Sunday, 7 July 2013

S - list of geographical terms and definitions

Salinisation: the accumulation in the soil of salts which are poisonous for plants. This is often caused by irrigation and can make the land useless for farming.
Salinization: Salinization is the process by which salt gets increasingly accumulated in soil, which decreases the fertility of the soil.
Salt Lake: A salt lake is a type of inland lake that has a higher concentration of salts, mainly sodium chloride, as compared to other lakes.
Saltation: material bounced along the bed of the river.
Sand Dune: A sand dune is a hill or mound of sand that is formed by the action of winds along shores or in desert areas.
Sandbar: A sandbar, also known as a shoal or a sand bank, is a ridge of sand, partly exposed or submerged, formed along a shore or river. This ridge is built by the action of tides, currents or waves and consists of tiny pebbles, sand and silt.
Saturation: loose surface material after heavy rain can become saturated and therefore unstable due to the extra weight, leading to mud slides. Where permeable sand rock overlays impermeable clay (e.g. the cliffs at Barton on Sea), the sand can become saturated and slump or slide along a shear plane.
Savanna: Savanna is a term used to describe tropical grassland areas having scattered vegetation, comprising dense spaced trees and bushes. The term was originally used to describe tropical grasslands with some scattered dense tree areas.
Scale: The proportional relationship between a linear measurement on a map and the distance it represents on the Earth's surface.
Scenery: The appearance or view across the natural landscape.
Scenic: Attractive and interesting view of the landscape.
Science Parks: An area of land, often located near university sites, where high-tech industries are located. Scientific research and commercial development are carried out in co-operation with the university.
Scree: a slope of loose, large angular rocks broken away from the mountainside by freeze-thaw weathering.
Screwdriver industries: industries based on the routine assembly of products manufactured elsewhere e.g. Sony, South Wales.
Sea Breeze: A sea breeze is a cooling local wind that blows from the sea to the land, due to differences in temperature of the surface of the land and the surface of the sea.
Sea Defences: measures taken to defend the coast from erosion, cliff collapse and flooding.
Sea Level Changes: changes in the level of the sea against the land are caused by either the building up of melting of polar ice caps, or by rising and falling land levels.
Sea Level Changes: changes in the level of the sea against the land are caused by either the building up of melting of polar ice caps, or by rising and falling land levels.
Sea level: The ocean surface.
Sea Walls: aim to prevent erosion of the coast by providing a barrier which reflects wave energy.
Sea-level Change: Sea-level change is a change in the volume of water in the seas and oceans, with respect to a change in the position of the land. Sea-level change is of two types - eustatic, where there is change in the level of water due to the melting of ice and snow, and isostatic, where there is a change in the vertical position of the land caused by the melting of ice and snow in large quantities.
Seam: see Coal Seam.
Seasonal Jobs: Employment that lasts for only part of the year.
Seasonality Periodic fluctuations in the climate related to seasons of the year e.g. wet winters, drier summers.
Sea-wave: In geographical terms, waves that indicate a horizontal energy movement but a vertical movement of water are known as sea-waves.
Second home: A seasonally occupied dwelling that is not the primary residence of the owner. Such residences are usually found in areas with substantial opportunities for recreation or tourist activity.
Second Homes: homes purchased by city dwellers in country villages or areas of usually great natural beauty for holiday or weekend use only. These create problems for local communities since house prices in the area of second homes rise out of the reach of young people, and shops, schools and bus services are forced to close due to lack of customers. The newcomers also bring unwanted social changes to the villages.
Secondary Activities: Where natural resources are made or manufactured in factories into goods.
Secondary Consumer: Secondary consumers, also known as carnivores, are organisms of the food chain that mainly feed on primary consumers, and secondary consumers at times.
Secondary Industry: the manufacturing of goods using the raw materials from primary industry.
Secondary sector: That portion of a region's economy devoted to the processing of basic materials extracted by the primary sector.
Sector Model: see Hoyt model.
Sedentary Farming: farmers remain in the same place throughout the year, e.g. dairy farming in Devon and Cornwall. (See Nomadic Farming).
