SO286, Physical Geography

Exam 1, Fall 2006



Definitions (1 sentence)

10@ 4 points each



Short answer (3-4 sentences)

3 @ 5 points



Longer answer (short paragraph)

3 @ 10 points



Short Essay (long paragraph)

1 @ 15 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.


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 4 points.


1.      Air mass, cT: continental, Tropical: warm and dry

2.      Artesian well  (many skips)

3.      Cumulous clouds: cloud classification is based on shape and altitude.  Cumulous is low clouds with puffy shape.  Thunderstorms are cumulonimbus.

4.      Jet stream: upper atmosphere, westerly, fast

5.      Katabatic wind: gravity flow down from elevated areas (most skips)

6.      Latent heat: phase change, and latitudinal heat transfer

7.      Orographic precipitation: (many skips)

8.      Ozone layer: absorbs UV, temp rises with altitude

9.      Solstice: sun overhead at a tropic, longest/shortest daylight, earth's tilt

10.  SRTM:

11.  Stratosphere:

12.  Wind chill:


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


(5 points) The map above shows much of the world.  What’s good about this map projection, what’s not so good, is there a perfect projection, and why must we worry about map projections?



(5 Points) Why are the winds and ocean currents so important to the overall energy budget of the earth?


(5 points) How are air temperature, vertical motion of air in the atmosphere, and surface winds related to each other?  Does the earth’s rotation complicate a simple description of these relationships?



(10 Points) These two graphs (similar to Figures 6-10 or 6-11 in the text) show annual water budgets for two stations.  Discuss what these graphs show, and from their shapes discuss what you can infer about the climates and spatial locations of the two stations.  You should note that the vertical scales are different, insure you indicate what that implies about the two locations.


(10 points) What makes remote sensing and GIS so important to physical geography?  Insure you show that you know what each means, and a difference in how each is important.


(10 points) So far we’ve discussed three ways that physical geography tells us about how we could get alternative energy sources to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.  For at least two of these alternatives that are included in the chapters we’ve covered, discuss what factors make a good location for harnessing that form of energy.  Insure that you focus on geography and why locations are either good or bad.


(15 points) If you could know only one “thing” about a location on earth and have to predict its characteristics, what would you want that one “thing” to be?  Discuss at least 5 other things you could reasonably infer from that “thing”, and why each of them is affected by the “thing”.


Latitude, which allows prediction of: