geography worksheets

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The Earth is a dynamic and incredibly heterogeneous place. There are a number of important places on Earth you should know about in order to get a sense of the magnitude of the Earth’s processes. Using your Atlases, find out the following: 1. Mountain Ranges: (complete the chart)


Location South America

Length 7,240 km 6,030 km 3,860 km


2. Mountain ranges are millions of years old, but they are not all the same age. Using the geologic time scale in this manual, estimate how many millions of years old each mountain range is. The first one is done for you.

Mountain Range

Geologic Time Period Early Devonian Late Permian Late Permian Late Cretaceous (Campanion) Late Cretaceous (Maastrichian) Middle Miocene Late Eocene

Age (millions of years) 400

Scottish Highlands Appalachians Urals Andes Rockies Alps Himalayas

3. The capital city with the highest elevation is La Paz. What country is it in? Estimate the elevation of La Paz, using the nearby mountain of Ancohuma.

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4. Only 3% of all the water on the Earth is fresh. The remaining 97% is salty. Of the 3%, over 2% is frozen in ice sheets and glaciers, which leaves less than 1% in lakes, rivers, and underground reservoirs. Locate the following rivers by continent and country. The first one is done for you.

Continent Asia

Country China

Republic of Congo

River Yangtze Nile MississippiMissouri Amazon Volga Rhine Congo

Length 5,520 km 6,670 km 6,020 km 6,437 km 3,688 km 1,320 km 4,374 km

5. Which is the longest river?______________________________________________ What two rivers merge to form this river?__________________________________ Into which body of water does it flow?____________________________________

6. The Amazon is the greatest river on Earth. It’s water flow is so great, 1/5 of all river water flows through it. The freshwater from it’s mouth extends 180 km out into the sea. On satellite photos, this area can be seen coloring the sea with yellow-brown silt. Where does the Amazon start?_______________________________________________ Where does the Amazon end? _______________________________________________

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7. Most lakes contain freshwater, but two of the largest-the Aral and the Caspian Seasare actually inland seas, and are saltwater. Find the following lakes in your atlas and indicate in which country/countries they are found.

Lake or Inland Sea Caspian Sea Superior Victoria Aral Sea Huron Michigan Tanganyika


Size 372,000 km2 82,414 km2 69,485 km2 66,485 km2 59,596 km2 58,016 km2 32,893 km2

How much bigger is Lake Victoria than Lake Tanganyika?_____________________

9. Lake Baykal is the deepest lake on Earth. It is so deep (6,365 ft.) that all five Great Lakes in North America could be emptied into it. Where is Lake Baykal located?___________________________________________ Approximately how long is it?___________________________________________

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10. A desert is an area which has less than 25 cm of rain a year, and very little plant life. In some deserts, the total rain for the year may fall in only two or three storms. Deserts cover about 20% of the Earth’s land surface. Deserts can be covered with Rockies, pebbles sand or snow and ice. Sand accounts for only 15% of deserts, and cacti are found only in American deserts. Using your atlas, locate the following desert regions, and determine if they are “HOT” or “COLD” deserts. (In your atlas, use the “Climate Regions” maps.) Then plot these deserts on the following map.




“hot” or “cold” ?

Sahara Great Sandy Rub’ al Khali Gobi Patagonia Kalahari Kara-Kum Takla Makan Sonoran Namib

North Africa Australia Saudi Arabia China/ Mongolia South America Southern Africa Turkmenistan China USA/Mexico Namibia

8,400,000 km2 1,550,000 km2 1,300,000 km2 1,040,000 km2 670,000 km2 520,000 km2 450,000 km2 320,000 km2 310,000 km2 310,000 km2

11. If you didn’t have an atlas with “hot” and “cold” deserts marked, how would you be able to determine which is which? What two pieces of data would you need?

12. Why do you think these deserts occur where they do? (Hint: think about global wind patterns and land formations.)

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13. Since we will make occasional references to places around the world, it is essential that we review a bit of world geography. Using the following map, write the letter of each feature where it belongs. CONTINENTS A. Africa B. Australia C. South America D. Antarctica E. Europe F. Asia G. North America

LAND FEATURES H. Alps I. Cascade Mountains J. Caucasus Mountains K. Pyrenees L. Yucatan Peninsula M. Aleutian Islands N. Greenland O. Iceland

WATER FEATURES P. Hudson Bay Q. Adriatic Sea R. Great Barrier Reef S. Strait of Gibraltar T. Mediterranean Sea U. Gulf Of Mexico V. North Sea W. Coral Sea X. Red Sea Y. Bering Strait Z. Yellow Sea

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14. On the same map, label and draw in the following ocean currents, including the direction of flow, using a red arrow to indicate a warm current and blue arrow to indicate a cold current.

• • • • • • • • • •

Benguela California Kuro Peru South Equatorial Brazil Equatorial Counter North Atlantic Southwest Monsoon Gulf Stream