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Intro to Physical Geography Test #2 10/13/2014 1:14:00 PM

10/13/2014 1:14:00 PM

Chapter 7 Continued 10/13/2014 1:14:00 PM
Violent, localized, short live
Thunderstorm formation
Warm, moist air (oftem mT air mass)
Unstable (or conditionally unstable) allows air to rise
Encouraged by diverging air aloft
Thunderstorm life cycle

Mature stage updrafts and downdrafts, heavy rain, can create hail
Dissipating stage all water is moving out of clouds and it causes
light rain
The geography of thunderstorms
Frequency decreases with distance from equator (few above 60
Most occur during summers warm temperatures

(graph that includes land and sea)
Average number of days per year with thundrestroms

east of rockies warm tropical air
west coast cold water current doesnt get the warm tropical air
Violent associations
Downburst (or microbursts) dangerous for airplanes
Lightening and thunder

o Cycles through storm up and down and creates layers of hail
Discharge of electricity that occurs in mature thunderstorms
Charge separation in cloud sets up electrical potential
Role of lightening is to equalize these differences in electrical
Air poor conductor of electricity
Huge electrical potential develops
Lightning bold superheats the air 54,000 degrees f
Surrounding air expands violently sound wave
Distance from the thunderstorm
Speed of light: 3000,000,000 km/s
Speed of sound about 343 meters/s
Distance circulation
o For each 3 seconds, 1 km away
o For each 5 seconds, 1 mile away
Cold air masses and warm air masses meet, flat land and theres
nothing to stop them
Cyclonic low pressure cells
Surrounded by a whirling cylinder of wind violently
Have the most extreme pressure gradient
Probably about 200-500 mph
Usually in warm, moist, unstable air masses in mid latitude cyclone
cold front
Tornado formation
Severe thunderstorm (1% spawn tornadoes)
Strong updrafts
Wind shear (change in direction or strength of winds from top to
bottom of storm)

Funnel cloud vs tornado
Global tornado frequency
basically in USA some in Australia and Europe
usa doesnt have east west mountain rage
tornado over water
less power
smaller temp gradient
water is being sucked up
La plata torado
April 28, 2002
35 miles south of dc

Climatic Zones and Types short term/weather

Short-run atmospheric conditions that exist for a given time in a
specific area
o Temperature, humidity cloudiness precipitation pressure
winds storms and other atmospheric variables
Aggregate of day-to-day weather conditions over a long period of
o Average, plus variations and extremes
Climactic Zones and Types
Temperature and precipitation are the most significant and
understandable features when classifying climate
o Temp and precipitation because
Climate classification
Classification schemes
o Generalize a vast array of data in a simple form
o Way to compare and contrast different areas
o Examples
Ancient greek scheme
Koppen system
Modified koppen system
Koppen wanted to put climate in value form
General bands of latitiude

missing precipitation in ancient greek form


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Monthly temperature and precipitation

Tropical Humid Climates (Zone A)
Three types (rainfall based)
o Cover most of the land area within 12-20 degrees of
o Lacks cold weather gets similar amount of sunlight
b/c its close to the equator, and you have low pressure
around the equator
o Very wet
Tropical wet Af
Tropical Monosoon Am
Tropical Savanna Aw
Shift in ITCZ causes variations between climate types
Tropical wet
Similar weather all the time
Uniform insolation all the time
Average temp rang over the entire year ~3 degrees in Singapore
Tropical Monsoon AM
Similar to tropical wet
o Except heavy rainfall and slightly lower temperatures
in summer (high sun seasons) - caused by shift in ITCZ
Tropical Savannah Aw (most extensive)
Most extensive of A types
Lesser annual rainfall
Wildfire in dry season burns vegetation on top
Low-sun dry season
Tropical Savanna and the ITCZ
Day night differences are much bigger than any seasonal variability
Dry Climates

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Dry Climates (B) Spatial Distribution
30% of land area more than any other climactic zone
temperature and precipitation controls climate zones (B mostly
controlled by precipitation)
Influence of Subtropical Highs
B climates high pressure
BWh desert
o Either in or very near subtropical highs (ex. Sahara, Arabian
desert, Australian, Atacama desert)
o Farther from equator, annual variations in insolation
o Low humidity, large temperature ranges
o Subtropical deserts Atacama Desert
Has the double rain shadow effect
14 years without precipitation
Precipitation is scarce, unreliable, intense
Temperature large range

