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Edexcel GCSE Geography Glossary

The key vocabulary you need to learn for your Edexcel GCSE Geography paper. Find all the terms and definitions you need to understand, from ‘accessible’ to ‘zonal road pricing’.

A (Accessible to axial tilt)
Able to be reached or entered.

active tourism
Active tourism is tourism that includes activities in which the tourist participates – such as mountain biking, hiking, or swimming.

An agglomeration is when jobs and businesses benefit from being close to each other and in high numbers.

Agroforestry is when you allow crops to be grown in carefully controlled cleared areas amongst living trees, but allowing some to be harvested for building timber and fuelwood.

Aid is provided in terms of money, goods, or services given by governments or NGOs to help improve the quality of life and the economy of another country.

air hub
An airport has air hubs, with flights to lots of different places and that allow passengers to transfer between one flight and the next.

An alluvium is all deposits laid down by rivers, especially in times of flood.

altitudinal zonation
Altitudinal zonation is the change in plant types (and ecosystems) at different altitudes, caused by alterations in temperature, precipitation, soil type and sunlight.

To analyse is to examine something methodically and in detail – to explain and interpret it.

An annotate is where you add labels to a diagram or image to explain what it shows.

Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty: an outstanding landscape whose distinctive character and natural beauty are so precious that it is safeguarded in the national interest.

antecedent rainfall
Rain that has fallen recently (which may have already saturated the soil).

Arid is when there is little or no rain – too dry or barren to support vegetation.

To assess is to judge and decide the value of something or weigh up which is the most/least important.

Asthenosphere is the partially molten (plastic-like) layer of rock beneath the lithosphere, which moves slowly and carries the lithosphere on top.

axial tilt
An axial tilt normally occurs every 41 000 years, the tilt of the Earth’s axis moves back and forth between 21.5° and 24.5°.

B (Bankful to buttress roots)
The term bankful relates to when the discharge of a river is just contained by its banks (and the velocity is at its greatest).

A baseflow is the flow of water into streams and rivers from stores such as permeable rocks, peat, and wetlands.

If there is bias, there is a tendency to prefer one thing over another; in geographical enquiry, this can involve subconsciously selecting samples to fit the expected outcome (e.g. interviewing elderly people in a study investigating fear of crime).

Biodiversity is the number of different plant and animal species in an area.

Biofuels are any fuels that are derived from biomass – usually plant material or animal waste.

All organic material from living organisms are biomass’s, such as plants and animals; also used to describe renewable organic materials that can be a source of fuel or energy.

Biome is a global-scale ecosystem (e.g. tropical rainforest).

Experiencing a boom, you see a sudden rapid growth and expansion – usually with an increase in prices.

Boserupian are people who follow the optimistic Boserup theory that innovative humans will invent ways of producing more food.

bottom-up development
The bottom-up development sees small-scale local (development) projects, run and funded by NGOs working with local communities.

Brexit is an abbreviation of ‘Britain’ and ‘exit’ referring to the withdrawal process of the UK from the European Union (EU).

bright lights
The term bright lights refers to the strong pull and exciting appeal of a city.

brownfield sites
A brownfield sites is land that has been used, abandoned, and now awaits reuse – often found in urban areas.

business park
A business park is an area of land occupied by several businesses, generally located out-of-town where there is space to build, land is cheaper, and access by road is easier.

buttress roots
Buttress roots are the thick, shallow roots of tropical rainforest trees which must spread to support the weight of the tree above.

C (Carbon footprint to Commonwealth)
carbon footprint
Carbon footprint is the measurement of the greenhouse gases individuals produce through burning fossil fuels (e.g. cultivating and transporting food).

carbon sequestration
Carbon sequestration is when you remove CO2 from the atmosphere and lock it up as biomass.

carbon sink
Carbon sink is a natural store for carbon-containing compounds like CO2 or methane.

A cartel is an association of manufacturers or suppliers – with the purpose of maintaining prices at a high level and limiting competition.

cash crops
Cash crops are agricultural crops planted for the purpose of selling on the market or for export to make profit.

