Physical Geography

Physical geography focuses on geography as an Earth science (and is sometimes called Earth System Science).

Physical geography is a branch of geography that focuses on the study of the natural features and processes of the Earth’s surface. It includes the examination of landforms, climate, vegetation, soils, and water resources. Physical geographers use a range of scientific methods and tools to analyze and understand the complex interactions between the Earth’s physical systems.

Learn about the different branches of geography that fall under the physical geography category: climatology, geomorphology, biogeography, and more.

A detailed graphic showing the location of the Earth's crust, mantle, and core.

Structure of the Earth

Caitlin Dempsey

Listed here are quick facts about the earth's crust, mantle, and core.

The movement of Earth's north magnetic pole across the Canadian Arctic. Red circles are observed magnetic pole positions, blue circles are modeled positions. Figure: Cavit, WikiMedia Commons, CC BY 4.0

Magnetic North is Constantly Shifting

Caitlin Dempsey

The magnetic poles shift each year due to changes in the Earth’s core in response to charge particles emitted by the sun hitting the earth’s magnetic field.

Continental Drift Theory

Caitlin Dempsey

Continental Drift Theory was put forward by the German scientist Alfred Wegner in 1915. According to the Continental Drift Theory, ...

Looking out at West Hannah mountain in the Ouachitas of Arkansas. Photo: Tammo2011, CC0, MediaWiki Commons.

Arkansas – Geography and Geology

Caitlin Dempsey

Individuals in the U.S. don’t have to travel very far to find topographical change.   We are surrounded by a variety ...

Paraná River

Caitlin Dempsey

The Paraná River runs 3,030 miles through Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.   It originates at the junction of the Paranaiba and the Rio Grande rivers.  ...