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geog 21062 week 1 notes

by: Carriebajenski

geog 21062 week 1 notes Geog 21062

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notes cover chapter 1 and 2
Physical Geography
Rebecca Parylak
Class Notes




Popular in Physical Geography

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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Carriebajenski on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Geog 21062 at Kent State University taught by Rebecca Parylak in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 4 views. For similar materials see Physical Geography in Geography at Kent State University.


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Date Created: 09/05/16
Chp 1 and 2 Notes: Chapter 1: Physical Geography: earth environment and systems - Geography refers to the examination, description, and explanation of earth and its variability from place to place. o Often called spatial science because it includes analyzing and explaining locations, distributions, patterns, variations, similarities and difference. - Divide areas into regions, areas defined by characteristics that distinguish them from surrounding areas - Physical geography includes the processes and features that make up earth o Take holistic approach, consider both natural and human phenomena - Typically use the scientific method - Technology has changed the way we map, measure processes o Satellite technology (GPS): determine precise location of a receiver on earths surface - 3 major prespectives: 1. spatial science a. location b. characteristics of places c. spatial distribution and pattern d. spatial interaction 2. physical science a. the earth system i. system: entity that consists of a set of interrelated and interacting parts or components b. 4 major subsystems: i. atmosphere: gaseous blanket of air that envelopes, shields, insulates earth ii. lithosphere: solid earth (rock, soils, minerals) iii. hydrosphere: waters of the earth iv. biosphere: composed of all living things c. earth impacts i. earth constantly changing 3. environmental science a. environment: our surroundings that affect our growth, health, way of living b. environment is hazardous to humans. It can cause great damage c. humans can cause threat to environment: global warming, deforestation - ecology: study of relationships between organisms and their environments o ecosystem: a community of organisms and relationships to one another - human-environment interactions are often 2 way relationships. o Enviro can influence human and human can influence enviro. - Natural hazards: natural processes the put environments and life or property at risk of damage or destruction. o EX. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes - Environmental degradation: damage caused by humans o EX. pollution - Life support system: set of interrelated components that are necessary for the existence of living organisms o Natural resources can be abused, exhausted. Humans are rapidly depleting nonrenewable resources (coal and oil) - Earth may have a population threshold. o Currently using 50% more than our planet can supply - Sustainable living: consuming resources at a level that our planet can sustain indefinitely, while still developing the resources we need for adequate living conditions. - Model: useful simplification of a more complex reality that permits prediction, and designed with a purpose in mind. o EX. Maps and globes  Pictorial and graphic models (maps, graphs, pictures)  Physical models (3d representations, globes)  Mathematical and statistical models (predict probabilities of such occurrences as river floods, earthquakes)  Conceptual model (mind imagery that we use for understanding our surroundings and experiences)  Brings about a mental map - System analysis suggests that the way to understand how anything works is to use the following strategy: o Focuses on subsystems o Applied to environments at virtually any spatial scale 1. Clearly define system you wish to understand 2. Inventory systems important parts and processes 3. Examine how each of these parts and processes interact with each other o Closed system: no substantial amount of matter crosses its boundaries. Energy can go in and out of a closed system  EX. Earth o Open systems: energy and matter move freely across subsystems as inputs and outputs.  EX. Subsystems, streams - Balance of nature: natural systems have built in mechanisms that tend to counterbalance change without dramatically affecting the system. o When inputs equal outputs the system is in equilibrium o Dynamic equilibrium is when a change happens within a range of tolerance. The balance is not static, but accumulates over time - Feedback o Negative feedback: one change tends to offset another, creating a natural counterbalancing effect.  Helps system maintain equilibrium o Positive feedback: changes that reinforce the direction of an initial change.  EX. Animal populations adjust naturally to the food supply of the habitats. If food is sparse, deer might might starve or die. o Thresholds: tipping points. Can often cause a fundamental change in a system if not reached or exceeded.  EX. Earthquakes - Earths movements o 3 basic movements: 1. galactic movements (earths movement with the sun and rest of solar system 2. rotation on its axis a. north pole to south pole b. eastward direction c. alternating day and nights 3. revolution around the sun a. 150 km- average distance away from sun b. 1 year rd c. perihelion: earth is closest to the sun (jan 3 ) d. aphelion: earth is farthest away from the sun (july 4 )h o day and night, changing seasons, variations in length of daylight hours - plane of the ecliptic: orbit around the sun o equator tilted at 23 ½ (angle of inclination) o parallelism: earths axis remains parallel to its former position as its revolves around the sun Chapter 2: representations of earth - cartography: science and profession of map making o must be accurate - 540 BC- greeks theorized that earth was a sphere - 200 BC eratosthens, estimated earths circumference - earth is a sphere with a circumference of 24,900mi (39,840 km) o centrifugal force causes the equatorial region to bulge outward and flatten the poles, forming a shape that is called an oblate spheroid - great circle: imaginary circle drawn in any direction on earths surface and whose plane passes through the center of earth - hemispheres: equal halves o circle of illumination (separating earth into light and dark) - small circle: any circle that does not divide the planet into equal halves - coordinate system: system of grid cells on a map. Based on reference points - north and south pole are natural reference points o opposite positions of earths rotational axis o equator: halfway between the poles, forms great circle  0 degrees latitude - latitude: run east and west o measures north or south o parallels - longitude: run north and south o measures east and west o prime meridian (0 degrees longitude) - geographic grid: set of imaginary lines that run east and west around the globe to mark latitudes and the lines that run north and south from pole to pole to indicate longitudes - time zones based on relationships among longitude, earths rotation and time - solar noon is the precise moment in day when a vertical stake cast is shortest shadow o noon occurs earlier in a town located east and a town to the west experiences noon later - international date line is a line that generally follows the 180 th meridian. At the date line we turn our calendar back one day if we are travelling east and forward one day if travelling west o discovered by Magellan’s crew - US Public Lands Survey System, also known as the Township and range system, was developed for parceling public land west of Pennsylvania o Based on north-south lines called principal meridians o East-west lines called base lines o Townships are a square plot measuring 6 miles on a side o Influenced the landscape od the Midwest and west. Gives regions a checkerboard appearance - GPS (Global positioning system): technology for determining locations on earth o Created for military applications o Uses radio signals transmitted by satellite o Displays location in latitude, longitude and elevation - Maps show spatial relationships and portray geographic information visually o Can never compare all of earths properties on a single map.  Impossible to accurately represent earth on a flat surface with all of its properties - Map projections: o Planar projection (used to show polar regions, displays one hemisphere o Conical projection (portray latitudes with minimal distortion. Used most often for USA) o Cylindrical projection (Mercator projection. Shows meridians as parallel lines. Extreme distortion of east-west in high latitudes because distances off meridians are stretched) - Properties of map projections: 1. Area a. Equal area maps are used for size comparison 2. Shape a. Conformal maps: maintain correct shapes of areas. Meridians and parallels always cross at right angles 3. Distance a. equidistance 4. Direction a. Azimuthal map shows true direction 5. Compromise projections a. Show both area and shape fairly well but not really correct for either property b. Balance distortion to make an accurate looking map c. Interrupted projection can be used to reduce distortion of landmasses - Map basics o Legend  Key to symbols used on maps o Scale  Expression of the relationship between a distance on the ground and the same distance as it appears on the map  Verbal scale is a statement on the map that indicates  Representative fraction scale is a ratio between a unit of distance on the map to the distance that unit represents in reality  Graphic scale or bar scale is used for making distance measurement on a map o Direction  Arrow pointing north (true or magnetic north) - Thematic maps o Focus attention on the spatial extent and distribution of one feature  