# physical geography midterm – Flashcards

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geography
areal differentiation of Earth's surface (Greek: Geo = Earth; graphy = to write / describe)
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physical geography
aka environmental geography Physical science of natural Earth elements Their characteristics, processes, interactions, & interrelationships
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cultural geography
aka human geography Social science of human interactions & relationships with their place
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celcius
(ºF - 32) x 5/9 = ºC
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Farenheit
(9/5 x ºC) + 32 = ºF
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distance
30 cm = 1 foot; 1 km = 0.61 miles 2.54 cm = 1 inch; 12 inches = 1 foot
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mass
453.6 grams = 1 pound; 2.2 lbs = 1 kg
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volume
1 liter = 0.26 gallon; 2 pints = 1 quart; 4 quarts = 1 gallon; 1 liter = 1000 ml (milliliters) or 1000 cc (cubic centimeters)
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shape of the earth
Imperfect sphere - oblate spheroid
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earth rotates on its axis
24 hours; effect = movement of atmosphere (Coriolis Effect)
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Plane of the orbit aka ecliptic
eccentric or elliptical
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Earth's axis : tilt aka Obliquity
23.5° relative to plane of the orbit;
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polarity of the earths axis aka parallelism
North Pole always points toward Polaris ("North Star")
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Equinoxes and solstices
seasonal transitions
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Season (angle of sun), latitude, altitude, specific physical location
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Graticule (geographic grid system)
latitudes and longitudes
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latitudes aka parallels
horizontal circles around globe going N & S
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longitudes aka meridians
vertical lines from pole to pole going E & W
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telling time
world divided into 24 standard time zones (every 15° of longitude) with respect to the Prime Meridian where it is Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) (formerly Greenwich Mean Time (GMT))
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Maps
Size & Shape 8 essential components (Marginalia): Title, Date, Legend, Scale, Direction, Location, Data Source, and Projection Type. Large-scale map Small-scale map Small area (city) great detail large areas (country) with little detail large representative fraction small representative fraction 1/10,000 1/1,000,000
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map projections/ equivalent
Equal areal relationships throughout but disfigured shapes • Greenland and Alaska appear squattier than they actually are • Most equivalent world maps are small-scale maps
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map projections/conformal
proper angular relationships. • Distortion of true shapes for large areas esp. in higher latitudes • e.g. Mercator projection
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map projections/compromise
approximates both equivalence & conformality • maps of very small areas (i.e. large-scale maps). • e.g. Robinson projection - popular
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Families of Map Projections
study on study guide
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Imaging Technologies/Thermal infrared sensing
uses health crops and trees
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Imaging Technologies/Visible light sensing
uses:diurnal temperature differences between land & water and between bedrock & alluvium thermal water pollution, forest fires, weather forecasting
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data collection tools
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isolines
lines used to connect areas of similar temperature (isotherms), pressure (isobars), contour lines, isotopes (occupying the same place in periodic table)
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Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere
thermal layers
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earth surface
(Average Surface Temp (15°C, 59°F)
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troposphere
(lowest 10-15 km) most weather here
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Stratopshere
(10-50 km) stagnant air
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mesosphere
(50-80 km) middle atmosphere
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thermosphere
(above 80 km) "heat"
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exosphere
transitions into interplanetary space
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composition of the atmosphere
.93% argon 20% oxygen 78% nitrogen
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atmospheric pollutants
study in guide
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weather
conditions of the atmosphere over short period of time for local areas
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climate
"behavior" of atmosphere over long periods of time, i.e. statistical averages and trends of weather over time and over large geographical regions
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the earth's rotation=Coriolis Force
apparent deflection of air from its normal path (set by the pressure gradient )
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northern hemisphere
objects deflect to the right in the northern hemisphere
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southern hemisphere
objects deflect to the left in the southern hemisphere
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Coriolis
Influences wind patterns within storms and hurricanes; contribute sto upwelling of cold ocean water near coasts
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climate classes
Köppen Letter Code System, study in guide
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koppen system
• descriptive name followed by a series of classifying letters which define specific temperature and/or precipitation values. • First letter designates major climate group. • Second letter usually describes precipitation patterns. • Third letter (if any) describes temperature pattern.
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Climograph
• simple graphic representation of monthly temperature and precipitation for a specific weather station. • Displays precise details of important aspects of the climate of a specific place
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a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-atmosphere system." It is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism
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Net photosynthesis
difference in carbohydrates produced to those lost to respiration Net primary production is the net photosynthesis over a year Measure of chemical energy in a plant = dry weight, or biomass, of the material
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Water
Essential for life - Water dissolves nutrients and carries them to all parts of the organism - Two ways water is found in biosphere • In residence - chemically bound to plant and animal tissue • In transit - part of transpiration - respiration
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Carbon cycle
Biosphere (organic) = complex mixture of carbon compounds Transfer of carbon from CO2 to living matter and back to CO2 - years Gradual incorporation of stored carbon in rock, fossils - centuries
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oxygen cycle