This glossary of geography terms is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in geography and related fields, which describe and identify spatial dimension, geographic locationstopographical features, natural resourcesand the collection, analysis, and visualization of geographic data. For related terms, see Glossary of geology and Glossary of environmental science. Also wash. Also exposure. Also spelled bahada. Also called biodiversity.
Also called a mirequagmireor muskeg. Also cadaster. Also strait. Also corrie or cwm. Also coastline or seashore. Also called a gap or notch. Also isoline or isopleth. Also frost churning. Also impoundment. Also debouche. Also brash ice.
Also catchment areadrainage areariver basinwater basinor watershed. Also ridgelinewatershedwater partingwater divideor simply divide. Also re-entrant.
Also called the Earth sciences or geoscience. Also called an ecological region.A geographic coordinate system GCS is a coordinate system associated with positions on Earth geographic position. A GCS can give positions:. In geodetic coordinates and map coordinates, the coordinate tuple is decomposed such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two of the numbers represent a horizontal position. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Islesoff the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, and measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead.
Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes ' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before ; the text was translated into Latin at Florence by Jacobus Angelus around Inthe United States hosted the International Meridian Conferenceattended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line.
The Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while France and Brazil abstained. In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area to be mapped.
They then choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion, subsidence, and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun.
This daily movement can be as much as a meter. Continental movement can be up to 10 cm a year, or 10 m in a century.
A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice agebut neighboring Scotland is rising by only 0. These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude, longitude, and height systems in use.
The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Converting coordinates from one datum to another requires a datum transformation such as a Helmert transformationalthough in certain situations a simple translation may be sufficient.
The "latitude" abbreviation: Lat. The Equator divides the globe into Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The "longitude" abbreviation: Long. All meridians are halves of great ellipses often called great circleswhich converge at the North and South Poles. The prime meridian determines the proper Eastern and Western Hemispheresalthough maps often divide these hemispheres further west in order to keep the Old World on a single side.Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life.
Much of Earth's polar regions are covered in ice. Earth's outer layer is divided into several rigid tectonic plates that migrate across the surface over many millions of years. Earth's interior remains active with a solid iron inner corea liquid outer core that generates Earth's magnetic fieldand a convecting mantle that drives plate tectonics. According to radiometric dating estimation and other evidence, Earth formed over 4.
Within the first billion years of Earth's historylife appeared in the oceans and began to affect Earth's atmosphere and surface, leading to the proliferation of anaerobic and, lateraerobic organisms. Some geological evidence indicates that life may have arisen as early as 4. Since then, the combination of Earth's distance from the Sun, physical properties and geological history have allowed life to evolve and thrive.
In the history of life on Earthbiodiversity has gone through long periods of expansion, occasionally punctuated by mass extinctions. Humans increasingly impact Earth's hydrology, atmospheric processes and other life. Earth's atmosphere consists mostly of nitrogen and oxygen. Tropical regions receive more energy from the Sun than polar regions, which is redistributed by atmospheric and ocean circulation. Greenhouse gases also play an important role in regulating the surface temperature.
A region's climate is not only determined by latitude, but also by its proximity to moderating oceans and height among other factors.
What Is Geography, And How Did Its Study Begin?
Extreme weathersuch as tropical cyclones and heat wavesoccurs in most areas and has a large impact on life. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moonwhich is Earth's only natural satellite. Earth orbits around the Sun in about Earth's axis of rotation is tilted with respect to its orbital plane, producing seasons on Earth. The gravitational interaction between Earth and the Moon causes tidesstabilizes Earth's orientation on its axis, and gradually slows its rotation.
Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest and most massive of the four rocky planets. Historically, earth has been written in lowercase. From early Middle Englishits definite sense as "the globe" was expressed as the earth. By Early Modern Englishmany nouns were capitalized, and the earth was also written the Earthparticularly when referenced along with other heavenly bodies.
More recently, the name is sometimes simply given as Earthby analogy with the names of the other planetsthough earth and forms with the remain common. Another convention capitalizes "Earth" when appearing as a name for example, "Earth's atmosphere" but writes it in lowercase when preceded by the for example, "the atmosphere of the earth".
