Geomorphology notes for Geography Optional UPSC

In this blog post we will discuss How to approach Geomorphology for Geography Optional. I will tell you how to start your preparation from scratch, what are important topics, booklist, and micro topic analysis as well.

In the previous blog post, we have discussed almost every aspect of Geography Optional Preparation that’s why if you haven’t read that article so please read it “Geography Optional UPSC: The Ultimate Guide”

In geomorphology, we have taken two reference book

First of all, some important points to always remember throughout your preparation-

  • Read the Syllabus thoroughly and by heart the syllabus, it will be the lighthouse of your preparation.
  • Read any topic from 2-3 sources i.e NCERT, Reference Book, our Articles, that’s all, and then revise it multiple times (at least 8 times)
  • After completing the topic from the syllabus refer to the questions from the previous years and try to frame answers.
  • Don’t make notes fro every topic as It will be time-consuming. Prepare self notes for only those topics which you find very difficult to comprehend. 
  • For Paper 1, do a special focus on Human Geography.
  • For Paper 2, make small bullet point notes for often repeated topics from standard sources.
  • Prepare region-wise maps of India from standard books in which all aspects of a region are covered like terrain, drainage, resources, agriculture, industries, etc. Basically, this is the regional approach to study geography which can be adopted for Paper 2.
  • Always try to link the subject matter of Paper 1 and Paper 2. For example, read Climatology, Population and Settlement Geography, Regional Development and Planning, etc together for both papers and use examples from one paper in the other while writing answers.
  • Practice your answer writing in “UPSC Size loose sheets”, please don’t use your resister or rough copy.
  • Always practice answer writing within the time limit as per UPSC.
  • Develop your own model answer for each previous year’s questions.

Do you want, Someone, to tell you that what are the topics from Savindra Singh’s book which You should read. Don’t worry I am here for you, but one thing always remembers that this is my point of view to highlight these topics, use your own consciousness(sense) as well.

Topics which you should read from Physical Geography by Savindra Singh

Here are the important topics from Physical Geography by Savindra Singh-

  • Chapter-2 “Origin of Earth”
  • Chapter-7 “Earth’s Movement”
  • Chapter-8 “Rocks”
  • Chapter-10 “Earthquakes”
  • Chapter-12 “Earthquakes”
  • Chapter-12 “Plateau”
  • Chapter-13 “Plains”
  • Chapter-14 “Lakes”
  • Chapter-18 “Running water(River) and Fluvial Landforms”
  • Chapter-19 “Groundwater and Karst Topography
  • Chapter-20 “Sea waves and coastal Landforms”
  • Chapter-21 “Wind and Aeolian Landforms”
  • Chapter-22 “Glaciers and Glaciated Topography”
geomorphology important topics
geomorphology important topics
geomorphology important topics
geomorphology important topics
geomorphology important topics

Topics which you should read from Geomorphology by Savindra Singh

Here are the important topics from Geomorphology by Savindra Singh-

  • Chapter-5 “Constitution of earth interior”
  • Chapter-6 “Continents and oceans”
  • Chapter-7 “Theory of Isostasy”
  • Chapter-11 “Plate tectonics”
  • Chapter-12 “Vulcanicity and Landforms”
  • Chapter-13 “Mountain Building”
  • Chapter-14 “Weathering and Massmovement”
  • Chapter-15 “Hillslope”
  • Chapter-16 “Cycle of Erosion, Rejuvenation, and Polycyclic Reliefs”
  • Chapter-17 “Denudation Chronology, Erosion surfaces and Peneplains”
  • Chapter-21 “Channel Morphology”
  • Chapter-27 “Periglacial Geomorphology”
  • Chapter-29 “Applied Geomorphology”
Geomorphology by Savindra Singh
Geomorphology by Savindra Singh
Geomorphology by Savindra Singh
Geomorphology by Savindra Singh

