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Portal:Geography

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Introduction

True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.
True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.
Physical map of Earth with political borders as of 2016

Geography (from Greek: γεωγραφία, geographia, literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Geography is often defined in terms of two branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

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Lake Burley Griffin
Lake Burley Griffin is a lake in the centre of Canberra, Australia's federal capital city. It was created in 1963 after the Molonglo River, which runs through the city centre, was dammed. Named after Walter Burley Griffin, the architect who won the design competition for the city of Canberra, the lake is located in the approximate geographic centre of the city, according to Griffin's original designs. Numerous important institutions, such as the National Gallery of Australia, National Museum of Australia, National Library of Australia, and the High Court of Australia lie on its shores, and Parliament House is a short distance away. Its surrounds are also quite popular with recreational users, particularly in the warmer months. Though swimming in the lake is uncommon, it is used for a wide variety of other activities, such as rowing, fishing, and sailing. The lake's flow is regulated by the 33 metre tall Scrivener Dam, which is designed to handle a once in 5000 year flood event, and in times of drought, water levels can be maintained through the release of water from Googong Dam. The lake is an ornamental body with a length of 11 kilometres (6.8 mi); at its widest, it measures 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi). It has an average depth of 4 metres (13 ft) and a maximum depth of about 18 metres (59 ft) near the Scrivener Dam.

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Dry Fork dome at Coyote Gulch, part of the Canyons of the Escalante

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Mary Anning
Mary Anning was a British fossil collector, dealer and palaeontologist who became known around the world for important finds she made in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis where she lived. Her work contributed to fundamental changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the earth. Her discoveries included the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified, found when she was just twelve years old; the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and important fish fossils. Her observations were critical to the discovery that coprolites were fossilised faeces. Geologist Henry De la Beche's Duria Antiquior, the first widely circulated pictorial representation of a scene from prehistoric life derived from fossil reconstructions, was based largely on fossils Anning had found. Her gender and social class prevented her from fully participating in the scientific community of 19th-century Britain, prevented her from joining the Geological Society of London, and prevented her from getting full credit for her work during her lifetime. After her death her unusual life story attracted increasing interest. In 2010 the Royal Society included Anning in a list of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science.

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Shasta Dam
Credit: Photo: Russell Lee, FSA-OWI; Restoration: Chick Bowen

Shasta Dam, an arch dam across the Sacramento River at the north end of the Sacramento Valley, California, during its construction in June 1942. The dam mainly serves long-term water storage and flood control in its reservoir, Shasta Lake, and also generates hydroelectric power. At 602 ft (183 m) high, it is the ninth-tallest dam in the United States and forms the largest reservoir in California.

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Andrew Scott Waugh, Report on Mounts Everest and Deodanga (1858)
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