Physical Geography

Landslide

A large mass of bedrock or regolith sliding downhill is known as a landslide. Large, disastrous landslides are possible wherever mountain slopes are steep. Landslides can also result when the base of a slope is made too steep by excavation or river erosion. Landslides range from rockslides of jumbled bedrock fragments to bedrock slumps in which …

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Jet Streams

Jet streams are wind streams that reach great speeds in narrow zones at a high altitude. They occur where atmospheric pressure gradients are strong. Along a jet stream, the air moves in pulses along broadly curving tracks. The greatest wind speeds occur in the center of the jet stream, with velocities decreasing away from it. …

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Igneous Rocks

Igneous rocks are formed when molten material, or magma, solidifies. The magma moves upward from pockets a few kilometers below the Earth’s surface, through fractures in older solid rock. There the magma cools, forming rocks of mineral crystals. Most igneous rock consists of silicate minerals— chemical compounds that contain silicon and oxygen atoms. These rocks …

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Sedimentary Rocks

Sedimentary rocks are made from layers, or strata, of mineral particles found in other rocks that have been weathered and from newly formed organic matter. Most inorganic minerals in sedimentary rocks are from igneous rocks. When rock minerals are weathered, their chemical composition is changed, weakening the solid rock. The rock breaks up into particles of …

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Metamorphic Rocks

The mountain-building processes of the Earth’s crust involve tremendous pressures and high temperatures. These extreme conditions alter igneous or sedimentary rocks, transforming them into metamorphic rocks. In many cases, the mineral components of the parent rock are changed into different mineral varieties. In some cases, the original minerals may recrystallize. Extreme heat and pressure transform shale into slate …

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Keystone Species

A keystone species is an organism that helps define an entire ecosystem. Without its keystone species, the ecosystem would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether. if these species will disappear from the ecosystem, no other species would be able to fill its ecological niche. The ecosystem would be forced to radically change, allowing …

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Umbrella Species

Umbrella species are such kind of species whose conservation indirectly protects many other species in the ecosystem. Hence, umbrella species can be used to make conservation-related decisions. These species have a larger habitat needs and other requirements. Furthermore, when umbrella species are conserved, it will result in the conservation of many other species. Hence, monitoring …

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Seismic Noise

Scientists at the British Geological Survey (BGS) have reported a change in the Earth’s seismic noise and vibrations amid the coronavirus lockdown. These findings have come two weeks after seismologists at the Royal Observatory in Belgium observed a 30-50% fall in levels of seismic noise since schools and businesses were closed in mid-March. What is …

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Urban Heat Island

An urban heat island is an urban area or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surrounding rural areas due to human activities. The temperature difference is usually larger at night than during the day, and is most apparent when winds are weak. Air temperatures in the central region of a city are typically …

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Carbon Pricing

Carbon pricing is an instrument that captures the external costs of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the costs of emissions that the public pays for, such as damage to crops, health care costs from heat waves and droughts, and loss of property from flooding and sea level rise – and ties them to their sources …

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