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GEOG 102 (1)
Chapter 1

The Earth as a Rotating Planet Notes taken from: Visualizing Physical Geography (Alan Strahler with Zeeya Merali). A summary of chapter 1 - The Earth as a Rotating Planet. Includes main concepts and definition of the material in chapter 1. Also, page numb

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Department
Geography
Course
GEOG 102
Professor
Ellsworth Le Drew
Semester
Fall

Description
GEOG102 // Visualizing Physical Geography The Earth as a Rotating Planet The Shape of the Earth (p.4-5) o Earth slightly bulges at the equator and flattens at the pole • Equatorial diameter = 12,756km • Polar diameter = 12,714km Shape is more like a oblate ellipsoid rather than a sphere •  More accurate representation would be a geoid  Bulge caused by the Earth's rotation The Earth's Rotation (p.6-7) o The Earth spins on its axis Axis - imaginary straight line through center of the Earth around which the • earth rotates o Earth spins counter-clockwise at the North Pole • Left to Right from Equator • One rotation is one solar day (24 hours) o North and South poles are two points on the Earth's surface where axis of rotation emerges o Coriolis effect - directions of large motions of the atmosphere and oceans are affected as the turning planet makes their paths curve The Geographic Grid (p.8-12) o Network of parallels and meridians used to fix location on the Earth Parallel - East-west circle on the Earth's surface, lying on a plane parallel to • the equator • Meridian - North-south line n the Earth's surface, connecting the poles o Parallels and Meridians • Earth is divided into a geographic grid which is a network of parallels and meridians  Geographic grid - network of parallels and meridians used to fix location on the Earth  Parallel - East-west circle on the Earth's surface, lying in a plane parallel to the equator  Meridian - North-south line on the Earth's surface, connecting the poles o Latitude and Longitude • Longest parallel of latitude is the equator which lies midways between two poles  Latitude - Arc of a meridian between the equator and a given point on the globe  Longitude - Arc of a parallel between the prime meridian and a given point on the globe  Equator - Parallel of latitude lying midway between the Earth's poles (0°) • Together, latitude and longitude pinpoint locations on the geographic grid Map Projections (p.13-15) o Map Projections - A system of parallels and meridians representing the Earth's curved surface drawn on a flat surface o Mercator Projection • Map projection with horizontal parallels and verticals meridians Form a rectangular grid of vertical and horizontal straight lines •  At higher latitudes the spacing between lines increase GEOG102 // Visualizing Physical Geography • Goal of the Mercator Projection was to create a map that sailors use to determine their course • However, Mercator's map can easily make the shortest distance between two points seem longer than the compass line joining them • Chosen for maps of temperatures, winds, and pressures o The Goode Projection • Indicates the true sizes of regions on the Earth's
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