Note: Read all the chapters which I have written from both Books (i.e. Geomorphology by Savindra Singh, Physical geography by Savindra Singh) and use your own consciousness as well

Previous year question paper of Geomorphology –

  1. Discuss the views of W.M Davis and Walter Penck on the cycle of erosion. (1986)
  2. Discuss the evolution and characteristics of the landforms of glaciated regions. (1987)
  3. Write a short note on Karst landforms in about 200 words. (1988)
  4. Critically analyze the concept of plate tectonics and bring out the evidence to support it. (1988)
  5. Write a short note on Rejuvenated landforms in 200 words. (1989)
  6. Write a short note on Plate tectonics in about 200 words. (1990)
  7. Analyze the differences in the models of slope evolution proposed by Davis and Penk. (1990)
  8. Write a short note: Polycyclic landforms. (1991)
  9. Analyze the sequential development of landforms in either Karst or Coastal region. (1991)
  10. Write a short note: Classification of Earth Movements. (1992)
  11. Explain the factors causing rejuvenation in landscape and describe the resultant landforms. (1992)
  12. Write short note: Treppen concept. (1993)
  13. Discuss, with examples, the influence of vulcanism and diastrophism on the evolution of the landscape. (1993)
  14. Discuss the concept of the cycle of erosion and bring out clearly the difference between the views of Davis and Penck. (1994)
  15. Discuss the limitations of the theory of Continental Drift and show how the theory of plate Tectonics is an improvement over it. (1995)
  16. Discuss the processes of mechanical and chemical weathering and show their relationship with soil formation. (1996)
  17. Write a short note: Weathering and Soil formation. (1997)
  18. Discuss the concept of polycyclic landforms and present an analytical study of the polycyclic landforms of a selected region. (1997)
  19. Write a short note: Geomorphic processes. (1998)
  20. Discuss the concept of volcanicity and show how the theory of Plate Tectonics explains the mechanism of volcanism and volcanic eruptions. (1998)
  21. Bring out the distinctions between the continental drift theory and the plate tectonics theory. (1999)
  22. With reference to the theory of Plate tectonics, explain the origin and growth of the Young Fold Mountain systems of the World. (2000)
  23. Present a critical analysis of the theory of Isostacy. (2001)
  24. Provide a critique of the “geographical cycle” model, propounded by Davis. (2002)
  25. Write a short note: Geosyncline. (2002)
  26. Explain the sequential development of landforms associated with the coastal areas. (2003)
  27. Describe the landforms which are products of endogenetic forces. (2004)
  28. Write a short note: Peneplain (2004)
  29. “Structure is a dominant control factor in the evolution of landforms.” Discuss with suitable examples. (2005)
  30. Write short note: Role of seismic waves in the study of the earth’s interior. (2005)
  31. Critically evaluate the continental drift hypothesis of A. Wegener. (2006)
  32. Define the concept of isostasy and discuss the postulations of Airy and Pratt. (2007)
  33. Critically examine the concept of the geomorphic cycle and discuss the views of W.M. Davis and W. Penck. (2008)
  34. Write a short note on Seafloor spreading theory. (2008)
  35. Highlight the geomorphic features essentially found in topographies under the Second Cycle of erosion. (2009)
  36. Give a brief account of the principal land biomes and their latitudinal distribution. (2009)
  37. Discuss views on slope development provided by L.C. King. (2009)
  38. Write a short note on Essential conditions for the development of Karst topography. (2010)
  39. Bring out the relevance of seismic study in determining the structure of the interior of the earth. (2010)
  40. “Weathering is a complex phenomenon involving a number of processes and is influenced by various factors.” Elaborate. (2010)
  41. Write a short note on Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism. (2011)
  42. Name the climatically controlled agents of erosion. Explain how they differ in terms of properties of matter. Compare the landforms produced by each one of them. (2011)
  43. Explain the concept of isostasy as postulated by Airy and Pratt. (2011)
  44. Write short notes on Palaeozoic glacial evidence of Continental Drift. (2012)
  45. Write short notes on a Systems approach to landform analysis. (2012)
  46. Write a short note on Major components of IGPB. (2012)
  47. Explain how Bosche and Haldenhang lead to the Theory of Slope Replacement. (2012)
  48. Answer the following: Characteristics of the standard epigene cycle of erosion. (2012)
  49. Write short note: Differences between Normal cycle and Arid cycle of Davis. (2013)
  50. Write short note: Impact of Pleistocene Ice age on the crust of the Earth. (2013)
  51. Define the term ‘meander’ and describe the basic characteristics of entrenched meander and ingrown meander. (2014)
  52. State the concept of plate tectonics. How does it help in explaining the formation of the Himalayas and the Appalachian Mountains? (2014)
  53. State the concept of erosion surfaces and highlight the factors responsible for their development. (2014)
  54. Attempt a classification of the geomorphic process from the zonal point of view. (2015)
  55. Discuss the contribution of the American school of subaerial Denudation in geomorphology. (2015)
  56. Explain with examples as to how to channel dynamics has been responsible for the development of alluvial fans and cones. (2015)
  57. “Present-day landforms bear more complexity than simplicity”. Elucidate. (2015)
  58. Describe the “Basket of Eggs topography”. (2016)
  59. “In explaining the concept of Prediplanation’, King combined the ideas of Davis, Penck, and Wood with his own.” Elaborate. (2016)
  60. “Geological structure has a dominant control on landforms and is reflected on them.” Discuss. (2016)
  61. Write a note on pseudovolcanic features. (2017)
  62. “The knowledge of slope analysis has limited field application in slope management.” Explain. (2017)
  63. Discuss the concept of Periglacial cycle as propounded by Peltier. (2017)
  64. “Climate, slope gradient and rock structure influence the avulsion of channels.” Explain. (2017)
  65. ……………………………………………………..

