Important World Mapping: Part 2

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Relevance: World Geography- geographical features and their location. 


Arctic Council


The Arctic Council is the leading intergovernmental forum promoting cooperation, coordination, and interaction among the Arctic States, Arctic indigenous communities and other Arctic inhabitants on common Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic.

  • It was formally established in 1996.
  • The eight countries with sovereignty over the lands within the Arctic Circle constitute the members of the council:
    1. Canada
    2. Denmark
    3. Finland
    4. Iceland
    5. Norway
    6. Russia
    7. Sweden
    8. The United States.
  • Outside these, there are some observer states.


  • Observer status is open to non-Arctic states approved by the Council at the Ministerial Meetings that occur once every two years. 
  • Observers have no voting rights in the Council.
  • As of May 2019, thirteen non-Arctic states have Observer status.
  • India was an observer at the Council from 2013 onwards and it has been re-elected as an observer to the Arctic Council in May 2019


Altai Mountains

The Altai Mountains also spelled Altay Mountains, are a mountain range in Central and East Asia, where Russia, China, Mongolia, and Kazakhstan come together, and where the rivers Irtysh and Ob have their headwaters

  • The region is rich in many natural resources like iron, gold, mercury, manganese, and marble.
  • The massif merges with the Sayan Mountains in the northeast and gradually becomes lower in the southeast, where it merges into the high plateau of the Gobi Desert.
  • The highest peak is Belukha, 4,506 m, spanning through Kazakhstan–Russia.


Patagonian Plateau

Patagonia is a semiarid scrub plateau that covers nearly all of the southern portion of mainland Argentina.

  • It constitutes a vast area of steppe and desert.
  • It is bounded, approximately, by the Patagonian Andes to the west, the Colorado River to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Strait of Magellan to the south.
  • At a state level, Patagonia lies inside two countries: 10% in Chile and 90% in Argentina.

Okavango Basin

The Okavango Basin, also known as the Kalahari Basin, Kalahari Depression, Barotse Basin, or the Kalahari-Okavango Basin, is an endorheic basin and large lowland area covering over 2.5 million km2 covering most of Botswana and parts of Namibia, South Africa, Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

  • The outstanding physical feature in the basin, and occupying the center, is the large Kalahari Desert.
  • The Okavango River is the chief stream in the basin.
  • It is formed by the confluence of the Cubango and Cuito rivers. 


The Ozarks


The Ozarks, also known as the Ozark Mountains or the Ozark Plateau, is a physiographic region in the U.S. states of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and extreme southeastern Kansas.

  • The Ozarks cover a significant portion of northern Arkansas and most of the southern half of Missouri. 
  • There are two mountain ranges within the Ozarks: the Boston Mountains of Arkansas and the St. Francois Mountains of Missouri. Buffalo Lookout, the highest point in the Ozarks, is located in the Boston Mountains. 
  • The Salem Plateau, named after Salem, Missouri, makes up the largest geologic area of the Ozarks. The second-largest is the Springfield Plateau, named after Springfield, Missouri, nicknamed the “Queen City of the Ozarks”.



Golan Heights


The Golan Heights are a rocky plateau in Western Asia that was captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

  • The international community recognizes the Golan Heights to be an official Syrian territory and widely rejects Israeli military occupation.
  • The U.S. is the first country to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan. 
  • India has also not recognized Golan heights as Israel territory and has called for the return of Golan Heights to Syria.
  • Geographically, the Golan is bounded by the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee (Lake Tiberias) on the west, Mount Hermon on the north, the seasonal Wadi Al-Ruqqād (a north-south branch of the Yarmūk River) on the east, and the Yarmūk River on the south.
  • The Golan shares a border with Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel



Important Mountain Ranges

Caucasus Mountains

  • The Caucasus Mountains are a mountain system at the intersection of Europe and Asia.
  • Stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, it surrounds the eponymous Caucasus region and is home to Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Europe.

Sierra Nevada Mountains

  • The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States, between the Central Valley of California and the Basin and Range Province.
  • It runs 400 miles (640 km) north-to-south and is approximately 70 miles (110 km) across east-to-west.

Pyrenees Mountains:

  • The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between Spain and France.
  • Reaching a height of 3,404 meters (11,168 ft) altitude at the peak of Aneto, it extends for about 491 km (305 mi) from its union with the Cantabrian Mountains to the Mediterranean Sea (Cap de Creus).
  • For the most part, the main crest forms a divide between Spain and France, with the microstate of Andorra sandwiched in between. 


Kunlun Mountains

  • The Kunlun Mountains constitute one of the longest mountain chains in Asia, extending for more than 3,000 kilometers.
  • In the broadest sense, the chain forms the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau south of the Tarim Basin.
  • From the Pamirs of Tajikistan, it runs east along the border between Xinjiang and Tibet autonomous regions to the Sino-Tibetan ranges in Qinghai province.
  • It stretches along the southern edge of what is now called the Tarim Basin, the infamous Takla Makan or “sand-buried houses” desert, and the Gobi Desert.
  • A number of important rivers flow from it including the Karakash River ('Black Jade River') and the Yurungkash River ('White Jade River'), which flow through the Khotan Oasis into the Taklamakan Desert.

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