Introduction to Physical Geography
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What is the constituent component of the Earths atmosphere?
How much oxygen is in the Earths atmosphere?
List the layers of the atmosphere in the correct order
Describe how and where Ozone forms
- Forms in the Stratosphere
- Ozone is 3 atoms of oxygen joined together to create an ozone molecule
Explain how Global Warming Occurs
- Human industrial activities are increasing the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
- Carbon dioxide and water vapor produce a natural greenhouse effect.
- CFC's absorb UV radiation and break down into chlorine oxide (CIO) molecules, that, in turn, attack ozone molecules and convert them into oxygen atoms. The effect is the ozone layer is depleted and more UV radiation reaches the ground because less is absorbed in the atmosphere.
Describe El Nino events
- - occurs around Christmas
- - the low pressure zone migrates eastwards to the middle of the Pacific
- - Easterly trade winds are replaced by Westerlies
- -Warm surface water is blown from West to East
- - Up welling cold water is trapped under warm water
- - Lower than normal air pressure in the eastern Pacific, higher air pressure in the Western Pacific
Describe La Nina conditions
- - Northeasterly winds
- - East - more rain
- - West - less rain
- - Glaciers receed
- - An exaggeration of "normal" conditions
- - Easterly trade winds are stronger
- - Walker circulation intensifies
Outline some impacts of El Nino conditions
- -Massive Flooding
- -Fewer Hurricanes
- -More Westerlies in NZ (less rain in the east, more in the west)
- -Glaciers tend to advance
Outline some impacts of La Nina conditions
- -Northeasterly winds
- -East - more rain
- -West - less rain
- - Glaciers tend to receed
Illustrate STABLE atmospheric conditions
Illustrate UNSTABLE atmospheric conditions
Illustrate CONDITIONALLY UNSTABLE atmospheric conditions
Describe the formation of precipitation including the four mechanical mechanisms of uplift
- (page 158)
Define Orbital Forcing
- the effect on climate of slow changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis and shape of the orbit
- Precession of the Equinoxes - 21000yrs (direction of the axis)
- Obliquity of the Ecliptic - 42000yrs
- (angle of axial inclination)
- Eccentricity - 96000yrs
- (the shape of the earths orbit)
Explain abiotic ecosystem components
- Non-living things, physical and chemical
- -Physical Factors - (eg)slope
- -Day Length
- -Precipitation & Water
Explain Biotic Factors
- Living things and their interactions -
- -Species Characteristics
- -Food Webs
- -Species -Interaction
- - Competition
- - Commensalism
- - Amensalism
- - Mutualism - interaction both species benefit
- - Antagonism - organism feeding from another
- A sequence of ecological changes in an area whereby one group of a plant and/or animal species successively gives way to another - each stage makes it more habitual for the next
- - Eventually becomes a climax community.
Explain the serial stages of general ecological succession in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
Compare and contrast the characteristics of the 12 terrestrial biomes accounting for similarities and differences between the biomes
- Tropical Rainforest
- Tropical Deciduous Forest and Scrub
- Midlatitude Deciduous Forest
- Mediterranean Woodland and Shrub
- Midlatitude Coniferous Forest
- Boreal Forest
- Tropical Savanna
- Midlatitude Grassland
- Hot and Dry Desert
- Semi-arid and Cold Desert
- Arctic and Alpine Ice
May have different species present but they have similar behavior patterns and characteristics
- Four groups:
Describe and account for the key biotic and abiotic characteristics for each of the 12 biomes
Long winters, a short growing season of 60 -80 days, vegetation of herbs, small shrubs, lichens and mosses, and location atvery high northern latitudes are characteristic of which terrestrial biome?
True or False:
The boreal forest biome has the lowest diversity of all the terrestrial biomes
The follow features are characteristics of which terrestrial biome: Long winters; a short growing season of 60 - 80 days; vegetation of evergreen needle-leaved trees; and location at high northern latitudes?
