The mass of water
the atmosphere per
unit of volume of space.
that permits a place
to be reached by the efforts of those at other places.
that facilitates interaction between places.
Rain that has
become more acidic
than normal (a pH
below 5.0) as certain oxides present as airborne pollutants are
absorbed by the water droplets. The term is often applied
generically to all acidic precipitation.
A very large body
defined by essentially
similar horizontal air temperatures. Moisture conditions are
also usually similar throughout the mass.
Height of an object in the atmosphere above sea level.
gravel, or similar
deposited by running water.
action of moving
water. These soils lack horizons and are usually highly fertile.
Before the war;
States, belonging to
the period immediately prior to the Civil War (1861-1865).
A hard coal
A sharp, narrow
mountain ridge. It
often results from the
erosive activity of alpine glaciers flowing in adjacent valleys.
A deep gully cut
by a stream that
flows only part of the
year; a dry gulch. A term normally used only in desert areas.
A bound collection of maps.
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from wind and water
erosion of sedimentary rock.
The lowest level
to which a
stream can erode its bed.
The ultimate base level of all streams is, of course, the sea.
A very large body
of igneous rock,
that has been exposed by erosion of the overlying rock.
The solid rock
that underlies all
soil or other loose
material; the rock material that breaks down to eventually form
The ability to
either one of
especially when speaking.
the variety of life
forms in an area of the Earth and the ecological interdependence
of these life forms.
The animal and
plant life of a region
considered as a
total ecological entity.
A soft coal that,
A small, greyish
beetle of the
States with destructive larvae that hatch in and damage cotton
point on a transport
route where the mode of transport (or type of carrier) changes
and where large-volume shipments are reduced in size. For
example, goods may be unloaded from a ship and transferred to
trucks at an ocean port.
A line indicating the limit of a country, state, or other political
An isolated hill
or mountain with
steep or precipitous
sides, usually having a smaller summit area than a
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A strata of
sedimentary rock (usually
limestone) found in arid areas. Caprock forms the top layer of
most mesas and buttes.
The number of
an area can support
given the quality of the natural environment and the level of
technology of the population.
A person who draws or makes maps or charts.
business district of an
urban area, typically
containing an intense concentration of office and retail
shrubs or dwarf
A warm, dry wind
the eastern side of
the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. Most common
in winter and spring, it can result in a rise in temperature of
20C (35 to 40F) in a quarter of an hour.
exist in an area if
growth had proceeded undisturbed for an extended period. This
would be the "final" collection of plant types that presumably
would remain forever, or until the stable conditions were somehow
The place at
flow together to form
one larger stream.
from the conifer
One of the large, continuous areas of the Earth into which the land
surface is divided.
The type of
found in the interior of
the major continents in the middle, or temperate, latitudes. The
climate is characterized by a great seasonal variation in
temperatures, four distinct seasons, and a relatively small
The line of high
that separates the
oceanic drainage basins of a continent; the river systems of a
continent on opposite sides of a continental divide flow toward
The quality or
being a continent.
A dry canyon
eroded by Pleistocene
floods that cut into
the lava beds of the Columbia Plateau in the western United
when two or more
cities, originally separate, coalesce to form a continuous
The portion of a
contains its economic,
political, intellectual, and cultural focus. It is often the
center of creativity and change (see Hearth).
A farm financing
whereby money is loaned
at the beginning of a growing season to pay for farming
operations, with the subsequent harvest used as collateral for
and beliefs of a
group of people that define for them their general behavior and
way of life; the total set of learned activities of a people.
The area from
culture of a group
diffused (see Hearth).
clothing. Such facilities usually have a small fixed investment
in the manufacturing facility.
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Forests in which
lose their leaves
De Facto Segregation
The spatial and
populations that occurs without legal sanction.
A unit of angular measure: A circle is divided into 360 degrees,
represented by the symbol o . Degrees are used to divide the roughly
spherical shape of the Earth for geographic and cartographic
Deviation of one
temperature for one day from
an arbitrary standard, usually the long-term average temperature
for a place.
De Jure Segregation
The spatial and
populations that occurs as a consequence of legal measures.
Discriminatory Shipping Rates
transportation charge levied in
a manner that is inequitable to some shippers, primarily because
of those shippers' location.
An uplifted area
of sedimentary rocks
with a downward dip
in all directions; often caused by molten rock material pushing
upward from below. The sediments have often eroded away, exposing
the rocks that resulted when the molten material cooled.
