Variable phenomena on the earth’s surface can be treated separately or in association. They are classified and categorized into physical phenomena and human phenomena.
Thus geography has three main branches :
- Physical Geography;
- Human Geography;
- Regional Geography.
Physical geography is concerned with the study and explanation of physical phenomenon, encompassing the other such fields like geology, meteorology, zoology and chemistry. It became a very popular subject during the later part of the nineteen century. It has a number of sub-branches which treat different kind of physical phenomena.
(i) Astronomical Geography
It studies the celestial phenomena which concern the Earth’s surface particularly Sun, Moon and Planets of the Solar System.
It is concerned with the study of the land-forms on the Earth’s surface. It includes origin and development of land-forms through erosional, transportational and depositional processes of water, wind and glaciers.
Climatology is the study of the atmospheric conditions and related climatic and weather phenomena. It includes the study of atmospheric composition, climatic regions seasons, etc.
It is concerned with the study of various types of Oceanic formate component and processes related to ocean floor depths, currents, corals reefs, and continental drifts etc.
(v) Soil Geography
It studies various soil forming processes, their physical, chemical and biological constituents, their colour and types, texture, and distribution and carrying capacity etc.
It is concerned with the biological phenomena in space, especially in terms of the distribution of various kinds of floral and faunal species.
Bio-geography may be subdivided into plant or floral geography, animals or fauna-geography, and human ecology.
Human Geography is the synthetic study of the relationship between human societies and the earth’s surface. It is made up of three closely linked components : the spatial analysis of the human population ; the ecological analysis of the relation between human population and its environment and the regional synthesis which combines the first two themes in an areal differentiation of the earth’s surface.
Human geography has a number of sub-branches :
It largely deals with racial phenomena in their spatial context.
(ii) Cultural Geography
It focuses on the origin, components and impact of human cultures, both material and non-material.
(iii) Economic Geography
It refers to the study of the location and distribution of economic activities at the local, regional, national and world scale. Economic geography can be studied under –
- Resource geography;
- Agricultural geography;
- Industrial geography;
- Transport geography.
(iv) Political Geography
It is the study of political phenomena in their spatial context. Main focus remains for creation and transformation of political and administrative region.
(v) Historical Geography
Spatial and temporal trends of geographical phenomena are studied in Historical geography.
(vi) Social Geography
It is the analysis of social phenomena in space. Poverty, health, education, livelihood are some important fields of study in social geography.
(vi) Population Geography
It is the study of various dimensions of population like its population distribution density, composition, fertility, mortality, migration etc.
(viii) Settlement Geography
It is the study of Rural/Urban settlements, their size, distribution, functions, hierarchy, and off various other parameters of settlement system.
Aspects such as delineation of regions, their geographical characteristics and processes of change constitute regional geography.
Geography As An Integrating Science
Bibliography : NIOS – Geography
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