Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Burn Scars on California’s Wine Country

Burn Scars on California’s Wine Country | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Devastating wildfires burned through California’s wine country in October 2017, taking several lives and leaving thousands of people homeless. On October 21, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on the Terra satellite acquired this false-color image of the burn scars left by the Tubbs (upper left), Nuns (center), and Atlas (lower right) fires. Unburned vegetation appears red; burned vegetation appears brown. Buildings, roads, and other developed areas appear light gray and white."

 

Tags: remote sensingdisasters, California, physical.

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When Climate Change Meets Sprawl: Why Houston's ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime' Floods Keep Happening

When Climate Change Meets Sprawl: Why Houston's ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime' Floods Keep Happening | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Unchecked development remains a priority in the famously un-zoned city, creating short-term economic gains for some, but long term flood risk for everyone."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Houston's development boom and reduction of wetlands leave region prone to more severe flooding.  Here is a great map of the change in impervious surfaces in the region from 1940 to 2017--when you combine that with record-breaking rainfall the results are catastrophic.  But a local understanding of place is critical and this viral post--Things non-Houstonians Need to Understand--is pretty good.     

 

Tagsphysical, fluvialwatercoastal, urban, planningtransportation, architecture.

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Ken Feltman's curator insight, September 13, 9:43 AM
Seth Dixon's insight: Houston's development boom and reduction of wetlands leave region prone to more severe flooding.  Here is a great map of the change in impervious surfaces in the region from 1940 to 2017--when you combine that with record-breaking rainfall the results are catastrophic.  But a local understanding of place is critical and this viral post--Things non-Houstonians Need to Understand--is pretty good.        
Tiffany Cooper's curator insight, September 26, 11:11 AM
#geo130
Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, October 31, 1:27 PM

Un dossier sur les inondations à Houston (en anglais). La présentation est très originale.

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25 Photos That Will Make You Fall in Love With Norway

25 Photos That Will Make You Fall in Love With Norway | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"So how gorgeous is Norway? From its majestic wildlife, captivating Northern Lights shows, and snowy mountains, to its vivid landscapes, and mystifying fjords, Norway is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves the outdoors. Plus, opportunities for hiking, kayaking, glacier climbing, fishing, and skiing are endless! If Noway wasn’t already on your travel bucket list, I bet it is now!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

My wife lived in Norway for 18 months, and her love for this country is infectious.  The stunning physical geography leads to some equally magnificent cultural landscapes that were forged in a very rugged, inhospitable environment for early human settlers.   

 

Tags: Norway, place, tourismphysical, Arctic, geo-inspiration, images, artlandscape.

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Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 8:59 PM

My wife lived in Norway for 18 months, and her love for this country is infectious.  The stunning physical geography leads to some equally magnificent cultural landscapes that were forged in a very rugged, inhospitable environment for early human settlers.   

 

Tags: Norway, place, tourismphysical, Arctic, geo-inspiration, images, artlandscape.

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Massive landslide adds to ‘unprecedented’ damage along scenic Highway 1 in Big Sur area

Massive landslide adds to ‘unprecedented’ damage along scenic Highway 1 in Big Sur area | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A massive mudslide along the California coast.  Millions tons of rock/dirt, about 1/3 mile of roadway covered 35-40 feet deep.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

A steep slope, unstable ground, and changing moisture content result is this spectacular (and horrifying) example of how the Earth beneath our feet might not be as permanent as we expect it to be.

 

Questions to Ponder: Which type of mass wasting is seen in this particular example?  What conditions would lead to other types of mass wasting?  

 

Tags: physicalCalifornia, geomorphology, erosion, landforms.

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Is Zealandia the eighth continent?

"A group of geologists say they've enough evidence to confirm the existence of a new continent. Writing in the journal of the Geological Society of America, the group named the eighth continent 'Zealandia.' Scientists argue for an 8th continent, Zealandia, in the Geological Society of America."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What makes a continent a continent? There is no set definition of a continent. Some consider cultural groupings and would consider Europe as a separate continent from Asia as a consequence. Geologists consider continental shelves as the defining characteristics of a continent and thus consider Eurasia to be just one continent. We are so accustomed to seeing the coastlines, but if the ocean were drained, we'd see Zealandia and it's ancient confidential shelf--but don't expect all the continental maps in elementary schools to change anytime soon.

