- Description of Relief
- Description of Vegetation
- Describing Drainage
- Human/Economic Activities
- Description of Settlement
- Enlargement and Reduction of Maps
- Drawing a Cross Section/Profile
- Calculation and Interpretation of Vertical Exaggeration and Gradient
Description of Relief
- Describe the general appearance of the entire area e.g. hilly, mountainous, plain, undulating landscape, has many hills, isolated hills, etc.
- State the highest and lowest parts of the area.
- Look out for valleys which are occupied by rivers.
- Divide into relief regions such as plateau, escarpment and lowland.
- Explain the type of slope e.g. gentle, steep, even or irregular.
- Direction of slope.
- Identify the land forms present in the area.
- Slope is the gradient of land surface.
- Gentle slope is one in which land doesn’t rise or fall steeply
- Contours are wide apart
- Where land rises or falls sharply
- Contours are close to each other
- Shown by contours which are evenly spaced.
- Indicated by unevenly spaced contours.
- One curved outwards
- Indicated by contours which are close together at the bottom and widely spaced together at the top.
- One curved inwards.
- Contours are close together at the top and widely spaced at the bottom.
- A low area between higher grounds.
- Indicated by U-shaped contours pointing towards a higher ground.
- Land which is projected from high to low ground.
- Indicated by U-shaped contours bulging towards lower ground.
- Spurs which appear as if to fit together.
- Spurs in glaciated highlands whose tips have been eroded and straightened.
- Hills are uplands which rise above relatively lower ground
- Conical hills are small rounded hills
Irregular Shaped Hills
- A hill with some sides with uneven gentle and others with uneven steep slopes.
- A range of hills with steep slopes on all sides.
- A ridge can contain hills, cols, passes or water shed.
- A low area which occurs between two hills.
- A narrow steep sided gap in a highland.
A Water Shed
- The boundary separating drainage systems which drains into different directions
- Escarpment and ridges often form water sheds.
- A relatively continuous line of steep slopes facing the same direction
- Has two slopes: a long gentle slope (dip slope) and short steep slope (scarp slope).
- A high flat land bound by steep slopes.
Description of Vegetation
- Natural vegetation is classified as woodlands, thickets, scrubs or grasslands.
- Symbols are given as pictures of vegetation.
- Types present
- Reasons for distribution e.g. seasonal streams, scrub or grassland due to low rainfall.
- Likely indications of the following in the area:
- Heavy rainfall
- Fertile rainfall
- Cool temperature depending on altitude
Thickets and Shrubs
- Seasonal rainfall
- Poor soil
- High temperature
- High moisture content in the river valley
- Identify drainage features present
- Natural drainage features include lakes, rivers, swamps, sea, rapids, waterfalls, cataracts, springs, deltas, fjords, sand or mud, and bays
- Artificial features include ponds, wells, boreholes, water holes, cattle dips, cattle troughs, canals, reservoirs, irrigation channels, aqueducts, water treatment plants and manmade lakes.
- Identify main rivers by name
- Size of rivers-big or small-shown by thickness of blue lines.
- Give the general direction of flow.
- Location of water shed if any
- Characteristic of each feature
- Which flow throughout the year
- Shown by continuous blue lines
- Likely indication of:
- Heavy rainfall
- Impermeable rocks
- Which flow seasonally or during the rain season
- Shown by broken blue lines
- Likely indication of:
- Low rainfall
- River doesn’t have a rich catchment area
- Blue lines ending abruptly
- Likely indication of:
- Permeable rocks
- Very low rainfall
- Underground drainage
- Identify drainage patterns and description
- Drainage pattern is the layout of a river and its tributaries on the landscape.
- Resembles a tree trunk and branches or veins of a leaf.
- Tributaries join the main river at acute angles.
- Tributaries join the main river and other tributaries at right angles
- Made up of hard and soft rocks)
- Common in folded areas where rivers flow downwards separated by vertical uplands.
- Looks like a large block of rectangles.
- Tributaries tend to take sharp angular bends along their course.