Chawls are older and poor-quality apartment blocks in or close to Mumbai’s inner city.

chemical weathering
Chemical weathering are any chemical change or decay of solid rock (e.g. rain mixing with atmospheric gases to form weak acids that can dissolve limestone).

child poverty
When children are unable to live at the standard that most people would expect.

china clay
Kaolin – a soft, white clay used to make china, porcelain, paper, rubber, paint, and many other products.

circular economy
A circular economy is the sharing, reusing, repairing, recycling, and repairing of products and materials for as long as possible (rather than throwing away).

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species: an international treaty banning cross-border trade of 34 000 endangered plant and animal species.

civil wars
Civil wars are a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country.

coal seams
Coal seams are beds or layers of coal.

Colonisation is the full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically, such as UK colonies that were part of the British Empire before gaining independence.

commercial exploitation
Done for profit, commercial exploitation usually done on a large scale, and often involving transnational corporations (TNCs) and governments.

Commodity/commodities are basic or economic good/goods such as agricultural or mining products.

The Commonwealth are a group of 56 countries who work together on issues such as democracy, trade, the environment, climate change, and gender equality.

C (Communications to cross profile)
On a map, communications refer to transport networks like roads and railways.

A concordant coastline has the same kind of rock types, and strata parallel to the coast.

Coniferous are cone-bearing trees or shrubs – with leaves resembling needles, and mostly evergreen.

Conservation is the careful maintenance and upkeep of a natural resource to prevent it from disappearing.

consumer goods
‘Final’ goods that are sold to consumers (shoppers) for their own use and enjoyment (e.g. food, clothing, vehicles, electronics, and appliances).

Consumers refer to both vegetarian herbivores eating plants (primary consumers) and meat-eating carnivores (secondary consumers) eating animals.

The term continentality relates to how far from an ocean a place is (e.g. coastal areas tend to be wetter).

Conurbation is an extended metropolitan or urban area, created by towns and cities merging into each other.

convection currents
Convection currents are thermal plumes in the mantle which rise from the hot core, then spread, cool, and sink again.

In Frank’s dependency theory, the core is the richer group of countries that produce processed goods and generate wealth through exploitation of poorer countries.

core region
Core region are an area where economic power, in terms of wealth, innovation, and advanced technology, is concentrated.

Coriolis effect
The Coriolis effect is the strong force created by the Earth’s rotation, which causes rotating weather systems and tropical storms.

Correlation is the relationship between two variables, usually displayed on a scattergraph.

cost-benefit analysis
Cost-benefit analysis is when you evaluate the social, economic, and environmental costs of a project before deciding whether to go ahead.

Counter-urbanisation is the proportional increase in numbers of people living in rural areas: the reverse process of urbanisation.

Corruptions Perception Index: a list that ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption.

cross profile
A cross profile is the river valley shape: V-shaped in the upper course and almost flat by the lower course.

D (Decentralisation to drought)
Decentralisation is the transfer of powers or activities from the core or centre to the local or periphery.

Deciduous are trees or shrubs that shed their leaves at the end of every growing season – often broad leafed.

A decomposers such as bacteria and fungi that cause the decay and breakdown of dead plants, animals, and excrement – adding nutrients to the soil.

De-industrialisation is the decline of a country’s traditional manufacturing industry due to exhaustion of raw materials, loss of markets and competition from emerging countries.

dependency ratio
The term dependency ratio relates to the proportion of people above and below normal working age; the lower the ratio, the more workers there are (and so less dependency).

dependency theory
Frank’s dependency theory groups countries into ‘core’ and ‘periphery’ and argues that the periphery is dependent on trade with the core.

Depopulation is the movement of people away from an area.

A poor standard of living is known as deprivation – when an individual or an area lacks services and access to resources.

A desert is an area characterised by less than 250 mm of rainfall per year and extreme temperatures.

Development is the progress a country has made in terms of economic growth, use of technology and human welfare – all usually improving living standards and quality of life.

Discharge is the volume of water flowing in a river, measured in cubic metres per second (cumecs).

A discordant coastline alternates between bands of hard and soft rocks, so the rock strata are at right angles to the coast.

Dispersion is how data is distributed within a range.

