List of Geographical Features

Since we will frequently be looking at a globe and world map in the class, it is essential that you know how the various continents and oceans relate to one another, as well as the location of important islands, seas, and bays. To help you, I am providing this list of geographical features that I consider essential and which I will expect you to know. (To encourage you, I hereby threaten to make you locate these places on exams!)

As you look at a map or globe to refresh your memory as to where these features are, take a look at the structure of the earth's crust, particularly of the ocean floor. Also note that there are two basic types of crust on the earth: 1) Continental Crust--the high, flat or folded, older crust that makes up the continents and the shallowly-submersed continental shelves, and 2) Oceanic Crust--the deeply-submerged, younger crust character- ized by long ridges and trenches, checkerboard topography, and numerous volcanic peaks. To help you, as you look at the islands on the list, see if they are A) high structures of oceanic crust (i.e. The Hawaiian Islands), B) fragments of continental crust that have been severed from the "mainland" (i.e. Madagascar), or C) structurally part of a continent from which they are separated only by a segment of continental shelf (i.e. New Guinea). You should also be able to identify which kind of crust the seas and bays cover. Some are intermediate or are hard to tell from a map alone, so don't be worried. For now learn the places, but be thinking about the structure.
North AmericaAtlantic (N & S)
South AmericaPacific (N & S)
AntarcticaSeas and Bays
Hudson Bay
IslandsBaffin Bay
Baffin IslandNorth Sea
Ellesmere IslandMediterranean Sea
GreenlandBlack Sea
IcelandCaspian Sea
Great BritainRed Sea
MadagascarPersian Gulf
SumatraArabian Sea
BorneoBay of Bengal
PhilippinesCelebes Sea
JapanChina Sea (S & E)
New ZealandSea of Japan
New GuineaBering Sea
Micronesia (Guam, etc.)            Gulf of Mexico
HawaiiCaribbean Sea
AleutiansWeddell Sea
Antilles (Cuba, etc.)Ross Sea

Timothy H. Heaton: E-mail, Home page, Phone (605) 677-6122, FAX (605) 677-6121