The following features are characteristics of which terrestrial biome: Vegetation dominated by a thick cover of woody shrubs or scattered trees and open grassy patches; moisture excess in winter; and location on the west coast in the lower middle latitudes?
Name the major component of the global atmospheric circulation system responsible for the climate of the hot dry desert biome.
The hot low-latitude desert climate is dominated by the STH Pressure System.
What is the main difference between the Tropical Rainforest biome and the Tropical Savannah biome?
The Tropical Rainforest receives twice as much rain as the Tropical Savannah.
Semi-arid and Cold Deserts typically receive more rainfall than Hot, Dry Deserts - True or False?
Describe IGNEOUS rock
- Cooled from Molten Magma
- When the magma cools, the elements combine to form crystals of different minerals:
What is the term used for Igneous rock cooled below the earths surface?
What is the term used for Igneous rock erupted and cooled above the earths surface?
How are Igneous Rocks categorized?
- Origin - Plutonic/Volcanic
- Texture - grain size
- Chemical Composition
Describe SEDIMENTARY rock
Formed from the accumulation of pre-existing mineral grains, rock fragments, organic matter etc.
Sediments become lithified.
Need source of sediment and room to accumulate.
What are the three main types of Sedimentary rock?
- Clastic - rock and mineral fragments held together with a cementing agent
- Organic - organic material such as shells and plant remains
- Crystalline - e.g. Salt
Describe METAMORPHIC rocks
Formed from altering of pre-existing igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic rocks
Exposure to pressure and/or temperature leads to alteration of mineralogy and texture of pre-existing rock.
Give some examples of Sedimentary Rock
- Sand Stone
- Silt Stone
- Mud Stone
Name two rock types which are comprised of volcanic glass
The abundance of which one chemical compound is chiefly responsible for magma's ability to flow?
The Earth is closest to the sun at perihelion on July 4 each year - True or False?
Southern Hemisphere Winters are currently at aphelion or perihelion?
Oxygen isotope values from sea floor sediments are relatively enriched in the heavy isotype (18 O) during cold, glacial periods - True or False?
During a warm period, are oceans enriched or depleted of 18 O?
Give some examples of Tephra.
- - anything that flies out of a volcano and is ejected
- -ash -less than 2mm
- -lapilli -2mm-6mm
Draw and label the Rock Cycle
Name the characteristics to compare EFFUSIVE vs EXPLOSIVE volcanic eruptions
- Volatile (gas) context
- Magma viscosity
- Magma temperature
- Magma composition -SiO2 content
List the characteristics of Rhyolitic Volcanism
- >65% SiO2 - Silicic Magma
- Highly viscous
- Rhyolitic Volcanism
- Extremely Explosive
e.g. Lake Taupo
List the characteristics of Andesitic Volcanism
- 55% - 65% SiO2 - intermediate magma
- Andesitic volcanism
- In general more explosive
- Activity can also be effusive
e.g. Mt Ruapehu
List the characteristics of Basaltic Volcanism
- 45% - 55% Basaltic/mafic magmas
- Basaltic Volcanism
Name the Vocanic Landforms
- Cinder/Scoria Cone
- Crater Rim
What are the types of Lava Flows?
- Pahoehoe - ropey, smooth
- A'a - blocky
Which type of crust (lithosphere) is typically older?
- The Continental Crust
- (The Oceanic Crust is constantly being recycled)
What is the name of the super-continent?
What is evidence used to support theories of continental drift and plate tectonics?
- Magnetic Stripping
- Matching Fossils across continents
- Seafloor Spreading
- Benioff zones
- Geographic fir of continents
What properties describe the nature of the oceanic crust?
- 4-10km thick
- Density ~3.2m3
Which tectonic plate interactions occurs immediately to the east of New Zealand's North Island
Oceanic - Continental collision
Mid-ocean ridges are associated with which tectonic plate interactions?
Describe the Continental Shelf
Submerged, thinned continental crust
- (shields and platforms)
- Old and Stable Continental Crust
Why are there so many craters on the moon compared to earth?
