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30 terms

Physical Geography Terms

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archipelago
a group or chain of islands
basin
a natural depression in the surface of the land often with a lake at the bottom of it
canal
long and narrow strip of water made for boats or for irrigation
canyon
deep and narrow valley with steep walls
cape
a strip of land projecting into a body of water
reservoir
lake used to store water for community use
plateau
an area of high, flat land
delta
flat, low-lying land built up from soil carried downstream by a river and deposited at its mouth
mouth
the point where a stream or river issues into a larger body of water
prairie
large area of level or rolling land with grass but few or no trees
mesa
broad, flat-topped landform with steep sides; smaller than a plateau
reef
a submerged ridge of rock or coral near the surface of the water
plain
area of level land, usually at low elevation and often covered with grasses
rain forest
dense forest that receives high amounts of rain each year
peninsula
land surrounded by water on three sides
oasis
a fertile tract in a desert (where the water table approaches the surface)
glacier
a large ice mass that moves slowly down a mountain or over land
gulf
an arm of a sea or ocean partly enclosed by land
isthmus
a relatively narrow strip of land (with water on both sides) connecting two larger land areas
savanna
a flat grassland in tropical or subtropical regions
steppe
Treeless plains, especially the high, flat expanses of northern Eurasia, which usually have little rain and are covered with coarse grass.
strait
a narrow channel of the sea joining two larger bodies of water
tundra
a vast treeless plain in the arctic regions between the ice cap and the tree line
Tropic of Cancer
a line of latitude about 23 degrees North of the equator, the farthest point north where the sun is directly overhead at noon
Tropic of Capricorn
a line of latitude about 23 degrees South of the equator, the farthest point south where the sun is directly overhead at noon
Arctic Circle
Latitude 66.5 N, marking the southern boundary of that portion of the N. Hemisphere that receives a 24 hour period of sunlight once each year - occurs on June 22.
Antarctic Circle
Latitude 66.5 S, marking the northern boundary of that portion of the S. Hemisphere that receives a 24 hour period of sunlight once each year - occurs on December 22.
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
parallel
an imaginary line around the Earth parallel to the equator
meridian
a line of longitude