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English
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The Visual World Atlas

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Learn more
180 Pages
English

Description

An overview of the state of the world for understanding global issues
Inside you will find:
• more than 110 thematic maps,
• more than 50 fact tables from world renown organizations,
• more than 130 photographs,
• a glossary and detailed indexes,
• rich encyclopedic content, reviewed by experts.

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 14 November 2012
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EAN13 9782764408896
Language English
Document size 33 MB

Legal information: rental price per page 0.0037€. This information is given for information only in accordance with current legislation.

Exrait

E A R T H : A N I N H A B I T E D P L A N E T
E A R T H : A N I N H A B I T E D P L A N E T
MOLDOVA
VIETNAM
7
THE VISUAL
WORLD ATLAS
[ F A C T S A N D M A P S O F T H E C U R R E N T W O R L D ] THE VISUAL
A n ov e r v i e w o f t h e s t a t e o f t h e w o r l d
f o r u n d e r s t a n d i n g g l o b a l i s s u e s
Designed for the whole family, The Visual World Atlas covers hundreds of subjects that touch on different
aspects of life on Earth with clarity and precision (geology, environment, politics, demography, economy, etc.) WORLD ATLAS
Presenting thousands of statistical facts on the world’s 193 countries, this thematic atlas features accessible
text linked to visual content of exceptional quality. Unique to its genre, for school as well as home, The Visual
[ F A C T S A N D M A P S O F T H E C U R R E N T W O R L D ]World Atlas is essential reading for discovering and understanding the world in all its diversity.
Inside you will fnd:
• more than 110 thematic maps,
• more than 50 fact tables from world-renown organizations,
• more than 130 photographs,
• a glossary and detailed indexes,
• rich encyclopedic content, reviewed by experts.
DENMARK LITHUANIA
RUSSIA
Québec (2)
106 : UNITED INEQUALITIES : 107 Enlargements provide a detailed view
IRELAND Hamburg (9) INEQUALITIES Ottawa (1) Montréal (4) KINGDOM NETHERLANDS Berlin (3) POLAND
Dublin (2) GERMANY
Racine (4) Toronto (6) Warsaw (1)
London (19) BELGIUM
Kalamazoo (3) Boston (9) Bad Homburg (3)
Heidelberg (3)Despite economists’ forecasts that globalization of the economy Detroit (6) LUXEMBOURG
CZECH REP. UKRAINE
Cleveland (3) Stuttgart (4) SLOVAKIAwill benefi t the poorest the most, inequalities in the world Chicago (18) Paris (12) LIECHTENSTEIN of specifc regions in the world.
Zurich (4) Vienna (3)
New York (45) AUSTRIA
FRANCE Luzern (3) HUNGARYare getting worse in terms of health, nutrition, Philadelphia (3)
Geneva (3) ROMANIA
Charleston (3) Washington D.C. (6) CROATIA
SWITZERLAND Milano (3) BOSNIA AND education, housing, and other areas. Gross national SAN
MARINO HERZEGOVINA
GREENLAND (DK) ANDORRA ITALY SERBIA
product (GNP) per capita, a La Coruna (3) MONACO MONTENEGRO BULGARIA
MACEDONIA
SPAIN Rome (2)country’s main socioeconomic ALBANIA
VATICAN
Madrid (3) CITY
ICELAND development indicator, ranges
SWEDEN GREECE
NORWAY FINLAND
from about 100 in the Oslo (4)
Stockholm (5) ESTONIA
poorest countries to almost LATVIA RUSSIA
Magnitogorsk (1)
CANADA Moscow (24)60,000 in the wealthiest. Edmonton (1) Surgut (1)
Vancouver (1) UKRAINE
Dnipropetrovs'k (1) ese disparities are aggravated by the fact Seattle (7) KAZAKHSTAN
Donets'k (2)Clear captions make Minneapolis (6) MONGOLIAthat in the 1970s, the ird World became Saint John (1) Almaty (3)
UNITED STATES
Salt Lake City (3) Omaha (3) Istanbul (7) GEORGIA UZBEKISTAN
KYRGYZSTANheavily indebted in order to fi nance its San Francisco (23) Denver (5) ARMENIA AZERBAIJAN NORTH JAPAN
TURKEY TURKMENISTAN Beijing (1) KOREA
Wichita (3) TAJIKISTAN Seoul (3) Kyoto (3)
