Geography Notes , Modern Geography and its Types.
Geography is the science that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. A literal translation would be “to describe or write about the Earth”. The first person to use the word “geography” was Eratosthenes (276-194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), the area studies (places and regions), the study of the man-land relationship, and the research in the earth sciences.
Types Of Geography
Physical geography is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment.
The lithosphere is the solid, rocky crust covering entire planet. This crust is inorganic and is composed of minerals. It covers the entire surface of the earth from the top of Mount Everest to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.
The hydrosphere is composed of all of the water on or near the earth. This includes the oceans, rivers, lakes, and even the moisture in the air. Ninety-seven percent of the earth’s water is in the oceans. The remaining three percent is fresh water; three-quarters of the fresh water is solid and exists in ice sheets.
The biosphere is composed of all living organisms. Plants, animals, and one-celled organisms are all part of the biosphere. Most of the planet’s life is found from three meters below the ground to thirty meters above it and in the top 200 meters of the oceans and seas.
The atmosphere is the body of air which surrounds our planet. Most of our atmosphere is located close to the earth’s surface where it is most dense. The air of our planet is 79% nitrogen and just under 21% oxygen; the small amount remaining is composed of carbon dioxide and other gasses.
Field Of Physical Geography
Physical Geography can be divided into several sub-fields, as follows:
Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them. Geomorphologists seek to understand why landscapes look the way they do, to understand landform history and dynamics, and to predict future changes through a combination of field observations, physical experiments, and numerical modeling.
Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species (biology), organisms, and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time. Organisms and biological communities vary in a highly regular fashion along geographic gradients of latitude, elevation, isolation and habitat area.Modern biogeographic research combines information and ideas from many fields, from the physiological and ecological constraints on organismal dispersal to geological and climatological phenomena operating at global spatial scales and evolutionary time frames.
Hydrology is the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries. After the development of the computer in the latter half of the 20th century, breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved.
Meteorological phenomena are observable weather events which illuminate, and are explained by the science of meteorology. Those events are bound by the variables that exist in Earth’s atmosphere; temperature, air pressure, water vapor, and the gradients and interactions of each variable, and how they change in time.
Glaciology glace is the study of glaciers, or more generally ice and natural phenomena that involve ice.The impact of glaciers on people includes the fields of human geography and anthropology. The discoveries of water ice on the Moon, Mars and Europa add an extraterrestrial component to the field, as in “astroglaciology”.
Climatology is the study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time, and is a branch of the atmospheric sciences. Basic knowledge of climate can be used within shorter term weather forecasting. Climate models are used for a variety of purposes from study of the dynamics of the weather and climate system to projections of future climate.
Pedology is the study of soils in their natural environment. It is one of two main branches of soil science, the other being edaphology. Pedology deals with pedogenesis, soil morphology, and soil classification, while edaphology studies the way soils influence plants, fungi, and other living things.
Oceanography, also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean. It covers a wide range of topics, including marine organisms and ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries.
Geomatics is a branch of geography that has emerged since the quantitative revolution in geography in the mid 1950s. Geomatics involves the use of traditional spatial techniques used in cartography and topography and their application to computers. Geomatics has become a widespread field with many other disciplines, using techniques such as GIS and remote sensing. Geomatics has also led to a revitalization of some geography departments, especially in Northern America where the subject had a declining status during the 1950s.Geomatics encompasses a large area of fields involved with spatial analysis, such as Cartography, Geographic information systems (GIS), Remote sensing, and Global positioning systems (GPS).
Human geography is one of the two major sub-fields of the discipline of geography. Human geography is a branch of the social sciences that studies the world, its people, communities, and cultures with an emphasis on relations of and across space and place. Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more receptive to qualitative research methodologies. As a discipline, Human geography is particularly diverse with respect to its methods and theoretical approaches to study.
Fields of human geography
The main fields of study in human geography focus around the core fields of:
Cultural geography is the study of cultural products and norms and their variation across and relations to spaces and places. It focuses on describing and analysing the ways language, religion, economy, government, and other cultural phenomena vary or remain constant from one place to another and on explaining how humans function spatially.
Historical Geography is the study of the human, physical, fictional, theoretical, and “real” geographies of the past. Historical geography studies a wide variety of issues and topics. A common theme is the study of the geographies of the past and how a place or region changes through time. Many historical geographers study geographical patterns through time, including how people have interacted with their environment, and created the cultural landscape.
Development Geography is the study of the Earth’s geography with reference to the Standard of living and the Quality of life of its human inhabitants, study of the location, distribution and spatial organization of economic activities, across the Earth. The subject matter investigated is strongly influenced by the researcher’s methodological approach.
Political geography is concerned with the study of both the spatially uneven outcomes of political processes and the ways in which political processes are themselves affected by spatial structures.
Population geography is the study of the ways in which spatial variations in the distribution, composition, migration, and growth of populations are related to the nature of places.
Economic geography examines relationships between human economic systems, states, and other factors, and the biophysical environment.
Health geography is the application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease, and health care