Sediment Cell: Sediment moved along the coast by longshore drift appears to form part of a circular cell which leads to it eventually returning updrift. Dredging of offshore shingle banks can therefore contribute to beach depletion.
Sediment: material originating from rock weathering and erosion. Shingle and sand are examples found along the coast.
Sedimentary rock: Rock formed by the hardening of material deposited in some process; most commonly sandstone, shale, and limestone.
Sedimentary Rock: Sedimentary rocks are rocks that are formed by the deposition and solidification of sediments and organic matter from pre-existing rocks in layers. These sediments may be deposited by running water, wind or ice.
Sedimentation: The settling out of suspended particles from a body of water (or in some cases, very fine particles settled from the air or blown by the wind).
Seed Dispersal: Seed dispersal is a process in which the plant seeds move away from the parent seed through the action of winds, water, insects, etc. The process transports seeds to suitable habitats, from their source, for their successful germination.
Segregation: where immigrant groups such as Turks in Germany become increasingly isolated in inner city areas, of poor housing (see ghetto).
Seismic: Seismic is a term used to define anything that is related to or caused by an earth vibration or an earthquake.
Seismograph: A scientific instrument that detects and records vibrations (seismic waves) produced by earthquakes.
Self-help Housing Schemes: groups of people, especially in LEDCs, are encouraged to build their own homes, using materials provided by the local authority.
Semi-detached house: a house joined to one other. These are common in the middle-class suburb zones of a city in the MEDCs.
Semi-skilled occupations: these jobs involve skills that are quickly learnt, for example bus conductors, labourers, kitchen hands and cleaners.
Service Industry: see Tertiary Industry.
Service Industry: This is an industry where a service is provided. It includes cleaners, shop and office workers, police, doctors and train drivers.
Services: These are used by people and include shops, schools, buses and hospitals.
Set-aside: the land on which a farmer is required by the CAP to stop production of a surplus crop, such as wheat. The farmer receives compensation for taking 15% of the land out of agricultural use.
Settlement : A place where people live and form commmunities.
Settlement Function: the main activity, usually economic e.g. tourist resort or social e.g. dormitory town, of a place.
Settlement Hierarchy: settlements ordered by their size: hamlets, villages, towns, cities, conurbations.
Settlement Pattern: the shape and spacings of individual settlements, usually dispersed, nucleated or linear.
Settlement: Where people choose to live.
Shanty Town: an area of poor-quality housing, lacking in amenities such as water supply, sewerage and electricity, which often develops spontaneously and illegally (as a squatter settlement) in a city in an LEDC.
Share-cropper: a farmer who pays the rent on his/her farm as a percentage of each year's harvest. (Seetenant farmer and absentee landlord).
Sharecropping: A form of agricultural tenancy in which the tenant pays for use of the land with a predetermined share of his crop rather than by paying rent in cash.
Shear Plane: a bedding plane or dividing line between a permeable rock, e.g. sand, and an impermeable rock, e.g. clay. This can become saturated after prolonged heavy rain and provides a line over which part of the cliff can shear (break) away. See Slumping.
Sheltered Site: A place shielded or protected from stormy weather because it is low-lying or behind a hill.
Shield Volcano: A shield volcano is a rounded, wide volcano having gentle sloes formed due to the solidification of layers of fluid basaltic lava.
Shield volcano: A volcano that resembles an inverted warrior's shield. It has long gentle slopes produced by multiple eruptions of fluid lava flows.
Shield: A broad area of very old rocks above sea level that is usually characterized by thin, poor soils and low population densities.
Shifting Cultivation: farming in the Tropical Rain Forest where the land is cleared and the vegetation burnt, crops are grown for a few years until yields decline due to decreasing fertility of the soil. The farmers then move on to a new clearing. This is a sustainable form of farming in the Tropical Rain Forest when practised by low-density Indian tribes who do not return to former clearings for 25-30 years.
