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50 terms

Basic Geographic terms

Just a bunch of geographic terms from a seventh grader's text book is all.
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absolute location
exact location of a place on the earth described by global coordinates
basin
area of land drained by a given river and its branches; area of land surrounded by lands of higher elevations
bay
part of a large body of water that extends into a shoreline, generally smaller than a gulf
canyon
deep and narrow valley with steep walls
cape
point of land that extends into a river, lake, or ocean
channel
wide strait or waterway between two landmasses that lie close to each other; deep part of a river or a waterway
cliff
steep, high wall of rock, earth, or ice
continent
one of the seven large landmasses on the earth
delta
flat, low-lying land built up from soil carried downstream by a river and deposited at its mouth
divide
stretch of high land that separates river systems
downstream
direction in which a river or stream flows from its source to its mouth
elevation
height of land above sea level
Equator
imaginary line that runs around the earth halfway between the North and South Poles; used as the starting point to measure degrees of north and south latitude
glacier
large, thick body of slowly moving ice
gulf
part of a large body of water that extends into a shoreline, generally larger and more deeply indented than a bay
harbor
a sheltered place along a shoreline where ships can anchor safely
highland
elevated land area such as a hill, mountain, or plateau
hill
elevated land with sloping sides and rounded summit, generally smaller than a mountain
island
land area, smaller than a continent, completely surrounded by water
isthmus
narrow stretch of land connecting two larger land areas
lake
a sizable inland body of water
latitude
distance north of south of the Equator, measured in degrees
longitude
distance east or west of the Prime Meridian, measured in degrees
lowland
land, usually level, at a low elevation drawing of the earth shown on a flat surface
map
drawing of the earth shown on a flat surface
meridian
one of many lines on the global grid running from the North Pole to the South Pole; used to measure degrees of longitude
mesa
broad, flat-topped landform with steep sides; smaller than a plateau
mountain
land with steep sides that rises sharply (1,000 feet of more) from surrounding land; generally larger and more rugged than a hill
mountain peak
pointed top of a mountain
mountain range
a series of connected mountains
mouth (of a river)
place where a stream or river flows into a larger body of water
ocean
one of the four major bodies of salt water that surrounds the continents
ocean current
stream of either cold or warm water that moves in a definite direction through an ocean
parallel
one of many lines on the global grid that circles the earth north or south of the equator; used to measure degrees of latitude
peninsula
body of land jutting into a lake or ocean, surrounded on three sides by water
physical feature
characteristic of a place occurring naturally, such as a landform, body of water, climate pattern, or resource
plain
area of level land, usually at low elevation and covered with grasses
plateau
area of flat or rolling land at a high elevation, about 30-3,000 feet high
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
relief
changes in elevation over a giver area of land
river
large natural stream of water that runs through the land
sea
large body of water completely or partly surrounded by land
seacoast
land lying next to a sea or an ocean
sound
broad inland body of water, often between a coastline and one or more islands off the coast
source (of a river)
place where a river or stream begins, often between a coastline and one or more islands off the coast
strait
narrow stretch of water joining two larger bodies of water
tributary
small river or stream that flows into a large river or stream; a branch of the river
upstream
direction opposite the flow of a river; toward the source of the river
valley
area of low land between hills or mountains
volcano
mountain created as liquid rock and ash erupt from inside the earth