Drainage System of North and South India

Drainage System of North and South India:

The drainage pattern or system of an area refers to the system of flow of surface water mainly through the rivers and basins forms.

The drainage system is related to a number of factors, for example, the slope of the land, geological structure, amount of volume of water and velocity of the water.


Drainage System of North India

The Himalayas play an important role in the drainage system of North India.

This is because the rivers of North India have their sources in these mountains and beyond.

These rivers differ from those of South India as they are still deepening their valleys rather rapidly.

The debris eroded by these rivers is carried to the plains and seas and deposited there.

This deposition is caused by the reduced velocity of river waters in the plains and deltas for want of necessary slope.

The Great North Indian plain has been formed by the silt brought down by these rivers.

Some of the Himalayan Rivers are older than the Himalayas themselves.

Parts of the valleys of these rivers are very deep.

The depth of the Indus gorge near Bunji (Jammu & Kashmir) is 5200 meters. Sutlej and Brahmaputra have also formed such gorges.

The drainage system of Northern India can be further sub-divided into three subsystems –         [1] Indus System, [2] Ganga System and [3] Brahmaputra System.

The major rivers of the Indus basin are the Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej.

The Ganga basin includes Ramganga, Ghaghra, Gomti, Gandak, Kosi, and Yamuna along with its southern tributaries, Son and Damodar Rivers.

The major rivers of the Brahmputra basin are Dibang and Lohit in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, Tista in Sikkim, West Bengal and Bangladesh and Meghna, draining northeastern part of Bangladesh.


Drainage System of Southern India

The streams flowing through this region are in their old stage.

They have almost attained their base level of erosion.

Their capacity to erode valleys vertically has almost come to a negligible stage.

Now, these streams are eroding their sides at a slow pace.

This is resulting in the broadening of their valleys.

Consequently, during a flood, their waters spread over a large area.

It is believed that at the time of Himalayan orogeny, due to the movements associated with the mountain-building processes, the Peninsular block had a slight tilt towards the east.

This is why, except Narmada and Tapi, all the major rivers of south India flow towards east.

Narmada and Tapi, both flow through fault or rift valleys.

The major rivers of the drainage system of southern India are Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, Pennar, Kaveri, and Vaigai.

The slope of the northern part of the southern peninsula is towards the north.

Consequently, some of the streams originating in the Vindhyas, flow towards the north and join Yamuna and Ganga.

Among these, Chambal, Ken, Betwa, Sind, and Son are more important.


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