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Chapter 1

North America

TermDefinition
Borderland Linear zone that parallels a political boundary. They are marked by significant cultural and economic interaction across the boundary that separates them.
Transition Zone An area of spatial change where the peripheries of two adjacent realms or regions join; marked by a gradual shift (rather than a sharp break)
Physiographic region A region within which there prevails substantial natural-landscape homogeneity, expressed by a certain degree of uniformity in surface relief, climate, vegetation, and soils.
Continentality The greater the distance from the moderating influence of an ocean, the greater the extreme in summer and winter temperatures.
Rain shadow effect The relative dryness in areas downwind of mountain ranges resulting from orographic precipitation.
Federation A country adhering to a political framework yet allows these various entities to retain their own identities and to have their own laws, policies, and customs in certain spheres.
Aquifer An underground reservoir of water contained within a porous, water-bearing rock layer.
Fossil Fuel The energy resources of coal, natural gas, and petroleum (oil),
.Urban System A hierarchical network or grouping of urban areas within a finite geographic area, such as a country.
American Manufacturing Belt North America’s near-rectangular core area, whose corners are Boston, Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Baltimore.
Distribution Center A centralized focus of economic activity specializing in the distribution of goods, situated as a major hub on its regional transportation network.
Intermodal connections Facilities and activities related to the transfer of goods in transit from one transportation mode to another (e.g., the loading of containers from a ship directly onto a truck or railcar).
Outer city The non-central-city portion of the American metropolis; no longer “sub” to the “urb,” this outer ring was transformed into a full-fledged city during the late twentieth century.
Deindustrualization Companies relocate manufacturing jobs to other regions or countries with cheaper labor
Central business district The downtown heart of a central city; marked by high land values, a concentration of business and commerce, and the clustering of the tallest buildings
Information economy The new, increasingly dominant, postindustrial economy that is maturing in the most highly advanced countries of North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim.
GPS (Global Positioning System) The orbiting-satellite-based navigation system that provides locational and time information.
Gentrification The upgrading of an older residential area through private reinvestment, usually in the downtown area of a central city.
Neighborhood effect The impact of one’s neighborhood on an individual’s outlook, aspirations, socialization, and life chances.
Residential geography The spatial distribution of a residential population.
Sunbelt The popular name given to the southern tier of the United States, which is anchored by the mega-States of California, Texas, and Florida.
Migration A change in residence intended to be permanent.
Electoral geography The spatial distribution of political preferences as expressed in voting behavior for political parties and/or candidates.
Melting pot Traditional characterization of American society as a blend of numerous immigrant ethnic groups that over time were assimilated into a single societal mainstream.
First Nations Name given Canada’s indigenous peoples of American descent, whose U.S. counterparts are called Native Americans.
World-City A large city with particularly significant international (economic) linkages that also has a high ranking in the global urban system.
Technopole A planned techno-industrial complex (such as California’s Silicon Valley) that innovates, promotes, and manufactures the products of the postindustrial information economy.
Pacific Rim they face the Pacific Ocean; they exhibit relatively high levels of economic development, industrialization, and urbanization; their imports and exports mainly move across Pacific waters.
Tar sands The main source of oil from non-liquid petroleum reserves. The oil is mixed with sand and requires massive open-pit mining as well as a costly, complicated process to extract it.
Boreal forest The subarctic, mostly coniferous snowforest that blankets Canada south of the tundra that lines the Arctic shore; known as the taiga in Russia
Created by: Lucianavr