(Sample Material) Online Coaching for CAPF (AC): Geography - "World Geography (Part - 6)"

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World Geography (Part - 6)



  • Coal is found in seams in sedimentary rocks.
  • Most of the coal has been formed in carboniferous age i.e. about 300 million year old. More recent deposits of Tertiary age are usually composed of lignite or brown coal and peat which represents an early stage of coal formations.
  • Coal can be divided into three types on the basis of its carbon content:

Anthracite: It contains about 90% carbon with practically no volatile matter. Only about 5% of the world’s coal is anthracite and half of this comes from the Pennsylvanian fields of the USA. About a quarter is derived from the USSR.

  1. Bituminous: It contains 70 to 80% of carbon. It covers about 80% of the world’s total coal output. It is further sub-divided into many groups like steam coal, Household coal, Bunker coal, Cannel coal, Coking coal and gas coal.
  2. Lignite: It contains lower carbon about 45 to 70% with high moisture content and little heat. About 15% of the world’s coal output is from it. It is worked mainly by open-cast methods.
  3. Peat: It is primary stage of coal formation. It has higher moisture content with least per cent of carbon. The world’s main deposits of it occur in the USSR, Fenno­ Scandinavia, parts of USA and Canada.
  • Six countries - the USA, the USSR, China, the UK, Germany and Poland - account for the bulk of the world’s total bituminous coal production.

Coal Production

  • In Eurasia, large lignite deposits occur in the North European Plain, the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, the outside Moscow and in Hungary.


  • China is the leading producer of coal in the world.
  • USA is the second largest coal producer followed by India, Australia and Russia (2006).
  • China’s production - Shanxi, Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Shandong, etc.
  • In USA, the Appalachian coal region extends from north western Pennsylvania to Alabama. Kentucky and western Virginia are the major coal producing states in this region.
  • Donetsk Basin is the major coal producing region in Ukraine.
  • Kuznetsk basin (Kuzbas) in Russia and Karaganda in Kazakhstan are also famous for coal minings.
  • In European region, Franco-Belgian, campine­ Lemburg, Ruhr, Saar, Silesia, Saxony and Pilsen Coalfields are famous.
  • The coalfield of UK are located in Scottish-­Lowlands, Penine ranges and South Wales.
  • The major coal region in India extends over West Bengal, Jharkhand and Orissa. Raniganj, Jharia, Bokaro and Giridih, are some important coal mines of india.
  • Most of the coal mines in Australia are located in New South Wales. Besides this, some coal is mined in Queensland and Western Australia.
  • South Africa is the most important coal producing country in Africa. Its coal mines are located in Transvaal, Natal and Orange­Free state.

Hydro-electric Power

Oldest hydro-electric power stations

  • Cragside, Rothbury, England completed in 1870.
  • Appleton, Wisconsin, USA completed in 1882.
  • Duck Reach, Launceston, Tasmania. Completed in 1895. The first publicly owned hydro-electric plant in the Southern Hemisphere. Supplied power to the city of Launceston for street lighting.
  • Decew Falls 1, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada completed on 25 August 1898. Owned by Ontario Power Generation. Four units are still operational. Recognized as an IEEE Milestone in Electrical Engineering & Computing by the IEEE Executive Committee in 2002.
  • It is believed that the oldest Hydro Power site in the United States is located on Claverack Creek, in Stottville, NY. The turbine, a Morgan Smith, was constructed in 1869 and installed 2 years later. It is one of the earliest water vheel installations in the United States and also generated electricity.

In Progress

  • II ysu Dam, one of the Southeastern Anatolia Project Dams in Turkey, construction started on August 5, 2006.
  • Three Gorges Dam, China. First power in July 2003, with 9,800MW installed until 2006, scheduled completion in 2009, total power 22,400 MW including the Underground Power Station (6 × 700MW).
  • Xiangjiaba Dam, China. Construction started on November 26, 2006, scheduled completion 2015,6,000 MW.
  • Xiluodu Dam, China. Construction started on December 26, 2005, scheduled completion 2015,12,600 MW.
  • Jinping 1 Hydropower Station, China. Construction started on November 11, 2005, scheduled completion 2014, 3,600 M W

Countries with the most Hydro-electric Capacity

  • Jinping 2 Hydropower Station, China. Construction started in December 2006, scheduled completion 2014, 4,800 M W.
  • Longtan Dam, China. Construction started on July 1.2001, scheduled completion December 2009, 6,300 MW (9 × 700MW)
  • Pubugou Dam, China. Construction started on March 30, 2004, scheduled completion 2010, 3,300 MW.
  • Last 7 Dams in China have a total power of 59,000MW (59 GW). So those 7 dams have more than the hydro-power of the whole Brazil. The total power of hydroelectric generators in Brazil, the third largest hydro­power country, is 57.52GW.

Largest Hydro-electric Power Stations

  • The La Grande Complex in Quebec, Canada, is the world’s largest hydroelectric generating system. The eight generating stations of the complex have a total generating capacity of 16,021 M W.
  • The Robert Bourassa station alone has a capacity of 5,616 MW. A ninth station (Eastmain-1) is currently under construction and will add 480 MW to the total. Construction on an additional project on the Rupert River was started on January 11, 2007. It will add two stations with a combined capacity of 888 MW.