EX. Climate, vegetation, soils, earthquakes, tornadoes  Isolines: using lines to show continuous data by connecting points that have same number value o Topographic maps  Land surface and elevation information, along with certain important natural and cultural landscape - GIS (Geographic information system) is a computer based technology that assists user in entering, analyzing, manipulating and displaying geographic information. o Used to make the scale and map projections of maps identical, allowing info of several maps to be combined into one - Remote sensing: collection of info and data about distant objects or environments. o From aerial and space images - Digital image: image converted into number data. Often pixeled - Near infrared (NIR): energy, light energy at wavelength that are too long for our eyes to see. o Reflected off surfaces and id not radiated heat energy o Provide clearer images - Radar and lidar are active systems that transmit pulses of energy to measure distances and can produce map like landscape images based on energy signals - Sonar: uses reflection of transmitted sounds waves to probe the ocean depths - GEOG 21062 Module 1 Notes Lecture 1: Physical Geography and the Four Major Perspectives What is Physical Geography?  Define Physical Geography: o The process and features that make up the earth. Includes human activities and how they interact with the environment. o The study and spatial analysis of the physical earth and processes that make up the environment  What is meant by the word spatial? o Space  Why is geography in general known as a spatial science? o Spatial science refers to location in space. Geography is considered spatial geography because it uses space to analyze, explain the patterns, variations and similarities and differences in phenomena that happens on earth  What is spatial analysis? o Pertaining to space o Explains patterns or distribution of features over physical space. The Spatial Perspective  What is meant by the term “spatial perspective? o Geographical concept of where things happen in space and in different places 1. Location  What is absolute location? Provide an example. o Expressed by coordinates. Also considered an address o Latitude or longitude o Numbers or values  What is relative location? Provide an example. o identifies where a feature is located in relation to something else 1 GEOG 21062 o EXAMPLE: city of kent is located south of the city of cleveland 2. Characteristics of Places  Why would physical geographers be interested in the characteristic of a place? Provide an example. i. Interested in the enviro. Features and processes that make a place unique to that area. ii. Also the shared characteristics between places. iii. Example: geographers look at what make the rocky and Appalachian Mountains so different and what make them unique to their area. 3. Spatial Distribution and Pattern  Define spatial distribution: i. Locational characteristics that refers to the extent of an area where a feature exists. ii. Extent of area where feature exists iii. EXAMPLE: where will you find a rainforest? Rainfall in the US on a particular day. Annual snow fall in Ohio.  Define spatial pattern: i. How features are arranged in space. ii. EXAMPLE: random or spaced, clustered  Provide an example of a feature here on Earth that illustrates spatial distribution and pattern. i. EXAMPLE: tornado alley. Very flat. Communities and towns are wide spread, making tornados a very common occurrence. 4. Spatial Interaction  Define spatial interaction and provide an example. o A condition, process, or an occurrence that is happening in one place but will have an impact on another place o EXAMPLE: warm ocean waters off the coast of South America’s west coast. EL NINO EFFECT. The Subfields of Physical Geography  What are a few examples of the subfields of physical geography? Provide an example of what geographers may study in those areas of specialization. o Physical  Physical, environment o Human (social science perspective)  Human geography with people 2 GEOG 21062 o Biogeography: sub field of physical. Combines biology and geography, interested in studying distribution of tress, for example o Climatologists: sub field of physical. Combines geography and meteorology. Interested in looking at regional climates for example, averages and extremes for long term weather data. The Scientific Method  What is the scientific method? Trace the steps of the scientific method and think of a study that is geographic in nature that may be studied. o Scientific Method involves seeking out the answers to questions and determining if the answer is valid by making observations and doing experiments. o EXAMPLE: global warming 1. Make observation 2. Propose hypothesis 3. Determine/collect data to test hypothesis 4. Use techniques to test hypothesis 5. Test supporters 6. Test rejects 7. Accept hypothesis or reject hypothesis Lecture 2: The Systems of the Earth The Systems of the Earth  What are the four major subsystems within the Earth system? 