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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

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s. Reply
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What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
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Sanket Reply
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Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
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I'm interested in nanotube
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Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
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what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
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how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
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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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