Landforms Vocabulary

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42 terms · Vocabulary words for the Science Unit on Landforms.

continent

one of the main landmasses on Earth, such as Africa, Asia, or North America

convection current

a series of circular motions that occur in substances when heating and cooling happen together

core

Earth's center, made up of a liquid outer core and a solid inner core

crust

the thin outer layer of Earth's surface

delta

an area of land formed by sediment at the mouth of a river

deposition

the act or process by which wind or water sets down sediment

dune

a mound of sand formed by the action of wind or water

earthquake

a sudden shaking of the ground due to plate movement

fossil

the remains or traces of a plant or animal that turned to stone over time

erosion

the gradual wearing away of rock or soil by water, wind, or ice

igneous rock

rock formed by the hardening of hot, molten magma

glacier

a large body of accumulated ice and compacted snow that is found year round and that slowly moves downhill

landmass

a large area of land, such as a continent

landform

a natural formation on Earth's surface, such as a valley, plateau, mountain, plain, hill, or glacier

island

an area of land, smaller than a continent, that is surrounded by water

mantle

the semi-solid layer of Earth that lies between the crust and the core

magma

melted, liquid rock beneath Earth's surface

levee

a ridge or raised area of land that prevents a river from overflowing

plate

a large sheet of rock that makes up part of Earth's crust

moraine

a pile of soil and rocks scraped up and deposited by a glacier as it recedes

metamorphic rock

rock formed by exposing igneous or sedimentary rock to extreme heat and pressure

sediment

particles of dirt and rock that are carried by water, wind, or ice and deposited elsewhere

rock cycle

the series of changes that rock undergoes as it shifts between different forms

plate tectonics

the theory that the plates of Earth's crust move due to the movement of magma in Earth's mantle

weathering

the process of wearing away or otherwise changing Earth's surface from exposure to natural forces

volcano

a place in Earth's crust where gases, ash, and lava spew onto the surface

sedimentary rock

rock formed when sediment is compacted

Boundary

The limit or border of an area or region

Cartographer

A person who makes maps

Contour interval

The distance in elevation between contour lines

Contour line

A line on a topographic map that connects points of
equal elevation

Delta

A fan-shaped (triangular) deposit of earth materials at a
mouth of a stream.

Deposition

The process by which eroded earth materials settle out
in another place

Flood

A very heavy flow of water, which is greater than the normal
flow of water and goes over the stream's normal channel

Flood plain

Land that is covered by water during a flood, formed
from sediments deposited by a river

Map

A representation, usually on a flat surface, of an area or the
features of an area

Model

A representation of an object or process.

Key

An explanation of symbols used on a map.

Slope

The angle or slant of a stream channel or land surface

Sediment

Tiny bits of rock, shell, dead plants, or other materials
transported and deposited by wind, rain, or ice

Structure

Something built by people, like a building.

Symbol

An object or picture that represents something else

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