274 terms

World Geography STAAR Review

absolute location
The location of a place represented by latitude and longitude.
relative location
The location of a place in comparison to another location.
bar scale
A line resembling a ruler used to measure distance.
The regions of the earth that contain living organisms.
A point of land that extends into a sea or lake.
A type of map that has a scale based on some statistic other than land area.
chemical weathering
This involves the change in the composition of rocks that results in weathering.
choropleth map
A map that uses differences in shading or coloring to indicate statistical ranges.
conformal map
A map projection that preserves correct shape
conic projection
A projection that shows lines of longitude as radiating straight lines and lines of
latitude as curved lines
convergent boundaries
Area where two tectonic plates move toward one another and collide
cylindrical projection
Projection that shows latitude and longitude as straight lines at right angles to each other
A triangular area of sediment deposited at the mouth of a river.
spatial diffusion
The process by which cultural elements spread from one area to another
The alteration of the shape of landmasses that occurs when map projections are created
divergent plate boundaries
Places where plates move away from each other.
equal area projection
Type of projection that preserves correct relative size
The process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, or wind
A break in the surface of the earth that occurs when tectonic plates move past each other
flood plain
A nearly flat area along the course of a stream or river that is naturally subject to flooding
formal region
A region that has some common characteristic (Also called a uniform region.)
functional region
A region that is tied together by movement or interaction
Geographic Information System (GIS)
Powerful software programs that layer geographic information.
Global Positioning System (GPS)
Satellites that provide precise location using signals
Great Circle Route
The shortest distance between any two places on the surface of the earth.
grid system
lines of latitude and longitude
International Date Line
An imaginary line following approximately the 180th degree of longitude. (Regions to the east are counted as one day earlier than regions to the west.
Another name for lines of longitude.
interrupted projection
Projection that maintains correct shape of landmasses by dividing oceans
A set of satellites that use sensors to gather data for images of the Earth's land surface
large scale map
Maps that cover smaller areas with greater detail
Imaginary lines that run east and west and measure distance north and south of
the equator.
Imaginary lines that run north and south and measure distance east and west of
the equator.
map projection
The process of depicting the round earth on a flat surface
mechanical weathering
The process of breaking rock into smaller and smaller pieces without changing its chemical structure
Mercator cylindrical projection
Map projection that greatly enlarges landmasses in the northern latitudes.
Another term for lines of longitude
mid-oceanic ridge
An underwater mountain range formed when tectonic plates diverge and magma rises.
Another name for lines of latitude
perceptual region
Also called a vernacular region. These are a reflection of people's mental maps
and as such are difficult to map.
pin dot map
A thematic map that uses points to represent an individual occurrence; Dr.
Snow's map and population maps are examples.
plane/polar/azimuthal projection
The projection created by placing an imaginary flat surface directly above or below a globe
plate tectonics
A theory that the earth's lithosphere is composed of several rigid pieces that float on the mantle. The resulting interaction of the plates creates landforms.
Prime Meridian
Zero degrees longitude.
ratio scale
A map scale that shows the relationship of a unit on a map to the same unit on the surface of the earth
remote sensing
The use of instruments mounted on satellites or in planes to produce images or "scenes" of the Earth's surface.
representative fraction
Map scale that represents the ratio as a fraction.
rift valley
Landform that results when two land plates separate.
Ring of Fire
Region of tectonic activity surrounding the Pacific Ocean
Robinson/Compromise Projection
Projections that contain elements of cylindrical, conic, and plane projections
small scale map
A map that shows a larger area without much detail
Process that occurs when one plate slides under another plate
the surface features of a place or region including mountains, hills, valleys, streams, and lakes
isoline map
Maps that have lines connecting points of equal value (such as elevation)
transform boundary
Plate boundaries that are sliding past each other resulting in a fault
a break in the earth's crust through which molten lava and gases erupt
Antarctic Circle
The imaginary line that circles the South Pole and receives 24 hours of darkness on the June solstice
Arctic Circle
Imaginary line located at 66 1/2 degrees north; Points north of this line receive 24
hours of sunlight on the June solstice.
Autumnal Equinox
Occurs on or about September 22 when all parts of the Earth receive 12 hours of
daylight and 12 hours of night.
