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World Geo Terms

Chapter 1-13 Terms to Know

TermDefinition
CHAPTER 1
Geography the study of the natural features of the earth's surface, including topography, climate, soil, vegetation, etc, and man's response to them
Latitude the distance north or south from the equator of a point on the earth's surface
Longitude distance east or west on the earth's surface
Relative Location locating a place in relation to other places nearby
Linear Distance the distance between two defined points
Map Projection representing or a representation of the globe or celestial sphere or part of it on a flat map, using a grid of lines of latitude and longitude
Topographic Map a map showing topographic features, usu. by means of contour lines
GPS GPS, which stands for Global Positioning System, is a radio navigation system that allows land, sea, and airborne users to determine their exact location, velocity, and time 24 hours a day, in all weather conditions, anywhere in the world
Compass Rose a circle showing the principal directions printed on a map or chart
Prime Meridian a planet's meridian adopted as the zero of longitude
CHAPTER 2
Core the central or most important part of something, in particular
Atmosphere the envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet the envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet
Lithosphere the rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle; the solid portion of the earth
Hydrosphere all the waters on the earth's surface, such as lakes and seas, and sometimes including water over the earth's surface, such as clouds
Drainage Basin an area through which rivers or water sources flow in a given location
Groundwater water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock
Relief the difference between the highest and lowest elevations in an area
Continental Shelf the edge of a continent that lies under the ocean.
Fault a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other
Seismograph an instrument used to measure the strength of an earthquake
Ring of Fire the site of mountain ranges, along with volcanoes and earthquakes
Mechanical Weathering The process of weathering by which physical forces break down or reduce a rock to smaller and smaller
Chemical Weathering the break down of rocks, soils and minerals through the processes of oxidation and hydrolysis
Delta a low, watery land formed at the mouth of a river. It is formed from the silt, sand and small rocks that flow downstream in the river and are deposited in the delta; A delta is often (but not always) shaped like a triangle
Loess a fine-grained, yellowish-brown, extremely fertile loam deposited mainly by the wind and found widely in North America, Asia, and Europe
Moraine a mass of rocks and sediment carried down and deposited by a glacier, typically as ridges at its edges or extremity
Humus the dark organic material in soils, produced by the decomposition of vegetable or animal matter and essential to the fertility of the earth
Erosion the process of eroding or being eroded by wind, water, or other natural agents
Sediment Material recently deposited by water, ice or wind, or precipitated from water
Lava hot molten or semifluid rock erupted from a volcano or fissure, or solid rock resulting from cooling of this
CHAPTER 3
Solstice either of the two times in the year, the summer solstice and the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon, marked by the longest and shortest days (north and south)
Equinox one of the two times in a year when the sun crosses the plane of the earth's equator, and day and night are of equal length (east and west)
Weather the state of the atmosphere at a place and time as regards heat, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain, etc.
Climate the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period
Rain Shadow a region having little rainfall because it is sheltered from prevailing rain-bearing winds by a range of hills
Blizzard a severe snowstorm with high winds and low visibility
Convection transport of heat and moisture by the movement of a fluid
Tundra a vast, flat, treeless Arctic region of Europe, Asia, and North America in which the subsoil is permanently frozen
Permafrost a thick subsurface layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year, occurring chiefly in polar regions
Semi Arid a dry climate that exhibits a short wet season supporting the growth of grasses and annual plants
Ecosystem a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment
Deciduous Forest a type of forest characterized by trees that seasonally shed their leaves
Coniferous Forest a type of forest characterized by cone-bearing, needle-leaved trees
CHAPTER 5
Continental Divide a divide separating river systems that flow to opposite sides of a continent
Prevailing Westerlies the winds from the west that occur in the temperate zones of the Earth
Everglades a marshy tract of land that is mostly under water and covered with tall grass
Nomads A member of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water, and grazing land
Beringia a loosely defined region surrounding the Bering Strait, the Chukchi Sea, and the Bering Sea
Canadian Shield One of the world's largest geologic continental shields, centered on Hudson Bay and extending for 3 million sq mi over Canada from the Great Lakes to the Canadian Arctic
Locks A section of a waterway, such as a canal, closed off with gates, in which vessels in transit are raised or lowered by raising or lowering the water level of that section
CHAPTER 6
Migration to go from one country, region, or place to another
Louisiana Purchase territory in the western United States purchased from France in 1803 for $15 million; extends from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada
Frontier a line or border separating two countries
Suburbs a residential district situated on the outskirts of a city or town
Representative Democracy a form of democracy founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people
3 Branches of Government Legislative- creates laws judicial- interprets laws and administers justice executive- enforces laws
Lewis and Clark Expedition an expedition sent by Thomas Jefferson to explore the northwestern territories of the United States; led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark; traveled from St. Louis to the mouth of the Columbia River from 1803 to 1806
Federal Republic a form of government made up of a federal state with a constitution and self-governing subunits
CHAPTER 9
Llanos (in South America) a treeless grassy plain
Cerrado a vast tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil, particularly in the states of Goiás and Minas Gerais
Pampas extensive, treeless plains in South America
Rain Forest a luxuriant, dense forest rich in biodiversity, found typically in tropical areas with consistently heavy rainfall
Terraced Farming A farming method in which steep hillsides are fashioned into a step-like series of level terraces. Terraced farming conserves runoff water and prevents soil erosion
Slash and Burn of, relating to, or denoting a method of agriculture in which existing vegetation is cut down and burned off before new seeds are sown, typically used as a method for clearing forest land for farming
Push Factors what make people leave
Pull Factors what draw people to new places
Infrastructure the basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise
Tourism the commercial organization and operation of vacations and visits to places of interest
CHAPTER 12
Fjord a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, as in Norway and Iceland, typically formed by submergence of a glaciated valley
Peat a brown, soil-like material characteristic of boggy, acid ground, consisting of partly decomposed vegetable matter. It is widely cut and dried for use in gardening and as fuel
North Atlantic Drift The North Atlantic Current is a powerful warm ocean current that continues the Gulf Stream northeast. West of Continental Europe it splits into two major branches
Sirocco a hot wind, often dusty or rainy, blowing from North Africa across the Mediterranean to southern Europe
Mistral a strong, cold northwesterly wind that blows through the Rhône valley and southern France into the Mediterranean, mainly in winter
Polder a piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the sea or a river and protected by dikes, esp. in the Netherlands
Dike a piece of low-lying land reclaimed from the sea or a river and protected by dikes, esp. in the Netherlands
Terpen mounds to which they retreated during periods of high water
Acid Rain rainfall made sufficiently acidic by atmospheric pollution that it causes environmental harm, typically to forests and lakes
4 Large Islands in the North Ireland, Greenland, United Kingdom, Iceland
CHAPTER 13
City-State a city that with its surrounding territory forms an independent state
Republic a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch
Crusades a medieval military expedition, one of a series made by Europeans to recover the Holy Land from the Muslims in the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries
Renaissance the period of European history at the close of the Middle Ages and the rise of the modern world; a cultural rebirth from the 14th through the middle of the 17th centuries
Aqueducts an artificial channel for conveying water, typically in the form of a bridge supported by tall columns across a valley
Reformation a 16th-century movement for the reform of abuses in the Roman Catholic Church ending in the establishment of the Reformed and Protestant Churches
Feudalism A political, economic, or social order resembling this medieval system.
Nationalism patriotic feeling, principles, or efforts
Bubonic Plagues a very serious disease that is spread especially by rats and that killed many people in the Middle Ages
Holocaust destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, esp. caused by fire or nuclear war
Created by: JessicaMSilva