Palghat gap

  • Often called as a significant discontinuity in the Western Ghats, the Palghat Gap is about 40 km wide, with the steep Nilgiris and Anamalai hills, both rising above 2,000 msl, on either side.
  • The Gap is a geological shear zone that runs from east to west.
    • Shear zones are weak regions in the earth’s crust.
    • The origin of the Palghat Gap also stems from the drift of continental shelves after Australia and Africa broke off from the Gondwana landmass.
  • It is a corridor for both roads and railways that connects Coimbatore with Palakkad.
  • The Bharathappuzha river flows through it.
  • The Western Ghats in north of the Palghat Gap receive more rain annually, but the south gets rain more evenly throughout the year.
  • In contrast to the tropical rainforests of the Western Ghats, the vegetation in the Palghat Gap is classified as dry evergreen forest.
  • It also marks a divide in the flora and fauna of the region.
  • Species richness and phylogenetic diversity are abundant in Western Ghats south of Palghat Gap.
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