Glossary of A Living Planet (Geography)

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landmass above the Earth
solar system
consists of the sun and nine known planets as well as other celestial bodies
the earth’s center made up the iron and nickel; the inner core is solid and the outer core is liquid
a rock layer about 1800 miles thick that is between the crust and the core
the molten rock material formed when solid rock in the mantle or crust melts
thin layer making up the earth’s surface
the layers of gases immediately surrounding the earth
solid rock portion of the earth’s surface that includes the crust and uppermost mantle
the waters comprising the earth’s surface, including oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, vapor and in the atmosphere
all the parts of the earth where plants and animals live, including the atmosphere, the lithosphere, and the hydrosphere
continental drift
the hypothesis that all continents were once joined into a supercontinent that split apart over millions of years
hydrologic cycle
the continuous cycle of water among the atmosphere, the oceans, and the earth
drainage basin
an area drained by a major river and its tributaries
ground water
the water held under the earth's surface, orten in and around the pores of rock
water table
the level at which rock is saturated
naturally formed feature on the surface of the earth
continental shelf
the earth's surface from the edge of a continent to the deep part of the ocean
the difference in elevation of a landform from the lowest point to the highest point
the combined characteristics of landforms and their distribution in a region
tectonic plate
an enormous moving shelf that forms the earth's crust
a fracture in the earth's crust
a sometimes violent movement of the earth, produced when tectonie plates grind or slip past each other at a fault
a device that measures the size of the waves created by an earthquake
the point on the earth's surface that corresponds to the location in the earth where an earthquake begins
Richter scale
a way to measure info collected by seismographs to determine the relative strength of an earthquake
a giant ocean wave caused by an underwater earthquake or volcanic eruption, with great destructive power
a natural even formed when magma, gases, and water from the lower part of the crust or mantle collect in underground chambers and eventually erupt and pour out of cracks in the earth's surface
magma that has reached the earth's surface
Ring of Fire
the chain of volcanoes that lines the Pacific Rim
physical and chemical processes that change the characteristics of rock on or near the earth's surface, occuring slowly over many years
small pieces of rock produced by weathering processes
mechanical weathering
natural processes that break rock into smaller pieces
chemical weathering
a process that changes rock into a new substance through interactions among elements in the air or water and the minerals in the rock
the result of weathering on matter, created by the action of wind, water, ice, or gravity
fan-like landform made of deposited sediment, left by a river that slows as it enters the ocean
wind-blown silt and clay sediment that produces very fertile soil
a large, long-lasting mass of ice that moves b/c of gravity
the changing of landforms by slowly moving glaciers
a ridge or hill of rock carried and finally deposited by a glacier
organic material in soil

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