Wednesday, January 12, 2011


absolute location–exact location of a place on
the earth described by global coordinates
basin–area of land drained by a given river and
its branches; area of land surrounded by lands
of higher elevations
bay–part of a large body of water that extends
into a shoreline
canyon–deep and narrow valley with steep walls
cape–point of land surrounded by a body of
channel–deep, narrow body of water that connects
two larger bodies of water; deep part of
a river or other waterway
cliff–steep, high wall of rock, earth, or ice
continent–one of the seven large landmasses on
the earth
cultural feature–characteristic that humans have
created in a place, such as language, religion,
and history
delta–land built up from soil carried downstream
by a river and deposited at its mouth
divide–stretch of high land that separates river
downstream–direction in which a river or stream
flows from its source to its mouth
elevation–height of land above sea level
Equator–imaginary line that runs around the
earth halfway between the North and South
Poles; used as the starting point to measure
degrees of north and south latitude
glacier–large, thick body of slowly moving ice,
found in mountains and polar regions
globe–sphere-shaped model of the earth
gulf–part of a large body of water that extends
into a shoreline, larger than a bay
harbor–a sheltered place along a shoreline where
ships can anchor safely
highland–elevated land area with sloping sides
such as a hill, mountain, or plateau, smaller
than a mountain
island–land area, smaller than a continent, completely
surrounded by water
isthmus–narrow stretch of land connecting two
larger land areas
lake–a sizable inland body of water
latitude–distance north or south of the Equator,
measured in degrees
longitude–distance east or west of the Prime
Meridian, measured in degrees
lowland–land, usually level, at a low elevation
map–drawing of all or part of the earth shown
on a flat surface
meridian–one of many lines on the global grid
running from the North Pole to the South
Pole, used to measure degrees of
mesa–area of raised land with steep sides; smaller
than a plateau
mountain–land with steep sides that rises
sharply from surrounding land; larger and
more rugged than a hill
mountain peak–pointed top of a mountain
mountain range–a series of connected
mouth–(of a river) place where a stream or river
flows into a larger body of water
ocean–one of the four major bodies of salt water
that surrounds a continent
ocean current–stream of either cold or warm
water that moves in a definite direction
through an ocean
parallel–one of many lines on the global grid
that circle the earth north or south of the
Equator; used to measure degrees of latitude
peninsula–body of land almost surrounded by
physical feature–characteristic of a place occurring
naturally, such as a landform, body of
water, climate pattern, or resource
plain–area of level land, usually at a low
plateau–area of flat or rolling land at a high
Prime Meridian–line of the global grid running
from the North Pole to the South Pole at
Greenwich, England; used as the starting
point for measuring degrees of east and west
relative location–position of a place on the earth
in relation to other places
relief–changes in elevation, either few or many,
that occur over a given area of land
river–large stream of water that runs through the
sea–large body of water completely or partly
surrounded by land
seacoast–land lying next to a sea or ocean
sea level–average level of an ocean’s surface
sound–body of water between a shoreline and
one or more islands off the coast
source–(of a river) place where a river or stream
begins, often in high lands
strait–narrow stretch of water joining two larger
bodies of water
tributary–small river or stream that flows
into a large river or stream; a branch of the
upstream–direction opposite the flow of a river;
toward the source of a river or stream
valley–area of low land between hills or
volcano–mountain created as liquid rock or ash
are thrown up from inside the earth

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