Ncert Highlighted

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    Land, water, air, plants and animals comprise the natural environment.You are familiar with the meaning of lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere andbiosphere from your previous class. Let us learn some more facts about thesedomains.

    1. Lithosphere is the solid crust or the hard top layer of the earth.

    It is made up of rocks and mineralsand covered by a thin layer of soil. It is an irregular surface with various landformssuch as mountains, plateaus,

    plains, valleys, etc. Landforms are found over the continents and also on the ocean floors.

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    Lithosphere is the domain that provides us forests, grasslands for grazing, landfor agriculture and human settlements.

    It is also a source of mineral wealth.

    2. The domain of water is referred to as hydrosphere.

    It comprises various sources of water and different types of water bodies likerivers, lakes, seas, oceans, etc. It is essential for all living organisms.

    3. The atmosphereis the thin layer of air that surrounds the earth.

    The gravitational forceof the earth holds the atmosphere around it. It protects usfrom the harmful rays and scorching heatof the sun. It consists of a number of gases, dust and water vapour. The changes in the atmosphere produce changes in the weather and


    4. Plant and animal kingdom together make biosphere or the living world.

    It is a narrow zone of the earth where land, water and air interactwitheach other tosupport life.

    What is ecosystem?

    Whydo the animals, the vegetation and the way people live vary from place to place?

    Are they all related to each other?Oh yes, very much so, the teacher replied. All plants, animals and human beings depend ontheir immediate surroundings. Often they are alsointerdependent on each other. This relation between theliving organisms, as well as the relation between

    theorganisms and their surroundingsform an ecosystem. There could be an ecosystem of large rain forest,grassland, desert, mountains,

    lake, river, ocean and evena small pond. the park --formed an ecosystem?

    HUMAN ENVIRONMENTHuman beings interact with the environment and modify itaccording to their need.

    Early humansadapted themselves to the natural surroundings.

    They led a simple life and fulfilled their requirements from the nature around them. With time needs grew and became more varied. Humans learn new ways to use

    and change environment. They learn to grow crops, domesticate animals and lead a settled life. The

    wheel was invented, surplus food was produced, barter systememerged, tradestarted and commerce developed.

    Industrial revolutionenabled large scale production. Transportation became faster.

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    Information revolutionmade communication easier and speedy across theworld.

    A perfect balance is necessary between the natural and humanenvironment.

    Humans must learn to live and use their environment in a harmonious way.

    Inside Our Earthwhat lies in the interior of the earth?What is the earth made up of?

    INTERIOR OF THE EARTHJust like an onion, the earth is made up of several concentriclayers with one inside another (Fig. 2.1).

    Co> M> Cr

    1. crust.

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    The uppermost layer over the earths surface is called the crust.It is the thinnest

    of all the layers.

    It is about 35 km.on the continental masses and only 5 km.on the oceanfloors.

    The main mineral constituents of the continental mass are silica and alumina. It is thus called sial (si-silica and al-alumina). The oceanic crustmainly consists of silica and magnesium; it is therefore

    called sima (si-silica and ma-magnesium) (Fig. 2.2).

    2. mantleJust beneath the crust is the mantle which extends up to a depth of 2900 km. belowthe crust.

    3. coreThe innermost layer is the core with a radius of about 3500 km. It is mainly made up of nickel and iron and is called nife(ninickel and fe

    ferrous i.e. iron).

    The central core has very high temperature and pressure.

    ROCKS AND MINERALSThe earths crust is made up of various types of rocks. Any natural mass of mineralmatter that makes up the earths crust is called a rock. Rocks can be of different colour,size and texture.

    There are three major typesof rocks: 3

    A. igneous rocks,

    B. sedimentary rocks andC. metamorphic rocks.

    A. igneous rocks,(primary rocks.)

    When the molten magma cools, it becomes solid. Rocks thus formed arecalled igneous rocks.

    They are also called primary rocks.

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    There are two types of igneous rocks:2 intrusive rocks and

    extrusive rocks.