Diversification is a growth strategy involving entering into new markets or industries.

dormitory village
A dormitory village is a small community that has no major industries and is lived in by people who commute to another town or city to work.

drip tips
Drip tips are a distinctive tropical rainforest tree adaptation to drain water from the leaves – which stops mould building up in the humid conditions.

A drought is an extended period when there is much less precipitation than is usual for an area – leading to water shortages.

E (Eccentricity to eye wall)

Every 100 000 years or so, the Earth’s orbit changes from almost circular to elliptical (oval) and back again.

ecological footprint
Ecological footprint is the amount of the environment necessary to produce the goods and services necessary to support a particular lifestyle.

E-commerce is shopping online – e.g. Amazon.

Ecotourism is nature tourism usually involving small groups with minimal impact on the environment.

elementary occupations
Elementary occupations are low-skilled jobs that involve simple and routine tasks such as cleaning.

energy efficient
Being energy efficient, you are reducing energy waste by using less energy to perform the same task.

energy intensity
Energy intensity is a measure of energy efficiency.

energy mix
The energy mix is the range of energy sources of a region or country – non-renewable, renewable, and recyclable.

energy poverty
Energy poverty is a situation where a household or an individual is unable to afford basic energy services (such as heating, lighting, and power).

energy security
Having energy security gives you uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price

enhanced greenhouse effect
Enhanced greenhouse effect increases the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere due to human activities (e.g. burning fossil fuels and deforestation) – also known as global warming.

enterprise zone
Areas given government support, such as help with taxes, with the aim of helping new and expanding businesses.

Erosion is the wearing away and removal of material by a moving force such as a river or breaking wave.

The Eurostar is a high speed rail link that directly links the UK to France and Belgium, via the Channel Tunnel.

To evaluate you assess to form an idea of the quality, importance, or value of something.

Exports are goods and services produced in one country and sold to buyers in another.

The centre of a tropical cyclone – a column of rapidly sinking cool air where conditions are relatively calm and there are no clouds. (This is in context of Knowledge Organiser 3 Tropical cyclones).

eye wall
The eye wall is the outer edge of the eye of a tropical cyclone – with the most severe conditions of very strong winds (including tornadoes) and torrential rainfall. (This is in context of Knowledge Organiser 3 Tropical cyclones).

F (Fetch to fundamentalist)
Fetch is the distance that wave-generating winds blow over water – the longer the fetch, the bigger the waves.

The term finite means limited in size or extent – so, will run out.

Fissure is an elongated fracture or crack at the surface from which lava erupts.

food miles
Food miles is the distances covered supplying food to consumers (e.g. foods imported into the UK).

food webs
Food webs are complex networks of overlapping food chains that connect plants and animals in biomes (and ecosystems).

Foreign Direct Investment: investment made by a company based in one country (usually a TNC) into a company based in another country, to increase the influence over the foreign company.

Fracking is the drilling and ‘hydraulically fracturing’ oil- and gas-bearing shale by water, sand, and chemicals to release oil or gas.

freeze-thaw weathering
Freeze-thaw weathering is the physical breakdown of rocks following repeated cycles of water in cracks freezing (and expanding) and thawing (contracting).

Function is the main purpose of an area.

A fundamentalist is someone who believes in traditional forms of a religion, or that what is written in a holy book, such as the Qur’an or Bible, is completely true.

G (GDP to greenfield sites)
Gross Domestic Product: the value of finished domestic goods and services produced within a nation’s borders.

Areas are gentrified when poorer urban areas are improved by individual property owners, which usually leads to increased commercial activity in local retail services.

geographical conflict
Geographical conflict is when there is disagreement and differences of opinion linked to the use of places and resources.

Geographical Information System: a database of located geographical information usually based on maps, satellite images and aerial photographs layered with digital data and text.

geothermal energy
Geothermal energy is a type of renewable energy that involves using heat generated from within the Earth.

Glaciers are large accumulations of crystalline ice, snow, rock, sediment, and often liquid water that originate on land and move down pre-existing river valleys and slopes under the influence of their own weight and gravity.

global shift
Part of the process of globalisation, in which an increasing proportion of manufacturing is carried out in developing and emerging countries.

Globalisation is a process that results in the world becoming more interconnected.

