Landforms

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Nearly 3.8 billion years ago, temperatures on Earth cooled below 100 degrees Celsius for the first time, allowing water, which existed on the planet in gaseous form, to condense into rain and collect on the planet's surface, according to the American Museum of Natural History. This water collected in low-lying areas, eventually becoming a primitive ocean.

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  • What is an example of a raised flat area?

    Q: What is an example of a raised flat area?

    A: An example of a raised flat area is a plateau. A plateau is a large flat region of land higher than the other areas of land surrounding it.
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  • What do the Pampas, prairies, steppes and the Highveld have in common?

    Q: What do the Pampas, prairies, steppes and the Highveld have in common?

    A: The Highveld, the Pampas, steppes and prairies are all grasslands, which are biomes dominated by grasses, flowers and herbs. Savannas and the Llanos region of northern South America are also grasslands.
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  • How are islands formed?

    Q: How are islands formed?

    A: Islands form in several ways. The most common events that lead to island formation are volcanic activity and continental drift. Islands also form due to erosion, buildup of sediment and coral that grows enough to penetrate the surface of the water.
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  • What are some facts about coastal plains?

    Q: What are some facts about coastal plains?

    A: Coastal plains are flat, low-lying pieces of land that feature a body of water on one side and some type of landform on the other. According to National Geographic, a coastal plain can form either as a continental shelf or when water currents carry sedimentary materials that build up over time.
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  • Where do caves form?

    Q: Where do caves form?

    A: Most caves form in karst, which is a type of landscape composed of dolomite, gypsum and limestone rocks that gradually dissolves in the presence of slightly acidic water, according to National Geographic. Some caves are found in cliffs at the edge of a coastline. Others form in areas where the outer surface of a lava tube cools and hardens, and the molten rock’s inner content drains away.
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  • What is a group of mountains called?

    Q: What is a group of mountains called?

    A: A group of mountains is known as a mountain range. A group of ranges that share a common origin and form are a mountain system. A group of systems are a mountain chain. A group of ranges, systems and chains are known as a mountain belt or a cordillera.
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  • How do geysers form?

    Q: How do geysers form?

    A: A geyser is essentially an underground hot spring that, owing to pressure exerted against its constricted plumbing toward the surface of the ground, issues a stream of steam and boiling water from time to time. The term "geyser" is derived from the Icelandic word "geysir," which means to rush forth. A geyser stops erupting once its reservoir is empty, or the water below the surface cools.
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  • What are examples of peninsulas?

    Q: What are examples of peninsulas?

    A: Peninsulas are found all around the world; in the United States, two prominent examples are the Upper Peninsula in Michigan and the Delmarva Peninsula in Maryland. Peninsulas are chunks of land that are surrounded on three sides by water and joined to larger bodies of land by a neck, called an isthmus. Peninsulas occur primarily along ocean coastlines, although they appear along large river borders too.
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  • What are the physical features of the arctic lowlands?

    Q: What are the physical features of the arctic lowlands?

    A: The arctic lowlands consist of several barren low-lying islands with coastlines dominated by sheer, towering cliffs and frigid surrounding waters of the Atlantic that contain pieces of massive ice sheets. Together, the lowlands comprise the southwestern Arctic Archipelago. They vary in size and shape: some are small and unpopulated, while others, including Victoria Island, are much larger.
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  • What is the Tonga Trench?

    Q: What is the Tonga Trench?

    A: The Tonga Trench is a submarine trench located in the floor of the South Pacific Ocean. It forms the eastern boundary of the Tonga Ridge. It's 35,702 feet deep at its deepest point and has an average depth of 20,000 feet. It's about 50 miles wide and 850 miles in length. The Tonga Trench and Tonga Ridge form the northern half of the Tonga-Kermadec Arc.
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  • What are the Appalachian Highlands?

    Q: What are the Appalachian Highlands?

    A: The Appalachian Highlands are a mountain range in Eastern North America. They run from Canada to regions of Georgia and through Alabama.
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  • How did the Grand Canyon form?

    Q: How did the Grand Canyon form?

    A: The Grand Canyon was formed primarily by erosion from the constant water flow of the Colorado River. This erosion occurred gradually over the past 5 to 6 million years.
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  • How do mountains affect climate?

    Q: How do mountains affect climate?

    A: Mountains affect climate by blocking wind and receiving more rainfall than low-lying areas. As air is forced over higher ground, it cools, causing moisture to condense and fall as rain. The higher a location is above sea level, the colder it is. This occurs because as altitude increases, the surround airing becomes thinner and less effective at absorbing and retaining heat.
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  • How do volcanoes form landforms?

    Q: How do volcanoes form landforms?

    A: Volcanoes form landforms when the lava that flows out of the peak solidifies into rock. Magma is molten rock from the Earth's mantle pushed up by the action of plate tectonics. When the magma flows or explodes out of the top of the volcano, it is called lava. Over geological timescales, this lava keeps piling on top of successive strata of cooled rock, making several different kinds of landforms.
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  • What is the difference between a canyon and a gorge?

    Q: What is the difference between a canyon and a gorge?

    A: A gorge is a much smaller, narrower version of a canyon. A gorge is similar to a ravine, while a canyon is similar to a valley. Gorges are located between mountains or hills and often have small streams at their bottoms.
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  • What is a plateau?

    Q: What is a plateau?

    A: A plateau refers either to a piece of land that is level and located above nearby land, or the term can refer to a situation that is relatively unchanged for a period of time. In the case of an unchanged situation, the word has either a negative or a positive connotation, depending on whether change is advantageous.
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  • How were the Hawaiian Islands formed?

    Q: How were the Hawaiian Islands formed?

    A: The Hawaiian Islands are volcanic in origin, and they formed millions of years ago. According to the National Ocean Service, the islands developed because of a hot spot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The consistent eruption of lava fed by the hot spot resulted in volcano formations that rose above sea level to form the islands of Hawaii.
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  • What causes metamorphic rocks to form?

    Q: What causes metamorphic rocks to form?

    A: Metamorphic rocks form when igneous or sedimentary rocks are subjected to extreme heat, pressure or chemical reactions. These forces alter the composition of the rocks, leading to changes in the rocks' density, appearance and structure.
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  • How do parabolic dunes form?

    Q: How do parabolic dunes form?

    A: As with all dunes, parabolic dunes are primarily shaped by the wind. Parabolic dunes tend to proliferate in places where wind blows predominantly in one direction and the movement of sand is restrained by vegetation.
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  • Where does the River Thames start and end?

    Q: Where does the River Thames start and end?

    A: The River Thames originates in a meadow in the Cotswold Hills in Gloucestershire and travels 215 miles through England before emptying into the North Sea near Essex.
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  • What is a billabong?

    Q: What is a billabong?

    A: A billabong is essentially a large pond or creek that at one time extended from a river. A billabong is the cut off extension of a river that changed its course over time. During a wet season, the billabong often connects back with the river, receiving fresh water, at least until the area dries back up.
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