Glossary of Physical Geography test 1

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The home of the biosphere, the lowest layer of the homosphere, containing appriximately 90% of the total mass of the atmosphere, extends up to the tropopause
An isoline connecting all points of equal temperature
Closed System
A system that is shut off fromt he surrounding enviroment so that it is entirely self-contained in terms of energy and materials. Earth is a closed systems
Open System
A system with inputs and outputs crossing back a forth bewteen the system and the surrounding environment. Earth is an open system in terms of energy.
A measure of sensible heat energy present in the atmosphere and other media; indicates the average kinetic energy of individual molecules within a substance
The FLOW of kinetic energy from one body to another because of a temperature difference between them
Transfer of heat from one place to another through the physical moverment of air; involves a strong vertical movement
The slow molecule-to molecule transfer of heat through a medium, from warmer to cooler portions
Electromagnetic Spectrum
All the radient energy produced by the Sun placed in an ordered range (GXUVIR) divided according to wavelengths
Deflectiona nd redirection of insolation by atmospheric gases, dust, ice and water vapor; the shorter the wavelength, the greater the scattering, thus skies in lower atmospheres are blue
The protion of arriving insolation that is returned directly to space without being absorbed and converted into heat and without preforming any work ( see albedo).
The point at which the Earth is the closest to the sun along its elliptical orbit occurs on January 3
The latitude that recieves direct overhead (perpendicular) insolation on a particular day, the subsolar point migrates annually through 47 degrees or latitutde between the Tropics of Cancer ( 23. 5 degrees N) and the Tropic of Capricorn (23.5 degrees S)
Solar Constant
The amount of insolation intercepted by Earth on a surface perpendicular to the Sun's rays when Eath is at its average distance from the Sun
Layer of Ozone ( O3) occupying the full extent of the stratosphere about the surface, the region of the atmosphere where ultraviolet wavelenfths of insolation are extensively absorbed and converted in heat
The top layer of the troposphere deinfed by temperature, whereever -57 degrees C occurs
That protion fo the homosphere that randers from 20 to 50 km abover Earth's surface with temperature ranging from -57 degrees celcius at the tropopause to 0 degress celcius at the stratopause.
Sensible heat
Heat that can be measures with thermonmeter, a measure of the consentration of kinetic energy from one molecular motio
Solar Radiation that is intercepted by the Earth
Assimilation and conversion of radiation from one form to another ina medium. Int he process the temperature of the absorbing surface is raised, therby affecting the rate and wavelength of radiation from that surface
The passage of shortwave and longwave energy through space, the atmosphere or water
The point of the Earht's greatest distance from the Sun in its elliptical orbit, reached on July 4
The annual orbital movement og Earth about the sun, determins the length of the year and seasons
The reflective quality of a surface, expressed as the percentage of reflected insolation to incoming insolation; a function of surface color, andle of incidence and surface temperature
Subsolar point
The only point recieving perpendicular insolation at a given moement, the sun directly overhead
The angular distance measured north or south of the equator from a point at the center of Earth. A line connecting all points of the same laitudinal angle is called a parallel.
The angular distance measured east or west of a prime meridian from a point at the center of the Earth. A line connecting all points od the same longitude is called a meridian.
Prime Meridian
an arbitrary meridian designated as 0 degress longitude ; the point from which longitudes are measured east or west
Great Circle
Any circle drawn on a globe with its center coinciding with the center of the globe, an infinite number of great cirlce can be drawn, but only one parallel is a great circle- the equator
Small circle
A circle on a globe's surface rhat does nto shaew Earth's center; for example all parallels of layitude other than the equator.
Map projection
The reduction of a spherical globe onto a flat surface in some orderly and systematic realignment of the latitude and longitude grid
Geographic Information System
A computer based data processing tool or methodology used for gathering, amnipulating and analyzing geographic information to produce a holistic interactive analysis
Circle of illumination
The division between light and ark on Earth, a day and night great circle
Normal lapse rates
The average rate of temperature decrease with increaing altitude in the lower atmosphere
enviromental lapse rates
the actual lapse rate in the lower atmosphere at any particular time under local weather conditions
Temperature Inversions
A reversal of the normal decrease of temperature with increasing altitude, can occur anywhere from ground level up to several thousand meters, functions to block atmospheric onvection and thereby trap polution
Acid desposition
Acid rain
Photochemical Smog
Air pollution produced byt he interaction of ultraviolet light, nitroge dixoide, and hydrocarbons, produced ozone and PAN thgouh a series of complex photochemical reations. Automobiles are the main source
The bending effect on electromagnetic waves that occurs when insolation eneters the atmosphere or another medium
Positive feedback
Further production int he system stimulated the growth of the system
Negative feedback
Further production in the system decreases the growth of the system (has mechanism to slow it down)
Map scales
level of ministration
mineral, rock matter
Shape, Area, Direcction, Distance
0 degrees
Tropic of Cancer
23 1/2 degrees North
Tropic of Capricorn
23 1/2 degrees South
Artic circle
66 1/2 degrees North
Antarctic Cirlce
66 1/2 degrees South
Vernal/Spring Equinox
March 21
Autumn Equinox
September 23
Summer Solstice
June 22
Winter Solstice
December 22
Time Zones
Time goes East to West
Water is polar
Each molecule is polar ( like a mgent) attracted to itself thus it forms beads and droplets
Water has a high specific heat
Sh= 1.0 basis for which content of other materials is judged
Water has a high boiling point
100 degrees celcius at sea level pressure= 1013mb
Water has a high freezing point
zero degrees celcius
Water has high heat vaporization
requires much heat to boil evaporate away
Water has a high heat of fusion, freezing
much of the heat has to be removed to turn it into a solid
Water is a good solvent
Saturation occurrs easily
Water has unusal density changes
Heat something- it expands
Cool it- it shrinks
Latent heat
heat energy is stored in one of the three ststes. The energy is absorbed or released in each phase change from one state to another. Heat energy is absorbed as the latent heat of melting, vaporization or evaporation. Heat energy is released as the latene heat of condensation and freezing
naturally emitted by everything
not what you start with, what you end up with
is a perfect absorber and perfect emitter of radiation
Stephan-Boltzman relationship
E= CT4

energy emitted is equal to temperature to the fourth
Wien's Law
Peak wavelength is related to temperature

The higher the temperature of the emitting object the shorter the wavelength
Adiabatic process
no heat added or removed from parcel
Unit of pressure
From the sun, infared
from the Earth, terrestrial
Direct beam
Solar radiation had passed through the atmosphere untouched, you have a shadow
Diffuse beam
involves scattering

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