Now we are going to show you Micro Topics Analysis of Geomorphology for your convenience in UPSC preparation.

Micro Topics Analysis: Geomorphology for Geography Optional

Note: Start your Preparation from 1. (Origin of Universe and Earth) hereinafter 2., 3., 4., 5., and so on…

1. Origin of Universe and Earth

  1. Universe
    1. Basic information
    2. Galaxy
    3. Stars
      1. Birth to Death
      2. Constellations
      3. Sun
    4. Planets(Detailed information)
    5. Moon
    6. Asteroids, Meteoroids, Comets
  2. Earth
    1. Origin of earth
    2. Important statics about Earth
    3. Size and Shape
    4. Motion
      1. Rotation
      2. Revolution
    5. Longitudes and Latitudes
    6. Eclipses
      1. Solar
      2. Lunar
    7. Evolution and Composition of earth
    8. Movement
      1. Volcanism
      2. Earthquakes
    9. Minerals
    10. Rocks
      1. Igneous
      2. Sedimentary
      3. Metamorphic
    11. Landforms
      1. Mountain
      2. Plateau
      3. Plains
      4. Fluvial
  3. Theories of origin of the earth
    1. The gaseous hypothesis of Kant
    2. Nebular hypothesis of Laplace
    3. The planetesimal hypothesis of Chamberlin
    4. Jean and Jeffery’s tidal theory
    5. Russel’s Binary Star Hypothesis
    6. Hoyle’s supernova hypothesis hypothesis
    7. Schmidt’s interstellar hypothesis
    8. Big bang Theory (important)

2. Geological time scale

  1. Pre-Cambrian
  2. Paleozoic
  3. Mesozoic
  4. Cenozoic

3. Earth’s Interior

  1. Interior of the earth (overview)
  2. Sources to study of earth’s interior
  3. Earth’s Layers
    1. Core
    2. Mental
    3. Asthenosphere
    4. Crust
  4. Chemical Composition of earth
  5. Seismic Discontinuities on Earth’s Layer