Las Vegas (4)development. e borrowed funds, often San Jose (17) MALTA CYPRUS SYRIA CHINA SOUTH Tokyo (13)
Dallas (20) Columbia (3) TUNISIA LEBANON Tefen (1) AFGHANISTAN KOREA
Los Angeles (36) Phoenix (3) MOROCCO Tel Aviv (5) Osaka (2)maps easy to read. Bentonville Atlanta (4) Hamilton (1) GAZA STRIP IRAQ IRAN Shanghai (1)poorly managed or misappropriated, have San Diego (5) (4) PAKISTAN
Cairo (1) KUWAIT Kuwait (2) BHUTAN
San Antonio (4) Houston (6) Fort Lauderdale (5) ALGERIA ISRAEL NEPALnot had the anticipated eff ect. LIBYA EGYPT BAHRAIN Dubai (2) Delhi (3)
Monterrey (1) Nassau (1) WESTERN Riyadh (2) QATAR Hong Kong (18) Taipei (7)
BAHAMAS SAHARA (MA) UNITED BANGLADESH
MEXICO Jeddah (4) SAUDI ARABIA ARAB INDIAToday, unable to pay back its debt, Honolulu (1) CUBA Mecca (1) OMAN EMIRATES BURMA T'ainan (1)
George Town (1) HAITI DOMINICAN MAURITANIA LAOS
BELIZE REP. SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS MALI Bombay (5)
Mexico City (9) JAMAICA ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA CAPE NIGERthe ird World is demanding DOMINICA VERDE THAILAND Charts and graphics show
GUATEMALA HONDURAS SAINT VINCENT AND SENEGAL CHAD ERITREA YEMEN Manila (3)
THE GRENADINES SAINT LUCIA GAMBIA SUDAN Bangkok (3) CAMBODIAthat the debt be written off . At EL SALVADOR NICARAGUA GRENADA BARBADOS BURKINA DJIBOUTI Bangalore (1) PHILIPPINES
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO GUINEA- GUINEA FASO
COSTA RICA Caracas (2) BISSAU NIGERIA ETHIOPIA MARSHALL IS.
PANAMA GUYANA SIERRA CÔTE SRI LANKAthe same time, the wealthiest countries donate to VENEZUELA LEONE D'IVOIRE CENTRAL
FRENCH GUIANA (FR) CAMEROON AFRICAN REP. BRUNEI PALAU
Bogota (2) LIBERIA TOGO MICRONESIA
EQUATORIAL GUINEA UGANDA MALDIVES Kuala Lumpur (4) M A L A Y S I Athe most disadvantaged countries in the form of COLOMBIA KENYA Sibu (1)
SURINAME CONGO Singapore (5) statistics that are linked to the
ECUADOR SAO TOME GABON RWANDA SINGAPORE offi cial development assistance . AND PRINCIPE NAURU KIRIBATI
DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH DEM. REP. OF SEYCHELLES
THE CONGO TANZANIA I N D O N E S I A PAPUA
BURUNDI NEW GUINEA
GNP per capita PERU Kudus (1) Surabaja (1)
TIMOR SOLOMON IS. TUVALU
≥ $25,000 BRAZIL LESTE
MALAWI COMOROS
ANGOLA
$10,000–$24,999 ZAMBIA
BOLIVIA VANUATU SAMOA subject being presented.
$3,000–$9,999 FIJI
$1,000–$2,999 ZIMBABWE MAURITIUS
NAMIBIA TONGA
Rio de Janeiro (2) BOTSWANA
$500–$999 PARAGUAY
Antofagasta (1)
< $500 Sao Paulo (6) AUSTRALIA
Johannesburg (1) SWAZILANDMeasuring wealth
Sources: World Bank; UN LESOTHO
e GNP is an indicator that measures the total value of the SOUTH AFRICA Perth (1)
URUGUAY
Number of billionaires Santiago (2) Stellenbosch (1) Sydney (3)goods and services produced in a country during one year, as ARGENTINA Buenos Aires (1)
(per metropolitan region)
well as its net revenues from foreign countries. Total GNP is Melbourne (2)
NEW used to measure a country’s wealth. Divided by the number of ZEALAND
10 5 1inhabitants, it gives an indication of the standard of living of a 45
country’s population. Source: Forbes
108 : INEQUALITIES O FFICIAL DEVELOPMENT INEQUALITIES : 109
MAIN DONOR COUNTRIES OF INTERNATIONAL MAIN RECIPIENT COUNTRIESTHE COUNTRIES OF THE THIRD WORLD ASSISTANCE
ASSISTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE
Development indicators e member countries of the
POVERTY LINE RANK COUNTRY ASSISTANCE IN 2005 % OF RANK COUNTRY ASSISTANCE IN 2005 % OF e expression “ ird World” was coined
Share of the population living on less than $1 per day Development Assistance Committee GNP GNPDevelopment indicators are numerical indicators used to To integrate these diff erent parameters into a single indicator, during the Cold War to designate countries of the Organisation for Economic ACCESS TO DRINKING WATER