 

Questions to Ponder: Does human geography or physical geography determine what you consider a continent?  How come?       

 

Tags: physical, tectonics, geologyregions, Oceania.

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Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, April 4, 4:08 PM
Seth Dixon's insight: What makes a continent a continent? There is no set definition of a continent. Some consider cultural groupings and would consider Europe as a separate continent from Asia as a consequence. Geologists consider continental shelves as the defining characteristics of a continent and thus consider Eurasia to be just one continent. We are so accustomed to seeing the coastlines, but if the ocean were drained, we'd see Zealandia and it's ancient confidential shelf--but don't expect all the continental maps in elementary schools to change anytime soon. Questions to Ponder: Does human geography or physical geography determine what you consider a continent? How come?
Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 13, 10:59 AM
unit 1
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What are El Niño and La Niña?

What are El Niño and La Niña? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"El Niño and La Niña are complex weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific--officially known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. These deviations from normal surface temperatures can have large-scale impacts not only on ocean processes, but also on global weather and climate."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This short video from NOAA is an excellent summary that explains the ENSO cycle.  The video has a particular emphasis on how changing patterns in the Pacific Ocean currents can impact weather patterns in various regions of the United States.  

 

Tagsphysical, weather and climateregions, USA.

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ROCAFORT's curator insight, February 24, 2:31 AM
What are El Niño and La Niña?
Loreto Vargas's curator insight, February 24, 12:45 PM
It’s a complicated phenomenon but El Niño is not the same as La Niña... Read the article.
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The Sargasso Sea

"The Sargasso Sea occupies almost two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean. Within this sea, circling ocean currents accumulate mats of Sargassum seaweed that shelter a surprising variety of fishes, snails, crabs, and other small animals. The animal community today is much less diverse than it was in the early 1970s, when the last detailed studies were completed in this region. This study shows that animal communities in the Sargasso Sea are definitely changing. The next step is to find out why."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Often, we define oceans and seas based on their borders with land as their defining characteristics (this is one reason why many don't know about the Southern Ocean as a distinct body of water or consider it an ocean). The Sargasso Sea is defined by ocean currents; it is surrounded by great currents but is itself without a strong current, making it perilous for early seafarers.  These oceanic doldrums became shrouded in superstition as stories of the fabled Bermuda Triangle spread, but the truth is all in the ocean currents.   

 

Tags: water, biogeography, environment, physical.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, January 22, 7:38 PM
Geography Concepts: Spatial Significance, Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships
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The World's Newest (Official) Ocean

The World's Newest (Official) Ocean | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Southern Ocean extends from the coast of Antarctica north to 60 degrees south latitude. The Southern Ocean is now the fourth largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean, but larger than the Arctic Ocean). The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has  declared, named, and demarcated the Southern Ocean as a fifth, separate ocean."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Typically we define oceans and seas based on their borders with land as their most important characteristics.  Also, we rarely look at the bottom of the globe as the center of our global perspective.  Those are a few of the reasons why American students usually have never heard of the Southern Ocean, but Australian students see it as one of the world's main oceans.  

 

TagsOceaniaAntarctica, water, environment, physical.

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Skokomish River salmon cross the road

"Watch salmon race across the road on their way to spawn; for more footage, watch this extended version."

Seth Dixon's insight:

We often see examples of how human modifications to ecosystems or watersheds have devastatingly negative impacts.  This is a remarkable example from Washington's Olympic Peninsula that shows the resiliency of natural systems to overcome human modifications to the physical landscape.  If you study the world, you will always have something to both amaze and surprise you.   

 

Tagsfluvial, biogeography, environment, geomorphology, physicalwater, environment adapt, environment modify.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 17, 2016 11:45 PM

Sometimes the natural world finds ways to adapt to human environmental changes. 

Useful when studying inland water / rivers for the option study. 

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Tornado Alley

Tornado Alley | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Interested in learning about tornado alley? Then you'll want to read our tornado alley facts and information. Tornado Alley 101
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map nicely shows the particular air requirements needed for a tornado to form and why the part of the United States known as Tornado Alley accounts for the majority of the world's tornadoes.  This nicely shows how physical geographic factors form a major part of how a region might be defined and conceptualized. 

 

Tags: tornado, physical, weather and climate, visualization, regions.

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Earth Science Memes

Earth Science Memes | Geography Education | Scoop.it
This link is where you will find funny science pictures, jokes, current events and other miscellaneous things pertaining to science.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Because we all need a laugh sometimes...and if we can teach something at the same time, then even better.   

 

Tagsphysical, geomorphology, funart.

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The Whale's Tail

The Whale's Tail | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Ballena Marine National Park is located in Puntarenas, at the South Pacific coast of Costa Rica." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This National Park in Costa Rica is a delightful example of many things geographic.  Not only is the local biogeography make this a place famous for whales (ballena in Spanish), but the physical geography also resembles a whale's tail.  This feature is called a tombolo, where a spit connects an island or rock cluster to the mainland. Additionally, there is also a great community of citizen cartographers mapping out this park and the surrounding communities. 

 

Tagsbiogeography, environment, geomorphology, physicalwater, landforms.

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Alexander peters's curator insight, October 24, 2016 12:23 PM
This article was about the whale and how they were repopulating and how the whale hunting was banned in the 70s. I think this article was really good because use it talked about whales.
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Hurricane Matthew-Humanitarian Mapping

Hurricane Matthew-Humanitarian Mapping | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Humanitarian OpenSteetMap Team (HOT) has activated to provide geographic base data in areas affected by Hurricane Matthew. Category 4 Hurricane Matthew continues to strengthen and is advancing on Haiti and the Bahamas. Hurricane Matthew is expected to cause 'catastrophic' damage including extreme flooding and landslides potentially affecting millions in Haiti, Jamaica, and Bahamas. To start we are mapping coastal communities in the storm path."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Want to see geographic knowledge and geospatial skills in action?  Crowd-sourced mapping is increasingly an important resource during an emergency.  Poorer places are often not as well mapped out by the commercial cartographic organizations and these are oftentimes the places that are most vulnerable to natural disasters.  Relief agencies depend on mapping platforms to handle the logistics of administering aid and assessing the extent of the damage and rely on these crowd-sourced data sets.  My students and I are working on this over the weekend; can you join in and help?  The projects that are marked urgent by the Red Cross are all in Haiti right now.  Here are is a video playlist that explains the project and how you can help if you are new to OpenStreetMap (OSM).

 

Tags: disasters, mappingSTEM, physicalHaiti, weather and climate.

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The Edge of the Plates

The Edge of the Plates | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Tomales Bay lies about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northwest of San Francisco, along the edges of two tectonic plates that are grinding past each other. The boundary between them is the San Andreas Fault, the famous rift that partitions California for hundreds of miles. To the west of the Bay is the Pacific plate; to the east is the North American plate. The rock on the western shore of the Bay is granite, an igneous rock that formed underground when molten material slowly cooled over time. On the opposite shore, the land is a mix of several types of marine sedimentary rocks. In Assembling California, John McPhee calls that side “a boneyard of exotica,” a mixture of rock of 'such widespread provenance that it is quite literally a collection from the entire Pacific basin, or even half of the surface of the planet.'"

 

Tags: geomorphologyremote sensing, tectonics, geology, Californiacoastal, physical.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 22, 6:28 AM
Geomorphic processes
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The American West, 150 Years Ago

The American West, 150 Years Ago | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In the 1860s and 70s, photographer Timothy O'Sullivan created some of the best-known images in American History. After covering the U.S. Civil War, (many of his photos appear in this earlier series), O'Sullivan joined a number of expeditions organized by the federal government to help document the new frontiers in the American West. The teams were composed of soldiers, scientists, artists, and photographers, and tasked with discovering the best ways to take advantage of the region's untapped natural resources. O'Sullivan brought an amazing eye and work ethic, composing photographs that evoked the vastness of the West. He also documented the Native American population as well as the pioneers who were already altering the landscape. Above all, O'Sullivan captured -- for the first time on film -- the natural beauty of the American West in a way that would later influence Ansel Adams and thousands more photographers to come.

 

Tags: images, artlandscape, tourism, historicalUSA.

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YEC Geo's curator insight, August 22, 8:39 AM
Includes excellent photos of dramatic geologic features.
Tiffany Cooper's curator insight, August 22, 3:18 PM

#GEO130

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America's Best Long Trails

America's Best Long Trails | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Plan your next big hike with this map of America's most-loved long trails.
Seth Dixon's insight:

My uncle hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail and as a kid the enormity of that feat was both inspirational and mind-boggling.  Recently I watched an incredible documentary about an ultra-marathoner's quest on Vermont's Long Trail (Finding Traction: free on Amazon Prime--trailer here).  While I doubt most of us could go the full length of these trails given our jobs, fitness levels, etc., I do think that getting outside to explore some of the physical environments in our local areas this summer sounds like a fantastic idea (high-res map here).  

 

Tags: transportation, landscape, place, sportphysical, environment, mappingmap.

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Bridget Barker's curator insight, June 1, 1:27 PM
Not related to fungal pathogens, but work life balance is important!
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How Cookiecutter Sharks Eat Is Terrifying

Do not be fooled by its adorable name—the cookiecutter shark attacks by suctioning its lips to the flesh of its victims, spins, and ejects a cylindrical plug of flesh from its prey!
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is the most delightfully fun video about one of the creepiest critters of the deep. 

 

Tags: water, biogeography, environment, physical, National Geographic.

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Senegal's Great Green Wall combats desertification

"A 7,000 km barrier is being built along the footsteps of the Sahara to stop the desert expanding. The Great Green Wall project started in 2007 in Senegal, along with 10 countries in Africa to combat the effects of climate change. Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Widou, deep in the Sahel."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Great Green Wall initiative is composed of 11 countries that are cooperating together to combat the physical and human geographic characteristics that make the Sahel one of the more vulnerable ecosystems in the world.  This swath running through Africa is the transition zone where tropical Africa meets the Sahara.  The Sahel is susceptible to drought, overgrazing, land degradation and desertification.  These issues of resource management and land use transcend international borders so this "Green Wall" was created with the intent to protect the environment, landscapes and people of the Sahel from desert encroachment (the shorter, social media friendly version of this video is available here).

 

Tags: Africa, Senegal, development, environment, waterbiogeography, ecology, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, supranationalism, political ecology.

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As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A costly plan to build floating islands shows how climate change is pushing the search for innovative solutions, but some critics ask who will ultimately benefit.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As coastal communities are considering what the tangible impacts of climate change might be, things that were once considered science fiction could be a part of how people adapt to the modifications we've collectively made to our global environment that we depend on to sustain life.  

 

Tags: physicaltechnologysustainability, climate change, environment, resources, watercoastal, environment dependenvironment adapt, environment modify.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 14, 7:49 PM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships, Geographic Perspective.
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Climate Migrants

Climate Migrants | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Climate change has already displaced tens of thousands of people. If it continues unabated, it could lead to one of the largest mass human migrations in history.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This StoryMap shows some key regions where migrants are fleeing some of the negative impacts of climate change, a trend that appears very likely to increase in the future.  It is also an excellent example of the ESRI's new Cascade template for creating a web app. 

 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, climate change, environment, resources, watercoastalmappingESRIStoryMap, visualization, environment depend, political ecology.

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Tsunami Stones: Ancient Japanese Markers Warn Builders of High Water

Tsunami Stones: Ancient Japanese Markers Warn Builders of High Water | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Residents of Aneyoshi, Japan, heeded the warnings of their ancestors. They obeyed directions and wisdom found on a local stone monument: 'Do not build any homes below this point,' it reads. 'High dwellings are the peace and harmony of our descendants. Remember the calamity of the great tsunamis.' When the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan, this village."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Beachfront property is beautiful real estate with enormous economic potential, but when it is in an area with a history of tsunamis, the impending threat of an earthquake looms over the coastal lowlands and limits the land use plans for the region. 

 

Tags: physical, tsunami, water, tectonics, disasters.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, December 31, 2016 1:19 AM
Geographical Concepts: Spatial Significance, Patterns and Trends, 
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New Zealand quake lifted seabed by 2m

New Zealand quake lifted seabed by 2m | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit New Zealand’s South Island lifted up the seabed by two metres, pushing it above the ocean’s surface.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Plates on the Earth's crust typically move forward at very slowly (about the same speed as the fingernail growth).  While that is the usual, plates snag along the edges and pressure can build over the years, only to lead to explosive, quick changes like happened recently in New Zealand.  This complex series of tremors has people disconnected as much of the physical infrastructure has be damaged

 

Tags: New Zealandphysical, tectonicstransportation, geology, geomorphology.

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Iceland's Glacial Melt and Geothermal Activity

Iceland's Glacial Melt and Geothermal Activity | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Glacial melting and flooding occurs every year by the Skafta River in Iceland. As the water travels down towards the North Atlantic Ocean, incredible patterns are created on the hillsides. Rising lava, steam vents, or newly opened hot springs can all cause this rapid ice melt, leading to a sizable release of water that picks up sediment as it flows down from the glaciers.

 

Tags: geomorphology, physical, Europe, fluvial, water, landforms, images.

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A Medieval Abbey Trapped by Tides and Time

"Mont Saint-Michel emerges from the tides in Normandy, France, like an ancient village from a fairytale. The coastal town built on a massive granite rock cuts a dramatic silhouette against the sky, rising from disappearing marshes to a Gothic Abbey at its height. With a permanent population of around 50, this popular tourist destination has a history dating back to at least the Roman era. Fancy a tour before the tides roll in?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Coastal physical geography produces some beautiful landforms such as tombolos.  A tombolo is created when sand deposits attach an island to a larger piece of land--think of it as special type of isthmus.  Mont St. Michel is the world’s most famous example because of the iconic walled city with crowned with a striking medieval abbey.  This is one of those fascinating places for both the human and physical geographer.   

 

Tags: water, physical, coastal, geomorphology, landformsFrance, historical, tourism.

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Lauren Wilson's comment, November 8, 2016 1:53 PM
This is a great addition to our lessons regarding erosion of cliffsides, in that it represents structures in place of an ever-evolving coastal environment. That such a feature can remain relatively unchanged by time and tides is a fascinating foothold in this study.
ROCAFORT's curator insight, November 18, 2016 3:06 AM
A Medieval Abbey Trapped by Tides and Time
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What's the tallest mountain on Earth?

What's the tallest mountain on Earth? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Mount Everest is usually said to be the highest mountain on Earth. Reaching 29,035 feet at its summit, Everest is indeed the highest point above global mean sea level—the average level for the ocean surface from which elevations are measured. But the summit of Mt. Everest is not the farthest point from Earth’s center.

Earth is not a perfect sphere, but is a bit thicker at the Equator due to the centrifugal force created by the planet’s constant rotation. Because of this, the highest point above Earth’s center is the peak of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo, located just one degree south of the Equator where Earth’s bulge is greatest. The summit of Chimborazo is 20,564 feet above sea level. However, due to the Earth’s bulge, the summit of Chimborazo is over 6,560 feet farther from the center of the Earth than Everest’s peak. That makes Chimborazo the closest point on Earth to the stars.  

You may be surprised to learn that Everest is not the tallest mountain on Earth, either. That honor belongs to Mauna Kea, a volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Mauna Kea originates deep beneath the Pacific Ocean, and rises more than 32,800 feet from base to peak."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've tried to answer this question without any visual aids and there is always at least one confused look in the class.  This infographic is the most straightforward way to give the 'long' answer to a seemingly simple question, "what is the tallest mountain on Earth?"  It all depends on how you measure it and what your reference point is.   

 

Tags: physicalEcuador, Nepal.

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