- Rivers and tributaries flow virtually parallel to each other
- Influenced by slope
- Common on slopes of high mountain ranges
- Rivers flow from many directions into a central depression such as a lake, sea or swamp.
- Examples are rivers flowing into some of the Rift Valley lakes such as Nakuru and Bogoria.
- Streams (rivers which are small in size) are arranged in series of curves about a basin or crater
- It’s controlled by the slope.
- Resembles the spikes of a bicycle
- Formed by rivers which flow downwards from a central point in all directions such as on a volcanic cone e.g. on Mt. Kenya, Elgon and Kilimanjaro.
Fault –Guided Pattern
- Flow of river is guided by direction of fault lines
Description of Human Activities
- Identify types
- Evidence –man made features
- Reasons e.g. tea-cool temps and heavy rainfall
- Plantation farming
- Evidenced by presence of:
- Named estates e.g. Kaimosi tea estate
- Evidenced by presence of:
- Small scale crop farming
- Cotton ginnery or sheds
- Coffee hullerlies
- Posho mills for maize, millet, sorghum
- Tea factory/store
- Livestock Farming
- Dairy farms
- Veterinary stations
- Cattle dips
- Water holes
- Slaughter houses
- Symbol for a mine/mineral works
- Name of the mine
- Particular mineral e.g. soda ash
- Quarry symbol
- Processing plant of a mineral e.g. cement indicates cement is mined in that area
- Saw mills
- Forest reserves
- Forest station
- Forest guard post
- Roads ending abruptly into a forest estate used to transport logs to saw mills
- Fish traps
- Fishing co-operative society
- Fish ponds
- Fish hatcheries
- Fisheries department
- Fish landing grounds(banda)
- Saw mills for lumber products
- Ginnery for cotton processing
- Mill for maize, millet, wheat processing
- Creameries for milk processing
- Factory for manufacturing or processing a known commodity.
- Trading centres
- All weather roads- which are used all year round i.e. tarmac and murram roads.
- Dry weather roads- which are used reliably during dry seasons.
- Motorable trucks- rough roads which are used by people on foot and by vehicles on dry season.
- Other trucks and foot paths
- Railways, station, sliding, level crossing lines and railways light
- Air fields
- Air strips
- Post offices(P.O.)
- Telephone lines(T)
- Camping sites
- Tourist class hotels and restaurants
- National parks
- Game reserves
- Curio shops
- Historical monuments
- DO, DC, PC, police post, chiefs camp.
- Religious Services
- Health Services
- Recreational Services
- Golf clubs/courses
Description of Settlement
- A settlement is a place with housing units where people live together
- Densely distributed settlements- high concentration of settlements(black dots)
- Moderately distributed settlements- settlements moderate in quantity
- Sparsely distributed settlements-few settlements spread over a large area.
- Very sparse if very few
- Identify type of settlement patterns present
Type of Settlements
- Rural settlements
- Consist of villages and homesteads and homesteads in which people are involved in subsistence agriculture and traditional activities such as pottery weaving, curving, etc.
- Urban settlement
- Consist of dense permanent and sometimes high buildings and population engaged in non agricultural activities such as industrial activities.
Factors Influencing Settlement
- Physical Factors
- Areas with moderate temps and adequate rainfall are densely settled while those with extremely low or high temps have fewer settlements.
- Terrain: Steep slopes are less settled due to thin soils and difficulty to erect buildings.
- Aspect: Slopes facing away from the sun in high latitudes are less settled than those facing the sun.
- Wind ward slopes of mountains on the path of rain bearing winds are more settled due to heavy rainfall making them ideal for agriculture.
- Rivers and springs attract settlements because they provide clean water.
- Areas with drainage swamps are less settled because it’s difficult to erect buildings and they also harbour mosquitoes and snails which cause diseases.
- Dense forests discourage settlements because of wild animals and also harbour disease vectors such as tsetse flies e.g. Miombo woodland of Tanzania and Lambwe valley in Kenya.
- Pests and diseases
- Areas prone to pests and diseases are less settled because people like to live in healthy environment.
