Last updated on April 24, 2014 at 17:35 EDT

Physical geography Reference Libraries

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Drainage Divide
2009-07-06 18:07:31

A drainage divide, water divide, divide, or watershed is the line that separates neighboring drainage basins. In flat country the divide may be invisible (just a notional line on the ground either side of which water starts its journey to different waterways). While, in hilly country, the divide lies along peaks and ridges. Drainage divides are important geographical, and sometimes political...

Water Cycle
2009-07-06 17:58:20

The water cycle (or hydrologic cycle) describes the continuous movement of water above, below, and on the planet. Since the water cycle is in fact a "cycle", there is no beginning or end. Water exists in three states: liquid, vapor, and ice. Although the balance of water on our planet is fairly constant, individual water molecules may come and go. The water cycle is driven by the sun. The sun...

2009-07-06 17:15:30

Meltwater is water that is released from melting snow or ice. This includes meltwater from glacial ice and ice shelves over oceans. Meltwater is often produced during volcanic eruptions, and can cause dangerous lahars (landslides of wet volcanic debris). When meltwater pools on the surface rather than draining or flowing away, it forms pools known as melt ponds. Meltwater will often refreeze as...

Sky Islands
2009-07-04 14:40:55

Sky Islands are mountains located within ranges that are isolated by valleys in which other ecosystems are located. As a result, mountain ecosystems are isolated from each other, and species can develop separately, as occurs on island groups such as the Galápagos Islands. The best known example of sky islands are the northern end of the Sierra Madre Occidental in New Mexico, Arizona,...

Neotropic Ecozone
2009-07-01 13:41:09

The Neotropic ecozone is one of Earth's eight ecosystems. This ecozone is also known as the Neotropical ecozone. It is made up of South and Central America, the Mexican lowlands, Caribbean Islands, and southern Florida. The southernmost part of South America is part of the Antarctic ecosystem. Many of the regions included in the Neotropic share the same diversity among plant and animal life....

Indomalaya Ecozone
2009-07-01 12:56:43

The Indomalaya ecozone is one of Earth's eight ecosystems. It covers most of South and Southeast Asia and parts of East Asia. This area was originally known as the Oriental Region by most scientists (especially biogeographers). Indomalaya extends from Afghanistan to Pakistan through the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to southern China, and through Indonesia toward Java, Bali, and...

Pink Pigeon Columba mayeri
2009-06-04 23:10:27

The Pink Pigeon (Columba mayeri) is a species of bird of the Columbidae family, which includes doves and pigeons. It is endemic to Mauritius and is very rare. It is found only on the Mascarene Island of Mauritius. Once being found on the larger Reunion Island, it is now extinct there. It is found in patches of forest in the National Park area to the southwest, and in the nature reserve Ile aux...

Earth Science
2014-01-12 00:00:00

Earth science (or geoscience) is the science of the planet Earth. Earth science can be broken down into four major disciplines, which are: geography, geology, geophysics, and geodesy. These disciplines use physics, chemistry, biology, chronology and mathematics to arrive to a greater understanding of the principal areas of the Earth system. Since Earth is the only known life-bearing planet,...

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station
2009-05-14 17:45:56

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station is a U.S. research facility based at the South Pole, in Antarctica. It is the southernmost continually inhabited place on the planet. Its name honors Roald Amundsen who reached the South Pole in December 1911, and Robert F. Scott who reached the South Pole in January 1912. The station was constructed in 1956 to support the International Geophysical Year in...

2009-07-02 23:05:06

The Cerrado (English: "inaccessible") is an immense tropical savanna ecoregion located in Brazil. It is distinguished by its wide variety of plant and animal biodiversity. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it is the richest savanna in the world, known for its flora and fauna. The climate of the Cerrado is mostly hot to semi-humid in the summer with a dry winter season which lasts from May...