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Physical Geography

Study of the physical elements of geography

Cultural Geography

Sometimes referre to as human geography


International system of measurement


solid, inorganic portion of Earth


gaseous envelope of air that surrounds Earth


comprises water in all its forms


subcomponent of hydrosphere; water frozen as snow and ice


encompasses all the parts of Earth where living organisims can exist

Plane of the Equator

halfway between the poles and perpendicular to the axis of rotation


plane intersects Earth's surface is the imaginary midline of Earth

Great Circle

where it intersects the surface of the sphere


grid system of Earth


description of location expressed as an angle north or south of the equator


a line connecting all points of the same latitude


slightly poleward of the tropics; 25-30 derees N and S


within a few degrees of the North or South Pole


angular description of east-west location


not parallel to one another except where they cross the equator

Plane of the Ecliptic

Earth around the Sun

Solar Altitude

the height of the Sun above the horizon

June Solstice

when Earth reaches the position in its orbit where the North Pole is directed towards the Sun

Tropic of Cancer

when the rays of the Sun at noon are striking perpendicular to the surface

Circle of Illumination

dividing line between the daylight half of Earth and nighttime half of Earth

Arctic Circle

the northern polar circle

Antarctic Circle

the southen polar circle

September Equinox

when the vertical rays of the Sun are striking the equator

December Solstice

reaches the position in its orbit where the North Pole is not directed from the Sun

Tropic of Capricorn

23.5 degrees south


Greenwich Mean Time


Universal Time Coordinated

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