Physical Geography

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Physical Geography by Mind Map: Physical Geography

1. Study of the Earth

1.1. Where are the rivers, forests and oceans

1.2. Why they are there

1.3. How and why the Earth's surface changes over time

2. The 4 Realms

2.1. Hydrosphere (water in all forms)

2.1.1. Lakes, rivers, oceans, vapor and ice

2.2. Atmosphere (gaseous layer)

2.2.1. Supplies carbon, nitrogen and oxygen to life

2.3. Lithosphere (platform of the life layer)

2.3.1. Includes solid rock and soil and sculpted into landforms

2.4. Biosphere (life layer of all living organisms)

2.4.1. Depend on the other three layers

2.4.2. Where all the realms come together and interact

2.4.3. Human habitat

2.4.4. Divided into biogeography and ecology Ecology Study interrelationships of organisms and their environment Ecosystem is a set of all biotic and antibiotic components in a given environment Biogeography Study the patterns and relationships found in the biotic environment Study past and present distributions of organisms

2.4.5. Species interaction Competition Predation Mutualism Key stone species

3. Earth-Sun Relation

3.1. Solar radiation sustains life on Earth

3.1.1. It might be partly reflected, absorbed and transmitted Albedo is a measure of the reflecting power of a surface Black surface - low albedo White surface - high albedo

3.2. The tilt of the Earth's axis causes seasons as the Earth rotates around the sun

3.2.1. Seasons have different length of day and night: days are longer in summer and shorter in winter

3.3. Equinox (March 21 and September 22)

3.3.1. 12 hours of sunlight throughout the world

3.3.2. Sun's rays are perpendicular at the equator

3.4. Different heating and cooling drives wind and ocean currents

3.5. Urban areas are warmer with dark surfaces, low albedo, less vegetation and less transpiration

4. Pressure, Winds and Precipitation

4.1. Wind blows from high pressure to low pressure areas

4.2. High temperature, low pressure and vice versa

4.3. Precipitation occurs when the air reaches the dew point and particles of water becomes heavy enough to fall as rain or snow

5. Biomes and Major Climates

5.1. Precipitation and temperature influence the kinds of vegetation of a place

5.1.1. 6 major vegetation forms: forest, savanna, shrubland, grassland, scrub, desert

5.2. Biomes are plants and animals communities with distinct characteristics with overlapping borders among each other

5.2.1. Designated according to a dominant vegetation form Lower latitude Tropical rainforest - Global Carbon Cycle Savanna and tropical dry forest Desert and semi desert Mid latitude Mediterranean biome Temperate grasslands Temperate and deciduous forest High latitude Boreal forest Tundra

5.3. Soil type, disturbance and elevation impact biomes

5.3.1. Different soil characteristics influence the kinds of plants in a given locale Some soils, with high sand content, dry out rains while others, with high clay content, will remain moist for long period of time

5.3.2. Disturbance is an event that causes short-term changes to plant communities Common disturbances include fires, floods, windstorms or human activities

5.3.3. Elevation affects temperature and precipitation to create a patchwork of vegetation patterns