Near desert Subtropical Steppe (Bsh)
h steppe, k- desert, b - subtropical
Around subtropical deserts similar temperature & precipitation (not
as extreme)

Midlatitude desert (BWk)
Occur deep in interior of continents
Can have cold winters because of land water contrast

Midlatitude Steppe (BSk)
Ex: Montana
Transition zone between mid-latitude desert and humid climate
Steppe gets a little bit more precipitation

Mild Mid-latitude Climates (Zone C)
Equatorward margin of middle latitudes
Long and usually hot summers
Short and relatively mild winters
3 types all near the ocean
o Mediterranean (ex: san diego)
o Humid subtropical (Washington, D.C.)
o Marine west coast (Portland, seattle)
Mediterranean (Csb, Csa)
o Western side of continents
o clear skies abundant sunshine
o Winter wet, mild winters
Humid Subtropical (Cfa,Cwa,Cwb)
o Eastern side of continents 25-30 degrees of latitude
o Higher humidity in summer
o No real dry period
o (ex: Sydney Australia and Guangzhou, China)
Marine West Coast (Cfb, Cfc)
o Occur about 40 degrees and 65 degrees in latitude
o Western side of continents ocean moderates
o Ex. Sitka Alaska

Severe Midlatitude Climates (Zone D)
Only in Northern hemisphere only place where land
masses are big enough where you get far enough away from
the ocean
No landmasses at appropriate latitudes in southern hemisphere
Four seasons with long cold winters
Moderate precipitation
Two types
o Humid continental (Dfa,Dfb,Dwa,Dwb)
o Subtropic (Dfc,Dfd,Dwc,Dwd)
Covering most northern Asia
Humid Continental
o Between 35 and 55 in north America
o Further north in Europe because of the gulf stream to
keep Europe warm
o Gulf stream takes warm water across
o Temperature range big, constant rain, a lot of wind and
variations in pressure (ex. Chicago)
o Long, dark, bitter cold winters
Summers can be warm huge ATR
Meager precipitation very far from the ocean,
Alaska to eastern Canada and Scandinavia to
easternmost Siberia

Polar Climates (Zone E)
Cold and typically dry
Tundra (ET)
o ET Tundra has vegetation
o Low precipitation, cold, extremely short growing season, low
primary production treeline
o Barrow Alaska most northern point in the US.
Ice cap (EF)
o No vegetation and ice cap only
o Eismitte, Greenland

H Climates (Zone H) Highland climates
Variations in elevation cause variations in climate types n vs
south facing slopes.
Cold or warm relative to south facing slope why?
o Direct sunlight on south facing slope, more insolation because
if youre in the northern hemisphere, it can only illuminate
south facing slope, north face has much more snow and
glaciers because its much colder
Altitude versus latitude is the dominant driver of climate
o Both vertically and direction the slope faces
North versus south facing slopes
Changes in temperature
Windward vs. leeward changes in precipitation
Windward greater precipitation
Leeward less precipitation

Changes over short distances
o Tierra

Major world biomes
Temperature and precipitation control vegetation

Chapter 9: The Hydrosphere

Describes the waters of the earth
o Water exists on the earth in stores:
Atmosphere, oceans, lakes, rivers, soils, glaciers, and
o Water moves from one store to another
Evaporation, condensation, runoff, precipitation,
infiltration and groundwater flow (change in latent heat
and change in energy to move water between these

Hydrologic Cycle
The endless circulation of water from the atmosphere to the earth
and its return to the atmosphere through condensation,
precipitation, evaporation and transpiration.

