SO286, Physical Geography

Exam 2, Fall 2006



Definitions (1 sentence)

10@ 4 points each



Short answer (3-4 sentences)

4 @ 5 points



Longer answer (short paragraph)

2 @ 10 points




1 @ 20 points










Read the directions carefully.  You have a selection of questions for the definitions, and the longer answer.

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 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. Braided river:
  2. Monsoon:
  3. Angle of repose: Many skips.
  4. Bed load: Many skips.
  5. Koppen: Many skips.
  6. Constructive/destructive plate boundaries:
  7. Geomorphology:
  8. Thrust or reverse faults:
  9. Karst topography: Many skips.
  10. Graded stream:
  11. 100 year flood:

Answer all 4 questions on this page, for 5 points each:

1.  The diagrams above show two isolated mountains (they are both roughly conical in shape) drawn to the same scale.  What do you think could account for the differences between the two mountains, and where in the world might you find them?







2.  There was a recent earthquake in western Nevada.  The University of Nevada reported the magnitude at 6.3, and Mercalli intensity in Reno as VIII.  The University of California reported the magnitude as 7.4, and the Mercalli intensity in Berkeley at IV.  Why do we have both intensities and magnitudes for earthquakes, and can both universities be correct in their reports on the size of the earthquake?






3.  What characteristics do we use to classify mass movements, and why do we use those characteristics?







4.  Differentiate physical and chemical weathering: weathering is not erosion.  Erosion moves the products of weathering.


Answer two of the next three questions, for 10 points each:





These three maps show the pattern of streams in three areas.  Why do geographers care about these patterns, and what can you say about these three areas after looking at the maps?




What feature is shown in the diagram above?  What processes cause it to form where it does, what environmental conditions cause it to have the shape that it does? 




What is the dominant process going on in the western half of this satellite image?  As you moved from the SE part of the image to the NW, what features would you encounter?  What natural disasters might you expect to encounter in this region, and how would they affect it?

This page is worth 20 points; answer all questions.


(5) What parameters do we use to classify climates, and why are those important?


(10) What do you see as the biggest difference among the three climographs above, and what does it tell you about where in the world they might be located?  You should mention at least three things about the location that you see in the climographs, and indicate why you can say that.


(5) List two important differences between the two climographs above, and what they tell you about the two locations.




Actual climographs, with locations indicated.  It was not important that you correctly identify them, but you should be gaining some familiarity with what different climates actually look like.