A type of farming
semi-arid or dry
grassland areas without irrigation using such approaches as
fallowing, maintaining a finely broken surface, and growing
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Economies of Agglomeration
advantages that accrue
to an activity by locating close to other activities; benefits
that follow from complementarity or shared public services.
Economies of Scale
cost of production by
larger enterprises because the cost of initial investment can be
defrayed across a greater number of producing units.
The height of a point on the Earth's surface above sea level.
from a rise in land
surface elevation relative to sea level.
A tract or
territory enclosed within
another state or
A boulder that
been carried from
its source by a
glacier and deposited as the glacier melted. Thus, the boulder is
often of a different rock type from surrounding types.
A long cliff or steep slope
comparatively level or more gently sloping surfaces and resulting
from erosion or faulting.
The broad lower
course of a river
that is encroached on
by the sea and affected by the tides.
The water lost
area through the
combined effects of evaporation from the ground surface and
transpiration from the vegetation.
A stream found in
an area that
is too dry to have
spawned such a flow. The flow originates in some moister section.
A family that
generations. Normally, that would include grandparents, their
sons or daughters, and their children, as opposed to a "nuclear
family," which is only a married couple and their offspring.
A region or
district that lies outside
a city and usually
beyond its suburbs.
An imaginary circle around the Earth halfway between the North Pole
and the South Pole; the largest circumference of the Earth.
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the piedmont and
coastal plain regions. The name derives from the river rapids and
falls that occur as the water flows from hard rocks of the higher
piedmont onto the softer rocks of the coastal plain.
that is plowed or
tilled but left
unseeded during a growing season. Fallowing is usually done to
A fracture in
accompanied by a
displacement of one side of the fracture.
Fault Block Mountain
A mountain mass
either by the
uplift of land between faults or the subsidence of land outside
A fracture in the
along which movement
has occurred. The movement may be in any direction and involve
material on either or both sides of the fracture. A "fault zone"
is an area of numerous fractures.
A form of
government in which
powers and functions
are divided between a central government and a number of
political subdivisions that have a significant degree of
A wild or untamed
especially one having
reverted to such a state from domestication.
A series of
shallow steps down
which water is
allowed to flow; designed to permit salmon to circumvent
artificial barriers such as power dams as the salmon swim
upstream to spawn.
of a place that
follows from its
interconnections with more than one other place. When interaction
within a region comes together at a place (i.e., when the
movement focuses on that location), the place is said to possess
place where a
variety of different activities (economic, political, social)
occur; most often associated with urban places.
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The study of the
and form of the
Earth's crust and of the relationship between these physical
features and the geologic structures beneath.
section of a European
city to which Jews
were restricted. Today, commonly defined as a section of a city
occupied by members of a minority group who live there because of
social restrictions on their residential choice.
The mass of rocks
carried by a glacier, then deposited when the ice melted. Creates
an unstratified material of varying composition.
covered with a
glacier or subject to
A true-to-scale map of the Earth that duplicates its round shape
and correctly represents areas, relative size and shape of physical
features, distances, and directions.
Great Circle Route
between two places on
the Earth's surface. The route follows a line described by the
intersection of the surface with an imaginary plane passing
through the Earth's center.
A pattern of lines on a chart or map, such as those representing
latitude and longitude, which helps determine absolute location.
The period from
date of the last
frost (in the United States, this occurs in the spring) to the
first frost in the fall.
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engaged in the
conversion of large volumes of raw materials and partially
processed materials into products of higher value; hallmarks of
this form of industry are considerable capital investment in
large machinery, heavy energy consumption, and final products of
relatively low value per unit weight (see Light Industry).
Half of the Earth, usually conceived as resulting from the division
of the globe into two equal parts'north and south or east and west.
to a place and
linked to that
place through lines of exchange, or interaction.
A distinct layer
of soil encountered
decomposed organic soil
The study of the
of the Earth.
The growing of
especially vegetables, in
water containing essential mineral nutrients rather than in soil.
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international date line
A line of longitude generally 180 degrees east and west of the prime
meridian. The date is one day earlier to the east of the line.
A time of
widespread glaciation (see
Rock formed when
(melted) materials harden.
a binding contract
between two parties. During the early colonial period in
America, this often involved long periods of time and a total
A plant that
yields a blue vat
Inertia Costs of Location
Costs borne by an
activity because it
remains located at its original site, even though the
distributions of supply and demand have changed.
Either of an
island, or suggestive
of the isolated
condition of an island.
The existence of
expensive opportunity for obtaining a good or service, or for a
migration destination. Such opportunities lessen the
attractiveness of more distant places.
