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way of showing the earth on a flat surface

map key

explains the various symbols represented on a map


another word for map key

compass rose

a map symbol that points to the cardinal directions

cardinal directions

the 4 basic directions - North, South, East, West

intermediate directions

located between the cardinal directions - northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest

inset map

a smaller map that relates to the main map

political map

a tyhpe of map that shows how people have divided up places on the earth into countries, states, cities, and other units in order to govern them

physical map

a type of map that shows what the surface of the earth looks like

contour map

a type of map that shows the relief or changes in elevation over a given area

special purpose maps

thematic maps that show specific kinds of information on many different topids or themes

number of layers of the earth



center layer of the earth


the middle layer of the earth


the outer layer of the earth - very thin

plate tectonics

theory that the earths crust consists of plates that are huge slabs of rock that move


where two plates meet, their movement alongside one another causes these cracks in the earths crust


a controversial theory that the earths continents were once joined together into a super-continent and tectonic activity caused them to move apart


natural process that breaks up surface material into smaller pieces


the process of wearing away or moving weathered material on the earths surface

causes of erosion

water, ice, wind

How much of the earths surface is covered in water


How much water is fresh


water vapor

water in the form of a gas


the amount of water vapor in the air

what type of air holds more humidity



unpredictable changes in the air over a short period of time


usual, predictable pattern of weather in an area over a long period of time

what is the major factor in climate of a region

the angle of the suns rays

Tropic of Cancer

23.5 degrees N

Tropic of Capicorn

23.5 degrees S

what other major factors affect climate

wind currents, ocean currents, people


violent and sudden movement of the earths crust usually where 2 plates meet


fierce tropical storms with strong winds and heavy rains


what hurricanes are called in Asia


tremendous seasonal winds that can blow over a continent for months at a time


funnel shaped windstorms that reach extremely high speeds up to 250 mph

thunder storm

short storms including lightening, thunder, and heavy rain that develop when warm, moist air meets a cold air system


huge sea wave caused by an earthquake on the ocean floor

the 4 parts of physical geography

atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere


layer of air surrounding the earth.

three effects of air pollution

global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain


the earths hard outer shell - land areas


the first layer of soil that is very rich in nutrients


all the earths water


all the living things on the earth and the environments in which they live


a place where plants and animals are dependent upon one another and their surroundings for survival

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