A large area on the Earth's surface that is defined by the types of animals and plants that live there
Generally prevailing weather conditions of a region
A graphical representation of monthly average temperature and precipitation at a certain location
The process of water vapor being turned to water as air temperature cools.
The tendency of inland areas to experience more temperature variation than areas close to water
The upward movement of heat in masses of air; A body of air which is warmer will rise because if is less heavy
convectional precipitation
The formation of precipitation due to surface heating of the air at the ground surface
Coriolis Effect
The force produced by the turning of the Earth in space, which tends to bend the path of moving objects to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere.
El Nino
A warm ocean current that flows along the coast of Peru every seven to fourteen years
0 degrees latitude
frontal precipitation
Type of precipitation that occurs when a warm and cold air mass come together
high pressure zones
Found at 30 degrees north and south (where arid and semiarid climates prevail).
highland climate
Cool to cold climates found in mountains and on high plateaus. The climate changes as altitude changes.
humid continental climate
Climate found in the northeastern part of the United States--typified by large seasonal temperature differences with warm to hot summers.
humid subtropical climate
Climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters.
La Nina
The cooling of waters off the coast of South America.
The direction from which the wind blows--the wetter side of a mountain because of orographic precipitation
The side of a mountain away from the wind--it is drier because it is in the rain shadow.
low latitudes
The areas of the earth from 0 degrees to 30 degrees latitude
low pressure zones
Created when warm air rises (as occurs in equatorial regions).
marine west coast climate
climate zone influenced by oceans, found on west coast of continents in upper middle latitudes. Characterized by mild temperatures with winters that are foggy, cloudy, and rainy.
Mediterranean climate
climate found across Southern Europe; it features warm and sunny summer days, mild evenings, and cooler, rainy winters
middle latitudes
Latitude zone found between 30 degrees and 60 degrees on either side of the equator
orographic precipitation
Type of precipitation that occurs when winds force warm, moist air up the side of a mountain
rain shadow
The dry area opposite the windward side of a mountain;
One trip of the earth around the sun that occurs in 365 days
One turn of the earth on its axis (responsible for day and night)
Vegetation zone with a rolling grassland scattered with shrubs and isolated trees--found between tropical rain forests and desert biomes
Instrument used to measure earthquake activity
Climate zone that transitions between arid and tropical climates.
Temperate grassland of Eurasia consisting of level, generally treeless plains
storm surge
The rise of water beyond what would be expected by the normal movement due to tides
June solstice
Occurs when the direct rays of the sun fall along the Tropic of Cancer.
tornado alley
Area within the United States where tornadoes are most frequent
trade winds
A wind blowing steadily toward the equator from the northeast in the northern hemisphere or the southeast in the southern hemisphere
Tropic of Cancer
The circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the northernmost point where the direct rays of the sun fall
Tropic of Capricorn
Line of latitude that marks the farthest point south at which the sun can be seen directly overhead
tropical wet
Humid climate zones found in low pressure zones along the equator
tropical wet and dry
climate zone that is hot all year with rainy and dry seasons; transition between humid tropical and arid climates
A long high sea wave caused by an underwater earthquake
Atmospheric conditions at a given time and place
Prevailing winds in the middle latitudes that blow from west to east.
winter solstice
When the direct rays of the sun fall along the Tropic of Capricorn. The longest day of the year in the Southern Hemisphere
baby boom generation
The age cohorts that reflect the increased birth rate that occurred after World War II
changes to the social patterns and culture traits of one group as it comes into contact with a more dominant culture
belief that objects, such as plants and stones, or natural events, like thunderstorms and earthquakes, have a spirit and conscious life
process by which people of one culture merge into and become part of another culture
birth rate
the number of babies born per 1,000 people during one year
religion that originated in northern India and spread to East Asia where it is still strong
carrying capacity
The maximum population of any species that an environment can sustain indefinitely
The blended language that evolves from a pidgin language
Family groups within a tribe
The total of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors shared by and passed on by members of a group
culture hearth
The place of origin of a major culture
culture realm
The broadest regional classification; Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa are examples
culture trait
A single cultural practice, such as eating with chopsticks or shaking hands
Demographic Transition Model
The model of population growth that shows the relationship between population growth and levels of development
The statistical study of human populations
The act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another
factors of fertility
...economic development, educating females, and reducing the infant mortality rate are all examples of...
fertility rate
The average number of children a woman of childbearing years will have in her lifetime at the current rate for her country.
