BTHS Geography Chapter 2

Landmasses above water on earth
Solar System

Consists of the sun and nine known planets, as well as other celestial bodies that orbit the sun.  The solar system also contains comets, spheres covered with ice and dust that leave trails of vapor as they race through space.

Asteroids – large chunks of rocky material are found in space as well.

Center of the earth made up of iron and nickel.  The outer core is liquid, but the inneer core is solid
Molten rock that can form in the mantle and rise through the crust

The thin layer of rock at the earth’s surface.

19 – 37 miles thick



(ATMOS meaning ;uncut; or ;indivisible)

(Sphere – ball or circle)

Contains the oxygen we breathe, protects the earth from radiation and space debris, and provides the medium for weather and climate.

Approximately 19 miles thick


(Lith = stone)

(Sphere = Circle or ball)

Includes the crust and the uppermost mantle.

Under the ocean, the lithosphere forms the ocean floor

(30 – 90 miles thick)


(Hydro = water)

(Sphere = circle or ball)


made up of the water elements on earth, which include oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, and water in the atmosphere


(bios “life, way of living”)

(sphere – ball or circle)


the part of the earth where plants and animals live.

Continental Drift

Hypothesis that maintained that the earth was once a supercontinent that divided and slowly drifted apart over millions of years.


(; Greek hupothesis “foundation, base” ; thesis “placing”]



an irregularly shaped rock that orbits the Sun, mostly occurring in a band asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.;Asteroids range in size from the largest, Pallas, with a diameter of 480 km;(300 mi), down to dust particles.

; Greek asteroeidēs “starlike” ; astēr “star”]

Hydrologic cycle
continuous circulation of water between the atmosphere, the oceans, and the earth
Drainage Basin
an area drained by a major river and its tributaries
ground water
water held in the pores of rock
Water Table

Level at which the rock is saturated.;

The water table can rise or fall depending on the amount of precipitation in the region and on the amount of water pumped out of the ground


naturally formed features on the surface of the earth.

See pages 34 and 35 .


A good quiz question… how many landforms are shown on pages 34 and 35?

Continental Shelf
The earth’s (rock) surface from the edge of a continent to the deep part of the ocean
The difference in elevation of a landform from its lowest point to its highest point
Four Categories of Relief
Mountains, Hills, Plains, Plateaus
The combination of the surface shape and composition of the landforms and their distribution in a region.
Tectonic Plates

Enormous moving pieces of the earth’s lithosphere


See Page 37

San Andreas Fault

The San Andreas Fault, unlike most faults that stay below the ocean, emerges from the Pacific Ocean and traverses hundreds of miles of land. It runs through California for about 600 miles from Point Arena to the Imperial Valley. The fault marks the boundary between the North American and Pacific tectonic plates; earthquakes are caused by these plates sliding together.


Divergent Boundary

Tectonic plates that move apart, spreading horizontally.; This plate movement can be observed in Iceland.


Convergent Boundary

Tectonic Plates colliding, causing either one plate to dive under the other or the edges of both plates to crumple.

An example can be founed in South Asia.;

India is crashing into the Asian continent and building up the Himalayas.

Transform Boundary

Tectonic Plate movement where plates slide past one another.

One of the most famous examples of a transform boundary is in North America – the San Andreas Fault in California.


A fracture in the earth’s crust is called a fault and it is at the fault line that the plates move past each other.
The shaking or trembling of the earth as plates grind or slip past each other.  Most are not noticeable but major earthquakes can be violent and destructive.
A machine to measure the size of the waves created by an earthquake.
Focus / Epicenter

The location on the earth where an earthquake begins is called the focus.


The point directly above the focus on the earth’s surface is the epicenter.

Richter Scale
A scale for measuring the intensity of earthquakes.

A giant wave of water caused by an earthquake in the ocean.; Tsunami waves can travel at speeds up to 450 miles per hour producing waves of 50 to 100 feet high.;

Dude… you don’t wanna be catching this wave!

A crack in the earth’s surface where magma escapes, usually found along tectonic plate boundaries.

Magma that has reached the earth’s surface.


Ring of Fire

A zone around the rim of the Pacific Ocean, is the location of the vast majority of active volcanoes.

See page 37

The physical and chemical processes that change the characteristics of rock on or near the earth’s surface.
Small and smaller pieces of rock caused by the weathering process.
Mechanical Weathering
Natural phenomenon that cause the;changes in rock at the earth’s surface.  The composition of the rock remains the same, only the size is changed. 
Chemical Weathering

Occurs when a rock is changed into a new substance as a result of interaction between elements in the air or water and the minerals in the rock.

Some minerals react to oxygen, such as when iron rusts.


Occurs when weathered material is moved by the action of wind, water, ice, or gravity.

For erosion to occur, a transporting agent, such as water or wind, must be present.

When a river enters the ocean, the sediment deposited in a fan-like landform is called a delta.
Wind blown silt and clay sediment that produce very fertile soil.
A large, long lasting mass of ice that moves because  of gravity.
The changing of landforms by slowly moving glaciers.
Rocks left behind by a glacier that form a ridge or a hill.
Categories: Geography