Physical Geography Terms

30 terms by wightvt

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archipelago

a group or chain of islands

basin

a natural depression in the surface of the land often with a lake at the bottom of it

canal

long and narrow strip of water made for boats or for irrigation

canyon

deep and narrow valley with steep walls

cape

a strip of land projecting into a body of water

reservoir

lake used to store water for community use

plateau

an area of high, flat land

delta

flat, low-lying land built up from soil carried downstream by a river and deposited at its mouth

mouth

the point where a stream or river issues into a larger body of water

prairie

large area of level or rolling land with grass but few or no trees

mesa

broad, flat-topped landform with steep sides; smaller than a plateau

reef

a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water

plain

area of level land, usually at low elevation and often covered with grasses

rain forest

dense forest that receives high amounts of rain each year

peninsula

land surrounded by water on three sides

oasis

a fertile tract in a desert (where the water table approaches the surface)

glacier

a large ice mass that moves slowly down a mountain or over land

gulf

an arm of a sea or ocean partly enclosed by land

isthmus

a relatively narrow strip of land (with water on both sides) connecting two larger land areas

savanna

a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions

steppe

Treeless plains, especially the high, flat expanses of northern Eurasia, which usually have little rain and are covered with coarse grass.

strait

a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water

tundra

a vast treeless plain in the arctic regions between the ice cap and the tree line

Tropic of Cancer

a line of latitude about 23 degrees North of the equator, the farthest point north where the sun is directly overhead at noon

Tropic of Capricorn

a line of latitude about 23 degrees South of the equator, the farthest point south where the sun is directly overhead at noon

Arctic Circle

Latitude 66.5 N, marking the southern boundary of that portion of the N. Hemisphere that receives a 24 hour period of sunlight once each year - occurs on June 22.

Antarctic Circle

Latitude 66.5 S, marking the northern boundary of that portion of the S. Hemisphere that receives a 24 hour period of sunlight once each year - occurs on December 22.

Prime Meridian

line of the global grid running from the North Pole to the South Pole through Greenwich, England; starting point for measuring degrees of east and west longitude

parallel

an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator

meridian

a line of longitude

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