Questions tagged [geography]

For questions that are concerned with or nested within the field of Geography; the study of lands, their features, and the relationships and complexities between and among peoples, the physical environment, and ecosystems.

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81
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6answers
22k views

What place on Earth is closest to the Sun?

What is the location on Earth that is closest to the Sun? I've seen this question asked many times, and answered in varied and contradictory ways: The most common answer is “the summit of Chimborazo ...
70
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17answers
34k views

Are there any saltwater rivers on Earth?

I'm curious if there are any saltwater rivers on Earth. These would presumably arise if a saltwater lake had a river outlet to the ocean. However, all the saltwater lakes I looked at (Caspian Sea, ...
26
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2answers
6k views

What is the line crossing the Pacific Ocean that is shown on maps?

The picture below shows an imaginary line on the globe which crosses the Pacific Ocean and works as a rough separator of the Eastern and Western hemispheres. What is this line called in English? I'm ...
23
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1answer
2k views

What were the tallest mountain ranges in Earth's geological past?

There have been numerous episodes of mountain building in Earth's geological history, particularly through the super-continent cycle. Many mountains and mountain ranges have been eroded, as mentioned ...
19
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4answers
8k views

What is the deepest we have ever gone into the Earth?

I remember Journey to the Center of Earth and wonder: What is the deepest in the Earth surface or below sea level we have traveled either by foot, sub, drill or camera?
18
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2answers
5k views

Where is the calmest place on Earth?

I have done some research online, and I've found out that Antarctica has the calmest winds (lowest maximum wind speed) recorded on Earth. However, it is uninhabitable for human life. Other very calm ...
18
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1answer
255 views

What percent of volcanoes are glaciated?

I have not been able to find an estimate of how many known volcanoes host perennial ice masses, and it would be very useful to me. Does anyone know of any attempts to do this?
16
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6answers
6k views

How to quickly or easily prove the world is spherical?

A relative of mine has recently introduced me to the modern flat earth theory, which she believes in. Setting aside for the moment that it is ridiculous, and that sending up some balloons with cameras ...
16
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2answers
3k views

Percentage of dry land surface with sea level elevation lower than 1 km

Being this my first questions on this .SE I hope that the topic is appropriate. I've been told that 99% of the living species on earth live in between -200m and 800m above sea level, this made me ...
15
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5answers
24k views

(Why) Is there more landmass on Earth's Northern hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere?

This Question on Worldbuilding is based on the presumption that there is a greater amount of landmass on the Earth's Northern Hemisphere than there is on the Southern Hemisphere. While researching ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Why is there a line of volcanoes along the northwest coast of North America?

Mount Hood in Oregon is a dormant volcano, and in Washington Mount St. Helens and Mt. Ranier are both active volcanoes. What causes this line of volcanoes running parallel to the coastline along the ...
14
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1answer
352 views

Is there a freely usable map of Earth cave systems and/or density?

I am considering creating some sort of model of the Earth using real world collected data. Things like worldwide height maps certainly exist, as do many maps of minerals, rainfall, etc. Are there ...
14
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1answer
113 views

Does Contwoyto Lake empty into both Bathurst Inlet and Chantrey Inlet?

Contwoyto Lake is a large lake in northwestern Nunavut. Descriptions of it say that its primary outlet leads to Bathurst Inlet. Does the lake also have an outlet that leads to Chantrey Inlet, ...
13
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1answer
523 views

How big does a lake have to be to have its own Sea Breeze?

How big does a body of water need to have a sea breeze? Is there a chart on sea breezes wind speed that include lakes? Could a circular lake create enough sea breeze to create a wind vortex in the ...
12
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1answer
752 views

Ore deposits buried under cities?

Occasionally there are news about a major ore deposit for a specific commodity being found. Some of these recent discoveries are underground, and the "geophysics" aspect of their exploration is more ...
12
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2answers
417 views

Determining the paleoelevation of mountain ranges

In New Delhi, a lot of people say that the Aravali range used to be as tall as the Himalayas. How do scientists know that some mountain range used to be a lot taller millions of years ago, and what ...
12
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1answer
695 views

Is there a standard definition of the term “mountain”?

