Geography Terms

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1
Archipelago: a string or chain of islands
2
Bay: a small body of water partially
surrounded by land
3
Butte: a visible hill with steep, often
vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top
(Similar to but smaller than a plateau, mesa and table)
4
Canal: a man-made waterway for boats
or for draining or irrigating land
5
Canyon: a deep valley or crevice in the earth’s
surface, with very steep sides and usually with a
river running through it
Also known as gorges; ravines are similar, but
not as deep
6
Cape: a point of land that extends
into the sea or into a lake
7
Delta: a triangular, fertile area of land
around the mouth of a large river
The Nile Delta– northern Egypt
8
Fjord: a narrow, winding ocean inlet with
steep cliff-like sides (carved out by a glacier)
9
Glacier: a huge sheet of snow or ice moving
slowly down a slope (mountain) or valley
10
What’s the difference between a
GLACIER and an ICEBERG?
A glacier is a river of ice, mostly on land. It is
fed by snowfields in the mountains and flows
down a valley, like a very slow moving river,
until it meets with the sea or a lake.
An iceberg is a large piece of ice floating in
water. It may have broken off a glacier.
11
Geyser: a spring from which boiling water
and steam gushes into the air in intervals
12
Gulf: a large portion of the ocean,
partially surrounded by land
13
Island: a body of land completely
surrounded by water
14
Isthmus: a narrow strip of land
connecting two larger pieces of land
The Isthmus of Panama
15
Jungle: land densely covered with trees,
vines, etc. (typically found in the tropics)
16
Lagoon: a body of shallow sea or salt
water that is separated from a larger sea
by some barrier (sand, rock, reef, etc.)
17
Lake: a large inland body of standing
water (usually freshwater)
Lake Michigan
Lake Winnipesaukee
18
Mesa: a tall, flat-topped mountain with steep,
vertical sides (usually found in dry places)
Buttes are small mesas
19
Ocean: a large body of salt water
Pacific
Atlantic
20
Peninsula: a long piece of land
surrounded by water on three sides
21
Plain: a large, flat, and mostly treeless
area of land
The Great Plains
22
River: a natural stream of water larger
than a brook or creek (typically flowing into
an ocean or lake)
Mississippi River
Merrimack River
23
Sound: a wide channel linking two larger bodies
of water or separating an island from the mainland
24
Swamp: wet, spongy land often partly
covered with water
25
Tundra: a vast, treeless arctic plain
26
Volcano: an opening in the Earth’s surface that
forms when lava, gases, and rocks erupt, or burst
out, from deep inside the Earth
Mt. Saint Helens
27
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