GCSE Geography Physical Paper Notes

My notes for aqa physical geography, paper 1.

The topics are: The living world, water on the land/rivers and coasts.

Hope they help!

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  • Created by: Jenny
  • Created on: 18-06-12 11:18
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Geography Content Notes
Physical Geography
The Living World
Ecosystem: An ecosystem is a living community of biotic and abiotic plants and
animals which is linked to the natural environment where they live.
Biome: a large ecosystem
Biotic: living
Abiotic: nonliving
Key components
Plants Water
Animals Soil or rock (minerals)
Bacteria Climate
People Oxygen
Key Idea!
Plants, animals and decomposers are linked to each other and to the physical environment by
complex flows of energy and cycles of matter.
Energy Flows
Producer: Plants that perform photosynthesis and provide food to consumers
Consumer: An organism that feeds on other living organisms
Decomposer: An organism which breaks down organic matter into inorganic form
World Ecosystems...

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Tropical Rainforest:
Hot all year: 27-30C
Wet all year: 2000-3000mm
Global Distribution:
Central America
North and East South America (Amazon)
Central Africa
South East Asia
Herb layer
Ground layer
Plant Adaptations:
Thick waxy leaves with drip-tips- water runs off without
damaging the plant
Buttress roots (big roots)- support the trunks in shallow
Drop their leaves in drier periods to reduce water loss
Deciduous Forests:
Overview:…read more

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Warm summers: 16-20C
Mild winters: 3-8C
Precipitation all year: 550-1500mm
Global Distribution:
Most of Europe
South east USA
Fertile (thick layer of leaf fall)
Canopy layer
Sub-canopy layer
Herb layer
Ground layer
Plant adaptations:
Deciduous (lose leaves in winter) to reduce water loss
Hot Deserts:
Very hot in summer: 35-45C…read more

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Hot in winter: 20-30C
Dry all year: <250mm a year
Global Distribution:
North Africa
Middle east
South west USA
Not very fertile
Sparse plant growth : cacti and thorn bushes
Plant adaptations:
Long roots to reach water or spread out to catch any rainfall
Cacti have swollen stems to store water
Thick waxy skin to reduce water loss
Small spiky leaves to reduce water loss
Vegetation here is XEROPHYTIC.…read more

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Chemical Weathering: When chemicals break down rock and materials
Biological Weathering: When tree roots burst through pavements.
Physical Weathering: Weathering due to the climate: freezethaw weathering (
Mass Movement
Rockfall- Fragments of rock break away from the cliff face, often due to freeze-thaw
Landslide- Blocks of rock slide downfall
Mudflow- Saturated soil and weak rock flows down a slope
Rotational Slip- When material slumps down a curved surface
Mass Movement: The shifting of rocks and loose material down a slope.…read more

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This is repeated and the cliff slowly retreats backwards
6. The left behind rock is the platform
Headlands and Bays Formation
1. Form where there are alternating bands of hard rock and soft rock
2. The soft rock erodes quickly whereas the hard rock erodes slower
3. The fast-eroding soft rock becomes a bay
4. The slow-eroding hard rock become headlands
Cave, Arch and
Stack Formation
1. Cracks are formed in the cliff face by hydraulic action and abrasion
2.…read more

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The stack then erodes further to create a stump which is a small amount of rock under
Transportation and Deposition...
Transportation Landforms
Longshore Drift
1. Waves follow the direction of wind
2. Swash carries wave up shore as is at an angle
3. The backwash carries sediment into the sea
4. The swash then carries the sediment back up onto the shore but further down the beach
5. Repetition of this caused sediment to be moved down the beach.…read more

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Solution- Soluble materials or chemicals dissolved in the water and carried along.
Deposition Landforms
1. Form at sharp bends in the coastline
2. Longshore drift transports sand shingle past the bend and deposits it int he sea
3. This build up of sand and shingle begins to create an extended beach
4. Longshore drift continues to deposits sand and shingle and the beach continues out into
the sea
1.…read more

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1. This occurs when a spit grows from the mainland to an island, connecting the two
Coastal Flooding...…read more

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Economic Periodic flooding can Tourism revenue lost
help fertilise farm land Crops can get ruined
Damage repair
Social Raises awareness so Family life disrupted as
people can do roads are cut off
something about it Deaths possible
Angered if crops or land is
Loss of houses
Loss of jobs
Political Government made to Little or no response could
think about defence anger people
Environmental Can help soil fertility Destroy habitats
Coastal Erosion...…read more


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