Geography, Grades 9-12 – 59 Words


alluvial fan

a fan-shaped deposit where a fast flowing stream flattens out

aquifer

underground layer of rock or sand that yields groundwater

Bible Belt

southern and midwestern United States where Protestant fundamentalism is dominant

biodiversity

the diversity of plant and animal life in a habitat

British Empire

a former empire consisting of Great Britain and all the territories under its control; reached its greatest extent at the end of World War I; it included the British Isles, British West Indies, Canada, British Guiana; British West Africa, British East Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand

bubonic plague

the most common form of the plague in humans

cartographer

a person who makes maps

choropleth map

a map that uses graded differences in shading or color or the placing of symbols inside defined areas on the map in order to indicate the average values of some property or quantity in those areas

Common Market

an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members

congressional district

a territorial division of a state

continental drift

the gradual movement of very large land masses

decolonization

the action of changing from colonial to independent status

deforestation

the state of being clear of trees

demography

the study of the characteristics of human populations

desertification

a gradual transformation into arid, uninhabitable land

dust storm

a windstorm that lifts up clouds of dust or sand

eastern United States

the region of the United States lying to the north of the Ohio River and to the east of the Mississippi River

ecology

the environment as it relates to living organisms

equinox

when the sun crosses the plane of the earth’s equator

Eurocentric

focussed on Europe and the Europeans

European Union

an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members

eutrophication

nutrient saturation of water leading to oxygen depletion

geomorphology

the branch of geology that studies the characteristics and configuration and evolution of rocks and land forms

Great Barrier Reef

the largest coral reef in the world

greenhouse effect

warming when solar radiation is trapped by the atmosphere

greenway

a belt of parks or rural land surrounding a town or city

hinterland

a remote and undeveloped area

hub-and-spoke

a system of air transportation in which local airports offer air transportation to a central airport where long-distance flights are available

hydrilla

submersed plant with whorled lanceolate leaves and solitary axillary flowers; Old World plant naturalized in southern United States and clogging Florida’s waterways

hydrosphere

the watery layer of the earth’s surface

Iran

a theocratic Islamic republic in the Middle East in western Asia; Iran was the core of the ancient empire that was known as Persia until 1935; rich in oil

Iraq

a republic in the Middle East in western Asia

Jerusalem

capital and largest city of the modern state of Israel

landmass

a large continuous extent of land

Latin America

the parts of North America and South America to the south of the United States where Romance languages are spoken

megalopolis

a very large urban complex

moraine

accumulated earth and stones deposited by a glacier

municipality

a local district having powers of self-government

NAFTA

an agreement for free trade between the United States and Canada and Mexico; became effective in 1994 for ten years

Nicaragua

a republic in Central America

North Korea

a communist country in the northern half of the Korean Peninsula; established in 1948

Nova Scotia

the Canadian province in the Maritimes consisting of the Nova Scotia peninsula and Cape Breton Island; French settlers who called the area Acadia were exiled to Louisiana by the British in the 1750s and their descendants are know as Cajuns

Ontario

a prosperous and industrialized province in central Canada

OPEC

an organization of countries formed in 1961 to agree on a common policy for the production and sale of petroleum

physiography

the study of physical features of the earth’s surface

plate tectonics

the movement or study of the movement of Earth’s crust

rain shadow

an area that has little precipitation because some barrier causes the winds to lose their moisture before reaching it

relative humidity

the ratio of the amount of water in the air at a given temperature to the maximum amount it could hold at that temperature; expressed as a percentage

Roman Empire

an empire established by Augustus in 27 BC and divided in AD 395 into the Western Roman Empire and the eastern or Byzantine Empire; at its peak lands in Europe and Africa and Asia were ruled by ancient Rome

Rwanda

a landlocked republic in central Africa

sediment

matter that has been deposited by some natural process

South Korea

a republic in the southern half of the Korean Peninsula

Southeast Asia

a geographical division of Asia that includes Indochina plus Indonesia and the Philippines and Singapore

subsistence farming

farming that provides for the basic needs of the farmer without surpluses for marketing

Turkey

a Eurasian republic in Asia Minor and the Balkans

Ukraine

a republic in southeastern Europe

urbanization

the social process whereby cities grow

volcanism

the phenomena associated with volcanic activity

ward

a person who is under the protection of another


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