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Ocean currents

The Great ocean conveyor is a planet-wide system of ocean currents, which has a great influence on the Earth´s climate.

Cloud formation, types of clouds

Evaporating surface water forms clouds of various shapes from which water falls back to the surface as precipitation.

Hotspots

Hotspots are areas of the Earth´s crust where magma often rises to the surface and causes volcanic activity.

Deep-sea hydrothermal vents

A hydrothermal vent is a fissure in the planet's surface through which geothermally heated water erupts.

Lightning

Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge accompanied by a sound known as thunder.

Rivers and landforms

Rivers play an important role in shaping the Earth's surface: they cause erosion as well as carrying and depositing sediment.

Faulting (intermediate)

Vertical forces can break up layers of rock into fault blocks, which then move vertically along the fracture planes.

Altitudinal zonation

In mountainous areas the climate, soil properties, the flora and fauna change depending on elevation.

The development of lakes

Standing bodies of water can form in depressions on the surface by both endogenic and exogenic forces, as well as by human activity.

Tornadoes

Short-lived but extremely powerful tornadoes can cause a great deal of damage.

The water cycle (intermediate)

Water on Earth is in a continuous state of change. The water cycle includes processes such as evaporation, precipitation, melting and freezing.

Terms of physical geography

This animation demonstrates the most important relief features, surface waters and their relevant symbols.

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