Governance is the system by which we are directed and controlled: the structure and processes of decision making, accountability, control, and behaviour.

A graduate is a person who has been awarded a degree from a college or university.

gravitational sliding
Gravitational sliding is a mechanism for tectonic plate movement: the movement of tectonic plates as a result of gravity.

green belt
A green belt is land protected from new developments such as housing and industry by strict planning regulations.

greenfield sites
Greenfield sites are a plot of land, often in a rural area or on the edge of an urban area, that has not been built on before.

H (Habitat/habitats to hyper-urbanisation)
The habitat/habitats are place/places where animals or plants live.

Hadley cell
The Hadley cell is the largest of the atmospheric circulation cells, explaining heavy rain over the ITCZ and deserts around 30° north and south of the equator.

hard engineering
Hard engineering is building physical structures to deal with natural hazards (e.g. sea walls).

hazard mapping
Hazard mapping allows you to identify areas that are affected by, or vulnerable to, a particular hazard.

Human Development Index: a measure of development that considers income, life expectancy, and education, to produce a value between 0 and 1.

Hibernation is a way animals conserve energy to survive adverse weather conditions, or lack of food – by going into a state of long sleep during the winter.

holding the line
Holding the line is a term used in Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) to indicate where sea defences will be used to stop erosion.

A hotspot is a rising plume of magma in the mantle, which may burn through the lithosphere to create shield volcanoes (e.g. the Hawaiian Islands).

Hoyt’s sector model
Hoyt’s sector model is a model of urban land use showing wedges or sectors of distinctive land use that cut across concentric rings or circles.

High Speed 2: the new high speed rail line being built between London and the north-west of England.

hybrid working
hybrid working allows you to work from home for some of the week.

hydrological cycle
Hydrological cycle is the movement of water between its different forms; gas (water vapour), liquid and solid (ice).

hydrological systems
Hydrological systems are the continuous circulation of water within the Earth’s hydrosphere.

Hyper-urbanisation is the rapid urban population growth.

I - K (Ice Age to knowledge economy)
Ice Age
The Ice Age is a geologic period during which thick ice sheets cover vast areas of land; the last ice age was from 2.6 million years ago to 11 700 years ago.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management: a type of sustainable management for a whole stretch of coastline involving drawing up a Shoreline Management Plan (SMP).

International Energy Agency: an IGO providing analysis, data, policy recommendations, and real-world solutions to help countries provide secure and sustainable energy for all.

igneous rock
Igneous rock are the Earth’s oldest rocks, formed from cooled magma and lava – all very resistant (e.g. granite and basalt).

Inter-Governmental Organisations: entities created by treaty, involving two or more nations, to work on issues of common interest – governed by international laws.

When something is impermeable, is is not allowing water through – the opposite of permeable.

Imports are goods and services bought into a country from other countries.

income inequality
Income inequality is a measure that shows how unevenly income is distributed throughout a population.

indigenous people
Indigenous people are the original inhabitants of a region – some still living traditional lifestyles in tribes, and hunting and gathering their food.

industrial structure
The industrial structure is the proportion of the workforce of a country employed in different industrial or economic sectors: primary (agriculture and mining), secondary (manufacturing) and tertiary (services).

Industrialisation is a society or country moving from an agricultural-based economy to greater dependence on manufacturing industries.

Infiltration is water soaking or filtering into the ground (soil).

An infrastructure are basic services and facilities needed for a country to operate (e.g. roads, railways, power and water supplies, waste disposal, schools, hospitals, and telecommunications).

inner city
The inner city is the part of an urban area surrounding the CBD.

Insolation is the amount of heat (short-wave radiation from the Sun) that reaches the ground surface of the Earth.

Interception is where vegetation leaves and branches capture rainfall – allowing some to evaporate and the rest to drip onto the ground (soil).

intermediate technologies
Intermediate technologies are technologies suited to the needs, skills, knowledge, and wealth of local communities and their environment – also known as appropriate technology.

Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone: a narrow zone of low air pressure, from 5° north to 5° south of the Equator, where northern and southern air masses converge.

When you justify something, you give evidence to support your ideas.

knowledge economy
Knowledge economy is an economy associated with high-tech manufacturing, the service sector, and IT and communications.

