SO262, Physical Geography

Exam 2, Fall 2013



Definitions (1 sentence, choose 10/12))

10@ 3 points each



Rivers and Plate Tectonics Diagrams

4@ 10 points each



Climograph Diagrams

2@ 15 points each








Read the directions carefully.  You have a selection of questions for the definitions, and the short answers.


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), and you may not use IM, texting, talking, or any other means to communicate with other individuals.


Definitions:  define 10 of the 12 terms with a concise sentence that clearly shows your understanding of the term, and why it is relevant in physical geography:  Each is worth 3 points.


1.      100 year flood  10 skipped

2.       Braided stream:

3.      Constructive plate boundary

4.      Continental crust  thicker and lighter

5.      Folding:

6.      Igneous rock:

7.      Mercalli intensity:

8.      Normal fault:

9.      Passive margin:

10.  Radial drainage pattern:

11.  Shield volcano

12.  Steppe:


The diagram above shows: top, a 3D view of some islands, and below, a profile through one of the islands and the adjacent ocean.  Discuss what could be happening here, and what events are likely that would impact on the people living on the islands.





The diagram above shows a famous geographical feature. Explain what the feature is, how it forms, and why it is important for people who live in this region.


What does this diagram show?  Describe the formation and development of the feature; for full credit, you must include four specific terms.






The profile above shows the path of the Rio Grande River from the mountains of Colorado (distance 2700 km) to its mouth in the Gulf of Mexico (distance 0).

  1. What is the general trend for a river?s profile as it moves to the ocean (linear, concave up, or concave down), and is this river typical?

  2. How does the river?s velocity change as it moves, and how does this relate to its slope?

  3. What happens to this river at about 2440 km from the ocean?





There are 6 categories in the Koppen classification scheme which only use capital letters, and each is represented in one of the climographs above.  Identify each of the climographs with the letter(s), and briefly describe the most important characteristics of that category.









These all come from a single continent.  Which could that be, and why can you say this?



These 6 climographs all belong to the same major Koppen category.  Which category is that, and how did you pick it?




They belong to three different subcategories (obviously at least one subcategory has more than one example).  Pick an example of each subcategory using the numbers in the upper left), state what is different about the category, and given a location in North America where you might find that type of climate.


Rio Grande dropping off the Colorado Plateau



Labeled climographs in the last two questions. 




Csa: #1 which is dry subtropical Med, in coastal CA

Csb: #2, #3, #4: these are in the Pacific NW (real ocean moderation, pretty wet, but drier summers)

Cfa: #5, #6: humid subtropical, SE US (including Annapolis)