Ch 2: Physical Geography

About This Chapter

Our Physical Geography chapter will teach you all about geography concepts including plate tectonics, climate, the hydrologic cycle and much more. With our short video format led by professional instructors, you'll be amazed by how easily you grasp these geographic concepts.

About This Chapter

In this chapter, we'll take a look at several geography concepts, giving you a comprehensive overview of the subject. Our expert instructors will teach you all about ecosystems, air masses, erosion and plenty of other fun and interesting geography topics. By the time you finish this chapter you'll be able to:

  • Explain geography's effect on weather
  • Describe different climate classifications
  • Define biomes and their unique features
  • Explain the hydrologic cycle
  • Define the components of an ecosystem

Thanks to our short, informative text and video lessons, led by subject experts, you'll easily grasp these geography concepts and many others. Our video players are easy to navigate, allowing you to focus on specific concepts or view the chapter from start to finish depending on your needs. Additionally, we have self-assessment quizzes at the end of each lesson that will allow you to gauge your understanding of the material.

16 Lessons in Chapter 2: Physical Geography
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Natural Factors That Determine a Region's Climate

1. Natural Factors That Determine a Region's Climate

Climate is influenced by factors like atmosphere, ocean currents, landforms and plate tectonics. This lesson explains how these effects affect our weather patterns, which determine climate.

How Geography Affects the Weather

2. How Geography Affects the Weather

After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain how geography affects the weather, including physical geography and human geography. A short quiz will follow.

Climate: Classifications, Distribution & Causes

3. Climate: Classifications, Distribution & Causes

After completing this lesson, you will be able to describe the way that we classify climates, how those climates are distributed across the world, and what factors cause those climates. A short quiz will follow.

Atmospheric Instability & Limitations on Lifting Unstable Air

4. Atmospheric Instability & Limitations on Lifting Unstable Air

The vertical movement of air is a crucial factor in cloud formation and weather phenomena. We'll investigate how atmospheric instability influences the rising of air and the resulting weather. At the end, you can test yourself with a brief quiz.

Air Masses and Weather Fronts

5. Air Masses and Weather Fronts

After completing this lesson, you will be able to explain what an air mass is and how the movement of weather fronts leads to weather patterns you see every day.

Climograph: Definition & Uses

6. Climograph: Definition & Uses

This lesson defines a climograph, its purpose, and then goes over an example of a climograph and how it can be used to deduce a location and its physical characteristics.

Overview of the Earth's Biomes

7. Overview of the Earth's Biomes

Biomes are defined both climatically and geographically as areas with similar factors, such as plants and animals, soil quality, and growing seasons. In this lesson, we'll learn about the five major categories of the Earth's biomes.

What Is an Ecosystem? - Definition & Explanation

8. What Is an Ecosystem? - Definition & Explanation

Similar to a car engine that is made up of multiple parts working together, an ecosystem has interacting parts that support a whole. But how do we define an ecosystem and what are the components they consist of?

The Four Spheres of Earth: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Atmosphere

9. The Four Spheres of Earth: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Atmosphere

Earth is made up of four distinct yet connect spheres. In this video lesson, you will learn about where each sphere is found on Earth, as well as some features commonly found in each.

What is Plate Tectonics? - Definition, Theory & Components

10. What is Plate Tectonics? - Definition, Theory & Components

Imagine ice floating in a glass. Would you believe that we are all living on giant pieces of floating rock, just like the ice in that glass? This lesson explains that theory, an idea known as plate tectonics.

Erosion: Definition, Causes & Effects

11. Erosion: Definition, Causes & Effects

In this lesson, we'll define erosion and discuss the causes of erosion such as wind, water, glaciers, and people. Furthermore, we'll discuss how these factors effect landforms on the earth's surface.

How Plate Movement Affects Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Volcanic Eruptions

12. How Plate Movement Affects Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Volcanic Eruptions

Earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis are all dangerous natural disasters, but they also have something else in common - tectonic plate movement. In this lesson, you'll see how these seemingly different events actually come from similar geological beginnings.

Landform: Definition & Types

13. Landform: Definition & Types

Read about landforms and their major features. Learn the differences between formations like mountains and hills, valleys and canyons. (Hint: It has to do with their form.)

Overview of the Geography of the United States

14. Overview of the Geography of the United States

The United States is the third largest country in the world, as measured by land mass. Countries that large have varying areas, geographic features, and populations. In this lesson, we'll discuss the geography of the United States.

Major Climates of Regions of the United States

15. Major Climates of Regions of the United States

After watching this video, you will be able to describe the major climates in regions of the United States, both in terms of temperature and precipitation. A short quiz will follow.

The Hydrologic Cycle: Definition, Process & Diagram

16. The Hydrologic Cycle: Definition, Process & Diagram

The hydrologic, or water, cycle describes the storage and movement of all water on Earth. This lesson will cover the different reservoirs where water can be stored and how it moves between them.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support