SO262, Physical Geography

Exam 1, Spring 2011


Definitions (1-2 sentences)

10@ 4 points each



Short answer

6 @ 10 points








Read the directions carefully. You have a selection of questions for the definitions.

Quality of your answers is important. For full credit you should use correct terminology, and show that you understand the concepts involved.


All work on this exam is individual. You may not any materials (books, notes, computers, calculators), and you may not use IM, texting, talking, or any other means to communicate with other individuals.


 Red comments are not complete answers, but key points that many students missed and were used for post test review.

: define 10 of the 12 terms with a concise sentence or two that clearly shows your understanding of the term, and why it is relevant in physical geography: Each is worth 4 points.


A version B Version

1.      Conformal map projection

2.      GIS

3.      Dry lapse rate

4.      Equinox:

5.      Albedo many skips; percentage

6.      Longwave radiation TIR

7.      Land-water breeze day/night

8.      Cyclone low pressure rotating winds

9.      Gyre  temperatures

10.  Cirrus clouds wispy

11.  Aquifer  many skips

12.  Water table  many skips

1.      Equal area map projection

2.      GIS

3.      Moist lapse rate

4.      Solstice

5.      Albedo many skips; percentage

6.      Shortwave radiation VIS

7.      Mountain-valley breeze day/night

8.      Cyclone low pressure rotating winds

9.      Gyre temperatures

10.  Stratus clouds layers

11.  Aquiclude  many skips

12.  Wilting point  many skips



Verify that only answered 10 of the 12 terms. You will have to answer all the remaining questions.


(10 points) Fill in the table below for the two dates specified (A version had two on the left, B version two on the right):



March 21

June 21

Dec 21 Sept 21

Event Name




Location with most intense insolation




Location with longest daylight and how much




Location with shortest daylight and how much




Location with least incoming insolation







(10 points) Draw the winds near 60˚S (A version) or  60˚N (B version). Insure that you include both the horizontal and vertical motions, the locations of any pressure systems that influence the winds, and the names for the winds. Would this area be dry or wet, and how could you see that from space?





(10) Put labels on these two graphs, and explain what each shows. Are the key concepts behind the two graphs related?






(10 points) Hopefully you can recognize the United States and Annapolis on the two maps above. Discuss what the round symbols on the maps attempt to show, why they are necessary, and what similarities and differences you see between the two maps. Which of the two maps presents the greater challenge to the cartographer, and why is this the case?





See end of this file for the actual locations of the stations, which were not given.



(2) Looking just at temperature profiles, what do you think accounts for the differences between stations B and C? Between A and B?




(3) Pick one stations, and discuss the air masses involved in its weather patterns. Do these change throughout the year?




(2) Compare the rainfall patterns at stations A and C. Discuss two reasons which might cause any differences.




(1) Is there a name for this overall weather pattern?



(2) Could these stations come from the same continent (which one or ones if so)? Why or why not?



These two stations are about 2300 km apart at the same latitude.  They are in fact near Baghdad (Station A N34.71, E43.6, elevation 97 m) and near Baghlan, Afghanistan (Station B, N. 36.45, E68.68, elev 698 m).


(4) Discuss two reasons why the curves have the different shapes; insure that you discuss both curves.


(3) Which station will have more severe problems with its water budget, and why?


(3) If the local people at these locations wanted to pursue farming, what sustainable source of water would you suggest and why? Insure that you cover their options.