Intracoastal Waterway System
through dredging and sheltered for the most part by a series of
linear offshore islands, that extends from New York City to
Florida's southern tip and from Brownsville, Texas, to the
eastern end of Florida's panhandle.
A line on a map
that receive equal
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The right and
power to apply
the law; the
territorial range of legal authority or control.
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resulting from the
underground solution of subsurface limestone or dolomite.
A vine, native to
China and Japan but
imported into the
United States; originally planted for decoration, for forage, or
as a ground cover to control erosion. It now grows wild in many
parts of the southeastern United States.
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A nearly level
that was formed as a
Imaginary lines that cross the surface of the Earth parallel to the
Equator, measuring how far north or south of the Equator a place is
A measure of
distance north or
south of the equator.
One degree of latitude equals approximately 110 kilometers (69
A key to what the symbols or pictures in a map mean.
A process of soil
through the erosive
movement and chemical action of water.
A plant, such as
the soybean, that
bacteria on its roots, and thereby increases soil nitrogen
Life Cycle Stage
A period of
in which the relative
dependence of an individual on others helps define a complex of
basic social relations that remains relatively consistent
throughout the period.
amounts of partially processed materials to produce items of
relatively high value per unit weight (see Heavy Industry).
brownish coal of
A soil made up of
small particles that
were transported by
the wind to their present location.
Imaginary lines that cross the surface of the Earth, running from
north to south, measuring how far east or west of the prime
meridian a place is located.
A measure of
distance east and
west of a line drawn
between the North and South Poles and passing through the Royal
Observatory at Greenwich, England.
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A picture of a place that is usually drawn to scale on a flat
influenced by an oceanic
environment, found on islands and the windward shores of
continents. It is characterized by small daily and yearly
temperature ranges and high relative humidity.
characterized by moist, mild
winters and hot, dry summers.
usually more extensive than a butte and less extensive than a
or shrub that forms
extensive thickets in the southwestern United States.
Rock that has
physically altered by heat
Metes and Bounds
A system of land
that defines land
parcels according to visible natural landscape features and
distance. The resultant field pattern is usually very irregular
The merging of
urbanized areas of
separate metropolitan regions; Megalopolis is an example of this
An isolated hill
or mountain of
resistant rock rising
above an eroded lowland.
The rocks and
deposited by a glacier.
An "end moraine," either a ridge or low hill running
perpendicular to the direction of ice movement, forms at the end
of a glacier when the ice is melting.
The ability to
one language when
speaking or writing (see Bilingual). This term often refers to
the presence of more than two populations of significant size
within a single political unit, each group speaking a different
language as their primary language.
modern life generated by
people living in an urban area.
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characterized by a
set of places
connected to another place by lines of communication or
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The salt water surrounding the great land masses, and divided by
the land masses into several distinct portions, each of which is
called an ocean.
A cattle- or
characterized by a
general absence of fences.
results when moist air is
lifted over a topographic barrier such as a mountain range.
Rocky and sandy
deposited by meltwater
that flowed from a glacier.
a mineral seam
or bed that must be
removed before the mineral can be removed in strip mining.
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A line of bold
projection of a larger
territory (as a
frozen layer of
A portion of the
Earth's surface with a
basically common topography and common morphology.
Lying or formed
at the base of
mountains; in the
United States, an area in the southern states at the base of the
Blue Ridge Mountains.
A situation in
which two or
more culture groups
occupy the same territory but maintain their separate cultural
bending (folding) and
breaking (faulting) of the solid surface of the earth results
from the slow movement of large sections (plates) of that
Land that has
(basically the last one
million years) when ice sheets covered large sections of the
Earth's land surface not now covered by glaciers.
An economy that
basic character from
economic activities developed primarily after manufacturing grew
to predominance. Most notable would be quaternary economic
The oldest rocks,
more than 600
million years old.
A military post
An imaginary line running from north to south through Greenwich,
England, used as the reference point for longitude.
A product that is
as a raw material in
developed economies; a product consumed in its primary (i.e.,
unprocessed) state (see Staple Product).
That portion of a
economy devoted to the
extraction of basic materials (e.g., mining, lumbering,
A type of Indian
by some tribes in
the southwestern United States. A large community dwelling,
divided into many rooms, up to five stories high, and usually
made of adobe. Also, a Spanish word for town or village.
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That portion of a
economy devoted to
informational and idea-generating activities (e.g., basic
research, universities and colleges, and news media).
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between the two
rails of a railroad.
An area of
precipitation on the lee
(downwind) side of a mountain or mountain range.
