Plains are one of the most important type of physical features of earth’s surface. Plains are usually flat and low height from their surrounding areas. Most of the plains are the result of natural processes like aggradation and degradation. Some plains have elevation between 500 ft. with slight slope. Earth’s surface comprised on approximately 40% on plains. Most of the plain areas are located in northern hemisphere. Most of the plain areas of Canada and USA are the result of glacial processes. World’s biggest river basins depend on these plains. For example, Indus Basin, Ganga & Brahmaputra, Yung-Ci-Kiang, Nile, Dajla & Frat, Amazon, Mississippi and many others under the processes of winds and other processes.
- Although, plains are called the source of human’s needs, civilization and culture. And world’s 80% population live on plains. The basic needs of human such as food, cloth and residence are mostly done by plains. However, all plains around the world have not similar characteristics. Some of World’s plains are un-inhabitant due to extreme weather conditions. For example; the plains of Tindra and Syberia and the plain areas of Sahara Desert. Plains are known as the treasure of agricultural products for their fertility and smooth surface.
- Plains facilitate humans to fulfil their needs of food and shelter. Because of the smooth surface of plains, agriculture is easier rather than mountainous areas. Except of some agricultural commodities, plains are more suitable for most of the crops of world. Plains are comprised on vast and wide areas that’s why with the help of advance methods, agriculture can be develop on big scale.
- Except some of world’s plains which comes under extreme weather conditions, plains are known as the biggest hub of urbanization. These plain areas have suitable climate and many other facilities for human life, that’s why people like to live in plains. The dis-advantage of plains verses mountainous regions are that, people have been lazy getting things easily and without any hard work available in plains. Plains are formed by the sediment of rivers. Whereas in mountainous regions it is impossible. The erosion of soil and stream flow is slow in smooth surface areas rather than slope and mountainous areas.
- The smooth surface of plains makes transportation of goods easy for humans. Whereas in mountainous areas and non-smooth surface areas there are so many difficulties for the transportation. The construction of Railways, Roads and Airports, it takes less amount and labor in plains. Rivers flow slowly in plain areas so it’s easy for the transportation by water.
- Being facilitator for transportation plains have been the main hubs of trade. In plains due to the advance facilities it is easy to transport raw material to the industries and markets and industrial products to the customers. Worlds important minerals such as coal and patrol are found in layered rocks, which are available only in plains. Therefore, these minerals are the basic component of energy resources and they play a major role in the manufacturing of different industries and products. Industrial development is impossible without them.
- Most of the plains in world have been changed to biggest trade centers of world due to their richness of minerals and raw agricultural materials. Most of the trade centers of world are found in plain areas such as Manchester, Tips, Bergkiri, Wairaag etc.
- Although in ancient age, the biggest cities were lies near river banks and seas. And usually those were the part of plain areas. But in new age which new cities were established are also located on plains. Trade and industries developed the old cities and they are still developing because of their plain surface. For example, Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Shanghai.
- Most of the rivers of world flow in plains, their sources are mountains and they form deltas in plains and fall in oceans. It seems that in any plain area, taking complete benefits of river water is impossible. In our country it has been tried to get complete use of river water and we made the best system of irrigation of world. Those places which were the part of deserts are now use for agricultural land. Some rivers in plain areas are also used for hydropower. This all have been possible due the characteristics of plains. In fact we can say that plains are the worthwhile gift of nature for humans.
In the grand scheme of human history the plains as a geographic structure have a great deal of impact on humans. Plains provide ideal conditions for human settlement. All ancient civilization has developed in the plains and the plains are known as “Cradles of Civilization”. Plains are important for agricultural, industrial and cultural activities. Plains are known as the “Food Basket of World”.
میاں محمد انور . (2008). جدید طبعی جغرافیہ . لاہور : وائٹ روز پبلشرز .