Physical Geography can be divided into several sub-fields, as follows: Geomorphology is the field concerned with understanding the surface of the Earth and the processes by which it is shaped, both at the present as well as in the past.
Introduction to Physical Geography a. Introduction to Geography Introduction The main objective of this online textbook is to introduce students to the exciting field of knowledge known as physical geography. Physical geography is a discipline that is part of a much larger area of understanding called geography.
Most individuals define geography as a field of study that deals with maps. This definition is only partially correct. A better definition of geography may be the study of natural and human constructed phenomena relative to a spatial dimension.
The discipline of geography has a history that stretches over many centuries. Over this time period, the study of geography has evolved and developed into an important form of human scholarship.
Examining the historical evolution of geography as a discipline provides some important insights concerning its character and methodology. These insights are also helpful in gaining a better understanding of the nature of physical geography. History of Geography and Physical Geography Some of the first truly geographical studies occurred more than four thousand years ago.
The main purpose of these early investigations was to map features and places observed as explorers traveled to new lands. At this time, Chinese, Egyptian, and Phoenician civilizations were beginning to explore the places and spaces within and outside their homelands.
The earliest evidence of such explorations comes from the archaeological discovery of a Babylonian clay tablet map that dates back to BC.
The early Greeks were the first civilization to practice a form of geography that was more than mere map making or cartography.
Greek philosophers and scientist were also interested in learning about spatial nature of human and physical features found on the Earth. One of the first Greek geographers was Herodotus circa - BC. Herodotus wrote a number of volumes that described the human and physical geography of the various regions of the Persian Empire.
The ancient Greeks were also interested in the form, size, and geometry of the Earth. Aristotle circa - BC hypothesized and scientifically demonstrated that the Earth had a spherical shape. Evidence for this idea came from observations of lunar eclipses.
Lunar eclipses occur when the Earth casts its circular shadow on to the moon's surface. The first individual to accurately calculate the circumference of the Earth was the Greek geographer Eratosthenes circa - BC. Eratosthenes calculated the equatorial circumference to be 40, kilometers using simple geometric relationships.
This primitive calculation was unusually accurate. Measurements of the Earth using modern satellite technology have computed the circumference to be 40, kilometers. Most of the Greek accomplishments in geography were passed on to the Romans. Roman military commanders and administrators used this information to guide the expansion of their Empire.
The Romans also made several important additions to geographical knowledge. Strabo claimed to have traveled widely and recorded what he had seen and experienced from a geographical perspective. In his series of books, Strabo describes the cultural geographies of the various societies of people found from Britain to as far east as India, and south to Ethiopia and as far north as Iceland.
Strabo also suggested a definition of geography that is quite complementary to the way many human geographers define their discipline today. This definition suggests that the aim of geography was to "describe the known parts of the inhabited world During the second century AD, Ptolemy circa - AD made a number of important contributions to geography.
Ptolemy's publication Geographike hyphegesis or "Guide to Geography" compiled and summarize much of the Greek and Roman geographic information accumulated at that time. Some of his other important contributions include the creation of three different methods for projecting the Earth's surface on a map, the calculation of coordinate locations for some eight thousand places on the Earth, and development of the concepts of geographical latitude and longitude Figure 1a This early map of the world was constructed using map making techniques developed by Ptolemy.
· Human geography is the branch of geography that deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and tranceformingnlp.com://tranceformingnlp.com · discipline can tick, the more likely it becomes that a certain field of academic enquiry is a recognized discipline capable of reproducing itself and building upon a growing body of own tranceformingnlp.com chapter tranceformingnlp.com Whether geography is thought of as a discipline or as a basic feature of our world, developing an understanding of the subject is important.
Some grasp of geography is essential as people seek to make sense of the world and understand their place in it. · The key contribution geography is making to a wide range of natural and social sciences is the notion that place matters, that human activity is the result of the interaction of humans and tranceformingnlp.com://tranceformingnlp.com · The drive to examine broad-ranging problems that encompass a complex mix of phenomena and processes has spurred the conduct of research that bridges traditional tranceformingnlp.com://tranceformingnlp.com Physical Geography: The Key Concepts is a thought-provoking and up-to-date introduction to the central ideas and debates within the field.
It provides extended definitions of terms that are fundamental to physical geography and its many branches, covering topics such as: biogeography, ecology, climatology, meteorology, geomorphology, hydrology tranceformingnlp.com