OF OUR WORLD
Earth is divided into three layers.
The outer layer is called the crust.
Beneath the crust lies the mantle.
The core is the innermost layer
• The solid features formed on Earth’s crust.
• Other features include bodies of water.
• Crustal movement and other tectonic activity inside Earth create
landforms; mountains, faults, sinks, and volcanos.
• Many landforms are shaped by water and wind that carve and erode
land surfaces, carrying and depositing soil, sand and other debris.
Topographic maps and models are used to represent
landforms and help scientists better understand
objects and processes.
Archipelago Bay Strait & Cape Channel
Delta Desert Gulf Island Isthmus
Mountain Peninsula Plateau Plain Sound
Swamp Sea Mesa Oasis Valley
Source River Tundra Lake Butte
Canyon Fjord Geyser Lagoon Glacier
Pond Prairie Tributary Volcano Waterfall
Estuary Dune Savanna Reef Marsh
A group or chain of
islands in a large body of
A bay is a body of water
that is partly enclosed by
land (and is usually
smaller than a gulf).
Back to The bay at San Sebastian, Spain.
A butte is a flat-topped
rock or hill formation
with steep sides.
Back to Butte near Sedona, Arizona.
A canyon is a deep valley
with very steep sides -
often carved from the
Earth by a river.
View from the North Rim of the Grand
A cape is a pointed piece
of land that sticks out
into a sea, ocean, lake, or
The Cape of Good Hope; looking towards the west,
from the coastal cliffs above Cape Point.
A peninsula is a LARGER body of land that is
surrounded by water on three sides
A peninsula in Croatia.
A channel is a body of
water that connects two
larger bodies of water
(like the English
Channel). A channel is
also a part of a river or
harbor that is deep
enough to let ships sail
Back to Satellite view of the English Channel
strait and canal
with water used
Back to irrigation, or
bodies of Landform Chart drainage.
A delta is a low, watery land formed at the mouth of a
river. It is formed from the silt, sand and small rocks
that flow downstream in the river and are deposited in
the delta. A delta is often (but not always) shaped like a
triangle (hence its name, delta, a Greek letter that is
shaped like a triangle).
Back to Nile River Delta
A desert is a very dry area.
a fertile or green area in
an arid region (as a
The Sahara Desert extends into southern Tunisia and
covers about 40 percent of the country’s land area.
Camels are still used as a means of transportation in
Back to some parts of the desert, such as at this oasis near
Landform Chart Dūz
A dune is a hill or a ridge made of sand. Dunes
are shaped by the wind, and change all the time
Mesquite Flat Dunes
in Death Valley
An estuary is where a river meets the sea or
Rio de la Plata
A fjord is a long, narrow sea inlet that is
bordered by steep cliffs.
A geyser is a natural hot spring that occasionally
sprays water and steam above the ground.
A glacier is a slowly moving river of ice.
and the Schreckhorn,
A gulf is a part of the ocean (or sea) that is partly
surrounded by land (it is usually larger than a
Gulf of Mexico in
A hill is a raised area or mound of land.
The panoramic view from Connors
Hill, near Swifts Creek, Victoria
An island is a piece of land that is surrounded by
A small island in the
An isthmus is a narrow strip of land connecting
two larger landmasses. An isthmus has water on
The Isthmus of
North and South
A lagoon is a shallow body of water that is
located alongside a coast.
Nearly half the area
of Kiritimati is
lagoon, some being
A lake is a large body of water surrounded by
land on all sides. Really huge lakes are often
One of the many
artificial lakes in
Arizona at sunset.
A marsh is a type of freshwater, brackish water
or saltwater wetland that is found along rivers,
pond, lakes and coasts. Marsh plants grow up
out of the water.
Freshwater marsh in
A mesa is a land formation with a flat area on
top and steep walls - usually occurring in dry
Several mesas near
Los Alamos, New
A mountain is a very tall high, natural place on
Earth - higher than a hill. The tallest mountain
on Earth is Mt. Everest.
Mount Damavand, in
An ocean is a large body of salt water that
surrounds a continent. Oceans cover more the
two-thirds of the Earth's surface
of the Indian
Plains are flat lands that have only small changes
A plateau is a large, flat area of land that is
higher than the surrounding land.
Monte Roraima in
A pond is a small body of water surrounded by
land. A pond is smaller than a lake.
A garden pond.
A prairie is a wide, relatively flat area of land that
has grasses and only a few trees.
Konza Prairie in
Kansas in spring
with herd of bison
A river is a large, flowing body of water that
usually empties into a sea or ocean.
in New Orleans
A sea is a large body of salty water that is often
connected to an ocean. A sea may be partly or
completely surrounded by land.
Satellite image of the
A sound is a wide inlet of the sea or ocean that
is parallel to the coastline; it often separates a
coastline from a nearby island
and Mt. Rainier
A source is the beginning of a river.
River Wey near it’s
source at Farringdon,
A swamp is a type of freshwater wetland that
has spongy, muddly land and a lot of water.
Many trees and shrubs grow in swamps.
A freshwater swamp in
A tributary is a stream or river that flows into a
The Mosel flows
into the Rhein at
A tundra is a cold, treeless area; it is the coldest
Arctic tundra on
A valley is a low place between mountains.
U-shaped valley in Glacier
National Park in
Montana, United States.
A volcano is a mountainous vent in the Earth's
crust. When a volcano erupts, it spews out lava,
ashes, and hot gases from deep inside the Earth.
Mount St. Helens in
May 1980, shortly
after the eruption of
When a river falls off steeply, there is a waterfall.
Havasu Falls, near Supai,
Arizona, is an example of a
Ridge of sand, rock, or
coral that lies at or near
the surface of a sea or
Pamalican island with
surrounding reef, Sulu Sea,
Back to Philippines.
An area of grassland and
Landform Chart Acacia savanna south of Fada N'Gourma, Burkina Faso.