Hydro-electric Power Stations

Mineral Oil

  • Mineral oil is generally found in the dome like structures of sedimentary rocks.
  • Most of the oil comes from anticlines rather than synclines. It is due to the fact that the density of oil is lower than that of rocks containing oil and therefore oil has a tendency of getting accumulated in the anticlines.
  • In North America, mineral oil was first drilled in Pennsylvania.
  • North America and South America have about 13 and 6 per cent respectively of the reserves. Europe accounts for about 15% (Western Europe about 3% and Eastern Europe about 12%) and Africa about 8%.
  • The Maracaibao Basin and the lower Orinoco Basin are famous oil regions of Venezuela.
  • In Russia, the Ural-Volga region, West Siberian Region and the Eastern Region (Lena Basin) are major oil producing region. The West Siberian region is the leading producing area.
  • The Caucasian region is also famous for oil production. Mykope, Baku and Grozny are major oilfields.
  • The Middle East region of Asia accounts for 50% and the Far East for about 5% of the total reserves.
  • In terms of individual nations, Saudi Arabia has the largest share of the reserves amounting to about a quarter of the total global reserves.


  • The USA alone consumes about 26% of oil output.
  • Saudi Arabia is the largest oil producer followed by Russia, USA, Iran and Mexico.
  • Venezuela is the leading oil producer in South America, while Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa.
  • In European countries, Norway is the leader excluding Russia.
  • World oil production (2004): 70.57 Million Barrel/Day
  • Top 5 oil exporters (2004): Former USSR, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Norway and Nigeria
  • In Middle East, Saudi Arabia followed by Iran, UAE are the leading producers.
  • The major oil producers of Africa are Nigeria, Algeria, Libya and Egypt.

Mineral oil Reserve

  • India is also oil producing country but has no position among top 10 oil producing countries.
  • US, Russia and Japan are the leading countries in terms of refinery capacity.
  • The leading importers of oil are Japan, UK, Germany, China, India, Australia and US.


  • Global production of petroleum (crude oil and natural gas) increased by 13.3 million barrels per day between 1994 and 2004 with an average annual rate of growth of 1.8%.
  • Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States were the three largest producers of petroleum in 2004. Together, they produced 33.7 per cent of the world’s petroleum. Production from Iran and Mexico accounted for an additional 9.9%.

Top World Total Oil Consumption

  • In 2004, the United States consumed 20.7 million barrels per day of petroleum-25 per cent of world consumption. China and Japan ranked a distant second and third in consumption, with 6.4 and 5.4 million barrels per day, respectively, followed by Russia and Germany.

Top World Oil Producers

Top World Net Oil Imports

Natural Gas

  • In Natural Gas Reserve, Russian Federation is the leading country followed by Iran and Qatar.
  • The Russian Federation is the leading producer of natural gas in the world followed by USA, Canada and UK.
  • The largest reserves of gas in the Russian Federation are found in the permafrost region of the Western Siberia. Two-third of the reserves of this region are located in Tyumen province of Western Siberia.
  • Sui in Pakistan has a large gas deposit.
  • Russian Federation, Canada and Algeria are the major exporters of natural gas.
  • USA, Germany and Japan are the major importers of natural gas.
  • Russia was the leading producer in 2004 at 22.4 trillion cubic feet, followed by the United States at 18.8 trillion cubic feet. Together these two countries produced 42 per cent of the world total.
  • World production of dry natural gas increased at an average annual rate of 2.5 per cent, over the period from 1994 to 2004.
  • Canada ranked a distant third in production at 6.5 trillion cubic feet, followed by the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with 3.4 and 3.0 trillion cubic feet, respectively.
  • These three countries accounted for 13 per cent of the world total.
  • In 2004, the united Suites, which was the leading consumer of dry natural gas at 22.4 trillion cubic feet, and Russia, which ranked second at 16.0 trillion cubic feet, together accounted for 39 per cent of world consumption.

World Dry Natural Gas Production

  • Germany ranked a distant third in consumption, with 3.6 trillion cubic feet, followed by the United Kingdom and Canada, at 3.5 and 3.4 trillion cubic feet, respectively.


  • There are two primary sources of Uranium: Pitchblende, which has 50 to 80 per cent uranium and Uraninite in which Uranium content is 65 to 80%.
  • Uranium averages about 2.8 parts per million of the earth’s crust.
  • Canada (28%) and Australia (23%) are the leading producer of it.
  • Other major producers are Kazakhstan, Russia, Namibia, Niger, Uzbekistan and USA.
  • Colorado, Utah and New Mexico are important region in USA.
  • Uranium city and Port Radium of Canada are important Uranium producing regions.

Production of Uranium from Mines

Known Recoverable Resources of Uranium

  • Known recoversable resources of Uranium is largest in Australia (24%) and Kazakhstan (17%).


  • The major sources of thorium are thorianite, allanite and monazite.
  • Sri Lanka, Malagasy and India are the major thorium producing countries.

Nuclear energy as a percentage of electricity produced

  • Ratnapur district in Sri Lanka is important for thorianite reserves.
  • In India, Allanite reserves are found in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

World Nuclear Power production

  • The largest deposits of monazite are found on the Travancore and Malabar coasts in India and on the east coast of Brazil. Other areas include Floride coast and Idaho in USA and coastal areas of South Africa.
  • Economically extractable thorium resources are largest in Australia, India and Norway.

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