L (Lag time to long-term planning)
lag time
Lag time is the delay between peak rainfall and peak discharge.

Lahar is a mudflow composed mainly of volcanic ash mixed with water from a crater lake, snowmelt, glacier melt, or prolonged torrential rain.

Latitude is how far north or south a location on the Earth’s surface is from the Equator, measured in degrees.

Leaching is the process by which the nutrients in the soil are washed away, in solution, by heavy rains.

A levee is a raised river embankment built by material deposited when the river floods.

life chances
Life chances are the opportunities each individual has to improve their quality of life.

Limitations are forced errors or weaknesses in (geographical enquiry) data collection preventing the production of fair and reliable data (e.g. insufficient time to interview sufficient pedestrians).

The lithosphere is the rigid outer layer of the Earth (both crust and upper mantle), which is split into tectonic plates.

Load is sediment of all sizes transported by a river.

The longitude is how far east or west a place is from the Prime Meridian, measured in degrees and minutes.

long profile
The long profile is the changing gradient of a river from its source to the point where it enters the sea, a lake, or larger river.

longshore drift
The longshore drift is a zig-zag movement of sediment along the coast caused by waves (swash) going up a beach at an angle and returning at right angles (backwash).

long-term planning
Long-term planning is the preparations in advance of a hazard, such as: targeted engineering structures; training emergency professionals; pre-planning warning systems, evacuation routes and safe refuges; public awareness campaigns; practice drills; and provision of emergency supply kits.

M (Mass movement to multiplier effect)
mass movement
Mass movement is the movement of weathered rock or soil down slopes under the force of gravity (e.g. rockfalls, landslides, cliff collapses, and soil creep).

Megacities are cities with a population of over 10 million.

metamorphic rock
Metamorphic rock are resistant rocks formed from sedimentary rocks heated and compressed during tectonic activity (e.g. slate, schist, and marble).

The term micro-sustainability relates to the collected small environmental actions which together may make a big difference.

A model is a suggested explanation or theory to help simplify and make sense of a complicated set of processes or behaviours.

modernisation theory
Rostow’s theory of economic development: a five-stage model in which countries develop from a traditional society into an era of high mass consumption.

Monitoring is the recording of physical changes, such as ground deformation or microquakes around a volcano, to help forecast when and where a natural hazard might strike.

MRT system
Mass Rapid Transport system: an urban transport system (road and/or rail), able to carry large numbers of passengers quickly.

Multiculturalism is where you have ethnic and cultural diversity.

multi-lateral aid
Multi-lateral aid is where developed countries donate money through organisations such as the United Nations (UN) and World Bank.

multiplier effect
The multiplier effect is when a new industry generates tax revenue for investment into infrastructure, training and services, likewise encouraging further growth in supply industries and other industrial sectors.

N - O (National park to outmigration)
national park
A national park is an area set aside, designated and/or legally protected by national governments for the preservation of its natural environment – and for public leisure, recreation, and enjoyment.

natural resources
Natural resources are materials found in the environment that are used by humans – including land, water, fossil fuels, minerals, and biological resources (e.g. timber and fish).

nature reserve
A nature reserve is an area set aside for the purpose of preserving certain animals, plants, or both.

Neo-colonialism is the control of developing countries by developed countries through indirect means.

Neo-Malthusian are people who follow the pessimistic Malthus theory of a population versus resource crisis.

net migration
Net migration is the difference in numbers between immigration and emigration.

net zero
Net zero is when greenhouse gas emissions are reduced and/or any ongoing emissions are balanced by removal (such as carbon offset strategies).

Non-Governmental Organisation: a typically non-profit entity, formed independent from governments, and active in humanitarian causes – such as the World Bank or Oxfam International.

Non-renewable is when something exists in finite quantity – so, not capable of being replenished.

Northern Powerhouse
The Northern Powerhouse are major regional core cities of northern England.