Shopping Mall: A modern very large out-of-town shopping centre with a motorway junction location that provides a family day 'experience'. It offers a range of entertainments besides a large number of shops in an air-conditioned enclosed area of up to half a square kilometre.
Sial: Sial is a type of rock that is rich in silica and aluminum found in the upper layer of the earth's crust.
Silicon Glen: a high-tech zone in Scotland.
Silicon Valley: a high-tech zone in California.
Silt: Sedimentary material comprising tiny particles of rock larger than clay and smaller than sand.
Silt: Soil left behind after a river floods.
Sima: The layer of the earth's outer crust that is rich in silica and magnesium and that lies below the sial.
Single Product Economy: a country (usually LEDC) which relies on one, or a very small number, of products (usually raw materials) for its export earnings. e.g. Zambia, copper makes up 98% of its exports; Uganda, 95% coffee beans.
Sinkhole: Crater formed when the roof of a cavern collapses; usually found in areas of limestone rock.
Site and Service Schemes: a method of encouraging housing improvement in poor areas of cities in LEDCs. The government provides the land for a new development and installs services such as water and electricity. Local people can then obtain a plot in the scheme for a low rent and build their own houses.
Site: Features of a place related to the immediate environment on which the place is located (e.g., terrain, soil, subsurface, geology, ground water).
Site: ground on which a factory stands or is to stand or be located. Last century many sites were in today's inner city areas whereas now they tend to be on cheaper edge-of-city Greenfield locations
Site: The actual place where a settlement or a building is located.
Site: the actual place where a settlement (or farm or factory) is located.
Situation: Features of a place related to its location relative to other places (e.g., accessibility, hinterland quality).
Situation: the location of a settlement in relation to places (physical and human) surrounding it e.g. roads, rivers, land use etc. A settlement with a good situation is likely to grow to become a market town for the surrounding region.
Situation: The wider area surrounding a settlement.
Slash and Burn: a more destructive form of shifting cultivation where population pressure caused by immigration to the Rain Forests leads to people clearing large areas of trees in order to farm and returning to former clearings long before the soil fertility has recovered.
Slides: saturated weathered material moving down a slope under the influence of gravity. See Mud Slides.
Slip-Off Slope: forms on the inside of a meander bend as a result of deposition in the slower flowing water.
Slope: This is the angle at which the land is tilted. Slopes can be gentle or steep.
Slum: a house unfit for human habitation.
Slumping: involves a whole segment of the cliff moving down-slope along a saturated shear-plane.
Smog A word currently used as a synonym for general air pollution. It was originally created by combining the words "smoke" and "fog."
Smog: Mixture of particulate matter and chemical pollutants in the lower atmosphere, usually over urban areas.
Snout: the end of the glacier where melting occurs.
Snowline: The lowest elevation at which snow remains from year to year and does not melt during the summer.
Snowline: the altitude where permanent snow begins in mountainous regions.
Social Class: A person's social class reflects wealth, income, education, status and power. A person's occupation is generally used to indicate social class.
Social Leap-Frogging: the process by which those who can afford to do so move out of an area as it becomes older and more run down, to be replaced by less well-off people.
Socio-Economic Group: classification of people according to their occupation, e.g. professional, skilled, manual. Occupation is related to income, wealth and education. The classification is shown below:
Soil Conservation: methods of protecting the soil from erosion e.g. hedges, terraces, contour ploughing, strip cropping.
Soil Conservation: Soil conservation is a soil management technique used to prevent soil erosion and soil deterioration.
Soil Creep: the slowest of downhill movements, occurring on very gentle and well-vegetated slopes. Although material may move by less than 1 cm a year, its results can be seen in step-like terracettes on hillsides.
Soil Erosion: The loss of soil from a field's surface by the action of wind or water, often accelerated by human actions. Certain types of soil are more at risk from erosion than others, as are soils on slopes. Erosion can be reduced by soil conservation measures, which may involve a change in cultivation practices.
Soil Erosion: The removal of soil by wind or water.
Soil Exhaustion: where the soil has lost its fertility.
