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Praxis 2 Social Studies (0081) Geography

Thematic Map

A type of map that displays one or more variables-such as population, or income level-within a specific area., shows climate, vegetation, natural resources, population density, economic activity, historical trends, movement, etc...

Topographic Map

Shows surface features of an area such as mountains, valleys, plains, and plateaus by using contour lines to show changes in elevation

Choropleth Map

A thematic map that uses tones or colors to represent data as average values per unit area. Makes quantity distinctions between items through color. Example: Number of hospital beds per 1,000 people by county in a state.

Dot Map

Maps where one dot represents a certain number of a phenomenon, such as a population.

Nile River

The world's longest river, which flows northward through East Africa into the Mediterranean Sea

Mekong River

A major river that runs from southern China through Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Euphrates River

A river in southwestern Asia that flows through the southern part of the Fertile Crescent, a river running through Sumer, Mespotamia, provided resources for the Mespotamians.

Yangtze River

The longest river of Asia, River found in China; 3rd longest river in the world (3915 miles long)

Mississippi River

A major North American river and the chief river of the United States, longest river in the U.S.

Amazon River

Major river of South America; located primarily in Brazil, largest river in the world

Trade Winds

Prevailing winds that blow northeast from 30 degrees north latitude to the equator and that blow southeast from 30 degrees south latitude to the equator

Jet Stream

Is a high-velocity wind in the lower levels of the atmosphere that attains speeds of over 250 miles per hour as it moves in a westerly direction, carrying weather patterns with it.

Gulf Stream

A warm ocean current that flows from the Gulf of Mexico northward through the Atlantic Ocean

El Nino

(Oceanography) a warm ocean current that flows along the equator from the date line and south off the coast of Ecuador at Christmas time.

Prevailing Winds

Winds that blow in the same direction over large areas of Earth.

Population Pyramid

A model used in population geography to show the age and sex distribution of a particular population.

Constrictive Pyramid

A population pyramid showing lower numbers or percentages of younger people. The country will have a greying population which means that people are generally older.

Expansive Pyramid

A triangular population pyramid that is broadest at the base, with each successive cohort smaller than the one below it. The pyramid shows that the population consists disproportionately of young people.

Stationary Pyramid

A population pyramid in which all cohorts (except the oldest) are roughly the same size.


Distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees. Has the greatest influence on climate.


Distance east or west on the earth's surface, measured in degrees from a certain meridian (line from the North to the South Pole).


The average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time.

Atmospheric Pressure

The pressure that is exerted by the Earth's atmosphere at sea level, which is caused by the collisions between molecules in the air.

Tropic of Cancer

a line of latitude about 23 degrees North of the equator

Ring of Fire

A major belt of volcanoes that rims the Pacific Ocean.

Coral Sea

Sea containing the Great Barrier Reef & located off the northeastern coast of Australia.

Agean Sea

A sea that seperates Greece from Asia Minor

Black Sea

Large body of water separating Ukraine from Turkey

Red Sea

A long arm of the Indian Ocean between northeast Africa and Arabia

Dead Sea

A landlocked salt lake between Israel and Jordan that is so salty that almost nothing can live in its waters; it is 1,349 feet below sea level, making it the lowest place on the exposed crust of the earth.

Growing Season

The average number of days between the last frost of spring and the first frost of fall. The most common measure of the length of this is the number of days with no frost.

Central-Place Hierarchy

Is a geographical theory that seeks to explain the number, size and location of human settlements in an urban system. The theory was created by the German geographer Walter Christaller, who asserted that settlements simply functioned as 'central places' providing services to surrounding areas.


Rainy season in southern Asia when the southwestern wind blows, bringing heavy rains. A season reversal of wind-direction that brings heavy rainfall to parts of Asia.

Diffusion Theory

The spread of ideas and technology through human contacts.


An Arctic territory in northern Canada created in 1999 and governed solely by the Inuit


A territory in northwestern Canada

Caspian Sea

A large saltwater lake between Iran and Russia fed by the Volga River, world's largest inland body of water located between Europe and Asia

Ural Mountains

Mountain rage that divides Europe from Asia.

Strait of Bosporus

Is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia.

Strait of Gibraltar

Narrow waterway that separates Europe from Africa by 8 miles

Danube River

The second-longest river of Europe. It flows from southern Germany east into the Black Sea.

Carpathian Mountains

A mountain range in central Europe that extends from Slovakia and southern Poland southeastward through western Ukraine to northeastern Romania.


The restoration of run-down urban areas by the middle class (resulting in the displacement of lower-income people).

Mekong River Valley

Wet-Farming techniques and tropical climate located in Eastern to South Eastern Asia

Amazon Basin

The home of the world's largest tropical rainforests, runs along the the largest river in the world on the continent of South America.

The Great Rift Valley

What is the name of the giant depression in East Africa that runs from Jordan to Mozambique, Long, deep gash in the earth in eastern Africa where the first humans appeared

Ozone depletion

Thinning of Earth's atmosphere layer caused by CFC's leaking into the air.

