Skip to main content
Geosciences LibreTexts

3: Topography

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    • 3.1: Latitude and Longitude
      You probably know already that the basic coordinate system that’s used to describe the position of a point on the Earth's surface is latitude and longitude.
    • 3.2: Maps
      Earth science is a very map-oriented discipline, because geologists are always having to view and think about the disposition of rock bodies across the landscape. This section provides just a little elementary material about maps.
    • 3.3: Topographic Maps
      Almost all of the area of the United States has been represented on topographic maps at various scales.
    • 3.4: Stream Networks, Drainage Basins, and Divides
      In most areas of the world, except in the driest of deserts (and beneath glaciers), one can trace fairly easily on a topographic map the system of main streams and their tributaries. In some places streams “expand” into lakes, but the principle is the same.
    • 3.5: Geologic Maps and Cross Sections
      Field geologists who study and map the bedrock that underlies an area of the land surface attempt to recognize rock units, which they can then represent on geologic maps. Rock types are not randomly arranged in the Earth’s crust but tend to exist in distinctive bodies called rock units.

    Thumbnail: (Unsplash; Jeremy Bezanger via Unsplash)

    3: Topography is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

    • Was this article helpful?