- There is no erosion on the moon so the craters are more preserved
- There is no atmosphere to burn up meteroites
- Plate tectonics aren't on the moon, there is no crust recycling
Name 2nd order relief features
- Oceans -mid ocean ridges, abyssal plains, volcanic changes, ocean trenches, island arcs, continental shelf
- Continents - Cratons, shields & platforms, mountain chains (orogens), plateaus and plains
Disintegration and breakdown
(weathering alters rocks to be capable of being eroded)
The REMOVAL of sediments
Name the three types of weathering processes
- Physical - (Brittle Fracture) breakdown
- Chemical - (crystal Lattice Alteration) - decomposition
- Biological - Physical or chemical weathering facilitated by biological activity
List the factors/conditions influencing the Physical types of weathering
- Gelifraction (frost wedging)
- Themoclasty (insulation) - Expand and Contract through Heating and Cooling
- Unloading (Pressure Release)
- Haloclasty (salt weathering)
- Bio-mechanical (trees/roots that grow through rocks with cracks/fractures
List the factors/conditions influencing the Chemical types of weathering
- Hydrolysis - some minerals react with water and acid to take up hydrogen and 'kick out' other cations.
- Solution - rocks that dissolve completely when exposed to rainwater
Where does limestone usually form?
- In tropical places
- -warm, shallow seas rich in carbonic biocarbonate
What are the three Karst Features/Landforms?
- Karren - Minor Karst landforms formed by water running over limestone surface (above or below soil)
- Caves - size and shape depends how water transmits through the ground
- Depositional Features in Caves -
Name some Karren Karst Features/Landforms
- Sink Holes - (doline) - depressions within the landscape
- Pseudo Karst - artificle sinkholes, lave cave
- (cave formed in sandstone by waves/tidal)
- Cockpit Karst - Forms from the intersection of multiple sinkholes
- Tower Karst - Isolated blocks remain after collapse of cave systems:
- -Facilitated by high rainfall, warm temp (i.e. abundant organic acids), uplift and incision by rivers
Define Mass movement/Landslides
The down slope movement of material under the influence of gravity
How does Soil Erosion contribute to Landslides?
Soil erosion causes soil to be stripped away, taking away the top soil and sponge landscape where vegetation can grow.
What stability factors can cause instability?
- - contributing to low strength
- - reducing the material strength
- - increasing shear stresses
List the material and what type of mass movement it relates to
- SNOW - Snowslide
- ROCK - rockfall
- DEBRIS - Debrisflow
- EARTH - Earthflow
- WATER CONTENT - (Lahar)/Dry
- STYLES/MECHANISMS OF MOVEMENT - Falls (i.e. rocks falling)
- - Topple (i.e. topple over)
List two common landslide triggers
What are some ways to determine if an area has been subject to mass movement/landslides?
- Core Studies
- Study of rocks/unstable structures and how long they have been around = low risk of earthquakes or landslides
What are some indicators of landslide activity?
- Lakes in Alpine Areas
- Bent Trees
Explain the concept of slope stability
- Balance of strength and stress factors, which varies for different slopes
- Slopes can become unstable and fall through loss/gain of strength/stress instantaneously or over time
What are the causes of mass movement?
- Inherent factors: weak minerals, steep slopes
- Changing factors: weathering, erosion/cutting or slope toe, deforestation, slow rise in ground water
- Triggers: Earthquakes, Rapid rise in ground water
List the Active factors which affect Streamflow
- External to catchment
- Short term
- Vary with each storm
List the Passive factors which affect Streamflow
- Characteristics of the catchment through which the active factors work, and remain constant over a decadal basis
- Size and shape of floodpeak
Describe the factors conditioning deposition in rivers
- Sediment Supply - volume and size. Flood plain sediments reflect:
- Bedrock and superficial deposits of river catchment
- Size and quantity released into rivers by weathering and erosion on slopes
- Upstream erosional activity
Describe the processes responsible for Alluvial Fan formation
Depositional landforms, but may contain channels which are incised into the fan surface, often at the fan head.