Replacement TFR
The act of coming to live in a country
Language family of half the world's population, including speakers of Germanic and Romance languages
Taking existing cultural elements and creating something new to meet a need
Line that represents exponential growth, as that occurring in human populations during most of the last century.
lingua franca
A second language used for communication between communities.
A metropolitan area with a total population of more than 10 million people
A simplified blended language used in the marketplace.
popular culture
Cultural traits such as dress, diet and music that identify and are part of today's changeable, urban-based, media-influenced western societies
folk culture
Culture traditionally practiced by a small, homogeneous, rural group living in relative isolation from other groups.
population pyramid
A model used in population geography to show the age and sex distribution of a particular population
push factors
negative conditions and perceptions that induce people to leave their adobe and migrate to a new location
pull factors
a factor that draws or attracts people to another location
rate of natural increase
birth rate minus the death rate, suggesting the annual rate of population growth without considering net migration
Leveling off of an exponential, J-shaped curve when population growth rates begin to slow
The doctrines of a monotheistic religion founded in the Punjab area of northern India in the 16th century by Guru Nanak and combining elements of Hinduism
and Islam
standard language
The form of a language used for official government business, education, and mass communications.
The study of the origins and meaning of place-names
Cultural borrowing that occurs when different cultures of approximately equal complexity and technological level come into close contact
Any system of social organization made up of villages, bands, or other groups with a common ancestry, language, culture, and name
ethnic religions
Religions that are identified with a particular group that does not seek new converts
universalizing religions
Religions that actively seek converts because they view themselves as offering belief systems of universal appropriateness and appeal
The first major monotheistic religion. It is based on a sense of ethnic identity, and its adherents tend to form tight-knit communities wherever they live.
A religion and philosophy developed in ancient India, characterized by a belief in reincarnation and a supreme being who takes many forms.
a monotheistic system of beliefs and practices based on the Old Testament and the teachings of Jesus as embodied in the New Testament and emphasizing the role of Jesus as savior
A religion based on the teachings of the prophet Mohammed which stresses belief in one god (Allah), Paradise and Hell, and a body of law written in the Koran. Followers are called Muslims.
a world religion or philosophy based on the teaching of Siddhartha Gautama and holding that a state of enlightenment can be attained by suppressing worldly desire
A Japanese religion whose followers believe that all things in the natural world are filled with divine spirits
artificial boundaries
a political boundary that does not follow physical features
barter system
an economic system in which goods or services are traded without the exchange of money
an economic system based on the profit motive, private property and free enterprise
centrifugal forces
forces that divide a state - internal religious, political, economic, linguistic, or ethnic differences
centripetal forces
forces that tend to unite or bind a country together
command economy
a system in which the central government makes all economic decisions
commercial agriculture
Type of economic activity in which crops and animals are produced for the market; Usually characterized by use of advanced technology and large farms
a political system characterized by a centrally planned economy with all economic and political power resting in the hands of the central government
Concentric Zone Model
A structural model of the American central city that suggests the existence of five concentric land-use rings arranged around a common center.
cycle of poverty
Term for the self-reinforcing challenges make it difficult for the poorest countries in the world to develop economically.
demand economy
production of goods and services is determined by decisions made in the marketplace
free market economy
Capitalism, private ownership law of supply and demand
A small settlement (smaller than a village) that provides a few goods and services to those living nearby
Surrounding area served by an urban center. That center is the focus of goods and services produced for its hinterland and it is the dominant urban influence as well.
Human Development Index
Measure used by the United Nations to calculate development using three indicators: life expectancy, education, and income
the basic support systems needed to keep an economy going, including power, communications, transportation, water, sanitation, and education systems
a region in which several large cities and surrounding areas grow together
metropolitan area
a functional region that includes a city and its surrounding suburbs and exurbs that are economically linked
multiple nuclei model
A representation of urban structure based on the idea that the functional areas (land use) of cities develop around various points rather than just one in
the Central Business District
a tightly knit group of people with bonds of language, ethnicity, religion, and other shared cultural attributes
A country and a group of people that share a common culture and identity (Japan or Poland are examples.)
