Physical geography worldwide - Statistics & Facts

Geography is a field of science which studies lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. Often, it is divided into two categories including human geography – study of communities and cultures and their interaction with the environment – and physical geography – study of processes and patterns in the natural environment. Here, we will focus on the physical geography as an Earth science, more specifically the landforms and hydrological bodies that span across the globe. Often physical boundaries may separate the different regions of Earth, enforcing the borders set by humans.

Earth is home to many unique physical features from the top of staggering mountains to the bottom of the deepest sea trenches. The landforms that form Earth’s topography have been formed over millions of years through natural sources such as erosion, plate movement, as well as volcanic activity. For example, one of the tallest mountains in the world, Mount Everest, was formed by the collision of thick tectonic crusts below the Earth. Another example, the desert landscape, may have once been an ancient water basin but has since dried up due to a shortage of rain. Desert formations also form due to wind erosion.

Water bodies range in size from the largest oceans to small brooks and streams and include both salt and freshwater bodies. Oceans are the largest type of water body and are essential to humanity for food, transport, as well as their essential role in natural cycles. Lakes typically represent a body of water that is enclosed by land and are created by various processes such as glacial erosion or volcanic activity. Flowing water forms rivers, while smaller water flows can be called other names like streams and creeks. Rivers ultimately channel freshwater into oceans and other basins. Glaciers also represent a body of water that is locked in the form of ice and stores most of the world’s freshwater.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 32 most important statistics relating to "Global geography".

Global geography

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Important key figures

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Landforms

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