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Toutes les dissertations

Islands - geography.

Islands - geography. Greenland Although Greenland is usually considered the world's largest island, and Australia is usually considered a continent, there is no fundamental difference between them. Australia is larger than Greenland, but both are continental landmasses. That is, their rocks are typical of continents rather than of the ocean floor. In fact, Greenland was part of North America before forces wit......

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Island Arcs - geography.

Island Arcs - geography. Island Arcs of Japan An intricate pattern of island chains surrounds Japan. The Kuril Islands form an arc to the northeast. The northern part of Honsh?, Japan's largest island, has a north-south orientation. This line continues southward through the Bonin Islands. Southern Honsh? bends west, and the island of Ky? sh? and the Ryukyu Islands arc to...

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Inland Seas - geography.

Inland Seas - geography. Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland body of water, covering 371,000 sq km (143,000 sq mi)--an area larger than Germany. Technically, inland bodies of water are lakes. Unlike most lakes, however, the Caspian has no outlet to the sea, and its water is salty, not fresh. Saline lakes with enclosed drainage basins, such...

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Ice Sheets: Physical Features - geography.

Ice Sheets: Physical Features - geography. Antarctic Ice Sheet The world's largest ice sheet covers an area of 13 million square kilometers (5 million square miles)--nearly the entire continent of Antarctica--and reaches depths as great as 4,000 meters (13,000 feet). Because temperatures on the ice sheet remain far below freezing year-round (see Ice Sheets: July Temperature Map Trek), snow accumulates and compacts...

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Great Rivers - geography.

Great Rivers - geography. Amazon River With a length of 6,400 km (4,000 mi), the Amazon is slightly shorter than the Nile, but its discharge, or flow, is far greater. A river's discharge depends on two key variables: the area of its drainage basin and the amount of precipitation within the basin. The Amazon's drainage basin is the largest in the...

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Great Lakes - geography.

Great Lakes - geography. Great Lakes of Africa The Great Lakes of East Africa occupy a region where the Earth's crust is breaking apart along two rift valleys (see Rift Valleys Map Trek). In the Eastern Rift Valley lies saltwater Lake Turkana. In the Western Rift Valley lie Lakes Albert, Edward, Kivu, and Tanganyika. The valleys merge to the south in...

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Glaciers - geography.

Glaciers - geography. Andean Glaciers Although we do not usually associate glaciers with South America, large glaciers lie in the southern Andes Mountains. Glaciers develop wherever snowfall is greater than snowmelt or evaporation. The world's largest glaciers are the vast ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, whose polar locations keep average temperatures well below freezing yea......

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Glacial Lakes - geography.

Glacial Lakes - geography. Alpine Lakes A ring of mostly long and narrow lakes surrounds the western Alps. Among these lakes are Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Geneva, and Bodensee. During the last glacial period, glaciers flowed down alpine valleys like long tongues (see Glaciers Map Trek). As they flowed, they carved the valleys into deep U-shaped troughs. When the climate...

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Fjords and Drowned Valleys - geography.

Fjords and Drowned Valleys - geography. Fjords of Norway Steep walls plunge into the deep, cold waters of the Norwegian fjords, which stretch 100 kilometers (60 meters) or more inland from the Atlantic coast. This dramatic landscape was produced during the last glacial period, when deep glaciers covered Norway. The glaciers carved deep, U-shaped valleys in mountainous regions. When the world......

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Deltas - geography.

Deltas - geography. Niger Delta Shaped like a handheld fan, Nigeria's Niger Delta bulges into the Atlantic Ocean. An intricate network of channels carries the waters of the Niger River to the sea. The Niger and its tributaries collect sediment as they flow across the interior of West Africa. Where these streams flow downhill, their turbulent currents carry lots of sediment....

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Coral Reefs - geography.

Coral Reefs - geography. Great Barrier Reef, Australia Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the largest coral reef in the world, stretches for more than 2,010 km (1,250 mi) from New Guinea along the northeast coast of Australia. Coral reefs are structures built mostly by colonies of coral, which are small, stationary animals related to jellyfish. The coral live inside hard skeletons made...

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Continental Margins - geography.

Continental Margins - geography. Grand Banks, North America Just off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador is an extensive area of very shallow ocean water. Depths here average about 100 meters (300 feet), compared with 4,000 to 6,000 meters (13,000 to 20,000 feet) in the surrounding ocean. The Grand Banks lie on what is called the continental shelf of North America....

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Canyons and Gorges - geography.

