Tectonic Processes and Crustal Movements(3)

Tectonic Processes and Crustal Movements(3) - Tectonic...

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Tectonic Processes and Crustal Movements
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Remember… Tectonic processes construct Earth’s surface and create different structural regions as well (such as plains, mountains, etc.)… Processes can be dramatic (earthquakes, volcanoes) Mostly takes very slow time scales to build our landscapes!
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Crustal motions determine… The arrangements of continents and oceans The topography of land and seafloor Origins and development of mountain ranges Locations of earthquake and seismic activity All of these result from dynamic processes of our Earth ( both endogenic and exogenic… we will look more at exogenic, or weathering processes in the next few weeks)
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Concepts-Surface Relief Relief refers to vertical elevation (height) differences in a landscape. For example… Low relief (Iowa, Nebraska) Medium relief (foothills along mountain ranges) High relief (mountain ranges; Rockies, Himalayas)
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Surface Relief Relief refers to vertical elevation (height) differences in a landscape
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Surface Relief and topography Topography – the form, or shapes of Earth’s surface (its shape or configuration across the landscape) Contour lines can be used to represent relief-these changes in elevation across a landscape
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Surface Relief Topography and relief have been important in human history! High mountains have protected and isolated societies; ridges, valleys, and plains have allowed transportation routes, communication, and travel to spread to different regions Also influences where we find cities; what crops can be produced, etc….
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Topography Today we use computer tools/capabilities like GPS (global positioning systems) to determine location and elevation. Elevation data is digitized and is available for manipulation and display on computers-extremely useful to planners and researchers in numerous fields (from physical geography to medicine to anthropology!) Digital elevation models – DEMs widely used in analyzing topography; distributions; water-drainage, risk assessment, etc.
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Digital Elevation Model (DEM) DEM of the world (USGS)
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Relief Difference in elevation between high and low points in a region. Can determine relief at different scales Local – within a watershed from ridge top to valley bottom Continental – from Denali 20,320' to Death Valley -280‘ Global crust – from Everest 29,028' to Marianas Trench -36,198'
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Orders of Relief We can group the Earth’s topography into three different orders of relief…. These orders classify the landscape at different scales-from very large areas to smaller local regions. First order of relief Second order relief Third order relief
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First order of relief Broadest category of landforms Includes our huge continental platforms; and the ocean basins..
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