33 terms

Geography: physical features vocabulary

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Basin
An area of land drained by a given river and its branches; an area of land surrounded by lands of higher elevations
Bay
The part of a large body of water that extends into a shoreline, generally smaller than a gulf
Canyon
A deep and narrow valley with steep walls
Cape
A point of land that extends into a river, lake or ocean
Channel
A wide strait or waterway between 2 landmasses that lie close to each other; deep part of a river or other waterway
Cliff
A step, high wall of rock, earth or ice
Continent
One of 7 large landmasses on the earth
Delta
A flat, low-lying land built up from soil carried downstream by a river and deposited at is mouth
Desert
A region of vegetation, either cold or hot, that receives ten inches or less of precipitation each year
Glacier
A 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
Hill
Elevated land with sloping sides and a rounded summit; generally smaller than a mountain
Island
A land area, smaller that a continent, completely surrounded by water
Isthmus
A narrow stretch of land connecting 2 larger land areas
Lake
A sizable inland body of water
Mesa
Broad, flat-topped landform with steep sides; smaller than a plateau
Mountain
Land with steep sides that rises sharply (1000 feet or more) from surrounding land; generally larger and more rugged than a hill
Mouth (of a river)
A place where a stream or river flows into a larger body of water
Ocean
One of the 4 major bodies of salt water that surround the continents
Peninsula
A body of land jutting into a lake or ocean, surrounded on 3 sides by water
Plain
An area of level land, usually at low elevation and often covered with grasses
Plateau
An area of flat or rolling land at a high elevation, about 300-3,000 feet high
Rain forest
A tropical dense evergreen woodland with an annual rainfall of 100 inches or more
River
A large, natural stream of water that runs through the land
Sea
A large body of water completely or partly surrounded by land
Sound
A broad, inland body of water, often between a coastline and one or more islands off the coast
Source (of a river)
A place where a river or stream begins, often in highlands
Strait
A narrow stretch of water joining 2 large bodies of water
Tributary
A small river or stream that flows into a large river or stream; a branch of the river
Tundra
A region of vegetation at high latitudes, high elevations, and characterized by cold temperatures and sparse vegetation
Valley
An area of low land between hills or mountains
Volcano
A mountain created as liquid rock and ash erupt from inside the earth