Canyons and Gorges - geography. The Grand Canyon The magnificent Grand Canyon of the Southwest United States cuts a deep swath across the colorful, layered rocks of the Colorado Plateau. The rim of the plateau lies as much as 2,500 meters (8,200 feet) above the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon, and the canyon ranges in width from 200...

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Braids and Meanders - geography.

Braids and Meanders - geography. Kon?r and K?bul Rivers The Kon?r and K?bul rivers of Afghanistan drop thousands of meters from the high Hindu Kush Range to where they merge and flow downhill into Pakistan. When the rivers flood with snowmelt, their rushing waters pick up a heavy load of coarse rocks, pebbles, and gravel. These materials accumulate to create what...

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Basins and Ranges - geography.

Basins and Ranges - geography. The Basin and Range Region of North America A vast region of mostly parallel ridges separated by broad, flat basins stretches from the Rocky Mountains to the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade Range of North America. Most landscapes of parallel ridges and valleys arise from folding due to compression of the Earth's crust (see Parallel R......

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Atolls - geography.

Atolls - geography. Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands The islands of Enewetak Atoll form a peculiar ring around a central lagoon. This shape is typical of the atolls that dot the Pacific Ocean and other tropical seas. The islands of atolls rest atop circular coral reefs and are made up of coral fragments and sand. They do not rise far above sea...

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Languages of Southern Africa - geography.

Languages of Southern Africa - geography. Overview Speakers of Bantu languages, in the Niger-Kordofanian language family (see North Africa Map Trek), once lived in a small region in Cameroon. About 1,800 years ago, these people rapidly spread south and occupied most of southern Africa. Settlers from Indonesia brought their Austronesian language (see Oceania Map Trek) to Madagascar at about the same time....

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Languages of Southeast Asia and Oceania - geography.

Languages of Southeast Asia and Oceania - geography. Overview In the distant past, Austro-Asiatic languages probably prevailed across mainland Southeast Asia. Centuries of southward expansion by Chinese-speaking peoples may have driven speakers of languages in other families, including Tibeto-Burman (a branch of the Sino-Tibetan family) and Tai, to migrate south and occupy parts of the Southeast Asian mainland. From Malaysia to the Pacific...

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Washington, D.

Washington, D.C. - geography. I INTRODUCTION Washington, D.C., city and district, capital of the United States of America. The city of Washington has the same boundaries as the District of Columbia (D.C.), a federal territory established in 1790 as the site of the new nation's permanent capital. Named after the first U.S. president, George Washington, the city has served since 1800 as the...

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Warsaw - geography.

Warsaw - geography. I INTRODUCTION Warsaw, (Polish Warszawa), capital of Mazowieckie Province, capital and largest city of Poland, administrative center of the Mazovia region, located in central Poland on the Wis?a (Vistula) River. More than 90 percent of the city was destroyed during World War II (1939-1945), but the historic Old Town section was painstakingly reconstructed. The monumental Palace of Culture and Science...

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Vienna - geography.

Vienna - geography. I INTRODUCTION Vienna or Wien (ancient Vindobona), city in northeastern Austria, the capital and largest city of the country, coextensive with Vienna (Wien) Province. Vienna is located on both banks of the Danube River, with the foothills of the Eastern Alps on the west and the plains of the Danube basin on the east. The city lies about 203...

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Venice (Italy) - geography.

Venice (Italy) - geography. I INTRODUCTION Venice (Italy) (Italian Venezia), city and seaport in northeastern Italy, in Veneto Region, capital of Venice Province. Venice is situated on more than 100 islands formed by about 150 canals in the lagoon between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers, at the northern extremity of the Adriatic Sea. Because of its historic role as...

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Toronto - geography.

Toronto - geography. I INTRODUCTION Toronto, capital city of the province of Ontario, Canada, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. Toronto has the largest metropolitan area in Canada and is the financial center of the country. The city is part of the Golden Horseshoe, a highly urbanized and industrialized region extending around the west end of Lake Ontario. Toronto has a...

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Tokyo - geography.

Tokyo - geography. I INTRODUCTION Tokyo, capital of Japan and the most populated metropolitan area in the world, with more than 35 million inhabitants in 2003. Tokyo is located at the head of Tokyo Bay, midway along the eastern coast of Honsh?, the largest of the four main islands of the Japanese archipelago. The city occupies most of the southern part of...

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Sydney (Australia) - geography.

Sydney (Australia) - geography. I INTRODUCTION Sydney (Australia), first permanent European settlement in Australia and today the country's largest metropolitan area, with about 4 million residents. Sydney is the seat of state government as the capital of New South Wales (NSW), Australia's most populous and economically important state. The city is a dynamic cultural center with a diversified economy focused on service industries,...

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