Chapter 1

absolute location

The exact position of a place on the earth's surface.

longitude

Distance east or west of the prime meridian

Prime Meridian

the imaginary line that runs from North Pole to South Pole through Greenwich, England

Latitude

Distance north or south of the equator

Equator

An imaginary circle around the middle of the earth, halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole

Elevation

The height of land above sea level

eon

a long period of time

growing season

the number of days between the last killing frost in the spring and the first killing frost in the fall

flora

plants of a region or era

fauna

all the animal life in a particular region

tornado

a dark, funnel-shaped cloud with swirling winds that can measure over 200 miles an hour

hurricane

a violent, tropical, cyclonic storm of the western North Atlantic, having wind speeds of or in excess of 74 miles per hour

Antebellum Period

period before the Civil War

geologist

A scientist who studies the origin, history, and structure of the earth

Maize

corn

Sharecropper

A person who works fields rented from a landowner and pays the rent and repays loans by turning over to the landowner a share of the crops.

loess soil

windblown dust that accumulates and forms a ridge of bluffs as it approaches higher elevations

alluvial soil

rich soil made up of sand and mud deposited by running water

natural resources

Materials or substances such as minerals, forests, water, and fertile land that occur in nature and can be used for economic gain

Tributary

A stream or river that flows into a larger river

drainage basin

the area from which a single stream or river and its tributaries drains all of the water

Groundwater

moisture that seeps into the subsurface and accumulates in rock formations called aquifers

surface water

Water above the surface of the land, including lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, floodwater, and runoff.

reservoir

a man-made lake where water is collected and kept in quantity for use

Aquaculture

the commercial production of freshwater animals, like catfish, and aquatic plants

Lignite

a low grade of coal