Factors of Topographical Changes

Subject: Social Studies

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Topography is the shape of the earth's surface and its physical features, such as mountains, valleys, canyons, and other landforms. The topography, or surface of the earth, is constantly changing due to many powerful forces.
Factors of Topographical Changes

Factors of Topographical Change

Topography is the configuration of the earth's surface including its relief and the positions of its natural and man-made features. Earth has uneven surfaces which differ from place to place. It consists of valleys, mountains, plains, foothills, basins etc. and all these varied land structures are called as topography. It is the opposite of weather, which is always changing.

Our earth consists of two components, namely, land and water. They are called as continents and oceans respectively. Land mass covers nearly 29% and water mass covers nearly 71% of total earth's surface. Mountains, valleys, gorges, lakes, rivers, plains and land forms are the parts of earth surface, which is simply known as in aggregate as topography. This topography is divided into seven continents namely Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia and five oceans namely Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Antarctic.

The topography of the earth is known as the 'local history' of earth. It is to determine the position of any features or more generally any points like lands forms, longitudes, laltitudes etc. of earth. The topography of the earth goes on changing from time to time.

Factors of Changes

There are mainly two factors that change the topography of the earth's surface. They are internal factors and external factors.

Internal Factors

Internal Factor
Internal Factor

The interior forces that cause changes in the earth's surface are known as internal factors. They are active beneath the earth's surface and cause changes in the crust of the earth's surface. It can bring changes in avery short period of time because of their abrupt nature. For example, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions which are originated under the earth's surface.

External Factors

External Factor
External Factor

External factors are the processes external to earth's surface. It brings changes on the earth's surface externally which is continuously active on the earth's surface. Rivers, glacial currents, waves, rainfall, living beings etc. are some of the examples of external factors that bring changes on the earth's surface. It appears after a period of time with erosion, transportation, and deposition processes. Due to these effects, landforms change into plates, U and I shape valleys, small hills etc.

Things to remember
  • The surface of the earth consists of water mass and land mass.
  • The topography of the earth is dynamic. It keeps changing.
  • Land mass covers nearly 29% while the oceans cover nearly 71% of the total area of the earth.
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.
Videos for Factors of Topographical Changes
Climate Factors: Topography (Elevation & Rain Shadow)
Questions and Answers

The configuration of a surface including its features and the position of natural and man-made features is known as topography.

The three-fold actions of rivers and glaciers are as follows:

  1. Erosion
  2. Transportation
  3. Deposition

They bring changes by making river basins, U and I shaped valleys, small hills etc.

The internal factors that bring changes on the earth's surface are as follows:

  • Earthquake
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Tsunami



Rivers, glacial currents, waves, rainfall and living beings are some of the external factors that bring changes on the earth's surface.

The water masses on the earth are called oceans.

The continents of the earth are as follows:

  • Asia
  • Africa
  • North America
  • South America
  • Antarctica
  • Europe
  • Australia

There are five oceans which are as follows :

  • Pacific Ocean
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Antarctic Ocean

The interior forces that cause changes in earth's surface are known as the internal factors of the earth's surface.

Alluvial plains, floodplains, U-shaped and I-shaped valleys, river basins, hanging valleys are some of the apparent land forms formed by the external factors.

There are altogether seven continents and five oceans.


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