149 terms

Land and Water Forms

Information for final Quiz on land forms and waterforms
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Alluvial fan
land formation that occurs when sedimentary materials such as rocks, gravel, and silt, are deposited onto land as a result of decreasing or stopped water flow from a river or stream source.
Altitude (elevation)
the height above sea level
Anabranch
a flowing part of the river that is separated, usually by an island, and rejoins back down stream.
Archipelago
a group of many islands.
Arête
a group sharp ridges of rocks on mountain tops usually caused by melting glaciers.
Aseismic Ridge
Chain of seamounts under the ocean created by a hotspot under the Earth's crust
Arroyo
a creek that is sometimes dry during the year from not having a constant water source such as rain.
Badlands
barren, battered and eroded land from water and shaped with the help of wearing and wind-driven sand and rain.
Barchan
is a sand dune that crescent-shape that faces the wind. The convex shape is formed by the constant blow of wind in one direction.
Barrier Island
an island or group of island, usually in the ocean, that protects the nearby mainland coast from erosion.
Basin
An area of land largely enclosed by higher land.
Bay
part of a body of salt water that reaches into the land; usually smaller than a gulf
Bayou
A slow moving body of water in a low lying area, usually near the coast, with swamp or marshland in some portions of the shoreline.
Beach
A sloping shoreline consisting of sand, gravel, soil or other sediment.
Beach Cusps
Beach formation in the form of an arc with a cusp or point at each end
Beach Ridge
Elevated formation of sand or other beach material running parallel to a shoreline
Bight
A curve like a bay landform that that has less curve than a bay.
Bluff
a cliff looking over a body of water or plain.
Bornhardt
a rock formation with steep or vertical sides and a round or dome-shaped top usually with little or no vegetation.
branch (tributary)
a river or stream that flows into a larger river or stream
Blowhole
a hole connected to a cave that is attached to a water system that builds up pressure through waves, current or wind. When the pressure is great enough, water is release, usually in a spouting manner.
Blowout
A depression or a major loss in vegetation in the ground where the wind has blown away sand or topsoil.
Braided River
A river that has three or move channels that come back together or drain into the same body of water.
Butte
A rock formation with vertical or nearly vertical sides that is flat on top and taller than it is wide
Canal
a man-made waterway connecting two bodies of water and is designed to shorten travel time or irrigate
Canyon
narrow valley with steep sides; usually created by erosion
Cape
a curved or hooked piece of land extending into a body of water
Cave
a hallow space in the ground or mountain with an opening to enter.
Cenote
a collapsed are, usually limestone, with exposed water.
Channel
a narrow deep waterway connecting two larger bodies of water; the deepest part of the waterway.
Climate
the pattern of weather conditions (temperature, precipitation) over a long period of time
Cliff
A high, steep slope of rock or soil
Coast
land along the sea or ocean
Confluence
Two or more bodies of water meet and their waters mix.
Continent
one of the seven largest bodies of land on earth
Continental shelf
plateau of land surface into the ocean but underwater extending from a continent.
Cove
a small bay with a restricted entrance.
Crater Lake
is a crater or caldera filled with water caused by a volcano eruption or meteor impact.
Crevasse
is a large crack in a glacier that can be seen from the surface.
Cuspate Foreland
a triangular extension from the coast
Cuesta
a gentle ground slope with a cliff.
Current
the flow of a stream of water
Dam
a wall built across a stream or river to hold back water
Dell
a valley with trees.
Delta
land built up by deposits of sand and silt at the mouth of some rivers
Dirt Cone
Done shape deposit of dirt caused by a glacier.
Desert
dry, barren region usually sandy and without trees, little rainfall or practical use of land unless irrigated
Divide
the highest ridge of land separating river basins
Dome
Oval or round land formation that is elevated from the surrounding areas.
Downstream
the direction of a river's flow; toward the mouth of the river
Drainage Basin
All the water in the river exiting at a point usually into another water system like the ocean, lake or another river.
Dry Lake
a lake that is dry all year or most of the year with the dry layer being mud or salt.
Dune
a pile of sand created by wind or waves (underwater dunes)
Erg
a group of sand dunes usually found in a desert.
Estuary
where a river runs into the ocean or other types of salt water.
Escarpment
The edge of a cliff with a steep slope
Fault
a fracture in the rocks along which there has been movement
fjord
a narrow inlet of the sea between high banks or cliffs created by glaciers
Flats or flat
a floodplain or former floodplain that has a flat ground surface.
Floodplain
a flat are of land around a river that floods when the river gets high.
Forest
a large tract of land covered with trees and underbrush; extensive wooded area
Fork
The place where a stream or tributary joins a river
Geo
a narrow inlet in a cliff usually caused by waves or glaciers.
Geyser
An opening in the ground that ejects hot water and steam due to volcanic activity.
Glacier
a large body of slow moving ice which alters the land around it through displacement
Glacier Caves
A cave at the bottom of a glacier.
Glen
a long and deep valley usually with steep sides. See also dale and valley.
Gully
a channel cut in the hillside or mountainside from
Gulf
part of a sea or ocean that reaches into land; usually larger than a bay.
Gorge
a deep valley with steep rocks on each side. Also referred to as a valley or canyon.
Graben
a ground depression between two faults.
