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12 terms

Unit 2--Physical Processes and Characteristics

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plate tectonics
the term scientists use to describe the activities of continental drift and magma flow, which create many of Earth's physical features
continental drift
A hypothesis stating Earth's continents were once joined in a single landmass and gradually moved or drited apart.
erosion
wearing away of the Earth's surface by wind, flowing water, or glaciers
weathering
chemical or physical processes, such as freezing, that break down rocks
climate
weather patterns typical for an area over a long period of time
weather
condition of the atmosphere in one place during a short period of time
rotation
the spinning of earth on its axis. Rotation of the earth on its axis takes 24 hours and causes day and night.
revolution
the Earth's yearly trip around the sun, taking 365 1/4 days
precipitation
moisture that falls to the earth as rain, sleet, hail or snow
solstice
one of two days (about June 21 and December 22) on which the sun's rays strike directly on the Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn, marking the beginning of summer or winter (the longest and shortest days of the year)
equinox
one of two days (about March 21 and September 23) on which the sun is directly above the Equator, making day and night equal in length
rain shadow effect
result of a process by which dry areas develop on the leeward sides of mountain ranges