What are the four modes of alluvial fan deposition?
- Flash floods
- Stream Floods
- Debris flow - masses of coarse sediment in a muddy matrix
Describe the characteristics of a STRAIGHT CHANNEL
The deepest part of the channel will follow a sinuous line (Thalweg)
Describe the characteristics of a MEANDERING CHANNEL
- Velocity usually lowest along bed and walls of channel
- here maximum frictional resistance
- On a bend - highest velocity swings to outside of channel
- Produces undercut banks and point bars (= deposition of bedload in accommodation space)
- A river is classified as meandering when sinuosity is greater than 1.5
Describe the characteristics of a BRAIDED CHANNEL
- water repeatedly divides or reunites in a mobile bed (sand or gravel)
- Braided channels are made up of shallow, interconnected channels separated by shifting sand/gravel bars which have little vegetation growing on them
- A braided channel is characterized by midchannel/medial bars
Describe the characteristics of a WANDERING CHANNEL
- Combine features of braided and meandering channels without fully developing meandering or braiding
- May have one or two mid-channel bars
- Occasional bends
- Sinuosity is less than 1.5
- Many NZ rivers could be classed as 'wandering'
Briefly describe the process of firnification
Snow which is condensed/compressed to glacial ice through accumulation
Describe two factors that influence how fast a glacier will flow
- Internal Deformation Creep - Stresses cause slippage within and between ice crystals; individual granules can fracture and fault
- Basal Sliding - while mass moving together over the surface
- Thicker - Higher Stresses - More movement
- Temperature - warm ice moves more rapidly than cold ice
List the Glacial Landforms
- Erosional Landforms
- Hanging Valley
- Cirque Basins
- Roche Moutonne/sheepback
What is permafrost and why does it occur?
- Soil or rock which remains frozen for two or more consecutive years
- Discontinuous - continuous permafrost boundary is roughly -7°C isotherm
What is glacial till?
Poorly sorted sediment with wide range of particle sizes and lack of stratification
What is glacial erratic?
a foreign piece of rock to that landscape deposited by a glacier
Describe at least five main types of dunes
Describe processes of aeolion sediment transport using a diagram
Describe and explain long shore drift
Takes sediment from one part of the coast to other parts of the coast
Explain Spring Tides
The moon is between the sun and the moon, exaggerating the tides as the lunar and solar tides combine
Explain Neap Tides
The moon is on the opposing side of the earth to the sun creating a more equal tidal pull and reducing the tidal range
Explain Dissapative Beaches
- High Engery
- Wide surf zone
- Gentle sloping
- fine sand
Explain Reflective Beaches
- Low Energy
- Coarse Sand
Define Sediment Delivery Ratio
Sediment Delivery Ratio quantifies the proportion of sediment eroded in a catchment that is yielded from it
Explain the importance of Sediment Delivery Ratio in assessing catchment erosion
- The bigger the catchment the lower the sediment yield
- The sediment yields we are measuring are conservative estimates of the total sum of catchment erosion
What are the factors conditioning New Zealand sediment yields
In what layer of the atmosphere is the ozone layer located?
Which configuration of orbital forcing factors is thought to bring on a glacial period?
- Northern Hemisphere must be cool
- Low obliquity, high eccentricity and precession such that the Northern Hemisphere Summer is at aphelion
What type of vegetation succession would take place after a forest fire?
Secondary - fire removed vegetation, soil is still there
Name two characteristics of the sedimentary rock Greywacke
- very hard
- grain sizes poorly sorted
- presence of courtz
- grey colour
What is the original source of the sediment that the NZ Greywacke is made up of?
What are NZ's TWO main plate boundary types?
List some factors influential in dissolution weathering
- Fractured, porous rock
- Carbonic acid
- Plant acids
Name two types of ice-marginal moraine?
- Terminal moraine
- Lateral Moraine
Why are sediment yields a conservative estimates of total catchment erosion?
- Jerky conveyor
- Storage of products of erosion in catchment
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