natural boundaries
Boundaries that follow a physical feature
per capita GDP
The total value of all goods and services produced in an economy in a given year divided by the population.
per capita GNP
divides the total market value of all goods and services produced by the population of the country
primary economic activities
Economic activities that involve the extraction of natural resources
primate city
the largest city in a country, disproportionately larger than any others in the urban hierarchy.(ie: Mexico City, London, Paris, Seoul)
quaternary economic activity
Economic activities that involve the collection, processing, and manipulation of information and capital (finance, administration, insurance, legal services)
secondary economic activity
economic activities concerned with the processing of raw materials such as manufacturing, construction, and power generation
sector model
A model or urban land use that places the central business district in the middle with wedge-shaped sectors radiating outwards from the center along transportation corridors.
a social and political philosophy based on the belief that democratic means should be used to evenly distribute wealth throughout a society
The same thing as a country
stateless nation
An ethnic group that does not have its own country
(Palestinians, Kurds, Roma)
subsistence agriculture
Agriculture designed primarily to provide food for direct consumption by the farmer and the farmer's family
tertiary economic activities
The economic sector that provides services to other sectors of the economy
government run by religious leaders
traditional economy
economic system that relies on habit, custom, or ritual to decide questions of production and consumption of goods and services
urban hierarchy
a ranking of settlements according to their size and economic functions
zone in transition
area of mixed commercial and residential land uses surrounding the CBD; mixture of growth, change, and decline
air conditioning
innovation that made it possible for the southern part of the United States to grow economically during the last half of the 20th century
al Qaeda
the terrorist group, led by Osama bin Laden, which was responsible for
planning and carrying out several terrorist attacks against the United States - most notably the 9/11 attacks
Canadian Shield
Colombian Exchange
The exchange of plants, animals, diseases, and technologies between the Americas and the rest of the world following Columbus's voyages
continental divide
mountain ridge that separates river systems flowing toward opposite sides of a continent
The crop that is grown predominantly on the high plains.
Process by which companies move manufacturing jobs to other regions with heaper labor leaving an area that must adjust to the loss of jobs
Edge City
A large node of office and retail activities on the outskirts of an urban area; A suburb with its own employment base
fall line
a boundary in the eastern United States where the higher land of the Piedmont drops to the lower Atlantic coastal plain, marked by waterfalls and rapids
federal system
a government that divides the powers of government between the national government and state or provincial governments
First Nations
The name taken by indigenous people in Canada to strengthen the fact that they are distinct ethnicities and therefore should have the right to govern their own territories.
free enterprise
The freedom of private businesses to operate competitively for profit with minimal government regulation
the restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class (resulting in the displacement of lower-income people)
Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the party in power
Grand Banks
The rich fishing area in the Atlantic Ocean near Newfoundland
humid continental
Climate zone with four distinct seasons, found in Middle/Upper East coasts and the interior of large landmasses
negative correlation
the relationship between two variables in which one variable increases as the other variable decreases
orographic effect
the precipitation that occurs when moist air rises up the sides of a mountain. as the air rises, it cools down and releases most of its moisture as rain or snow
parliamentary system
A system of government in which the legislature selects the prime
minister or president.
the plateau between the coastal plain and the Appalachian Mountains: parts of Virginia and North and South Carolina and Georgia and Alabama
positive correlation
A correlation where as one variable increases, the other also increases, or as one decreases so does the other. Both variables move in the same direction.
postindustrial economy
an economic phase in which manufacturing no longer plays a dominant role
the process of reallocating seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years on the basis of the census
representative democracy
Government in which the people elect those who govern and pass laws; also called a republic.
rust belt
The manufacturing region in the United States that is experiencing a period of decline as many manufacturing firms are relocated to countries that have cheaper labor and fewer environmental regulations
smart growth
legislation and regulations to limit suburban sprawl and preserve farmland.
St. Lawrence Seaway
A system of rivers, locks and canals that connect the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean
the process of population movement from within towns and cities to the fringes of the metropolitan area
in a canal, an enclosure with gates at each end used in raising or lowering boats as they pass from level to level
sustainable communities
a community where residents can live and work in harmony with the environment.
A periodic and official count of a country's population; In the United States this occurs in every year ending in a 0.
