Alluvial fan: land formation that occurs when sedimentary materials such as rocks, gravel, and silt, are deposited onto land as a result of decreasing or stopped water flow from a river or stream source.
Altitude (elevation): the height above sea level
Anabranch: a flowing part of the river that is separated, usually by an island, and rejoins back down stream.
Archipelago: a group of many islands.
Arête: a group sharp ridges of rocks on mountain tops usually caused by melting glaciers.
Aseismic Ridge: Chain of seamounts under the ocean created by a hotspot under the Earth’s crust
Arroyo: a creek that is sometimes dry during the year from not having a constant water source such as rain.
Badlands: barren, battered and eroded land from water and shaped with the help of wearing and wind-driven sand and rain.
Barchan: is a sand dune that crescent-shape that faces the wind. The convex shape is formed by the constant blow of wind in one direction.
Barrier Island: an island or group of island, usually in the ocean, that protects the nearby mainland coast from erosion.
Basin: An area of land largely enclosed by higher land.
Bay: part of a body of salt water that reaches into the land; usually smaller than a gulf
Bayou: A slow moving body of water in a low lying area, usually near the coast, with swamp or marshland in some portions of the shoreline.
Beach: A sloping shoreline consisting of sand, gravel, soil or other sediment.
Beach Cusps: Beach formation in the form of an arc with a cusp or point at each end
Beach Ridge: Elevated formation of sand or other beach material running parallel to a shoreline
Bight: A curve like a bay landform that that has less curve than a bay.
Bluff: a cliff looking over a body of water or plain.
Bornhardt: a rock formation with steep or vertical sides and a round or dome-shaped top usually with little or no vegetation.
a river or stream that flows into a larger river or stream
Blowhole: a hole connected to a cave that is attached to a water system that builds up pressure through waves, current or wind. When the pressure is great enough, water is release, usually in a spouting manner.
Blowout: A depression or a major loss in vegetation in the ground where the wind has blown away sand or topsoil.
Braided River: A river that has three or move channels that come back together or drain into the same body of water.
Butte: A rock formation with vertical or nearly vertical sides that is flat on top and taller than it is wide
Canal: a man-made waterway connecting two bodies of water and is designed to shorten travel time or irrigate
Canyon: narrow valley with steep sides; usually created by erosion
Cape: a curved or hooked piece of land extending into a body of water
Cave: a hallow space in the ground or mountain with an opening to enter.
Cenote: a collapsed are, usually limestone, with exposed water.
Channel: a narrow deep waterway connecting two larger bodies of water; the deepest part of the waterway.
the pattern of weather conditions (temperature, precipitation) over a long period of time
Cliff: A high, steep slope of rock or soil
land along the sea or ocean
Confluence: Two or more bodies of water meet and their waters mix.
Continent: one of the seven largest bodies of land on earth
Continental shelf: plateau of land surface into the ocean but underwater extending from a continent.
Cove: a small bay with a restricted entrance.
Crevasse: is a large crack in a glacier that can be seen from the surface.
Cuspate Foreland: a triangular extension from the coast
Cuesta: a gentle ground slope with a cliff.
Current: the flow of a stream of water
Dam: a wall built across a stream or river to hold back water
Dell: a valley with trees.
Delta: land built up by deposits of sand and silt at the mouth of some rivers
Dirt Cone: Done shape deposit of dirt caused by a glacier.
Desert: dry, barren region usually sandy and without trees, little rainfall or practical use of land unless irrigated
Divide: the highest ridge of land separating river basins
Dome: Oval or round land formation that is elevated from the surrounding areas.
the direction of a river’s flow; toward the mouth of the river
Drainage Basin: All the water in the river exiting at a point usually into another water system like the ocean, lake or another river.
Dry Lake: a lake that is dry all year or most of the year with the dry layer being mud or salt.
Dune: a pile of sand created by wind or waves (underwater dunes)
Erg: a group of sand dunes usually found in a desert.
Estuary: where a river runs into the ocean or other types of salt water.
Escarpment: The edge of a cliff with a steep slope
a fracture in the rocks along which there has been movement
fjord: a narrow inlet of the sea between high banks or cliffs created by glaciers
Floodplain: a flat are of land around a river that floods when the river gets high.
Forest: a large tract of land covered with trees and underbrush; extensive wooded area
Fork: The place where a stream or tributary joins a river
Geo: a narrow inlet in a cliff usually caused by waves or glaciers.
Geyser: An opening in the ground that ejects hot water and steam due to volcanic activity.
Glacier: a large body of slow moving ice which alters the land around it through displacement
Glacier Caves: A cave at the bottom of a glacier.
Glen: a long and deep valley usually with steep sides. See also dale and valley.
Gully: a channel cut in the hillside or mountainside from
Gulf: part of a sea or ocean that reaches into land; usually larger than a bay.
Gorge: a deep valley with steep rocks on each side. Also referred to as a valley or canyon.
Graben: a ground depression between two faults.
Guyot: is a flat top seamount that is or once had volcanic activity.
