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World Geography

Chapter 4 Vocabulary

Core Earth's center, where pressures and temperatures are very high.
Mantle The section of Earth's interior that lies above the outer core and has the most mass.
Magma Liquid rock within Earth.
Plate Tectonics The theory that Earth's crust is divided into rigid plates that slowly move across the upper mantle.
Continental Drift The process by which Earth's plates slowly move across the upper mantle.
Rift Valleys Places on Earth's surface surface where the crust stretches until it breaks.
Abyssal Plains Areas of the ocean floor where rocks gradually sink because they have no supporting heat below them; the world's flattest and smoothest regions.
Continental Shelves Areas where continental surfaces extend under the shallow ocean water around the continents.
Trench A deep valley marking a collision of plates, where one plate slides under another.
Folds Places where rocks have been compressed into bends by colliding plates.
Faults Places where rock masses have been broken apart and are moving away from each other.
Weathering The process by which rocks break and decay over time.
Sediment Small particles of weathered rock.
Erosion Movement of surface material from one location to another by water, wind, and ice.
Glaciers Thick masses of ice including great ice sheets and bodies of ice that flow down mountains like slow rivers.
Plateau An elevated flatland that rises sharply above nearby land on at least on one side.
Alluvial Fan Fan-shaped deposit of mud and gravel often found along the bases of mountains.
Delta Accumulation of sediment at the mouth of a river.
Desalinization Process of removing salt from ocean water.
Hydrologic Cycle Movement of water through the hydrosphere.
Head Waters First and smallest streams formed from the runoff of a mountain eventually forming rivers.
Tributary Any smaller stream or river that flows into a larger stream or river.
Watershed The entire region drained by a river and its tributaries.
Estuaries Semi-enclosed bodies of water, seawater, and freshwater formed where a river meets an inlet of the sea.
Wetlands Landscapes that are covered with water for at least part of the year.
Groundwater Water found below ground.
Water Table The groundwater level at which all the cracks and spaces in rock are filled with water.
Humus Broken-down plant and animal matter in soil.
Leaching Downward movement of minerals and humus in soils.
Contour Plowing Plowing fields across a hill, rather than up and down the hill.
Soil Exhaustion A condition in which soil has lost nutrients and becomes nearly useless for farming.
Crop Rotation The practice of planting different crops in a field in alternating years.
Irrigation A process in which water is artificially supplied to the land.
Soil Salinization Salt build-up in the soil.
Deforestation Destruction or loss of forests.
Created by: 58knasims



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