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An environment is a natural world in which people, animals and plant live. Generally, it refers to everything within our surroundings. Physical Environment therefore refers to all natural and non-natural things around us. It can also be regarded as our immediate environment.



  1. Natural environment: it includes; valleys forest, desert, hills, mountains, rivers, grass-land, etc.
  2. Non-natural environment or man-made: it includes; bridges, houses, hospitals, roads, vehicles, police station, market, schools etc.

Features of physical environment.

Nigeria physical environment features includes;

  1. Relief
  2. Rivers
  3. Lakes
  4. Seasons
  5. Weather
  6. Vegetation.


RELIEF: This refers to land surface features above the sea level.

Relief can be classified into;

  1. Highland
  2. Low land

HIGHLAND: It can be described as a mountainous or hilly section of a country. Examples are; idanre hill, Adamawa mountains udinsukaplateau mountain.

LOW LAND: Low land can be referred to as plains, the chad Basin plain etc.



  1. They serve as easy defense during war
  2. They serve as tourist centers
  3. They are good source of minerals like gold, tin etc.
  4. Some help in construction of hydro-electric power in Nigeria


  1. They serve as means of transportation e.g. roads, railways port.
  2. They are good for agricultural purposes
  3. Suitable for human habitation
  4. They provide good place for rearing animals


RIVERS: The two major source of rivers in Nigeria are River Niger and Benue. Others are; River Ogun, Osun, ZamfaraAnambara, Cross Rivers, etc.



  1. They are used for domestic purpose such as drinking, washing, cooking etc
  2. They provide employment opportunities for fisher men, ship builders etc.
  3. They are used for generating electricity e.gKangi dam
  4. They are used by industries for production purpose. E.g. for production of soft drinks, bottle water etc.
  5. They provide food for man kind e.g. fishes, crayfish etc.
  6. They are used in construction of sea ports.


LAKES: A lake can be defined as a large area of water surrounded by land

SEASONS: There are two seasons in Nigeria

They are;

  1. Wet season
  2. Dry season

Wet Season: This is a period of rainfall and humidity. It falls between April and October and sometimes to November. It is normally caused by south –west wind. This is a good period for farming activities in Nigeria. Dry season: It is caused by North-East wind coming from Sahara desert. It comes with harmattan particularly in the Northern Nigeria. The dry season starts from November to April.


WEATHER: This refers to the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time. The atmospheric condition changes from time to time.

CLIMATE: Climate refers to the average weather condition of a particular place over a period of time.



  1. Temperature: This refers to the degree of coldness and hotness of a place at any particular time.

Temperature is measured by “Thermometer”

  1. Rainfall: It is a situation where excess condensed water vapour in the atmosphere is released to the earth.

It is measured by “rainguage”.

  • Wind: This is the movement of the air at a particular direction.

It is measured by “Wind vane and Anemometer”

  1. Air Pressure: Pressure can be defined as the force exerted by atmosphere on the earth surface and other objects by air.

It is measured through “Mercury barometer and aneroid barometer”.

  1. Relative Humidity: This is the degree or amount of moisture (water presents in the air) in the atmosphere.

It is measured with a “hygrometer”.

  1. Clouds: These are tiny droplets of water vapour in the atmosphere.
  • Sunshine: This is the direct light of the sun. It is the brightness of the sun.


VEGETATION: This refers to the ground cover provided by plants. It is influenced by its climate.


There are three types of vegetation belt in Nigeria namely;

  1. Forest
  2. Savanna
  3. Montane

Forest: It contains trees such as Mangrove swamp forest and rainforest.

Savanna: It consists of tree covered with grasses and flowers located between trees. It can be further sub-divide into Guinea Savanna, Sudan savanna and Sahel Savanna.

Montane Vegetation: These are vegetations with tress and grasses. It can be found in Adamawa, Jos etc.



  • Define an environment
  • What is physical environment?
  • State the types of physical environment and explain with examples
  • Highlight the features of physical environment and explain with examples

Assignment :  social studies Melrose workbook Jssone


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