1. Atmosphere (gaseous layer that surrounds the earth. Where our weather occurs) 2. Lithosphere (solid and rigid outer layer of earth. Uppermost part of the mantle) 3. Hydrosphere (contains all of earths water in solid, liquid, and gaseous states) 4. Biosphere ( ll living organisms on earth. Includes plants, animals and soils.  How do the subsystems interact with one another? Provide one example. o Subsystems are dependent on each other. The biosphere would not be possible without the help of the atmosphere because the plants use the gases produced by the 3 GEOG 21062 atmosphere. Plants grow on the lithosphere and they are dependent on the water produced by the hydrosphere. Models and Systems  What is a model used in Physical Geography? Provide a few examples. o Representations of the real world.  Pictorial and graphic models.  Three dimensional o EXAMPLE: maps, globes, graphs, diagrams.  How do open and closed systems differ? o System is when an entity that consists of a set of interrelated and interacting parts or components. o OPEN: movement of energy or matter to cross into the system  Atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere o CLOSED: matter is contained within the system boundaries.  Earth  How do natural systems stay in equilibrium? o They have a built in mechanism to counterbalance. o EXAMPLE: a lake. The water will rise or fall but that must be balanced with the amount of water leaving the lake.  What is negative feedback and positive feedback? Provide a real world example. o NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: reaction to initial change that is counteracted and leads to equilibrium or balance.  EXAMPLE: when it doesn’t rain for a long time with hot weather, the lake will lose some water. Leads to decrease water levels in lake but is counteracted by the increase of water flow coming to the lake. o POSITIVE FEEDBACK: process where initial change will bring about an additional change in the same direction.  EXAMPLE: droughts. Warm temperatures enhance evaporation from surrounding soils and also plant life and lakes. The water levels will continue to decline in the lake due to lack of rain. It reinforces the initial change and water levels will continue to decline. The Shape of the Earth  What is the approximate shape of the Earth and what contributes to this particular shape? o Earth’s shape is an oblate ellipsoid. 4 GEOG 21062 o The centrifugal forces, caused by the earth’s rotation. The equatorial region bulges out and flattens at the poles Lecture 3: The Shape of the Earth and Rotation and Revolution The Earth’s Rotation  What is meant by Earth Rotation? o Distortion o Rotates on axis  What are the three environmental effects of the Earth’s rotation? o Day and night o Air temperature o Coriolis effect  What is the difference between the Earth’s Rotation and the Earth’s Revolution? o Rotation is on the axis o Revolution is revolving around the sun  What is Perihelion? o Point in orbit where the sun is closest to the sun  Janurary 3  What is Aphelion? o Furthest distance from the sun  Around july 4th Lecture 4: Latitude and Longitude Latitude and Longitude  What is Latitude? o Parallels o Run east and west o Measure distances north and south (hemispheres)  What is Longitude? o Known as meridans o Run north and south o Measures distances east and west  What are the six important parallels by degree and name? 1. Equator- 0 degrees 2. Tropic of cancer- 23.5 degrees north of equator 3. The artic circle- 66.5 degrees north 4. The north pole- 90 degrees north 5 GEOG 21062 5. Tropic of Capricorn- 23.5 degrees south of equator 6. The Antarctic circle- 66.5 degrees south 7. South pole- 90 degrees south Lecture 5: Representations of Earth and Maps Representations of Earth  Define cartography and the purpose of mapping? o Primary purpose of a map is to communicate spatial information o Allows us to represent a geographical area.  What is a map projection? o Method for converting the earth 3d surface to a maps 2d surface. o Systematic arrangement of parallels and meridians on a plane surface  What are the three projections used and what distortions occur as a result from each? 1. Cylindrical projections (Mercator projection)- causes distortion as the latitude and longitude lines approach north pole 2. Planar projection- only see a certain area of the map/pole 3. Conic projections- distortion increases north and south of the standard parallel. Extreme distortion at poles  What type of map would you design that would have discrete data? o Thematic map  What type of map would you design that would include continuous data? o Contour maps  What is a contour line and what do they illustrate on a topographic map? o Lines of equal elevation usually in feet on a topographic map  What is a topographic map? o Provide detailed information about a place o Show land surface, natural and cultural features, elevation data 6


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