It almost always appears in lowercase in colloquial expressions such as "what on earth are you doing? There are a number of adjectives for the planet Earth. From Earth itself comes earthly. The oldest material found in the Solar System is dated to 4. In theory, a solar nebula partitions a volume out of a molecular cloud by gravitational collapse, which begins to spin and flatten into a circumstellar diskand then the planets grow out of that disk with the Sun.
A nebula contains gas, ice grains, and dust including primordial nuclides. According to nebular theoryplanetesimals formed by accretionwith the primordial Earth being estimated as likely taking anywhere from 70— million years to form. Estimates of the age of the Moon range from 4. Earth's atmosphere and oceans were formed by volcanic activity and outgassing.Deck cadet resume objective
As the molten outer layer of Earth cooled it formed the first solid crustwhich is thought to have been mafic in composition. The first continental crustwhich was more felsic in composition, formed by the partial melting of this mafic crust.It can also be termed the zone of life on Earth.
The biosphere is virtually a closed system with regards to matterwith minimal inputs and outputs. With regards to energyit is an open system, with photosynthesis capturing solar energy at a rate of around Terawatts.
The biosphere is postulated to have evolvedbeginning with a process of biopoiesis life created naturally from non-living matter, such as simple organic compounds or biogenesis life created from living matterat least some 3.
In a general sense, biospheres are any closed, self-regulating systems containing ecosystems. This includes artificial biospheres such as Biosphere 2 and BIOS-3and potentially ones on other planets or moons.
The term "biosphere" was coined by geologist Eduard Suess inwhich he defined as the place on Earth's surface where life dwells. While the concept has a geological origin, it is an indication of the effect of both Charles Darwin and Matthew F. Maury on the Earth sciences. The biosphere's ecological context comes from the s see Vladimir I.
Vernadskypreceding the introduction of the term " ecosystem " by Sir Arthur Tansley see ecology history. Vernadsky defined ecology as the science of the biosphere. It is an interdisciplinary concept for integrating astronomygeophysicsmeteorologybiogeographyevolutiongeologygeochemistryhydrology and, generally speaking, all life and Earth sciences.
Geochemists define the biosphere as being the total sum of living organisms the " biomass " or " biota " as referred to by biologists and ecologists. In this sense, the biosphere is but one of four separate components of the geochemical model, the other three being geospherehydrosphereand atmosphere. When these four component spheres are combined into one system, it is known as the Ecosphere. This term was coined during the s and encompasses both biological and physical components of the planet.
The Second International Conference on Closed Life Systems defined biospherics as the science and technology of analogs and models of Earth 's biosphere; i. The earliest evidence for life on Earth includes biogenic graphite found in 3.Presentation marking rubrics for elementary
Every part of the planet, from the polar ice caps to the equatorfeatures life of some kind. Recent advances in microbiology have demonstrated that microbes live deep beneath the Earth's terrestrial surface, and that the total mass of microbial life in so-called "uninhabitable zones" may, in biomassexceed all animal and plant life on the surface.Assignment of rents bankruptcy stay
The actual thickness of the biosphere on earth is difficult to measure. Herbivorous animals at these elevations depend on lichens, grasses, and herbs.
Temperature increases with increasing depth into the Earth's crust. The rate at which the temperature increases depends on many factors, including type of crust continental vs. Our biosphere is divided into a number of biomesinhabited by fairly similar flora and fauna. On land, biomes are separated primarily by latitude.
Terrestrial biomes lying within the Arctic and Antarctic Circles are relatively barren of plant and animal life, while most of the more populous biomes lie near the equator.By Rolando Y. Wee on April 25 in Environment. The term Geography is directly derived from a Greek term meaning "description of the earth".
There are many purported origins as to the word geography, though it likely came from the Greek word, geographiawhich is the source of the French word geographie and the Latin geographia as well. Today it is defined as the study of the topography, terrain, and atmosphere of the earth. This would include the rivers, lakes, oceans, mountains, and the lay of the land.
Glossary of geography terms
The study also includes people, land use and industries as in demography. There is much about geography that includes cartography but ancient texts and maps point to the fact that cartography preceded geography in the ancient world.
In Ancient GreeceEratosthenes is credited to have been the person who coined the word "geography. Thales the philosopher is credited with laying the foundation for the study of geography. But all these were preceded by the ancient Babylonians who made the first world maps in the 9th Century BC.