Net Primary Productivity: a measure of how much new biomass is added to a biome each year – measured in grams per square metre per year.

nuclear power
Nuclear power involves the use of nuclear reactions (fission) to produce electricity.

nutrient cycling
The way nutrients move between flora, litter, and soil as part of a continuous cycle which keeps both plants and soils healthy.

oil reserves
Oil reserves are the amount of crude oil that can be technically recovered at a cost that is financially feasible at the present price of oil.

Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – 13 countries, working as a cartel, that operate to regulate oil prices.

orbital motorway
An orbital motorway is a circular motorway, usually forming a complete ring around an urban area.

organic farming
Organic farming is a type of farming that involves growing crops and rearing livestock without the use of agrochemicals, such as fertilisers and pesticides.

Outmigration is leaving one place to settle in another.

P (Pandemic to protection)
An epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people.

passive tourism
Passive tourism is tourism that involves rest and relaxation such as sunbathing and health spas.

The periphery is the outside or edge: poor, developing countries in Frank’s dependency theory.

Permafrost is permanently frozen ground (soil and rock).

Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants use light energy (insolation) from the Sun to produce carbohydrates in the form of glucose.

Plantations are estates specialising in a single cash crop, such as palm oil.

population density
Population density is the average number of people in an area, given as people per km2.

population distribution
Population distribution is the pattern or spread of people across an area.

population structure
The population structure is the number (or percentage) of males and females in a population, broken down into age groups and usually displayed on a population pyramid.

post-industrial economy
Post-industrial economy is where manufacturing industry declines, to be replaced largely by growth in tertiary and quaternary jobs.

Over a period of around 26 000 years, the Earth’s axis ‘wobbles’ (like a spinning top) from one extreme to the other.

Precipitation is moisture falling from the atmosphere – rain, sleet, or snow.

A prediction is knowing when and where a natural hazard will strike.

Preparation is taking actions in advance of a hazard event to try and reduce its impact.

prevailing wind
Wind from the most common direction in any given place.

primary data
Primary data is geographical enquiry data collected first-hand – real-time data specific to the needs of the (fieldwork) enquiry.

primary economies
Primary economies are economies that are less developed and where primary industries, such as farming and mining, dominate.

primary impacts
Primary impacts are impacts experienced immediately during a hazard event.

Prime Meridian
Prime Meridian is the line of zero degrees longitude, which passes through Greenwich, UK.

Privatisation is the selling off of state-run industries to private shareholders in order to create a more competitive business environment.

Producers are plants that convert energy from the Sun by photosynthesis into carbohydrates (e.g. glucose) for growth.

Protection is the constructing of infrastructure and buildings to be more resistant to hazards, and so safer.

P - Q (Pull factors to quaternary sector)
pull factors
Migrants attracted to cities by social and economic opportunities. (This is in context of Knowledge Organiser 12 The impacts of rapid development, Knowledge Organiser 14 Urban processes and change, and Knowledge Organiser 16 Quality of life in a megacity).

push factors
Migrants driven to cities from hardships in the countryside. (This is in context of Knowledge Organiser 12 The impacts of rapid development, Knowledge Organiser 14 Urban processes and change, and Knowledge Organiser 16 Quality of life in a megacity).

Pyroclastic is literally, the ‘flow of fiery fragments’ erupted from a volcano.

Qualitative descriptive data in geographical enquiry – exploratory in nature, involving research and analysis (e.g. interviews).

quality of life
Quality of life looks at all variables contributing to human welfare, including happiness, material wealth and possessions, safety, security, freedom, voting rights, and good health.

Quantitative measurable (numeric) data in geographical enquiry – verifiable and transformable into useful statistics.

Quaternary period
Quaternary period is the geological time period of the most recent 2.6 million years (from the present day).

quaternary sector
The term quaternary sector relates to jobs in research, information technology, and the media.

R (RAMSAR wetland sites to rural-urban migration)

RAMSAR wetland sites
Wetlands of international importance containing representative, rare, or unique biological diversity – designated under UNESCO’s RAMSAR Convention on Wetlands.

Rebranding is when the image of an area is changed.

A recession occurs when there is an overall decline in economic activity – mainly observed as a slowdown in output and employment.

recyclable energy
Recyclable energy is an energy source that can be used over and over, but must first go through a process to prepare it for reuse.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation: a UN project aimed at stopping the deforestation and degradation of forests in order to combat global warming.