- Natural resources
- Settlements start where there is mineral extraction. e.g. Magadi
- Lakes with abundant fish may also attract settlement.
- Human Factors
- Political factors
- 1967 TZ settled peoples in villages and the rest of land was left for farming (Ujamaa villages)
- After independence Kenya settled its landless in settlement schemes e.g. Mwea, Laikipia, Nyandarua.
- Settlement of refugees in refugee camps due to political upheavals
- Historical factors
- Weaker communities were forced to move elsewhere by wars.
- Settlement of communities in strategic sites such as hilltops or plateaus to see approaching enemies e.g. Fulani of Nigeria in Jos plateau.
- Cultural factors
- Farming communities settled in agriculturally productive areas.
- Pastoralists settle in areas with enough land to provide pasture for their animals at ease.
- Economic factors
- Rural to urban migration for employment and trading.
- Mining activities may lead to development of settlements e.g. Magadi due to trona mining.
- Political factors
Types of Settlements Patterns
- Nucleated/Clustered Settlement Pattern
- Buildings are close to each other
- Availability of social amenities such as schools and health care
- Shortage of building land
- Favourable climate leading to high agricultural potential e.g. Kenya highlands.
- Fertile soils.
- Presence of natural resources e.g. minerals in Magadi, Mwadui, Kimberly.
- Security concern especially in banditry prone areas
- Linear Settlement
- Buildings are arranged in a line
- Presence of a transport line e.g. road or railway.
- Presence of a river or a spring to provide water for domestic or commercial use
- Presence of a coast line which has a favourable fishing ground e.g. shore of E. African coast.
- Suitable terrain for cultivation of crops such as at the foot of a scarp
- Dispersed/Scattered Settlement
- Buildings are scattered
- Plenty of land to build whenever they want
- Avoidance of harsh climate e.g. arid and semi-arid areas.
- Poor infertile soils.
- Pests and diseases.
- Physical features such as ridges, valleys which separate houses.
- Radial Pattern
- Buildings are arranged like a star
- Common at cross roads where housing units point in all directions.
Enlargement and Reduction of Maps
- Identify the area requiring to be enlarged
- Measure its length and width
- Multiply (E) or divide (R) the by the number of times given. The scale also changes e.g.1:50000/2(enlarged)×2(reduced)
- Draw the new frame with new dimensions
- Insert the grid squares e.g. 2×2cm, 2/2, etc.
- Draw diagonals on the frame
- Transfer features exactly where they were
Drawing a Cross Section/Profile
- Line drawn on a piece of paper showing the nature of relief of a particular area.
- Identify the given points and name them A and B
- Joint point A and B using a pencil
- Take a piece of paper and fold it into two parts
- Place the papers edge along the line joining A and B
- Mark all contours and their heights
- Mark features along A-B e.g. R- river, H- hill, M- mountain
- Determine the highest and lowest contour height to determine the appropriate vertical scale
- Draw horizontal axis and mark it A-B
- Draw vertical axis from A to B
- Place the edge of folded paper along horizontal axis
- Use values along vertical axis to plot contour heights. Remember to show features marked along A-B
- Join plotted points using smooth curve (cross Section)
- Include title on top vertical and horizontal map scale.
Calculation and Interpretation of Vertical Exaggeration and Gradient
- Number of times that the vertical scale is larger than horizontal scale
- V.E. =Denominator of H.S. /D. of V.S. (cross section scale.
e.g. V.S. =1:20M
V.E.=50000/20×100 (To convert into cm) =25
- The vertical height has been exaggerated 25 times compared to the horizontal distance
- Ability of one place to be seen from another
- Draw cross section
- Join points A-B using visibility line
- If the visibility line is above the cross section, the two points are intervisible. If below they are not intervisible.
- Degree of steepness of a slope between two given points
- Identify the two points
- Calculate difference in height between the two points(Vertical Interval) e.g. 500m
- Joint them with a light line
- Measure ground distance between the two points(Horizontal Equivalent)e.g.12 cm
- For every 12 m travelled on the Ground, there is a vertical rise of 1m
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