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Grade 5

The physical structure of south africa

Module 10

The changing landscape

The landscape as we see it with valleys, hills, lakes, dams, etc. changes constantly. The changes are caused by either people, or forces of nature.

R ivers

  • During the rainy season the water that falls on the earth, gathers in small streams and eventually become rivers that find a downhill path to the sea. The movement of the water over the soil not only takes the topsoil along, but also breaks down the soil and rocks into smaller particles. Over long periods the rivers become deeper and wider. Eventually valleys and ravines are formed. Think of the Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

E rosion

  • The onslaught by nature, e.g. frost, hail, snow and sun, causes rocks to become more porous. The rocks are eroded over a long period and small pieces break off. When the wind and the rain carry the particles away, we call the movement of the material erosion. The small particles are later deposited elsewhere. A new and fertile layer of soil is then formed.
  • When this process continues over a long period, the landscape changes. Valleys, hills and ravines are formed. The softer types of rock erode faster than the surrounding harder rock, therefore creating interesting landscapes, such as the table-top hills in the Great Karoo.


  • The outermost layer of the earth is called the crust and consists of rocks. Deep inside the earth the heat is so intense that the rock melts and magma (molten rock) is formed. This boiling mass is always looking for a weak spot in the crust of the earth through which it can escape. When the molten rock reaches the surface of the earth, it is called lava. It cools down, coagulates and forms new rock, thus creating a new landscape. The crater of rock is sometimes so big that a high mountain is formed.


  • The crust of the earth is constantly exposed to thrust and tractive powers as a result of the unstable core of the earth. It sometimes happens that a part of the crust of the earth is pushed up from underneath and then protrudes above the rest of the landscape. The edge or slope of the earth’s crust where the movement took place is known as a fault. Sometimes the different rock layers underneath the crust of the earth are exposed.


  • People try to control their environment and constantly try to change it to comply with their needs.

Activity 1:

To write a short paragraph on a particular subject

[lo 2.3]

Write a short paragraph on how and why people constantly try to change the surrounding landscape.

Did you mention: housing; mining; agriculture; transport?

Activity 2:

To do research on certain topics

[lo 1.7; 2.3]

Choose one of the following ways in which people can influence the natural landscape indirectly. Pay a visit to the local library or consult other sources for more information and write a short report and present it to the class.

  • Deforestation
  • Soil erosion as a result of human activities
  • Vegetation is destroyed as a result of global warming
  • Mono-cropping
  • Waste products and its influence on vegetation


LO 1


The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate geographical and environmental concepts and processes.

We know this when the learner:

1.1 with guidance, selects and uses sources of useful geographical information (including graphs, maps and fieldwork outside the classroom) [finds sources];

1.3 categorises information [works with sources];

1.4 draws sketch maps and/or plans from field observation and measurements [works with sources];

  • uses an index to find places on global atlas maps [works with sources];

1.7 demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the issue through projects, discussion, debate and charts [communicates the answer].

LO 2


The learner will be able to demonstrate geographical and environmental knowledge and understanding.

We know this when the learner:

2.1 identifies and describes major physical features of South Africa, including those of the home province [people and places];

2.2 identifies links between natural resources and economic activities in South Africa [people and resources];

2.3 describes ways in which the physical environment influences human activity and how human activity is influenced by the physical environment [people and the environment].

Questions & Answers

what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
How can I make nanorobot?
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
how can I make nanorobot?
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
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Source:  OpenStax, Social sciences: geography grade 5. OpenStax CNX. Sep 23, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10986/1.2
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