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Intro to Physical Geography

Final Exam (Exam #3) Study Guide

Exploding head

The best way to study for the 3rd exam is to go over your notes from the class using the online outline for guidance.  It is imperative that you understand the concepts more than just at the surface.  Just reading your notes will not suffice.  Eliminate any uncertainties or confusion that you may have well before the exam date. Ask lots of questions, communicate with your classmates, and email Judd for help when necessary.  Below is a list of suggested study topics for the third exam that you can use as a guide to focus your studies.  This list is not all-inclusive.  It is just a list of headings for which you should be familiar with the topics within.  Therefore, use it as an ancillary guide in addition to your notes, online outline, readings, handouts, review questions, etc.  The exam consists of multiple choice, true/false, and matching questions worth a total of 100 possible points. You are required to bring ONE Grademaster #26760 form to the exam as well as a No. 2 pencil.

Have a good understanding of the following topics and the interrelationships among them, including, but not limited to................



    The major controls on climate and the basis for classifying climate.  Evapotranspiration, PET, and how these
relate to Climate.  KNOW The Koppen Climate Classification System, the differences between the main climate groups and subgroups with 
regard to differences in average temperature, precipitation, and PET.  Be able to identify the climate classification depicted in different climographs.
Explain global climate distribution, using the idealized continent as a guide, recognizing patterns within the distribution, and the explanations behind why
those patterns exist based on the controls influencing the variation in climate. (for example, can you explain why the transition from the tropics to the subtropics
represents a transition from moist climates to dry climates using the 3-cell model of global circulation as a basis for your explanation?)


    Explain energy and mass transformations within the biosphere incorporating photosynthesis into your explanation (what are the inputs vs. outputs).  Explain
the relationship between the availability of inputs and species diversity/plant productivity.
Explain climate-vegetation interactions in the context of the evolutionary response that defines a unique ecosystem as a consequence of the variation in climate.
Know the basic morphological characteristics of the major vegetation ecosystems (classes) and their distribution, including unique specialized adaptations within
an ecosystem (i.e., what are epiphytes, where do they grow, and why have they evolved a unique adaptation that sets them apart as a separate category of plants).
Explain the variation in plant productivity and species diversity as you move from the equator to the poles.


The internal earth layers and basic characteristics of those layers.  The rock cycle, and processes transforming rock within the rock cycle that are one example of how the lithosphere operates like any other earth system (i.e., under the foundational laws of mass and energy).  Rock types (igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary), how they formed, and some examples.  Plate tectonic theory development, the 3 contributors,  their contributions to the development of plate tectonics. Three plate boundary types. Know that the tectonic processes are folding, faulting, and volcanism.  Also know that they occur along plate boundaries. 

Last Updated: 12/31/2014
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