lesson 12 - Introduction to geomorphology and glaciation...

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Introduction to geomorphology and glaciation Shaping Michigan's landscape Michigan's glacial history Glacial materials and landforms - Glacial materials - Glacial landforms Michigan's geomorphic history - The basics - Back to Michigan - Water - Wind Michigan's physiographic regions - Lower Peninsula - Upper Peninsula People and Michigan's landscape - History and place names - Current landuse and economy How people have impacted Michigan's environment Introduction to geomorphology and glaciations Have you ever wondered what makes Michigan unique as a state? What do you think? For some people it may be the fact that the state is made up of two peninsulas surrounded by three of the five Great Lakes. Whereas for others, the answer might be that there's good skiing, camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, golf, boating, canoeing, four-wheeling, and snowmobiling across the north country, or that within a short drive from anywhere in the state they can get to a lake shore where there are hundreds of fun things to do. And that probably doesn't even begin to cover it! What about the state's many special biotic communities, or its history, people, economy, cities, cultural events, and demographics?
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As far as I'm concerned, all of these are good answers and they all boil down to one thing... geography. Michigan's geography makes it unique : the state's physical landscape , its cultural landscape , and how they relate make Michigan the diverse and resourceful place that it is. Whether you grew up here or have only spent a few months here, you probably had a good idea what makes the state unique. Regardless, I'd like you to take a short "virtual fieldtrip" across Michigan before we jump into this lesson so that you can begin to familiarize yourself with different aspects of the state. By this point in the class, you should be well aware of the fact that the physical landscape (the environment) sets the stage for the settlement of people and the development of the cultural landscape. Michigan is no exception. In this lesson we are going to explore: (1) Michigan's physical landscape and the factors that have been involved in its shaping, and (2) how the physical landscape has influenced people, including the way land is used. The bottom line : This lesson is an attempt to get you to appreciate Michigan's landscape within the context of the people-environment theme. Shaping Michigan's landscape To study the physical landscape at any location it helps to divide the area up into smaller sections or regions. These regions can be distinguished based on different criteria, such as landforms/topography, climate, vegetation, soils, hydrology, or wildlife. A simple way to study Michigan's landscape is to divide the state into regions based on physiography, which is basically the "lay of the land." The following map illustrates one possible way to divide Michigan into physiographic regions.
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