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Chapter 1

North America

TermDefinition
Borderland General term for a linear zone that parallels a political boundary. The most dynamic of these areas, such as those lining the U.S.-Mexico border, 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) in the characteristics that distinguish these neighboring geographic entities from one another.
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 Variation of the continental effect on air temps in the interior of the world’s landmasses. The farther from the moderating influence of an ocean, the more extreme summer and winter temps. Continental interiors are dry when far from ocean moisture.
Rain shadow effect The relative dryness in areas downwind of mountain ranges resulting from orographic precipitation, wherein moist air masses are forced to deposit most of their water content as they cross the highlands.
Federation Shares power between political divisions in the government. They have common interests—defense, foreign affairs. These various entities 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), so named collectively because they were formed by the geologic compression and transformation of tiny plant and animal organisms.
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. Example: Atlanta with its highway, rail, and air-freight connections to the surrounding southeastern US..
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.
Deindustrialization companies relocate manufacturing jobs to other places with cheaper labor, leaving the newly-deindustrialized area to convert to service economy while struggling with the effects of increased unemployment & meeting the retraining needs of its workforce.
Central business district (CBD) 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 dominant, postindustrial economy that’s maturing in advanced countries of North America, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. Here, traditional industry is being eclipsed by a higher-technology productive complex focused on information-related activities.
GPS (Global Positioning System) The orbiting-satellite-based navigation system that provides locational and time information, anywhere on or near the Earth’s surface where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.
Gentrification upgrading older residential areas through private reinvestment, usually in the downtown areas. Involves the displacement of lower-income residents, who can’t afford costs of living, and conflicts are not uncommon as such neighborhood change takes place.
Neighborhood effect The impact of one’s neighborhood on an individual’s outlook, aspirations, socialization, and life chances.
Residential geography The impact of one’s neighborhood on an individual’s outlook, aspirations, socialization, and life chances.
Sunbelt the southern tier of the US, which is anchored by the mega-States of California, Texas, and Florida. Its warmer climate, superior recreational opportunities, and other amenities have been attracting large numbers of relocating people and activities
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. The mapping of election results (see Box 1-8) is the foundation of electoral geography.
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. This always had its challengers among social scientists, and is now difficult to sustain
First Natiions 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. Leading world-cities include London, New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore, and Paris.
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 group of countries and components of countries sharing the following: face the Pacific Ocean; 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: pl249582
 

 



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