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Unit 9

TermDefinition
Atmosphere Thin layer of gases that surrounds the earth
Biosphere Part of the earth where life exists
Hydrosphere Watery areas of the Earth, including oceans, lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water
Lithosphere Uppermost layer of the Earth that includes the crust, continents, and ocean basins
Volcanoes A volcano is a rupture on the crust of a planetary mass object, such as the Earth, which allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface
Continental Drift The theory that the continents were once joined then slowly drifted apart
Tectonic The processes which control the structure and properties of the Earth's crust, and its evolution through time
Hydrologic Cycle The natural sequence through which water passes into the atmosphere as water vapor, precipitates to earth in liquid or solid form, and ultimately returns to the atmosphere through evaporation
Solar Radiation Radiant energy emitted by the sun, particularly electromagnetic energy
Ecosystems A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment
Biomes Major type of ecological communities defined primarily by distinctive plant and animal groups
Desertification Process in which arable land becomes desert; the destruction of land in arid and semi-arid climates
Greenhouse Effect The capacity of certain gases in the atmosphere to trap heat, thereby warming the Earth
Groundwater Water located underground within the Earth that supplies wells and springs
El Nino A periodic reversal of the pattern of ocean currents and water temperatures in the mid-Pacific region
La Nina A cooling of the water in the equatorial Pacific that occurs at irregular intervals and is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns complementary to those of El Niño, but less extensive and damaging in their effects
Barrier Islands A long, relatively narrow island running parallel to the mainland, built up by the action of waves and currents and serving to protect the coast from erosion by surf and tidal surges
Natural Disasters Major, adverse events resulting from natural processes of the Earth
Created by: HCSWorldGeo