Earth Moisture Inventory
In the context of the water cycle, a reservoir represents the water
contained in different steps within the cycle
99% of all moisture on earth is in storage
water frozen as ice in glaciers and continental ice sheets ~ of all
freshwater la
less than 1% of the earths moisture is actively moving around in
the annual hydrologic cycle
The residence time of a reservoir within the hydrologic cycle is the
average time a water molecule will spend in that reservoir. It is a
measure of the average age of the water in that reservoir, though
some water will spend much less time than average and some
much more

Oceans One ocean broken down into four major oceans
Pacific, atlantic, arctic, indian.
o Arctic only a few places where water can move from the
arctic ocean. Causes differences in flows

Ice The Cryosphere
Second only to the oceans as a place to store water
Land ice
o Alpine glaciers, ice sheets, ice caps
10% of the land surface
not displacing water so when it melts it raises water
o Oceanic Ice (Size)
Ice pack, Ice shelf, ice flow, iceberg
Already displacing water
Greenland and Antarctica two main ice sheets
Land Ice glacier ice

Earths largest Ice pack
Arctic Ocean
Ice albedo feedback affects polarbears

Oceanic Ice forms
Ice pack an extensive and cohesive mass of floating ice
Ice shelf a massive portion of a continental ice sheets
Ice floe

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Hydrologic cycle
Shortest residence time in atmosphere
Climate Change
Ice melting in the arctic

Extent of permafrost
Permanently cold subsoil ground which remains below 0 degrees
C for more than 2 years
Occurs in the northern hemisphere on land
Primarily driven by latitude, the farther north you are, the more
Continuous permafrost completely frozen
Discontinuous spatially variable
Sporadic permafrost follows mountain ranges
Problem in arctic buildings sink if the permafrost melts

Surface Water
Limited amounts - .25% of the worlds total moisture supply
Highly variable in space
Used for drinking water, agriculture and sustaining human life

A body of water surrounded by land
Natural basin having a restricted outlet
Sufficient inflow of water to keep the basin filled
You need to have a river, stream, creek, brook,

Lake Distribution
A lot of lakes in Canada
Dams/ reservoirs controlling

Body of water with water-tolerant
Plants, predominantly trees

A body of water with water tolerant plants
Primarily grasses and sedges
Has vegetation within
In U.S. airports are built on old marshes because they are flat

Rivers and streams
Natural water course flowing towards an ocean or other body of

Largest drainage basins in the world

All of the land areas drained by a river and its tributaries

Ground water
Water stored underground
2.5 times that found in lakes and streams
found in many places, just need to dig
no evaporation
can last a long time

Water on the surface that is open to evaporation

Saturated zone
Subsurface zone where all pores of the ground are filled with water
Ground water
Occupying the saturation zone and moving under the force of
Water table
The boundary between the unsaturated zone containing soil water
and the saturated zone, which holds the ground water

Ground water is recharged by percolation of water from the soil water belt
downward to the zone of saturation. It is discharged by seepage into
streams, lakes and marshes and other topographic depressions
Water flows with gravity

Water table is highest under hills (seepage into streams, lakes and marshes
lowers it in valleys and other topographic depressions
Ground water is always moving by the fouce of gravity from recharge areas
to discharge areas

Ground water keeps water flowing even if it hasnt rained in a while
Slow discharge of water from ground water maintains rivers and streams

Aquifers: porous rocks saturated with ground water
Aquicludes: layers of impermeable rocks

Confined and unconfined aquifers
Artesian wells water that was once under ground under pressure
that came to the surface
Flow from confined aquifers

Groundwater mining
Removal of water from an aquifer at a rate greater than its flow and
recharge capacities
You dont know the extent how far it covers, you dont know how
much to mine
Results in
o Collapsing aquifers: water in aquifers often provide support
for the porous rock
Decreased capacity
Land subsidence
o Saltwater intrusion
Contamination of an aquifer by seawater due to over-
pumping the aquifer

Cone of Sepression
Shape of an inverted come

The Ogallala Aquifer
Largest aquifer in the united states
About the size of a larger great lake
Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Texas, new Mexico, Oklahoma

High Plains Aquifer (Ogallala)
Water table has dropped more than 40 ft in places
If mining stopped, ,it would take 1,000 years to recharge
Underground water does not obey property rights
Water used to irrigate grain crops (wheat, sorghum and corn, providing 40%
of cattle feed) and cotton
The city of san Antonio, tx depends entirely on water from this aquifeBiosr

Biosphere consists of all living things, plants animals
Processes and interactions within the biosphere are exceedingly intricate
energy, water and nutrients

Biogeochemical cycling
Flow of energy
Hydrologic cycle
Carbon cycle
Oxygen cycle
Nitrogen cycle
(interrelated and complex)