An area having
some characteristic or
that distinguish it from other areas. A territory of interest to
people and for which one or more distinctive traits are used as
the basis for its identity.
Anything that is
occurring and of use to
The rights of
possessed by a person
owning land containing or bordering a water course or lake.
Located on or
inhabiting the banks
or the area near a
river or lake.
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The proportional relationship between a linear measurement on a map
and the distance it represents on the Earth's surface.
A steep cliff or
steep slope, formed
either as a result of faulting or by the erosion of inclined rock
of Protestants from
Scotland who migrated to northern Ireland in the 1600s.
The ocean surface.
That portion of a
economy devoted to
the processing of basic materials extracted by the primary
that is not the
primary residence of the owner. Such residences are usually found
in areas with substantial opportunities for recreation or tourist
Rock formed by
hardening of material
deposited in some process; most commonly sandstone, shale, and
A form of
in which the tenant
pays for use of the land with a predetermined share of his crop
rather than with a cash rent.
A broad area of
very old rocks above
sea level. Usually
characterized by thin, poor soils and low population densities.
feed) prepared by
fermenting green forage plants in a silo.
Usually a tall,
in which fodder
(animal feed) is stored; may be a pit dug for the same purpose.
the roof of a
usually found in areas of limestone rock.
Features of a
place related to the
immediate environment on
which the place is located (e.g., terrain, soil, subsurface,
geology, ground water).
Features of a
place related to its
to other places (e.g., accessibility, hinterland quality).
particulate matter and
chemical pollutants in
the lower atmosphere, usually over urban areas.
SMSA - Standard Metropolitan Statistical
of one or more counties that focus on one or more central cities
larger than a specified size, or with a total population larger
than a specified size. A reflection of urbanization.
Capable of being
dissolved; in this
characteristic of soil minerals that leads them to be carried
away in solution by water (see Leaching).
economic activities and
their interconnecting linkages.
location pairing such
that items demanded by one place can be supplied by another.
A product that
major component in trade
because it is in steady demand; thus, a product that is basic to
the economies of one or more major consuming populations (see
The amount of a
community, such as trees or fish, that can be harvested without
diminishing the ability of the community to sustain itself.
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that begins where the
tundra ends and is dominated by spruces and firs.
An increase in
temperature with height
above the Earth's surface, a reversal of the normal pattern.
A specific area
portion of the
Earth's surface; not
to be confused with region.
That portion of a
economy devoted to
service activities (e.g., transportation, retail and wholesale
market for an
economic activity. The
activity will not be successful until it can reach a population
larger than this threshold size.
Time difference and Time Zones
As the Earth rotates, different parts of the World (from East to West) are lighted by the Sun (sunrise) successively, and then move on to darkness (sunset).
Consequently, different areas of the world ("time zones") start and end their counting of the daily hours sooner or later than others.
They are divided into time zones according to convention, and measured by their distance (in hours of difference) from Greenwich (England) Mean Time (GMT).
For example, New York time is GMT-6, because when it is 12 noon in Greenwich, in New York it is 6:00 AM, a 6-hour "time difference".
A time measure of
apart places are (how
long does it take to travel from place A to place B?). This may
be contrasted with other distance metrics such as geographic
distance (how far is it?) and cost-distance (how much will it
cost to get there?).
The physical features of a place; or the study and depiction of
physical features, including terrain relief.
Township and Range
land subdivision of
much of the agriculturally settled United States west of the
Appalachian Mountains; established by the Land Ordinance of 1785.
The extent to
which a good
or service can be
moved from one location to another; the relative capacity for
movement of people
and animals in
search of pasture. Commonly, winters are spent in snow-free
lowlands and summers in the cooler uplands.
elevational limit of normal
tree growth. Beyond this limit, closer to the poles or at higher
or lower elevations, climatic conditions are too severe for such
area between the
Tropic of Cancer (21-1/2 N latitude) and the Tropic of Capricorn
latitude), characterized by the absence of a cold season. Often
used to describe any area possessing what is considered to be a
hot, humid climate.
A treeless plain
the arctic and
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A condition among
force such that a
portion of the labor force could be eliminated without reducing
the total output. Some individuals are working less than they are
able or want to, or they are engaged in tasks that are not
which an increase
in the size of the labor force will result in an increase in per
A territory with
one or more
throughout and absent or unimportant elsewhere.
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The level below
the land surface
at which the
subsurface material is fully saturated with water. The depth of
the water table reflects the minimum level to which wells must be
drilled for water extraction.
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regulation of land and
building use to control
the character of a place.