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When we talk about the geography of the earth, we need to be able to use words about maps, globes, compasses, map legends, map grids and coordinates, regions, landscapes, and much more.

The words on this list have been chosen because they will help you learn how to talk about the phyical features of the earth's surface. The list of geography words includes both the word and its definition and intended as a starting point for those who are interested in geography.

To learn more about geography, check out Trick Geography: USA--Making things what they're not so you remember what they are! from Amazon. Use this link to hear the pronunciation, or to learn the definition, of any of the words listed below.

[Geography Word List]

Geography Word List

lagoon: pool of water surrounded by reefs or sandbars

tributary: small stream or river that flows into a larger river

delta: triangle shaped area at a rivers mouth, formed of mud and sand deposited by water

longitude: East-west direction on the globe that is measured with verticals or meridians

equator: 0 degree latitude

topographic: A type of map that shows the relief of the land

contour lines: Lines that connect points of equal elevation on a map

epicenter: the point where the actual rock break occurs during an earthquake

harbor: an area of water where ships can dock safely near land

plain: flat land

ocean: a body of salt water, larger than a sea

volcano: an opening in the Earth through which lava, rock, and gases are forced out

valley: low land between hills or mountains

reef: a ridge of sand, rock or coral that lies at or near the surface of a sea or ocean

rapids: a fast moving part of a river

swamp: an area of low, wet lands with trees

floodplain: flat land that is near the edges of a river and is formed by the silt

cape: a point of land that extends into water

sea: a body of salt water, smaller than an ocean

lake: a body of water with land on all sides

range: a chain of mountains

canyon: a deep, narrow valley with steep sides

mesa: a flat-topped mountain with steep sides

waterfall: a steep drop from a high place to a lower place in a stream or river

cave: a hollow passage into or under the earth

wetlands: areas of land saturated with water

foothills: a hilly area at the base of a mountain

gap: a low passage through hills or mountains

inlet: a narrow passage of water between two bodies of land

marsh: a lowland with moist soil and tall grasses

peak: the pointed summit of a mountain

tributary: a steam of river that empties into a larger river

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