Soil Profile: A vertical section of soil indicating the different layers of soil from the surface to the parent rock is called soil profile.
Soil Science: It is a scientific field that pertains to the study of soil as natural resource. This includes the study of soil properties, soil formation and soil classification.
Soil Structure: Soil structure is the manner in which the soil particles like sand, humus, silt and clay are arranged to form large units known as peds. Prism-like, block-like, spheroidal, and platey are the four major structural forms of soil.
Solar Energy: the main source of energy on Earth, taken into the food chain by photosynthesis in plants or used by people as a source of electricity and heating.
Solar Radiation: The electromagnetic radiation emitted by the sun, resulting from a nuclear fusion reaction, is known as solar radiation.
Soluble: Capable of being dissolved; in this case, the characteristic of soil minerals that leads them to be carried away in solution by water (see Leaching).
Solution: some rocks such as limestone are subject to chemical attack and slowly dissolve in the water.
Source: The beginning of a river in the mountains.
Source: where a river starts, usually in the mountains.
Sparsely Populated: an area that has few people living in it.
Sparsely Populated: An area that has few people living in it.
Spatial Complementarity: The occurrence of location pairing such that items demanded by one place can be supplied by another.
Spatial interaction: Movement between locationally separate places.
Sphere of Influence: the area served by a settlement, shop or service.
Spheroidal Weathering: Spheroidal weathering is a process through which chemical weathering wears out the edges and sides of a rock due to which the rock appears round in shape.
Spit: a long, narrow accumulation of sand and shingle formed by longshore drift and deposited where the coastline abruptly changes direction. One end of the spit is connected to the land and the other end projects out to the sea, often with a curved (hooked) end.
Spontaneous Settlement: a squatter settlement or shanty town containing self-built houses made of scrap materials such as corrugated iron and plastic; the settlement usually lacks piped water, an electricity supply and sewage disposal facilities. Spontaneous settlements are very common in cities in LEDCs and are illegal because the residents neither own the land on which the houses are built, nor have permission to build there.
Spreading ridges: Places on the ocean floor where lithospheric plates separate and magma erupts. About 80 percent of the Earth's volcanic activity occurs on the ocean floor.
Spring Tide: Spring tide is the term used to describe extremely high and low tides, occurring during a full moon or a new moon, when the sun, moon and the earth are more or less aligned.
Spring: This is where water flows out of the ground.
Spur: a narrow neck of highland extending into a river valley, often forming the divide between two tributaries.
Spur: a narrow neck of highland extending into a river valley, often forming the divide between two tributaries.
Squatter Settlement: another name for a spontaneous settlement.
Stack: rock left standing out at sea after wave erosion has separated it from the mainland. This is the next stage from an arch. Waves will continue to erode the foot of the arch until its roof becomes too heavy to be supported. When the roof collapses, it will leave part of the former cliff isolated.
Standard of Living: How well-off a person or a country is.
Stemflow: Stemflow is a process by which intercepted precipitation is directed to flow down the branches and stems of plants, so that the ground below them receives some more moisture.
Sterilisation: a method of contraception: in men an operation prevents sperm from being released, and in women an operation stops the production of eggs.
Stilling Well: A stilling well is a cube or cylindrical compartment that is installed near a river or sunk in the river. It dampens surges and waves to provide an accurate measurement of the water level of the river.
Storm Beach: A storm beach is a steep beach that comprises sand and stones, deposited by strong storms and waves that rise above the high watermark.
Storm Surge: An unusual rise in the normal water level on an open coast caused by high waves and winds associated with hurricanes and low atmospheric pressure is called a storm surge.
Storm Surge: a rapid rise in sea level caused by storms forcing water into a narrowing sea area. Low air pressure at the centre of the storm also causes sea levels to rise.
Strata: In geographical terms, strata can be defined as beds of rocks of a particular kind (usually sedimentary), comprising many uniform layers, that is formed naturally by materials that get deposited.
Stratosphere: Stratosphere is the part of the earth's atmosphere that is below the mesosphere and above the troposphere. It extends from 10km to 50km above the surface of the earth.
