Turing House
Key Words and Meanings - Year 12 Geography
  • Ecosystems Under Stress
    Abiotic FactorsPhysical factors such as light, temperature and water. 
    BiodiversityA measure of the variety and abundance of wildlife species. A common quantitative method of measuring biodiversity is Simpson’s Diversity Index. 
    BiomeA large geographical region with particular climatic features, in which a characteristic, unique community of species lives eg Taiga, coral reefs, temperate grasslands, tundra, tropical rainforest. Don’t confuse the terms biome and ecosystem. Biome refers 
    Climax CommunityThe relatively stable community of species present at the end of ecological succession. 
    DecomposersOrganisms that break down dead organic matter, releasing nutrients in the process. Many bacteria and fungi are decomposers. They secrete enzymes onto the dead organic matter and absorb the products of digestion. 
    EcosystemThe community of organisms living in an area, their inter-relationships and interactions with their abiotic environment eg tropical rainforest, savannah grassland, coral reef. Do not confuse the term ‘ecosystem’ with ‘biome’.  
    Pioneer SpeciesOne of the first species to colonise an area at the start of ecological succession. They are usually well adapted to extreme abiotic factors. 
    Biotic FactorThis is a living organism that shapes its environment. 
    PlagioclimaxA community of species that does not develop to a natural climatic climax community, but is maintained by external influences which prevent this, including human activities such as burning, grazing or ploughing. 
    SereA stage in ecological succession in the changes that occur, eventually producing the climax community. 
  • Changing Places
    LocationWhere a place is (the GPS or co-ordinates) 
    Perception of placeThe way in which a place is viewed or regarded by people (influenced by the media or personal experiences) 
    PlacemakingDeliberate shaping of an environment to meet needs for social interaction and improve community’s quality of life 
    Endogenous factorsCharacteristics of the place itself (internal) 
    Exogenous factorsRelationship of one place with other places (external) 
    InfrastructureServices considered essential to enable or improve living conditions 
    PositionalityRefers to factors such as gender, race, age, religion and socio-economic status 
    HomogenisedTo make uniform or similar 
  • Coastal Systems and Landscapes
    Advance the lineThis involves active intervention to produce a defence line that is seaward in some way of the existing line. This would usually involve some form of reclamation, the construction of offshore breakwaters or similar. 
    Beach nourishment Sand and shingle brought from elsewhere are added to beaches to maintain their breadth and depth to protect from erosion in a natural way. E.g. Hengistbury Head 
    Concordant GeologyThe alignment of geological outcrops which are parallel to the coastline. E.g. Dorset coast Lulworth 
    Discordant GeologyCoasts which cut across the rock structure. E.g. Dorset North of Swanage Bay 
    Diurnal RangeThe difference between the lowest temperature and the highest temperature in a 24 hour period. 
    Longshore Drift(LSD) Movement of sediment in a zig-zag pattern up and down the shore with swash and backwash resulting in an overall direction along the coast. 
    Mass Movement Non- marine processes often seen on cliffs, like slumping, land slides and soil creep. Caused by gravity and often exacerbated by rain. 
  • Water and Carbon Cycles
  • Fieldwork and Skills
    Explain.., Suggest reasons forSet out the causes of a phenomenon and/or the factors which influence its form/nature. This usually requires an understanding of processes. Explanation is a higher-level skill than description and this is often reflected in its greater mark weighting. 
    DiscussSet out both sides of an argument (for and against), and come to a conclusion related to the content and emphasis of the discussion. There should be some evidence of balance, though not necessarily of equal weighting. 
    DescribeGive an account in words of a phenomenon which may be an entity, an event, a feature, a pattern, a distribution or a process. For example, if describing a landform say what it looks like, give some indication of size or scale, what it is made of... 
    AnalyseBreak down the content of a topic, or issue, into its constituent elements in order to provide an in-depth account and convey an understanding of it. 
    AnnotateAdd to a diagram, image or graphic a number of words that describe and/or explain features, rather than just identify them (which is labelling). 
    Critically Often occurs before ‘Assess’ or ‘Evaluate’ inviting an examination of an issue from the point of view of a critic with a particular focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the points of view being expressed.