Redevelop is where there is new construction on a site that has a pre-existing use.

Collecting primary forest seeds for nursery cultivation of saplings before replanting in deforested areas.

Regeneration is an attempt to reverse the decline and decay of an urban area by improving its physical structure.

regional development
Government grants and advice to help businesses to start up – most targeting peripheral areas (e.g. Cornwall).

remote working
Remote working is the use of the internet and smart phones to allow working from home.

Retrofit is the fitting of new systems designed for energy efficiency and low energy usage.

Re-urbanisation is when people move back into inner city areas as their decline is addressed – also known as urban resurgence.

ridge push
The higher elevation at a mid-ocean ridge, which causes gravity to push the lithosphere that is further from the ridge.

river basin
The area of land from which one river and its tributaries collects its water.

rotational slip
The rotational slip is a mass movement in the form of a curved slump or landslip.

A runoff is a general term for the flow of water over the Earth’s surface.

rural-urban migration
Rural-urban migration is the movement of people from the countryside into towns and cities.

S (Saffir-Simpson scale to social housing)
Saffir-Simpson scale
Saffir-Simpson scale is the scale that measures a tropical cyclone’s strength, using a scale from one to five.

sampling methods
In geographical enquiry, sampling methods is the selection of a subset to estimate characteristics of the whole population – whether through a random, stratified or systematic strategy.

Sanctions are penalties or punishments for disobeying a law or rule – often economic and aiming to disrupt trade with a country.

Sanitation is the improvement of public health by means of a sewerage system and clean water supply.

satellite towns
Satellite towns are smaller towns or cities that are located close to a main city or core of a conurbation.

Screes are accumulations of rock debris, normally resulting from freeze-thaw weathering, lying on a slope, valley floor, or at the base of a hill or cliff.

secondary data
Secondary data is information collected by others, e.g. census data.

secondary impacts
Secondary impacts are Impacts experienced in the following days and weeks of a hazard event.

sedimentary rock
Formed from sediments eroded and deposited from rivers, the sea, or on the seabed (e.g. Carboniferous limestone, chalk, clay, sandstone, and millstone grit).

seismometer (seismograph)
An instrument used to record motion of the ground (e.g. seismic shaking during an earthquake, or microquakes near a volcano).

selective logging
Selective logging is managed forest exploitation whereby only fully-grown (mature) trees are cut down, and trees with important ecological value are left unharmed.

shale gas
Shale gas is natural gas found trapped within shale rock – extracted by fracking.

shale oil
Oil found trapped within shale rock – extracted by fracking.

Shared Ownership
The term Shared Ownership relates to when part of the home is rented to the occupier and part of the home is bought.

Shareholder/shareholders are owner/owners of shares or stocks in a company, who receive(s) part of the company’s profits and can vote on how the company is controlled.

short-term relief
Short-term relief is the emergency aid providing food, water, shelter, and medical assistance and supplies after a hazard event.

The area of ground on which a city is located.

The situation is the placement of a city in relation to its surroundings.

slab pull
Following subduction, the lithosphere sinks into the mantle under its own weight, helping to ‘pull’ the rest of the tectonic plate with it.

social housing
Social housing are council or housing association housing that has affordable rents.

S (Social services to sustainable management)
social services
Social services are a range of public or government services, intended to provide support and assistance towards particular, usually vulnerable, groups.

soft engineering
Adapting to natural hazards and working with nature to limit damage (e.g. beach nourishment).

spatial growth
Spatial growth is the physical expansion or growth outwards.

spring tide
Spring tides are exceptionally high tides, twice monthly, when the Sun and Moon are aligned to increase the gravitational pull responsible.

squatter settlements
Squatter settlement are unplanned, often illegal area of poor-quality housing, lacking in services such as water supply, sanitation, and electricity.

Site of Special Scientific Interest: areas of land and water considered to best represent natural heritage in terms of their flora (plants), fauna (animals), or geology.

Stakeholders are individuals, groups, or organisations affected by, or having an interest in, an issue.

storm hydrograph
A storm hydrograph is a graph which shows the change in both rainfall and discharge from a river following a storm.

storm surge
A storm surge is an exceptionally high tide caused by very low air pressure, which causes coastal flooding.

