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Introduction to Geography

Geography basics

Elizabeth Villegas

on 4 June 2013

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Transcript of Introduction to Geography

Introduction to Geography Physical Geography - the study of Earth's surface features. For example: mountains, forests, deserts, and seas. World Geography - concerns how people relate to their physical environment and to each other. Essential Question: What physical features would you find around the Rio Grande Valley? Key Terms Continents
Sahara Desert
Tropical Rainforest
East Asia
Himalaya Mountains
Physical Regions
Formal Region Earth has 4 Oceans - Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic. Some geographers consider Earth to have 5 oceans including the Southern Ocean. Oceans Continents Earth has 7 Continents - Africa, Antarctica, Asia Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Each continent has its own variety of physical features including mountains, deserts, plains, valleys, forests, and bodies of water.
Latitude, landforms, and nearness to bodies of water greatly affect climate.
Landforms, soil, and climate greatly affect the plants and animals that can be found in each place Important Ideas Different types of maps are used to show a variety of different information.

Maps can be used to answer geographic questions, infer relationships, and analyze change. Geographic Terminology Maps
Compass Rose
Thematic Map Latitude
Prime Meridian Maps: A map is a flat, two dimensional representtaion of space. maps can be used to answer goeogrphic questions, to make connections, to infer relationships, and to analyze change. Legend Legends list the symbol used on the map, including any special colors or shading and identifes what esach symbol represents.
*legends show things such as air ports, and/or mountains. Compass Rose Shows where the four basic directions - north, south, east, and west - are found on the map. scale Cartogrpahers (mapmakers) reduce the size of the map to fit onto a page. the scale is used to show how much the map has been reduced. maps scales are often shown as a line marked: Scale of Miles Types of Maps: Physical maps - rivers, mountains, oceans
Political- major boundaries between countries or states
Historical- show boundaries of the past
Thematic - for example, maps on spread of religion, or silk routes
Population density- where people live in a specific area
Resource- the major natural resources and agricultural and industrial products Processes Shaping Planet Earth Lithosphere
Biosphere A look at Earth's Layers: Earth's Lithosphere Made up of the Earth's crust and solid upper mantel. The crust forms a thick skin around the Earth.
The mantle is a region of hot, dense rock. The top of the mantle is solid. As one travels deeper toward Earth's center, temperatures and pressure rise. The Lithosphere is broken into tectonic plates: Geo Journal #2 Apply what you know or have learned about geography for the following journal:
What do you think lies beneath the ground you step on? Tectonic plates are large slabs of rock.
Earth's continents are attached to these plates.

Scientists believe that these plates move as solid chunks floating.
The plates move only a few centimeters each year.
Despite such slow movement, over hundreds of millions of years these plates can move thousands of kilometers. 1. Convection Currents - is the
spread of heat through
the movement of a
fluid substance.
Inside the mantle, What Causes Plate movement? The circular motion or current pushes the plates above. Gravity causes lighter plates to be pulled above heavier plates. 2. Gravity • 1. Mountain building – plates push into one another often folding upwards.

• 2. Seafloor spreading– tectonic plates move apart, as plates move apart magma rises up through the cracks.

• 3. Earthquakes - plate movements can cause a break in Earth’s crust known as a fault. These cause vibrations known as earthquakes. Effects of Plate Tectonic Movement • 4. Tsunamis- when earthquakes occur under or near the ocean.

• 5. Volcanoes – tectonic plates dive under another causing breaks. Pockets of rock beneath earth melt creating magma that can break thru weak places in earth's crust.

• The location of most volcanoes and earthquakes has been shown to be almost identical with the location of plate boundaries.

•6. “The Ring of Fire” is an area around the Pacific Ocean- a zone of volcanoes and frequent earthquakes. Other Forces Affecting Earth's Lithosphere • Weathering- the wearing down of rocks at the earths surface by wind, water, ice, and living things.

• Erosion – process by which rock and soil are broken down and carried away. For example the Grand Canyon.

• Deposition – The forces that erode one place can deposit particles and sediments in another. The Hydrosphere About 75% of Earth’s surface is covered by water. Scientists refer to this as the hydrosphere.
97% of this water is in the ocean, other water is either frozen in the polar ice caps, or in the atmosphere, lakes, and rivers. The hydrosphere also goes thru many processes. One of these is the water cycle. The Water Cycle
• Ocean water directly facing the moon bulge towards the moon causing high tides.
• The force of Earth’s spin on its axis causes a low tide

• Surface currents are mainly caused by the spinning of Earth and winds Tides & Currents Around Earth is an envelope of gases known as the atmosphere.
• Nitrogen 78% & Oxygen 21%

Weather refers to conditions in the atmosphere: including humidity, winds, and precipitation

• Different processes in the atmosphere lead to differences in climate (the average weather conditions of a place over a long period of time) The Atmosphere Earth's Seasons High – latitude climates are “polar” with very cold winters.

Mid-Latitude climates inlclude warm summers with mild or cold winters.

Low latitudes climates- warm and humid climates. These are sometimes called tropical moist climates. Distribution of Climate Regions The earth tilts on its axis causes different seasons.

The area around the equator is really not affected by Earth’s tilt. That is why those areas are predominantly tropical and warm. The Biosphere The biosphere refers to all life on Earth. Weather and climate influence what kinds of plants and animals can successfully live in a particular geographic location.

Although the biosphere refers to LIFE on Earth, it takes all spheres to influence what happens in a biosphere.
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