Physical Geography

Physical Geography
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Published Date:01-08-2017
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Introducing Physical Geography • Introducing Geography • Spheres, Systems, Cycles and Trends • Physical Geography, Environment, and Global ChangeIntroducing Geography Geography can be subdivided into human geography and physical geography human geography examines economic, social and behavioral processes physical geography examines natural processesGeographic fields of study They all interactSpheres, Systems and Cycles The natural spheres : Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere… Biosphere … (Teilhard de Chardin) Noösphere (Facebook)Spheres, Systems and Cycles The life layer is the shallow Earth surface layer where the four realms (or spheres) interact and where most life forms are found Atmosphere Biosphere Hydrosphere lithosphereSpheres, Systems and Cycles Scale, pattern and process are three interrelated geographic themes Scale: the level of structure or organization at which a phenomenon is studied Pattern: variation in phenomenon observed at a particular scale, diurnal (day-night) cycles, El Niño, Atlantic Oscillation… Process: how the factors that affect a phenomenon act to produce a pattern at a particular scale Example: Process (wind) Pattern (waves)Spatial Scales Processes in the four spheres are studied at different spatial scales or levels of detail (global, continental, regional, local, individual, microscopic, atomic…)1000-Year Temperature Records Global Box 11.1, Figure 2 Regional LocalLocalNatural Systems a system is a collection of physical processes that are linked and act together in an organized way a systems approach to physical geography looks for quantitative linkages and interactions between processes and rates this is a kind of accounting Feedbacks: Positive and NegativeCycles Cycles are periodic changes in rates of processes that can occur on periods of any time scale. e.g., rotation of the Milky Way galaxy, revolution of the Earth about the Sun, daily rotation of the Earth about its axis, waves hitting a beach, a vibrating guitar string, the vibration of an atom…..TidesMilankovitch Cycles music of the spheres Interglacial GlacialMilankovitch CyclesEccentricity (100 Ka)

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