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Helping Your Child Learn Geography: Part 6

Terms and their Meanings

Altitude - Distance above sea level.
Atlas - A bound collection of maps.
Bay - A wide area of water extending into land from a sea or lake.
Boundaries - Lines indicating the limits of countries, counties, or other political jurisdictions.
Canal - A man-made watercourse designed to carry goods or water.
Canyon - A large but narrow gorge with steep sides.
Cape (or point) - A piece of land extending into water.
Cartographer - A person who draws or makes maps or charts.
Continent - One of the large, continuous areas of the Earth into which the land surface is divided.
Delta - The fan-shaped area at the mouth, or lower end, of a river, formed by eroded material that has been carried downstream and dropped in quantities larger than can be carried off by tides or currents.
Desert - A land area so dry that little or no plant life can survive.
Elevation - The altitude of an object, such as a celestial body, above the horizon; or the raising of a portion of the Earth’s crust relative to its surroundings, as in a mountain range.
Equator - An imaginary circle around the Earth halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole; the largest circumference of the Earth.
Glacier - A large body of ice that moves slowly down a mountainside from highlands toward sea level.
Gulf - A large arm of an ocean or sea extending into a land mass.
Hemisphere - 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.
International Date Line - An imaginary line of longitude generally 180° east or west of the prime meridian. The date becomes one day earlier to the east of the line.
Island - An area of land, smaller than a continent, completely surrounded by water.
Lagoon - A shallow area of water separated from the ocean by a sandbank or by a strip of low land.
Lake - A body of fresh or salt water entirely surrounded by land.
Latitude - The angular distance north or south of the equator, measured in degrees.
Legend - A listing which contains symbols and other information about a map.
Longitude - The angular distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees.
Mountain - A high point of land rising steeply above its surroundings.
Oasis - A spot in a desert made fertile by water.
Ocean - 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.
Peak - The highest point of a mountain.
Peninsula - A piece of land extending into the sea almost surrounded by water.
Plain - A large area of land, either level or gently rolling, usually at low elevation.
Physical Feature - A land shape formed by nature.
Population - The number of people inhabiting a place.
Prime Meridian - An imaginary line running from north to south through Greenwich, in London, used as the reference point for longitude.
Range (or mountain range) - A group or chain of high elevations.
Reef - A chain of rocks, often coral, lying near the water surface.
Reservoir - A man-made lake where water is kept for future use.
River - A stream, larger than a creek, generally flowing to another stream, a lake, or to the ocean.
Scale - The relationship of the length between two points as shown on a map and the distance between the same two points on the Earth.
Sea Level - The ocean surface; the mean level between high and low tides.
Valley - A relatively long, narrow land area lying between two areas of higher elevation, often containing a stream.
Volcano - A vent in the Earth’s crust caused by molten rock coming to the surface and being ejected, sometimes violently.
Waterfall - A sudden drop of a stream from a high level to a much lower level.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Back | Part 6
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