It further depicts seven islands around the same ocean. The Phoenicians, meanwhile, already had more extensive geographical knowledge due to their circumnavigation of the African continent. The Babylonians were the first cartographers but the Greeks were the first geographers. These were the men who science owes for their contribution to geography. Eratosthenes was the first to simplify the science of geography with his works on longitude and latitude.
The 12th Century geographer Al Idrisi made a map of North Africa and Eurasia that included the histories of the peoples and cultures in these areas. The 18th Century Prussian naturalist Alexander Humboldt wrote Kosmos, a book about geography and natural science. Another 18th Century scholar, the German Emmanuel Kant, was known for treating geography as an intellectual science. The 19th century saw Carl Ritter, also of Germanyas one of the most important geographers in history.
The 20th Century Italian Arnold Faustini also made his mark in geography, and one of the moon's craters was later named after in his honor. Geographic techniques are important tools that help in interpreting data that geographers need for their particular work. Cartography leads in this respect as it precedes geography in their respective discovery and development.
In BCE, early Polynesian sailors utilized shells and sticks to determine their boats' positions in the ocean. Polynesian navigation was about star movements, ocean waves speed and direction, sea and sky color, cloud clusters above islands, and wildlife flights being observed based on seasons. At present, satellites orbiting above the earth help navigators pinpoint their exact location and destination anywhere on the planet.
Other techniques involve sensors, satellite photographs, and computerized data information systems called Geographic Information Systems GIS. These are used by governments, institutions, and businesses. Geography careers in the 21st Century are represented in many exciting fields that offer careers in government, business, non-profit organizations, and education.
All these sectors offer standard to above standard remunerations that are competitive with other careers. The new information age GIScience courses offer basic and advanced geographic information systems, remote sensing, cartographic visualization, and spatial statistics.
The American Association of Geographers AAG website is a starting point in getting oriented with the field of geography. The website includes answers and links to those interested in a career in geography.
There are also Graduate Student Assistants programs, post-Doctoral programs, and internships in information assistance, each of which also helps in prospective geographers' professional development and career planning. What Is Ecological Succession? What Are Flightless Birds?
Are Marsupials Mammals? Where Do Rhinos Live? Where Do Orangutans Live?Latitude is a measurement on a globe or map of location north or south of the Equator. Technically, there are different kinds of latitude— geocentric, astronomical, and geographic or geodetic —but there are only minor differences between them. In most common references, geocentric latitude is implied. As aids to indicate different latitudinal positions on maps or globes, equidistant circles are plotted and drawn parallel to the Equator and each other; they are known as parallelsor parallels of latitude.
In contrast, geographic latitude, which is the kind used in mapping, is calculated using a slightly different process. Different methods are used to determine geographic latitude, as by taking angle-sights on certain polar stars or by measuring with a sextant the angle of the noon Sun above the horizon.
Geographic latitude is also given in degrees, minutes, and seconds. Longitude is a measurement of location east or west of the prime meridian at Greenwichthe specially designated imaginary north-south line that passes through both geographic poles and Greenwich, London.
As aids to locate longitudinal positions on a globe or map, meridians are plotted and drawn from pole to pole where they meet. The distance per degree of longitude at the Equator is about Latitude and longitude Article Media Additional Info. Print Cite. Facebook Twitter.What does earnest meaning
Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login. External Websites. National Geographic - Latitude. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree Perspective of the globe with grid formed by parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude.
Britannica Quiz. Even More Geography Fun Facts. Take this quiz and join Britannica on another fun journey! This cutaway drawing shows that the latitude and longitude of any place are based on the sizes of two angles that originate at the centre of the Earth.
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Subscribe today. As shown on the small-scale globe perspective, Washington, D. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. Portuguese seamen determined latitude by observing the elevation angle of the polestar—that is, the angle between its direction and the horizontal.
The noontime elevation angle reaches a maximum at all latitudes north of the Tropic of Cancer South of the Tropic of Capricorn Two or more maps can be overlaid and integrated for analysis—such as a relief map and a map of wells—even if they are compiled on different…. History at your fingertips.Visit GamCare, GambleAware or Gamblers Anonymous for more info. Below are the free tennis betting tips most tipped by matchstat. If many users are backing a player it can be a good indication to make your own bet.
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Geographic coordinate system
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