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24 Cards in this Set

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Plate Tectonics
Theory suggesting that the crust of the earth is split up into seven large plates and a few smaller plates all of which are able to move around.
Continental Drift
Theory that over 180 million years ago the supercontinent Pangea began to break up due to "continental drift".
Sea-floor Spreading
Theory provided scientific clues to the mechanisms by which the rigid earth's plates moved. i.e. folding, faulting, mountain building, volacnism, and formation of new crustal materials
Rift Valley
Major fault valley or graben, with walls between 15 and 100 miles apart averaging 25 to 30 miles apart.
Pangea
Supercontinent once connecting all seven of today's present continents.
Continental Shelf
Part of an ocean that extends from the shore to the transition zone (demarcating the open ocean) where depths increase rapidly.
Gondwanaland
Section of Pangea containing Africa, South America, and parts of Asia.
Escarpment
Narrow coastal belt in High Africa with higher elevation.
Subtropical High Pressure
Dictates surface wind patters and also influences rainfall and temperature regimes in Africa (along 30 degree N and S latitudes).
Intertropical Convergence Zone
Dictates surface wind patters and also influences rainfall and temperature regimes in Africa (along equator). Al so known as the zone of transition where the STHP winds meet.
Harmattan Winds
As the ITCZ move southward, the influence of the dry northeasterly airmass prevails over west Africa. These trade winds knows as the "Harmattan winds" or north east trades. They blow across the Sahara and bring dusty hazy conditions to most of west central Africa.
Ocean Currents
Moce warm water poleward and cold water toward teh equator, thereby exerting a modifying influence on temperature.
Lake Effect
Lakes have a modifying effect on temperature and rainfall as moisture from the lake is carried by prevailing winds to the land.
Tropical Rain Forest
All forest in the humid and semi-humid areas of Sub-Saharan Africa. Characterized by lush vegetation, high temperatures, and heavy rainfall.
Savanna Grassland
A vegetation zone where herbaceous plants and grasses dominate the landscape.
Sahel
Area constitutinga trasitione between the Sudanian grassland region and the Sahara desert.
Montane Vegetation
Develops over isolated elevated regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and is affected by local temperatures, rainfall, and soil conditions.
Maritime Effect
Proximity to large bodies of water has a modifying effect on the climate. Land generally heats and cools faster than the oceans explaining the extreme temperatures.
Northeast Trades
Also known as the Harmattan Winds.
Southeast Trades
Originate from the sounth sub-tropical highs and meets with the northeast trades to create the ITCZ.
Biome
An extensive unit of vegetation cover, together with its associated animal life, and it usually corresponds iwth particular climatic and soil types.
Oxisols
Type of soil which forms in the intensely weathered moist equatorial beslt and underlie areas between western Congolia and the east African coast.
Vertisols
Type of soil confined to the subhumid to arid areas of southeast Sudan and western Ethiopia.
Inceptisols
Type of soil that is young but has a relatively well-developed soil profile compared with entisols. They usually develop in humid regions as well as regions iwth significant glacial, wind, and volcanic ash deposits.