Global Warming

An increase in the average temperature of the earth's atmosphere (especially a sustained increase that causes climatic changes)

Great Irish Famine

The potatoe disease which caused 25 % of a population to leave their homeland, cause of Irish immigrants to the US

Population Push Movement

Circumstances or factors encouraging a person to leave their country or region. For example:War or other armed conflict, Famine or drought, Disease.

Human migration

Is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. The movement of populations in modern times has continued under the form of both voluntary migration within one's region, country, or beyond.

Population Pull Movement

Motives to migrate can be either incentives attracting people away, for example: Higher incomes, Lower taxes, Better weather, Better availability of employment.


A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment

The European Union

Is an economic and political union between 27 member countries, located primarily in Europe. Committed to regional integration, it has developed a single market through a standardized system of laws which apply in all member states, ensuring the free movement of people, goods, services, and capital. It maintains common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries, and regional development.

Natural Resource

Resources (actual and potential) supplied by nature

Renewable Resource

Any natural resource (as wood or solar energy) that can be replenished naturally with the passage of time

Non-Renewable Resource

A resource that cannot be reused or replaced easily (ex. gems, iron, copper, fossil fuels)

Suez Canal

A ship canal in northeastern Egypt linking the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea

Panama Canal

Ship canal cut across the isthmus of Panama by United States Army engineers; it opened in 1915. It greatly shortened the sea voyage between the east and west coasts of North America. The United States turned the canal over to Panama on Jan 1, 2000.

Map Projection

A mathematical method that involves transferring the earth's sphere onto a flat surface. This term can also be used to describe the type of map that results from the process of projecting. All map projections have distortions in either area, direction, distance, or shape.

Prime Meridian

Meridian at zero degree longitude from which east and west are reckoned (usually the Greenwich longitude in England)

International Date Line

An arc that for the most part follows 180° longitude, although it deviates in several places to avoid dividing land areas. When you cross this heading east (toward America), the clock moves back 24 hours, or one entire day. When you go west (toward Asia), the calendar moves ahead one day.

Volga River

The longest river in europe and Russia's most important commercial river.

Tropic of Capricorn

A line of latitude about 23 degrees South of the equator

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Located on great rift valley, africa's tallest mountain, 19,341 ft high

Cascade Mountains

A mountain range in the northwestern United States extending through Washington and Oregon and northern California.

Rocky Mountains

A major mountain system of the United states and Canada, extending 3,000 miles from Alaska south to New Mexico

Andes Mountains

The world's longest mountain chain, stretching along the west coast of South America.

Himalayan Mountains

Highest mountain range in the world, seperates India from China

Hindu Kush

Mountain range in Central Asia. It meets the Karakoram and Himalaya from the West to complete a wall of mountains between the subcontinet and the rest of Asia.

Karakoram Mountains

A mountain range in northern Kashmir the mountain region that includes many mountains like K2 and many villages like Korphe

Zagros Mountains

Mountains on the western side of Iran help isolate that country from the rest of Southwest Asia. The birthplace of agriculture located in northeastern Iraq.

Western Ghats

Rolling mountains west of the Deccan Plateau in Southern India.

Deccan Plateau

A high area of land at the center of the Indian subcontinent., it lies between the Adrian Sea and the Bay of Bengal and it is made of lava, which produces a rich black soil;it's bordered on the west and east by the East and Western Ghats Mts.

Bay of Bengal

A Bay that the Ganges River flows into, North of the Indian Ocean, On the eastern side of India, South of Tibet, West of China

Ganges River

A river of South Asia that flows southeast from the Himalayas to the Bay of Bengal., India's most important river, flows across northern India into Bangladesh, Hindus sacred river, they believe it is the "liquid form of God".

Gobi Desert

Located in north central China. 2nd largest desert in the world. extreme temperature. very dry and infertile. sand is called loess.

Sahara Desert

The world's largest desert (3,500,000 square miles) in northern Africa

Kalahari Desert

A desert in southwestern Africa - largely Botswana

Arabian Desert

A desert on the Arabian Peninsula in southwestern Asia

Patagonia Desert

Located in Southern Argentina and is the largest desert in the Americas

Thar Desert

India's longest desert that runs along India/Pakistan border

Takla Makan

A desert whose name means "those who enter do not come out", located in north western China.

Congo River

A river in Central Africa that flows into the Atlantic Ocean

Niger River

A river flowing from western Africa into the Gulf of Guinea

Brahmaputra River

River that begins in Tibet, flows through northeast India and Bangladesh, joining with the Ganges to empty into the Bay of Bengal.

Indus River

A river in South Asia that flows from the Himalayas to the Arabian Sea, primarily in Pakistan, fertile cresent.

Lake Victoria

The largest lake in Africa and the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the world

Lake Superior

The largest freshwater lake in the world, one of the great lakes hat is the border between US and Canada.

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