: (d) “Chinook”, originally meant a warming wind from the ocean into the interior regions of the Pacific Northwest (the Chinook people lived near the ocean, along the lower Columbia River). A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day. The snow partly melts and partly evaporates in the dry wind. Chinook winds have been observed to raise winter temperature, often from below -20°C (-4°F) to as high as 10-20°C (50-68°F) for a few hours or days, then temperatures plummet to their base level.

Q15. The climate of North America is influenced during winter by the

(a) Polar airmasses
(b) Warm airmasses
(c) Continental airmasses
(d) Tropical airmasses
Ans: (d) Maritime tropical (mT) air masses affecting North America most often originate over the warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea, or the adjacent western Atlantic Ocean. As expected, mT air masses are warm to hot, and they are humid. During winter, when cP air dominates the central and eastern United States, mT air only occasionally enters this part of the country. However, during the summer, mT air masses from the Gulf, Caribbean, and adjacent Atlantic are more common and cover a much wider area of the continent.

Q16. Storms of gases are visible in the chromosphere of the Sun during

(a) Cyclones
(b) Anticyclones
(c) Lunar eclipse
(d) Solar eclipse
Ans: (d) As seen from the Earth, a solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Sun and Earth, and the Moon fully or partially blocks the Sun. This can happen only at new moon, when the Sun and the Moon are in conjunction as seen from Earth. In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses only part of the Sun is obscured. The moon blocks out the bulk of the sun allowing us to see the chromosphere and corona.

Q17. Recharging of water table depends on

(a) amount of rainfall
(b) relief of the area
(c) vegetation of the area
(d) amount of percolation
Ans: (b) The water table may vary due to seasonal changes in precipitation, evapo-transpiration, topography and structural geology. In undeveloped regions with permeable soils that receive sufficient amounts of precipitation, the water table typically slopes toward rivers that act to drain the groundwater away and release the pressure in the aquifer for the relief of the area.

Q18. In atmosphere the lowermost layer is

(a) troposphere
(b) exosphere
(c) ionosphere
(d) strato sphere
Ans: (a) The troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere’s mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km in the middle latitudes. It is deeper in the tropics, up to 20 km, and shallower near the Polar Regions, at 7 km in summer, and indistinct in winter. Most of the phenomena we associate with day-to-day weather occur in the troposphere..

Q19. The lower layer of atmosphere is called

(a) exosphere (b) troposphere
(c) ionosphere (d) mesosphere
Ans: (b) The troposphere is the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. The air is very well mixed and the temperature decreases with altitude.

Q20. Match List-I with List-II and select the correct answer using the code given below the Lists :
List – I
a. Australia
b. China
c. France
d. West Indies List – II
1. Hurricane
2. Willy-willy
2. Typhoon
4. Mistral Code :
a b c d

(a) 2 1 4 3
(b) 1 2 3 4
(c) 1 3 2 4
(d) 4 1 2 3
Ans: (a) Willy-willy is a name used by Australians to refer to a dust devil. In the past, it had been used to refer to tropical cyclones. A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone or severe tropical storm that forms in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. A typical cyclone is accompanied by thunderstorms, and in the Northern Hemisphere, a counterclockwise circulation of winds near the earth’s surface. All Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coastal areas are subject to hurricanes. Parts of the Southwest United States and the Pacific Coast also experience heavy rains and floods each year from hurricanes spawned off Mexico. A typhoon is a mature tropical cyclone that develops in the northwestern part of the Pacific Ocean between 180° and 100°E. This region is referred to as the northwest Pacific basin. The United States and its adjacent territories such as the West Indies are threatened by typhoons each year. The mistral is a strong, cold and usually dry regional wind in France, coming from the north or northwest, which accelerates when it passes through the valleys of the Rhone and the Durance Rivers to the coast of the Mediterranean around the Camargue region.

Q21. Which is the lowest layer of the atmosphere?

(a) Troposphere
(b) Stratosphere
(c) Mesosphere
(d) Thermosphere
Ans: (a) The troposphere is the lowest layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. The air is very well mixed and the temperature decreases with altitude.

Q22. Which one of the following represent the lines joining the places of equal rainfall ?

(a) Isohypses (b) Isohalines
(c) Isobars (d) Isohyets
Ans: (d) An isohyet or isohyetal line (from huetos, meaning ‘rain’) is a line joining points of equal precipitation on a map. A map with isohyets is called an isohyetal map.

Q23. Depression formed due to deflating action of winds are called

(a) Playas (b) Yardang
(c) Ventifacts (d) Sand dunes
Ans: (b) A yardang is a streamlined hill carved from bedrock or any consolidated or semiconsolidated material by the dual action of wind abrasion, dust and sand, and deflation. Yardangs become elongated features typically three or more times longer than wide, and when viewed from above, resemble the hull of a boat.

Q24. Which one of the following is the highest cloud ?

(a) Cirrus
(b) Stratocumulus
(c) Nimbostratus
(d) Cumulus
Ans: (a) Cirrus clouds are thin, wispy clouds blown by high winds into long streamers. They are considered “high clouds” forming above 6000 m (20,000 ft). Cirrus clouds usually move across the sky from west to east. They generally mean fair to pleasant weather.

Q25. Troposphere is the hottest part of the atmosphere because

(a) it is closest to the Sun
(b) there are charged particles in it
(c) it is heated by the Earth’s surface
(d) heat is generated in it
Ans: (c) The lowest part of the troposphere is the warmest because it is closest to the ground, where the heat is coming from.

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