Physical geography focuses on natural processes of the earth, including climate and plate tectonics, whereas human geography studies the effect and behavior of humans and how they relate to the physical world. The two fields of geography are interrelated.Continue Reading
Physical geography is concerned with the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. The lithosphere is made up of landforms near or at the surface of the earth comprised of solid and disintegrated rock and the soil cover on the surface. The hydrosphere is the section containing water in all its three states, while the atmosphere is the sphere of air around the earth.
Human geography investigates aspects of people’s way of life, such as language, religion, economic activity, government and art. The field also looks into globalization as a process by means of which cultural aspects transmit across the globe.
Geography relates behavior of man to his physical environment. This is important because physical geographical features determine the kind of activity people living around them can practice. For example, the natural environment in urban areas confines people living there to lifestyles different from those of rural dwellers. Conversely, human activities have a bearing on the physical environment. For instance, industrial carbon emissions are tied to climate change.Learn more about Maps & Cartography
Live Maps on Virtual Earth allows users to browse and view cities around the world; check for traffic information; ask for driving, walking and transit directions; share and embed maps; or print maps of geographical locations. Live Maps is a Web mapping service on Virtual Earth that allows users to view any location on a virtual globe.Full Answer >
Harry Hess was a scientist who first theorized key details about the earth's crust that revolutionized the understanding of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics is the separation of the earth's crust along fault lines.Full Answer >
Very slow currents in the relatively plastic lower mantle, or aesthenosphere, are thought to push the crustal plates along and drive the process of plate tectonics. These currents are caused by convection, with the mantle rock being heated from below via radioactive decay and thus becoming less dense than the rock above. These hotter rocks move slowly upward, displacing the rock above and forcing it down in an elliptical motion.Full Answer >
Andrew Alden of About explains that Australian geologist Sam Carey's theory of Earth expansion, the idea that the continents fit together properly only on a formerly smaller Earth, once rivaled the theory of plate tectonics. Carey's ideas expanded upon Wegener's continental-drift theory and hypothesised that the continents fit together properly on a shrunken Earth. From about the 1930s to the 1950s, this idea of Earth expansion remained a legitimate hypothesis.Full Answer >