Stratovolcano: A steep-sided volcano built by lava flows and tephra deposits. (Also called composite volcano.)
Strip Cropping: where new crops are grown in narrow strips; the ploughed soil where seeds are to be planted is protected from erosion by adjacent strips where growing crops are at much later stages of growth.
Strip Farming: Strip farming is a technique of farming, where field crops are grown in alternate, narrow strips, following the contour of the land. This technique is used to reduce or prevent soil erosion.
Structure (of a population): the relative percentages of people of different age groups, usually shown on a population pyramid.
Structure of Trade: the differing proportions of primary, secondary and tertiary products that make up a country's exports and imports e.g. LEDCs export low-value raw materials and commodities and import high value machinery and consumer goods from MEDCs. See Single Product Economy.
Stump: formed by continuing wave action attacking a stack until it collapses.
Subcontract: where a large company, e.g. Nike, arranges for its goods to be produced by another company.
Subduction zone: The place where two lithospheric plates come together, one riding over the other. Most volcanoes on land occur parallel to and inland from the boundary between the two plates.
Sublimation: Sublimation is a term used to describe the changing of a solid into the gaseous state without going through the liquid phase.
Subsidies: this is money paid to farmers for producing certain crops, e.g. oil seed rape. They encourage the farmers to grow more of the subsidised crop making the EU more self-sufficient in many foodstuffs. But the drive to increase yields has led to:
Subsidy: a grant of money made by the government to industries locating in Development Areas; industries locating in South Wales receive a labour subsidy per worker, which encourages them to employ more people, reducing their costs and increasing profits.
Subsistence Farming: farming which uses simple technology, low capital investment, and in which the production of food for the individual farmer's family is the priority. There is often no food left to sell. Most farmers manage now to sell some of their output at some times during the year. (See Commercial farmingand Peasant farming).
Subsistence: Growing just enough food for your own needs with nothing left over to sell.
Suburb: An area of housing around the edge of a city.
Suburbanisation: the process by which people, factories, offices and shops move out from the central areas of cities and into the suburbs.
Suburbanised Villages/Towns: dormitory or commuter villages/towns with a residential population who sleep in the village/town but who travel to work in the nearby large urban area. The suburbanised village has increasingly adopted some of the characteristics (new housing estates, more services) of urban areas.
Suburbs: the outer zone of towns and cities.
Sunbelt: a growth region of high-tech industry in the south west of the USA.
Sunrise Industries: high -tech industries.
Sunrise Strip: a high-tech industrial zone following the route of the M4 westwards to South Wales.
Superimposed Drainage: Superimposed drainage is a drainage system that naturally evolved on a set of rocks, which were subsequently immersed by river incision. Therefore, the drainage system is unrelated to the rocks that it now lies on.
Surplus: too much of a product being produced.
Suspended Load: very small and light material, usually fine clay and silt, transported by the river in suspension.
Sustainable Agriculture: Sustainable agriculture is a method of farming that implements eco-friendly techniques of farming to ensure that the natural resources are not degraded. Sustainable agriculture also supports increased production of crops.
Sustainable Farming: farming which avoids soil erosion and pollution: it does not destroy the land for future generations.
Sustainable yield: The amount of a naturally self-reproducing community, such as trees or fish, which can be harvested without diminishing the ability of the community to sustain itself.
Swamp: As per geography definitions, a type of lowland that is seasonally flooded or waterlogged with stagnant water and has woody vegetation cover is known as a swamp.
Swash: Swash, in geographical terminology, is a term used to describe water from the break of a wave, moving up the shore or beach.
Swash: forward movement of a wave up a beach.
S-wave: A S-wave is defined as a type of seismic wave that carries rock particles in a direction that is perpendicular to the direction in which the wave itself is traveling. The S-wave is also known as the secondary wave or the shear wave.
Synoptic chart A weather chart reflecting the state of the atmosphere over a large area at a given moment.
Synoptic Chart: The synoptic chart is a type of weather map that indicates the atmospheric state of a large area at any given time.