Hanging Valley: A valley that is above another valley usually separated by a cliff.
a sheltered area of water where ships may anchor safely
Headland: a large area of land extending into a large area of water
hemisphere: half of the earth usually referred to as eastern or western; northern or southern
an area of hills, plateaus, and mountains
hill: a raised part of the earth’s surface with sloping sides; old mountain which because of erosion has become rounder and shorter
Hogback: an exposed rock range caused by erosion
Hoodoo: A irregular shaped rock formation that is tall and pillar-like
Iceberg: a large mass of floating ice that has broken off from a glacier, most of this is underwater
Inlet: a small part of a body of water that reaches into a coast
Island: an are of land completely surrounded by water
Islet: A island, usually all rock with little vegetation, that is uninhabitable.
isthmus: narrow strip of land with water on both sides connecting two larger pieces of land.
Karst: A soluble rock landscape shaped through erosion.
lake: a large body of water surrounded by land
Latitude: imaginary lines on a globe or map used to measure distance from the equator; parallel lines running east and west
Lava Dome: a rise in the ground or volcano caused by lava going through vents in the earth.
Lava Field: area of land covered by lava flow.
Lava Lake: molten lava in a crater or vent. (Like a lake filled with lava)
Lava Spine: vertical flowing lava that grows, usually in a sharp tower like shape.
Lava Tube: a sold cave tube caused by lava
Longitude: imaginary lines on a globe or map used to measure distance from the Prime Meridian; lines running from pole to pole.
Lowland: an area of low and usually level land
Marsh: a wetland with grasses and little or no trees
Meander: a major bend in a river or stream
Mesa: a land formation having a relatively flat top and steep rock walls
Moraine: deposits of rock and sediment left from a former or receding glacier
Mountain: high, rocky land, usually with steep sides and a pointed or rounded top, higher than a hill
Mountain Pass: the highest point in a mountain range that is passable by foot.
Mountain Range: a long chain of mountains; a row of connected mountains
Mouth (of a river): place where a river empties into a larger body of water; the end of a river
Mud Volcano: geothermal heated mud that bubbles like lava in a volcano.
Natural Arch: rock that forms together with a natural rock bridge usually caused by erosion.
Nunatak: Rocks coming from a glacier
Oasis: a fertile place in the desert where there is water and some vegetation
ocean: largest body of salt water; these cover 3/4 of the earth’s surface.
Oceanic Basin: All the land in each specific ocean.
Oceanic Plateau: an elevated area of the seafloor that is higher than the surrounding area.
Oxbow Lake: a former meander of a river that has separated into a curved lake.
Peninsula: piece of land that extends into a body of water and is surrounded on three sides by water.
Pit Crater: a hole or crater with steep sides caused by volcanic activity.
Plain: a broad, flat or gently rolling area; usually low in elevation.
Plateau: flat highland area with one steep face; elevated plain.
Plunge Pool: a deep area of water under the waterfall.
Pond: a small body of water surrounded by land.
Port: man-made place along the coastline where ships can load and unload cargo; not a natural harbor.
Pothole: A hole in an exposed layer of rock that created by a river’s flowing water.
Prairie: a large plains region with tall grass.
Proglacial Lake: a freshwater lake that forms behind a glacier.
Raised Beach: an area of land above the shore that is higher than high tide.
Rapids: a part of a river, generally shallow, where the currents move swiftly over rocks.
Ravine: a smaller form of a valley with steep sides.
Reef: a ridge of rock or sand at or near the surface of the water.
Reservoir: a lake where water is collected and stored for future use.
Ria: a valley that flows into a coastline’s water and gets submerged.
Riffle: a shallow area of a river, lake or stream that has ripples caused usually by a rocky surface.
Rift Valley: two separating tectonic plates forming a valley by the land falling.
River: a large stream of water flowing through the land into a lake, ocean, or other body of water.
River Delta: a branching river extending into another body of water.
River Island: an island in a river.
Sea: a large body of water, usually salt water, partly or completely surrounded by land.
Sound: a wide channel connecting two bodies of water or an inlet between the mainland and islands
Source (of a river): the place where a river or stream begins.
Strait: a narrow waterway connecting two larger bodies of water.
Sandbar: an area of sand or sentiment that has been collecting and rises above or just below the water.
Sinkhole: Collapsed limestone or other softrock that forms a hole on the earth’s surface.
Swamp: an area of land that is always soaked with water; low, wet land that supports grass and trees.
Terrace: a flat area of land like a step on landforms like a mountain, valley or beach.
Tide: the regular rising and falling of the water of the oceans and waters connected to the ocean.
Upstream: the direction toward a river’s source; opposite to the rivers’ flow.
Valley: low land between hills or mountains.
Volcano: a cone shaped mountain formed out of rock or ash thrown up from inside the arth, frequently with an opening or depression at the top.
Waterfall: place where running water makes a sheer drop, usually over a cliff.
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Salty spring-fed lakes, towering sand dunes, and the ghosts of an ancient walled city.
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