Strata are distinctive layers of rock.

strategic realignment
Strategic realignment is a term used in Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) to indicate where the coast will be allowed to erode, but those directly affected will be relocated and/or compensated – also known as managed retreat.

The vertical layering of tropical rainforest vegetation in competition for sunlight.

Studentification is the movement of (college and university) students to an area – renting housing and spending money in shops and pubs, thereby supporting the local economy.

sub-aerial processes
Sub-aerial processes are land-based processes that alter the shape of a landscape or coastline, including weathering, erosion, and mass movement.

subsistence economy
A subsistence economy is an economy not based on money (although bartering may occur) and which commonly provides a minimal standard of living (as in Stage 1 of Rostow’s modernisation theory).

Suburbanisation are rural areas starting to resemble urban suburbs.

sun spots
Sun spots are intense solar storms on the Sun’s surface that fire more solar energy towards the Earth and increase average temperatures.

supply chain
The supply chain is the network of all the individuals, organisations, resources, activities, and technology involved in the creation and sale of products.

Actions that meet the needs of the present without reducing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.

sustainable education
Sustainable education is the education for sustainable development that allows every human to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to shape a sustainable future.

sustainable management
Sustainable management is where you meet the needs of people now, and in the future, while limiting harm to the environment.

T (Tar sands to tundra)
tar sands
Tar sands are a mixture of oil and sediment that can be mined or liquified by steam to separate the oil.

A tariff is the taxes on imports or exports.

tectonic hazards
Potentially disastrous tectonic hazards are associated with tectonic activity – such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis.

tectonic plates
Seven major and several minor irregularly shaped and slowly moving sections of the lithosphere ‘floating’ on the asthenosphere beneath.

Thalweg is the fastest current in a river.

Throughflow is where water seeps through pores (air spaces) in the soil towards the river.

tied aid
Tied aid is aid with conditions attached.

Till is poorly sorted glacial sediment dumped by melting ice.

Transnational Companies: companies that have operations (factories, offices, research and development, shops) in more than one country.

top-down development
Top-down development is government-led, large-scale national (development) projects, funded by the government or an international organisation.

Topography is the shape of the landscape and its surface features.

trade bloc
The trade bloc is a groups of countries joining together to promote trade by agreeing to remove or reduce barriers to trade.

trade wind
Predictable, reliable surface winds blowing from high pressure belts to low pressure belts – used in the past by sail-driven trading ships.

Transpiration is the evaporation of water out of pores in plant leaves.

tropical cyclone
A tropical cyclone is powerful, rapidly rotating storm developing over the tropics.

A tsunami is a series of giant, destructive waves generated by submarine earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, which displace huge volumes of water.

A tundra is a major zone of treeless, level or rolling ground found in cold regions, mostly north of the Arctic Circle.

U - Z (Urban flight to zonal road pricing)
urban flight
Urban flight is when people living in the city move to the suburbs or beyond.

urban primacy
When a city has an importance and influence greater than their size suggests.

urban sprawl
Urban sprawl is the unplanned growth of urban areas into the surrounding rural or rural-urban fringe areas.

urban structure
An urban structure is the arrangement of land, buildings, and land use in a built-up area.

Urbanisation is the proportional increase in numbers of people living in towns and cities.

The term weathering refers to the physical, chemical, or biological breakdown of solid rock by the action of weather (e.g. frost or rain) or plants.

Welfare is the government programmes available for poor or unemployed people that help pay for their food, housing, medical costs, etc.

The wilderness is a natural environment that has not been significantly modified by human activity.

Wildfires are uncontrolled burning through forest, scrub, or grassland.

world cities
World cities are cities that are global centres for trade and investment.

World Heritage Site/World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Site/World Heritage Sites are sites designated by UNESCO as having superlative natural phenomena, significant ecological and biological processes, and important natural habitats.

youthful population
When a country has a youthful population, it has a population with a higher proportion of young people, often in developing and emerging countries, due to high birth rates and a reduction in infant mortality.

zonal road pricing
Zonal road pricing is a charge when driving into or within a congested area.