    Lavais actually fiery red molten magma coming out from the interior of the earth on itssurface.

    When this molten lava comes on the earths surface, it rapidly cools down andbecomes solid.

    Rocks formed in such a way on the crust are called extrusive igneous rocks.

    They have a very fine grained structure. For example, basalt.

    The Deccan plateau is made up of basalt rocks.

    Sometimes the molten magma cools down deep inside the earthscrust. Solid rocks so formed are called intrusive igneous rocks.

    Since they cool down slowly they form largegrains.

    Graniteis an example of such a rock. Grinding stones used to prepare paste/powder of spices and grains are made of


    B. sedimentary rocks

    Rocks roll down, crack, and hit each other and are broken down into smallfragments.

    These smaller particles are called sediments.

    These sediments are transported and deposited by wind, water, etc. These loose sediments are compressed and hardened to form layers of rocks.

    These types of rocks are called sedimentary rocks.

    For example, sandstone is made from grains of sand. These rocks may also contain fossils of plants, animals and other

    microorganismsthat once lived on them.

    C. metamorphic rocks.

    Igneous and sedimentary rocks can change into metamorphic rocksunder great heat and pressure(Fig. 2.3).

    For example, clay changes into slate and limestone into marble.

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    used for making roads, houses and buildings.

    You use stones in many games. For example, seven stones (pitthoo), hopscotch(stapu/kit kit), five stones (gitti).

    one type of rock changes to another type under certain conditions in a cyclicmanner. This process of transformation of the rock from one to another is known as

    the rock cycle.

    The metamorphic rockswhich are still under great heat and pressure meltdown to form molten magma. This molten magma again can cool down andsolidify into igneous rocks (Fig. 2.4).


    Rocks are made up of different minerals.

    Minerals are naturally occurring substances which have certain physicalproperties and definite chemical composition.

    Minerals are very important to humankind.

    Some are used as fuels. For example, coal, natural gas and petroleum. They are also used in industriesiron, aluminium, gold, uranium, etc, in medicine,

    in fertilisers, etc.

    Our Changing Earth

    The lithosphere is broken into a number of platesknown as the Lithosphericplates.

    You will be surprised to know that these plates move around very slowlyjust afew millimetres each year.

    This is because of the movement of the molten magmainside the earth.

    The molten magma inside the earth moves in a circular mannerasshown in the activity.

    The movement of these plates causes changes on the surface of the earth.

    The earth movements are divided on the basis of the forces which cause them.

    1. The forces which act in the interior of the earth are called as Endogenic forces

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    2. the forces that work on the surface of the earth are called as Exogenic forces

    Endogenic forces sometimes produce sudden movements and at the other timesproduce slow movements.

    Sudden movements like earthquakes and volcanoes cause mass destructionover the surface of the earth.

    A volcano is a vent (opening) in the earths crust through which molten materialerupts suddenly (Fig. 3.2). Similarly, when the Lithospheric plates move, thesurface of the earth vibrates. The vibrations can travel all round the earth. Thesevibrations are called earthquakes (Fig. 3.3).

    The place in the crust where the movement starts is called the focus. The placeon the surface above the focus is called the epicentre.

    Vibrations travel outwards from the epicentre as waves. Greatest damage is usually closest to the epicentre and the strength of the

    earthquake decreases away from the centre.

    Although earthquakes cannot be predicted, the impact can certainly beminimised if we are prepared before-hand. Some common earthquake predictionmethods adopted locally by people include studying animal behaviour; fish in theponds get agitated, snakes come to the surface.

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    EARTHQUAKE PREPAREDNESS Where to take shelter during an earthquake

    Safe SpotUnder a kitchen counter, table or desk, against an inside corner or wall.Stay Away fromFire places, areas around chimneys, windows that shatter includingmirrors and picture frames.Be PreparedSpread awareness amongst your friends and family members and faceany disaster confidently.

    MAJOR LAND FORMS Do you know?The landscape is being continuously worn away by two processes1. Weathering is the breaking up of the rocks on the earths surfa