What are Exogenic and Endogenic Forces? - Examples, Difference, Meaning

By K Balaji|Updated : September 27th, 2022

Endogenic and Exogenic forces are the geomorphic processes that bring changes in the earth’s surface internally and externally. Earth's surface is not flat as it goes through a lot of formation and deformation. The main reason why the earth's crust is so uneven is because of the influence of external and internal forces, known as exogenic and endogenic forces, respectively. The major difference between endogenic and exogenic forces is the direction or the origin of force applied to the Earth (internal or external).

Read this article thoroughly to know the difference between endogenic and exogenic forces based on multiple factors such as meaning, nature of force, source of energy, etc. Also, check out the examples of Engogenic and Exogenic forces, which will support your understanding.

Table of Content

Endogenic Forces

'Endo' is a prefix that means 'in'. Endogenic forces are the pressure whose origin is inside the earth, which is why it is also regarded as internal forces. Endogenic forces result in earthquakes, volcanism, faulting, folding, etc., leading to horizontal and vertical movements. These forces are the results of radioactivity, primordial heat, and tidal and rotational friction, and they play a crucial role in the formation of the earth's crust.

Difference Between Endogenic and Exogenic Forces PDF

Endogenic forces are also called constructive forces as they establish relief features on the Earth’s surface. These exist in two forms: Slow movements and Sudden motions. Slow movements take place over a long time and are non-noticeable. On the other hand, sudden movements such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are visible and cause a sudden change in the landform.

Exogenic Forces

'Exo' is a prefix that means 'out'. Exogenic forces, also known as external forces, are the ones that arise within the atmosphere of the earth. The result of exogenic forces destroys the earth's surface by causing land to wear down, which is why they are regarded as "land-wearing forces".

Exogenic processes, such as weathering, deposition, erosion, etc., are the creators of exogenic pressures.

Examples of Endogenic and Exogenic Forces

Endogenic and exogenic forces are also referred to as internal and external forces. This topic is an important concept in the UPSC Geography syllabus and must be studied thoroughly by all the aspirants preparing for Prelims, Mains, and IAS Interview. The examples of endogenic and exogenous processes are listed below:

Examples of Endogenic Forces

Exogenic Forces Examples



Volcanic eruptions



Tidal force of the Moon

Mountain formation

Sea waves



Difference between Endogenic and Exogenic Forces

Both endogenic and exogenic forces are equally important because they are the reason behind the earth's various landforms, such as hills, mountains, volcanos, and more. These two geomorphic pressures give shape to the earth's surface by formation as well as deformation.

The following table contains the difference between endogenic and exogenic forces, which will help the aspirants to build a link between both processes.

Endogenic vs. Exogenic Forces

Endogenic Forces

Exogenic Forces

These are internal forces found in the core of the earth.

These external forces are caused by natural elements such as wind, water, and waves.

The sole creator of endogenic forces is the interior heat of the earth.

The reason behind exogenic forces is exogenic processes that include weathering, mass wasting, erosion, and so on.

These are referred to as constructive forces as they help form the earth's surface.

These are considered destructive forces because they are very likely to destroy the existing landforms of the earth through erosion, weathering, and other ways.

The after-effects of such forces are visible shortly because they cause immediate damage.

The after-effects are visible after thousands and millions of years.

Examples: Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain formation.

Examples: Winds, rivers, glaciers, erosion, moon's tidal force, etc.

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FAQs on Exogenic and Endogenic Forces

  • Endogenic and exogenic forces are the two major geomorphic pressures that lead to the movement of Earth and give shape to the crust or surface of the Earth. These internal and external pressures lead to a flat surface of the land resulting from the continuous formation and deformation of landforms.

  • The difference between Endogenic and Exogenic forces is that endogenic forces originate inside Earth, and after-effects are visible shortly because they cause immediate damage. In contrast, exogenic forces are the ones that work on the Earth's surface, and the after-effects are visible even after thousands and millions of years.

  • Exogenic forces examples include the following: Erosion, wind cyclones, tornadoes, droughts, rainfall,  tidal force of the moon, snowfall, winds, thunderstorms, hailstorms, etc. These are the external processes that cause destruction to the existing landforms.

  • The difference between Exogenic and Endogenic forces in terms of origination is that while the sole creator of endogenic forces is the earth's interior heat, the reason behind the occurrence of exogenic forces is exogenic processes that include weathering, mass wasting, erosion, and so on.

  • In the UPSC exam, questions on Endogenic and exogenic forces are a part of the Geography syllabus, which must be studied carefully to score well in this section. Additionally, many times it is observed that questions on this topic are also present in the Mains and Interview rounds. To prepare for this topic, download the PDF given above and study the notes on exogenic and endogenic processes before the exam.

  • Endogenic forces are caused by the heat inside the Earth. These are internal forces that cause a change on the outer surface. Some examples of endogenic forces are earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mountain formations, etc.

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