Guyot
is a flat top seamount that is or once had volcanic activity.
Hanging Valley
A valley that is above another valley usually separated by a cliff.
Harbor
a sheltered area of water where ships may anchor safely
Headland
a large area of land extending into a large area of water
hemisphere
half of the earth usually referred to as eastern or western; northern or southern
highland
an area of hills, plateaus, and mountains
hill
a raised part of the earth's surface with sloping sides; old mountain which because of erosion has become rounder and shorter
Hogback
an exposed rock range caused by erosion
Hoodoo
A irregular shaped rock formation that is tall and pillar-like
Iceberg
a large mass of floating ice that has broken off from a glacier, most of this is underwater
Inlet
a small part of a body of water that reaches into a coast
Island
an are of land completely surrounded by water
Islet
A island, usually all rock with little vegetation, that is uninhabitable.
isthmus
narrow strip of land with water on both sides connecting two larger pieces of land.
Karst
A soluble rock landscape shaped through erosion
lake
a large body of water surrounded by land
Latitude
imaginary lines on a globe or map used to measure distance from the equator; parallel lines running east and west
Lava Dome
a rise in the ground or volcano caused by lava going through vents in the earth.
Lava Field
area of land covered by lava flow.
Lava Lake
molten lava in a crater or vent. (Like a lake filled with lava)
Lava Spine
vertical flowing lava that grows, usually in a sharp tower like shape.
Lava Tube
a sold cave tube caused by lava
Longitude
imaginary lines on a globe or map used to measure distance from the Prime Meridian; lines running from pole to pole.
Lowland
an area of low and usually level land
Marsh
a wetland with grasses and little or no trees
Meander
a major bend in a river or stream
Mesa
a land formation having a relatively flat top and steep rock walls
Moraine
deposits of rock and sediment left from a former or receding glacier
Mountain
high, rocky land, usually with steep sides and a pointed or rounded top, higher than a hill
Mountain Pass
the highest point in a mountain range that is passable by foot.
Mountain Range
a long chain of mountains; a row of connected mountains
Mouth (of a river)
place where a river empties into a larger body of water; the end of a river
Mud Volcano
geothermal heated mud that bubbles like lava in a volcano.
Natural Arch
rock that forms together with a natural rock bridge usually caused by erosion.
Nunatak
Rocks coming from a glacier
Oasis
a fertile place in the desert where there is water and some vegetation
ocean
largest body of salt water; these cover 3/4 of the earth's surface.
Ocean Range or Mid-Ocean Range
two separating underwater tectonic plates separating with magma expelling creating mountain ranges.
Oceanic Basin
All the land in each specific ocean.
Oceanic Plateau
an elevated area of the seafloor that is higher than the surrounding area.
Oxbow Lake
a former meander of a river that has separated into a curved lake.
Peninsula
piece of land that extends into a body of water and is surrounded on three sides by water.
Pit Crater
a hole or crater with steep sides caused by volcanic activity.
Plain
a broad, flat or gently rolling area; usually low in elevation.
Plateau
flat highland area with one steep face; elevated plain.
Plunge Pool
a deep area of water under the waterfall.
Pond
a small body of water surrounded by land.
Port
man-made place along the coastline where ships can load and unload cargo; not a natural harbor.
Pothole
A hole in an exposed layer of rock that created by a river's flowing water.
Prairie
a large plains region with tall grass.
Proglacial Lake
a freshwater lake that forms behind a glacier.
Pyramidal Peak
Is where two or more arêtes meet and form a pyramid shape on top of a mountain.
Raised Beach
an area of land above the shore that is higher than high tide.
Rapids
a part of a river, generally shallow, where the currents move swiftly over rocks.
Ravine
a smaller form of a valley with steep sides.
Reef
a ridge of rock or sand at or near the surface of the water.
Reservoir
a lake where water is collected and stored for future use.
Ria
a valley that flows into a coastline's water and gets submerged.
Riffle
a shallow area of a river, lake or stream that has ripples caused usually by a rocky surface.
Rift Valley
two separating tectonic plates forming a valley by the land falling.
River
a large stream of water flowing through the land into a lake, ocean, or other body of water.
River Delta
a branching river extending into another body of water.
River Island
an island in a river.
Sea
a large body of water, usually salt water, partly or completely surrounded by land.
Sound
a wide channel connecting two bodies of water or an inlet between the mainland and islands
Source (of a river)
the place where a river or stream begins.
Strait
a narrow waterway connecting two larger bodies of water.
Sandbar
an area of sand or sentiment that has been collecting and rises above or just below the water.
Sinkhole
Collapsed limestone or other softrock that forms a hole on the earth's surface.
Swamp
an area of land that is always soaked with water; low, wet land that supports grass and trees.
Terrace
a flat area of land like a step on landforms like a mountain, valley or beach.
Tide
the regular rising and falling of the water of the oceans and waters connected to the ocean.
Upstream
the direction toward a river's source; opposite to the rivers' flow.
Valley
low land between hills or mountains.
Volcano
a cone shaped mountain formed out of rock or ash thrown up from inside the arth, frequently with an opening or depression at the top.
Waterfall
place where running water makes a sheer drop, usually over a cliff.
Stream
a small, narrow river
Cataract
a descent of water over a steep surface; a waterfall,