Is there any standard internationally recognizable definition of the term "mountain"? If international texts describe some terrain as mountains, do they use some international definition of the term,...
11
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4answers
5k views

Does gravity differ from place to place on Earth

Does a particular object have the same weight on every part of Earth or does it vary?
11
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3answers
1k views

Where to find an accurate Mercator Projection world image?

I'm sorry if this doesn't fit "Earth Science" too well. No idea where else to ask this! Can anyone help me find an accurate world map in Mercator Projection? It doesn't need political borders or too ...
11
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2answers
272 views

Is Atacama Desert cloudy or cloudless most of the year?

I saw many contradictions everywhere. For example, my geography textbook says that Atacama Desert is a desert where foggy weather is common, and it persists almost the whole year. Whereas every ...
11
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3answers
12k views

In the northern hemisphere only, what percentage of the surface is land?

Across the whole Earth, about 70% of the surface is water and 30% is land. What I want, though, is to restrict the scope to the northern hemisphere (NH) only. What percentage of NH surface is land? ...
11
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1answer
196 views

Lake outflow forming a “reverse delta”?

While rivers often form a delta when they flow into a lake, the outflow of a lake is usually a single stream. Are there lakes where the water flows off in multiple channels that merge into a single ...
11
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2answers
2k views

Standardized scale for coastline length or mapping in general?

Measuring the length of a coastline depends on the scale of the measuring tool. The smaller the scale of your tool, the longer will your measured coastline be. The reason for this is the fractal ...
11
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1answer
1k views

How old is Casiquiare canal?

Casiquiare canal is the world's largest bifurcation. Since such a large bifurcation seems unlikely to be produced and even less likely to stay for centuries, I wonder how old it is and why all the ...
11
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2answers
551 views

How can I find the nearest point on the coast from an ocean location?

Given some location of interest $X$ in a lake or in the ocean with known lat and lon, I'd like to find the lat and lon of the coastal location that is closest to $X$, as well as distance between the ...
9
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1answer
1k views

What is this weird looking structure in Ethiopian desert?

I was surfing through Google Maps around Ethiopian desert region (close to the town of Werder/Wardheer) and I found this weird looking structure. It seems like a dried up lake bed, but I can't guess ...
9
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2answers
310 views

What are the sunniest places on Earth? (including oceans)

This question did arise when thinking on offshore solar power plants, what's their potential, and how efficient would they be compared with land based counterparts. Recently, it is becoming more ...
9
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1answer
187 views

Is there a special name for along-course elevation profiles of rivers, and where you can you find them?

Was discussing the terrain and rivers of Europe today with my father and it became apparent that a graph of the elevation versus course of a river would offer interesting insight, including a quick ...
9
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1answer
626 views

Is there an estimate for the length of the American Cordillera?

There was no geography site on Stack Exchange, so I thought the best place to ask about this was in Earth Science: Do we have an estimate for the length of the American Cordillera (the chain of ...
8
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8answers
3k views

How to easily remember orientation of latitude and longitude?

Ever since the 3rd grade, I've been troubled by the inability to remember if Latitude runs East/West or runs North/South. I would always stress out BIG TIME during my Geography class. I'm much older ...
8
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2answers
835 views

Are there seamounts as close as 100 m to the water surface and not inside any Exclusive Economic Zone?

I did not find any seamounts as close as 100 m to the water surface (100m from the mean surface level at the location of the mountain) that are not part of any Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ.) Do any ...
8
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2answers
2k views

How much distance does $0.001^\circ$ in latitude or longitude represent?

If I'm standing at a lat of 30.000$^\circ$ and a long of 30.000$^\circ$ and I move to a lat of 30.001$^\circ$ and a long 30.000$^\circ$, how far have I gone? Is there a relationship between decimal ...
8
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2answers
116 views

Is there a hemisphere where there's more land than ocean?

From a previous question, around 40% of the northern hemisphere is land. Would there be a plane splitting the earth into two equal parts, where in one part there are more land than ocean?
8
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1answer
3k views

How did the Ural mountains form?

