Physical Geography

Topics: Precipitation, Climate, Warm front Pages: 32 (5262 words) Published: April 18, 2014
 The Earth as a Rotating Planet.

What is Geography- writing about the earth.

1. Much more than place names and locations.
2. The study of spatial variation.
3. How and Why things differ from place to place. On the surface of the earth. 4. How observable spatial patterns evolved through time.
5. Focus on the interaction of people and social groups with their environment 6. Geography is about space and the content of space.

Geographers try to answer three questions.
Why there?
Why do we care?

Physical Geography
Focus is on the natural environment.

Some Core Geographic Concepts

Spatial- is an essential modifier in forming questions and framing concepts. Geography is a spatial science
The geographer’s space is the earth space
The way things are distributed.
The way movements occur

Basic observations regarding places:
They have location, direction, and distance with respect to other places. They have size.
They have both physical structure and cultural content. Their attributes develop and change over time.
Their elements interrelate with other places.
They may be generalized into regions of similarities and differences.

Absolute Location
Based on a precise and accepted system of coordinates mathematical location Latittude and longitude
Other grid systems, UTM, SPC
Suny Rockland Community College
. 41.13208 North
. -74.08404 West
Relative Location- is the position of one place with respect to another place or set of places.(e.g-Central Valley is north of Suffern, NY)


Absolute Direction- Based on the cardinal points(N-S-E_W)

Relative Direction

Culturally based and locationally variable
Out West
Back East
Down South
Near East
Far East

.Absolute Distance
Uses standard units such as miles or kilometers
.Relative Distance
Transforms linear measurments into other units more meaningful for the space relationship in question Two places might be the same distance, but differ in relative distance Time- Money- psychological

Physical and Cultural Attributes

Physical Attributes of a place
Climate, soil, water supplies, mineral resources, terrain features, etc. Natural Landscape
Helps shape- but does not dictate- how people live Physical Dictates the resources available, culture determines how those resources are utilized.

Cultural attributes of a place
Language, religion, industries, food, music, etc.
Cultural landscape
Visible imprint of human activity

Differences in cultural landscape
California- Mexico Border
High agricultural output in CA
Lower agricultural output in Mexico

Attributes of Place are always changing

The physical environment undergoes continuous and pronounced change Islands form and disappear
Mountains rise and erode
Glaciers move and melt
Sea levels rise and fall in response to glaciers

Humans alter the environment they occupy
Pace of change has accelerated
Built landscape has increasingly replaced natural landscape Places are the present result of past operation of distinctive physical and cultural processes.

Place Similarity and Regions

No two places on earth can be exactly the same
The natural and cultural characteristics of places show patterns of similarity in some areas A region- common characteristics or phenomena that are commonly found throughout its territory Not generally found in surrounding territory

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