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"geography wilsonm2

World Geography Vocabulary Chapter 2

TermDefinition
Solar system consists of the sun and nine known planets As well as other celestial bodies that orbit the sun
Continent a landmass above the water on the earth
Core the earth’s center, made up of iron and nickel; the inner core is solid, and outer core is liquid.
Mantel a rock layer about 1,800 miles thick that is between the earth’s crust and the earth’s core
Magma the molten rock material formed when solid rock in the earth’s mantle or crust melts
Crust the thin rock layer making up the earth’s surface
Atmosphere the layers of gases immediately surrounding the earth
Lithosphere the solid rock portion of the earth’s surface
Hydrosphere the waters comprising the earth’s surface, including oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, and vapor in the atmosphere
Biosphere all the parts of the earth where plants and animals live, including the atmosphere, the lithosphere, and the hydrosphere
Continental drift they hypothesis that all continents were once joined into a super continent that split apart over millions of years.
Hydrologic cycle the continuous circulation of water among the atmosphere, the oceans, and earth
Drainage basin an area drained by a major river and its tributaries
Ground water the water held under the earth’s surface, often in and around the pores of rock.
Water table the level at which rock is saturated
Landform a naturally formed feature on the surface of the earth.
Continental shelf the earth’s surface from the edge of a continent to the deep part of the ocean
Relief the difference in elevation of a landform from the lowest point to the highest point
Topography the combined characteristics of landforms and their distribution in a region
Tectonic plate an enormous moving shelf that forms the earth’s crust
Fault a fracture in the earth’s crust
Earthquake a sometimes violent movement of the earth, produced when tectonic plates grind or slip past each other at a fault.
Seismography a device that measures the size of the waves created by an earthquake
Epicenter the point on the earth’s surface that corresponds to the location in the earth where an earthquake begins
Richter scale a way to measure information collected by seismographs to determine the relative strength of an earthquake
Tsunami a giant ocean wave, caused by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption, with great destructive power
Volcano a natural event, formed when magma, gases, and water from the lower part of the crust of mantle collect in underground chambers and eventually erupt and pour out of cracks in the earth’s surface
Lava magma that has reached the earth’s surface
Ring of Fire the chain of volcanoes that lines the Pacific Rim
Weathering physical and chemical processes that change the characteristics of rock on or near the earth’s surface, occurring slowly over many years.
Sediment small pieces of rock produced by weathering process
Mechanical weathering natural processes that break rock into smaller pieces
Chemical weathering a process that changes rock into a new substance through interactions among elements in the air or water and the minerals in the rock
Erosion the result of weathering on matter, created by the action of wind, water, ice, or gravity
Delta a fan-like landform made of deposited sediment, left by a river that slows as it enters the ocean.
Loess wind-blown silt and clay sediment that produces very fertile soil
Glacier a large, long-lasting mass of ice that moves because of gravity
Glaciation the changing of landforms by slowly moving glaciers
Moraine a ridge or hill of rock carried and finally deposited by a glacier
Humus organic material in soil
Chaparral the term, in some locations, for a biome of drought-resistant trees
Created by: wilsonm2