A nice picture for "how mountains formed" on Earth is due to the motion of tectonic plates. As the plates crash together, mountains may get "pushed upwards". However, a quick look at a map of the ...
8
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1answer
602 views

We found this rock and we don't know what it is

I found these rocks at a road in Sweden. They are different from the other rocks used for the road. The hardness is higher than 5.5 as the rocks aren't affected by a knife. the size is 2.0-2.5cm ...
8
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1answer
176 views

Identifying a desert landform

I saw this landform on Google Earth on the border of Algeria/Tunisia/Libya and wondered what it is called (so that I can read up on it and find out how it forms - I am not a geologist): Here is a 3D ...
8
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1answer
2k views

How to cite LandSat 8?

I'm wondering how to quote a Landsat mission product. I have seen many ways, but I can't decide which one is the best. Thus, I would like to know if there is a standard for the minimum information ...
7
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4answers
21k views

Why do we say Earth rotates from west to east?

It is said that Earth rotates from west to east. I take this as Earth's western hemisphere moves towards the Eastern hemisphere when seen from the frame of reference of pole star. Now I can also ...
7
votes
2answers
830 views

How do I represent wind direction on a UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) map projection?

What does it mean when I say "the wind direction is 50o" on a UTM map? Which direction is the 0o reference? For example, if I draw a wind vector V as seen in the ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

What physical measurement / elevation is used to define Earth's radius?

Earth's radius is usually given as 6378137 meters (equatorial radius), its flattening is defined as 1/298.257223 (WGS84), and thus its polar radius is calculated as 6356752 meters. However, the ...
7
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3answers
356 views

Why is the elevation of the Iberian Peninsula so high?

The Iberian peninsula lies more than 600 m above sea level, on average, far above similar geological regions in western Europe. Even tectonically undeformed areas in the inner basins present a ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the shortest path between two points on Earth's surface?

I am a Math student and don't know about longitude and latitude. This question was asked in CSIR-NET Mathematics. Please help me to solve it. Two points $A$ and $B$ on the surface of the Earth have ...
6
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3answers
362 views

Round structure in southern United States

Assuming here might be someone who knows something about this, I wanted to ask what is behind this round structure I have spotted today on Google Earth: There seems to be a large (~200 km), nearly ...
6
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1answer
186 views

Would more or less land be usable if global temperatures rose?

I think a large portion of the earth's land is unusable from being too cold and land that is too hot does not have enough water and dries out which could be fixed by diverging water to those areas. ...
6
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1answer
585 views

Why is the Ring of Fire there? [duplicate]

The Ring of Fire goes through the places that have the most earthquakes. Why is the Ring of Fire there, not somewhere else? Any help would be appreciated!
6
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1answer
259 views

Where is the Arctic Circle for civil and astronomical twilight?

The Polar Circles are located at 66°33′46.7″ North and South, defining the minimum latitudes at which, for at least one 24 hour period during the year, the limb of the Sun never becomes invisible ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

Which mountains (or hills) are visible from both Boston and Rhode Island?

In the description of the Norse exploration of America, there are two places mentioned, "Hop" and "Straumfjord", with some relationship to the same mountains. E.g. The finding of Wineland the Good, p....
6
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2answers
323 views

What produces these distinct shapes in the Rub' al Khali seen from space?

update: Searching "Rub' al Khali Empty Quarter" found "Q2: What are sabkhas?" in https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC6BYQ0_rub-al-khali-the-empty-quarter which seems to be related. From the NASA ...
6
votes
1answer
263 views

If ALL the ice melted, what percentage of the Earth's surface would be water?

At the present time, about 70% of the earth's surface is liquid water (perhaps that includes floating ice around Antarctica, and the Arctic Ice cap). What percentage of the Earth's surface would be ...
6
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2answers
218 views

Actual thickness of permafrost vs theoretical maximum possibly permafrost thickness

I came across a question in my notes about why the actual thickness of permafrost is much less than the theoretical maximum possible permafrost thickness value. The actual permafrost measure on sites ...