Physical Geography Definitions

Glacial
A cold period of time during which the Earth's glaciers expanded widely.
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Glacier
A moving body of ice.
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Fluvial Processes
Processes involving rivers.
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Tectonic Plates
Large surfaces of rock underneath the Earth's surfaces.
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Carbon Dating
Uses radioactive testing to find the age of rocks.
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Geology
Type of rock.
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Afforestation
Growing a forest of trees (opposite of deforestation).
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Coast
Where the land meets the sea
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Concordant Coastline
A coastline made up of both hard and soft rock running PARALLEL to the coastline meaning the rock erodes at different rate.
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Discordant Coastline
A coastline made up of both hard and soft rock running PERPENDICULAR to the coastline
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Hydraulic Action
When water is forced into cracks in the rock in cliffs, compressing the air thus forcing the rock apart.
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Abrasion
When loose rock (sediment) is thrown against the cliff, chipping parts off.
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Attrition
Loose sediment is swirled by the waves, smashing against other rocks. Eventually the sediment becomes smaller, smoother and more round.
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Solution
Acid in the waves erodes the chemical compounds creating a solution, so the rock has been dissolved.
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Fetch
How long and far the wind has been blowing over the sea, and how straight it is.
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Constructive Waves
Add sediment to a beach, low power and weak backwash.
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Destructive Waves
Take away sediment from a beach, high power and a strong backwash.
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Longshore Drift (LSD)
Process of deposition and transportation by waves on a beach.
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Hard Engineering
Structures built by people.
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Soft Engineering
Where the natural environment is used to help reduce coastal erosion and river flooding.
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Tributaries
Small rivers leading to a big river.
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Source
Start of the river.
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Drainage Basin
The area which is drained by a river and its tributaries.
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Mouth
Where the river ends. This is out on the coast. The river is slow and wide at this point.
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Tributary
A stream or river that flows into a mainstream river, which does not flow into a sea.
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Confluence
The meeting of two or more bodies of water, usually refers to the point where a tributary meets the main river body.
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Watershed
This line seperates drainage basins. It runs along a geographical barrier such as a ridge, hill or mountain.
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Meander
Bend in a river.
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Drainage Density
The total length of all the steams in the basin, divided by the total basin area.
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River Profiles
A way of identifying/showing how a river changes during its course.
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Alluvium
All deposits from a river.
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Thalweg
Easiest course for a river to take.
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Peak Discharge
Maximum discharge (cumecs)
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Lag Time
The time taken between peak rainfall and peak discharge.
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Rising Limb
Shows the increase in discharge on a hydrograph.
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Falling Limb
Shows the return of dishcarge to normal/base flow on a hydroraph.
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Risk Assessment
A systematic process of evaluating the potential risks that may be involved in an activity.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Glacier

Back

A moving body of ice.

Card 3

Front

Fluvial Processes

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Tectonic Plates

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

Carbon Dating

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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