The Dust Bowl
A series of major sandstorms that buried houses, destroyed farmland and killed livestock in the Great Plains in the 1930's
The Great Migration
The migration of thousands of African-Americans from the South to the North; African Americans were looking to escape the problems of racism in the South and felt they could seek out better jobs and an overall better life in the North.
The Sunbelt
area from Florida to California were the warmer climate, lower taxes, and economic opportunities which attracted many (after the development of air conditioning)
urban sprawl
the unplanned and uncontrolled growth of cities into surrounding areas
The high plateau of the Andes found in Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina.
Capital city of Brazil--moved to this more central location from Rio de
Janiero in 1960.
A style of music that began in Trinidad and combines musical elements from Africa, Spain, and the Caribbean
A martial art and dance that developed in Brazil from African traditions
Colorful feast day in Brazil--occurs just before Lent. (Our equivalent is Mardi Gras.)
A Latin American military dictator or political boss
Central America
The countries located between Mexico and South America make up this culture region.
Savanna area found in the interior of Brazil; The government is encouraging people to move there for the purpose of developing the land.
On the political spectrum--a person who will work within the system to maintain the status quo
In the colonial era, a person of Spanish blood born in the New World
dirty wars
Term applied to the use of military force against a section of its own population--marked by the use of kidnapping and torture.
Biofuel widely used in Brazil. (In Brazil it is sugarcane-based.)
Self-constructed settlements located on the outskirts of Brazilian cities.
forward capital
A capital city that is located in a geographically or demographically peripheral location for economic or strategic reasons. (Brasilia, Islamabad, Yamoussoukro.)
Greater Antilles
The larger islands of the Caribbean--Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Puerto Rico
Guiana Highlands
Highland area located in the northeast section of South America.
Humboldt Current
A cold ocean current that flows north along the coasts of Chile and Peru
Ancient empire located in the Andes Mountains.
Machu Picchu
Sacred space for the Inca Indians
A government run by generals after a military takeover.
Side of the political spectrum that favors a change
On the political spectrum--a person who will work within the system to bring change
Grassy, treeless plains found in Colombia and Venezuela--used for livestock grazing and farming.
Export processing (assembly) plants located close to the U.S.-Mexican border.
Free trade organization that includes Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay
A person of mixed Europeans and Native American heritage
Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo
Organization of bereaved Argentine women whose children "disappeared" during the dirty wars of the military dictatorship.
A person of mixed African, European, and Native American heritage
Agreement to tear down trade barriers among Canada, the United States, and Mexico
A government run by a few persons or a small group.
Grasslands of rich soil found in Argentina and Uruguay. The main products are cattle and wheat grain
Political party that came to power in Mexico in 2000 after many decades of control by PRI
Dry plateau region found in southern Argentina.
In the colonial era, a person born in Spain and residing in the New World
Political party that controlled Mexico for much of the 20th Century
On the political spectrum, a person who would resort to violence to bring change
On the political spectrum--a person who would resort to violence to maintain the status quo or return to earlier times
A style of music that developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s and is rooted in African, Caribbean, and American music--often dealing with social problems and religion.
Money sent home by a foreign worker to his or her home country.
Side of the political spectrum that wants to stay the same or go back to the way things used to be.
Rio de la Plata
Estuary found where the Parana and Uruguay rivers meet the Atlantic Ocean.
A partly enclosed coastal body of water where freshwater from rivers and streams meets and mixes with salt water from the ocean. (Chesapeake Bay, the Rio de la Plata)
Brazilian dance with African influences; Carnival is a competition of rival dance schools.
Capital of ancient Aztec empire--where Mexico City is located today.
Where in Latin America would you find the steel drums being played.
Hollow Core
Dry interior region of northern Mexico.
Southern Cone
Most developed region of Latin America.
West Indies
Region made up of The Greater Antilles, The Lesser Antilles, and the Bahamas.
Treaty of Tordesillas
1494 agreement that divided New World lands between Spain and Portugal.
vertical climate zones
As elevation increases in the Andes Mountains, climate and vegetation zones change. Agricultural products vary by elevation.
Ancient civilization centered on the Yucatan Peninsula.
Greater Serbia
term for the state that Serb nationalists wanted to establish when they were all united
Known as the "Land if Fire and Ice" because glaciers and volcanoes exist side by side