Main difference - Himalayan and Peninsula rivers
Himalayan and Peninsula rivers are two types of rivers that flow through India . These two classifications are based on the origins of the rivers; Himalayan rivers originate from the Himalayan mountain ranges, while peninsula rivers emanate from the peninsula. The main difference between Himalayan and Peninsula rivers is their size; Himalayan rivers are larger, longer, and larger in volume than peninsula rivers.
This article examines
1. What are Himalayan rivers? - Origins, geographical features and examples
2. What are peninsula rivers? - Origins, geographical features and examples
3. What is the difference between Himalayan and Peninsula rivers?
What are Himalayan Rivers?
Himalayan rivers are the rivers that originate from the Himalayan mountains. Indus, Ganga and Brahmaputra are Himalayan rivers. All of these rivers originate in the Himalayas and flow towards the west. These rivers have many distinctive features compared to other types of rivers in India.
Himalayan rivers have long valleys and larger canals. They also have larger basins and drainage areas. The catchment area of the Indus, for example, is 165 million km², while Godavari, the largest river on the peninsula, has a catchment area of 312,812 km². Himalayan rivers are perennial (continuous water flow all year round) and are fed by both rain and ice. Hence, they are very useful for irrigation. Himalayan rivers are considered to be precursor streams that maintain their original course although the underlying rock topology changes. They are also believed to be at an early stage of maturity due to their volume, speed, and other characteristics. In contrast to peninsula rivers, the rivers of the Himalayas also meander and change their course. The mouth of these rivers forms large deltas; The Ganga-Brahmaputra Delta is the largest delta in the world.
What are peninsula rivers?
Peninsular rivers are the rivers that originate from the peninsula plateau of India. Kaveri, Narmada, Tapi, Krishna, Godaveri, and Mahanadi are some examples of peninsula rivers. Peninsula rivers are comparatively shorter and smaller than Himalayan rivers. They also have smaller basins and catchment areas.
Peninsula rivers are follow-up rivers, that is, they follow the slope of the land. They are also inherently seasonal or non-perennial as they only get water from the rain, resulting in a discontinuous flow of water. These rivers flow through shallow valleys compared to Himalayan rivers, and these areas are not easily eroded. The floodplains of the peninsula rivers are narrow.
Peninsula rivers are also believed to be older than Himalayan rivers as they are in their maturity. The alluvial land and the hard rock surface of the plateau do not allow any meander formation. Some of these rivers like Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna form small deltas, while others like Narmada and Tapi form estuaries.
Difference between Himalayan and Peninsula rivers
Himalayan rivers: Himalayan rivers originate from the Himalayan mountain ranges.
Peninsula rivers: Peninsula rivers have their origin in the plateaus of the peninsula.
Himalayan Rivers: Himalayan rivers are larger and longer than peninsula rivers.
Peninsula rivers: Peninsula rivers are comparatively smaller and shorter.
Basin and catchment area
Himalayan Rivers: Himalayan rivers have large basins and drainage basins.
Peninsula rivers: Peninsula rivers have smaller catchment areas and drainage areas.
Himalayan Rivers: Himalayan rivers are naturally perennial as they are fed by both rain and ice.
Rivers on the peninsula: Rivers on the peninsula are seasonal as they are only fed by rain.
Himalayan Rivers: Himalayan rivers are considered to be in the early stages of maturity.
Peninsula rivers : Peninsula rivers are considered older than Himalayan rivers.
Himalayan Rivers: The mouth of the rivers forms large deltas.
Peninsula Rivers : Some peninsula rivers form small rivers while others form estuaries.
Himalayan rivers: Himalayan rivers are predecessor rivers.
Peninsula rivers : Peninsula rivers are follow-on rivers.
Himalayan rivers: Himalayan rivers have larger floodplains.
Rivers on the peninsula: Rivers on the peninsula have smaller floodplains.
Himalayan rivers: Himalayan rivers form meanders.
Rivers on the peninsula: Rivers on the peninsula do not often meander.
Shape of the valley
Himalayan Rivers: Himalayan rivers form V-shaped valleys.
Peninsula rivers: Peninsula rivers form wide U-shaped valleys.
“Godavari River” by Ninane - Own work after 1 (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia