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Portal:Geography

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Geography is the science that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), the area studies (places and regions), the study of the human-land relationship, and research in the Earth sciences. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical science". Geography is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography.

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The Cannikin warhead being lowered into test shaft
Amchitka is a volcanic, tectonically unstable island in the Rat Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in southwest Alaska. It is about 68 kilometres (42 mi)* long, and varies from 3 to 6 km (2–3.75 mi) in width. It has a maritime climate, with many storms, and mostly overcast skies. The island was populated for more than 2,500 years by the Aleut people, but has had no permanent population since 1832. It was included in the Alaska Purchase of 1867, and has been part of the United States. During World War II, it was used as an airfield by US forces in the Battle of the Aleutian Islands. Amchitka was selected by the United States Atomic Energy Commission to be the site for underground detonations of nuclear weapons. Three such tests were carried out: Long Shot, an 80 kiloton blast in 1965; Milrow, a 1 megaton blast in 1969; and Cannikin in 1971 – at "under 5 megatons", the largest underground test ever conducted by the United States. The tests were highly controversial, with environmental groups fearing that the Cannikin explosion, in particular, would cause severe earthquakes and tsunamis. Amchitka is no longer used for nuclear testing, although it is monitored for the leakage of radioactive materials.

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Sylvanus Morley
Sylvanus Morley was an American archaeologist, epigrapher and Mayanist scholar who made significant contributions towards the study of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in the early 20th century. He is particularly noted for his extensive excavations of the Maya site of Chichen Itza. He also published several large compilations and treatises on Maya hieroglyphic writing, and wrote popular accounts on the Maya for a general audience. To his contemporaries he was one of the leading Mesoamerican archaeologists of his day; although more recent developments in the field have resulted in a re-evaluation of his theories and works, his publications (particularly on calendric inscriptions) are still cited. Overall, his commitment and enthusiasm for Maya studies would generate the interest and win the necessary sponsorship and backing to finance projects which would ultimately reveal much about the Maya of former times. In his role as director of various projects sponsored by the Carnegie Institution, he oversaw and encouraged many others who later established notable careers in their own right. His involvement in clandestine espionage activities at the behest of the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence was another, surprising, aspect of his career, which came to light only well after his death.

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Nile Delta
Credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA/GSFC

The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km of Mediterranean coastline—and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.

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