4. Seismic waves and study of Earth

  1. Seismic waves (overview)
  2. Earthquake waves
  3. The behavior of earthquake waves
  4. Primary waves (P-waves)
  5. Secondary waves (S-waves)
  6. Surface waves (L-waves)
  7. Analysis

5. Origin and Evolution of Earth and Related theories

  1. Continental Drift
  2. Convection current and seafloor Spreading
  3. Plate tectonics

6. Earthquake

  1. Overview
  2. The terminology used in the study of Earthquakes
    1. Earthquake Intensity
    2. Earthquake magnitude
    3. Richter Scale
    4. Mercalli Scale
    5. Fault
    6. Focus and Epicenter
    7. Seismic wave
    8. Seismograph
  3. Continental plates
  4. Plate Boundaries
    1. Divergent
    2. Convergent
    3. Transform
  5. Distribution of Earthquakes
  6. Classification of Earthquakes
  7. Addressing the Hazard

7. Tsunami

  1.  Overview
  2. Causes of Tsunami
    1. Earthquake
    2. Landslides
    3. Undersea Volcanoes
    4. Meteors, Asteroids
    5. Anthropogenic factors
  3. Course of Tsunami
  4. Tsunami Propagation
  5. Tsunami early warning system

8. Volcanoes

  1. Overview
  2. Magma
  3. Parts of Volcanoes
  4. Volcanoes formation hotspots
  5. Global distribution of Volcanoes
  6. Classification of Volcanoes
    1. On the basis of periodicity
    2. On the basis of the intensity
    3. On the basis of composition
  7. Geysers, Fumaroles, and Hot Springs
  8. Types of Volcanoes
    1. Active Volcano
    2. Dormant Volcano
    3. Extinct Volcano
  9. Volcanic Landforms
    1. Extrusive
    2. Intrusive

9. Rocks and Rock Cycle

  1. Overview
  2. Minerals and its type
  3. Rocks
  4. Classification of Rocks
    1. Sedimentary Rocks
    2. Metamorphic Rocks
    3. Igneous Rocks
  5. The Rock Cycle

10. Earth movements

  1. Endogenetic
    1. Diastrophism
    2. Sudden movements
  2. Exogenetic
    1. Weathering
    2. Erosion

11. Landforms

  1. Mountains, Plateaus, Plains
  2. River landform
  3. Glacial landform
  4. Desert landform
  5. Coastal landform
  6. Limestone or Karst landform

12. Type of Lakes

  1. Overview
  2. Lakes formed by earth movement
    1. Tectonic lakes
    2. Rift valley lakes
  3. Lakes formed by Glaciation
    1. Cirque lakes
    2. Kettle lakes
  4. Lakes formed by Glaciation
    1. Rock hollow lakes
    2. Lakes formed due to Moraine damming of Valleys
    3. Lakes formed due to deposition of glacial drifts
  5. Lakes formed by volcanic activity
    1. Crater & Caldera Lakes
    2. Lava blocked lakes
    3. Lakes formed due to subsidence of the volcanic land surface
  6. Lakes formed by erosion
    1. Karst lakes
    2. Wind deflated lakes
  7. Lakes formed by deposition
    1. Due to river deposits
    2. Due to marine deposits
  8. Lakes formed by Human and Biological activities
    1. Man-made lakes
    2. Lakes made by Animals
    3. Other

After reading these chapters, you will be able to use your own sense and jump on the question paper and syllabus and focus more on those topics which are coming in the UPSC exam.

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Amit Thakur

Please share all the notes and articles in pdf form.


You are doing great job sir , actually I am searching this notes because I don’t have enough money to go for coaching and buying books also not easy to me , I have great ambition to this , God bless you sir . Thank you

iswariya d e

thank you so much lotusrise team … one request – pls make pdf format for easy to download and printout.


Thanks a lot team lotusarise


sir content hindi me bhi available kara dijiye

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