United States $27,622 M 0.2 Afghanistan $2,192 M 31.3that belonged to neither the capitalist nor estimate the development of nations. ey measure diff erent the United Nations Development Co-operation and Development Programme (UNDP)
the communist sphere of infl uence. Since Japan $13,147 M 0.3 Sudan $1,472 M 6.4parameters that aff ect the quality of life of human beings. GNP calculates the human development index (OECD) off er aid to developing . is index, which Access to water is one of the main development indicators.
SHARE OF THE POPULATION WITH ACCESS TO DRINKING WATERthe 1970s, “ ird World” has referred to the measures a country’s wealth or poverty, while life expectancy and takes account of loncountries gevity, education by agreeing to reduce their debt , literacy, and standard of United Kingdom It corresponds to the propor$10,767 M 0.5tion of the population that has Ethiopia $1,202 M 10.8
poorest countries on the planet. Many of or by providing them with new funding. infant mortality rate refl ect its state of health. Other indicators living (purchasing power) assesses development on a scale from access to at least 20 liters of water per day per person from
Germany $10,082 M 0.4 Dem. Rep. of the Congo $1,034 M 14.8these countries’ populations live in extreme an improved source (pipeline, protected well, rainwater assess satisfaction of basic human needs, such as access to 0 to 1. In 2004, the index ranged from 0.311 for Niger to 0.965 misery. About 1.3 billion people, representing France $10,026 M 0.5 Tanzania $871 M 6.8collection, etc.) less than one kilometer from their 20% of the world’s population, survive on less ≥ 50% drinking water, suffi cient food, and housing. Still others measure for Norway.
Netherlands residence. In many regions of the wor$5,115 M 0.8 ld, popZambiaulations lack $836 M 14.4
than 1 per day—that is, under the poverty 20%–49% level of education, the guarantee of a population’s future. water, leading to serious sanitary problems.
Italy $5,091 M 0.3line defi ned by the United Nations. 10%–19% Mozambique $771 M 12.5 e East Asia/Pacifi c region has the largest number of
5%–9%
Canada inhabitants without access to improved water sources.$3,756 M 0.4 Uganda $704 M 8.8
< 5%
Sweden Inhabitants of urban areas have a better chance of $3,362 M 0.9 Bangladesh 90%–1$563 M00% 0.8
No data benefi ting from an improved source. Mongolia, for
Source: UN Spain $3,018 M 0.3 Madagascar 70%–89%$500 M 8.7example, has very wide disparities between drinking-water
50%–69%
Source: OECDaccess in urban zones (87%) and rural zones (30%). 30%–49% Source: OECD
HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX
0%–29%
No data
Source: UN
Secondary maps illustrate
distinctive perspectives.
High
Average Photographs from the four
Low
No data
Source: UN
corners of the globe reveal
RANKING OF COUNTRIES ACCORDING TO THE HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX
THE HIGHEST-RANKED COUNTRIES THE LOWEST-RANKED COUNTRIES
RANK COUNTRY INDEX RANK COUNTRY INDEX the extraordinary diversity of
Norway 0.965 Mozambique 0.390
Iceland 0.960 Burundi 0.384
Australia 0.957 Ethiopia 0.371
Ireland 0.956 Chad 0.368 our planet’s landscapes and
Sweden 0.951 Central African Republic 0.353
Canada 0.950 Guinea-Bissau 0.349
Japan 0.949 Burkina Faso 0.342
United States 0.948 Mali 0.338 inhabitants.
Switzerland 0.947 Sierra Leone 0.335
Netherlands 0.947 Niger 0.311 Water point, Tanzania
World average: 0.741 Source: UNDP Access to a source of drinking water is one of the main development indicators.
www.qa-international.com
Cover_AtlasNotreMonde.indd 1 27/01/09 09:39:57
SLOVENIA
JORDAN
SOMALIA
MOZAMBIQUE
BELARUS
BENIN
CHILE
GHANA
MADAGASCAR
PORTUGAL
E A R T H : A N I N H A B I T E D P L A N E T
E A R T H : A N I N H A B I T E D P L A N E T
The Visual World AtlasThe Visual
World Atlas
Facts and maps of the current worldCREDITS
Editor
François Fortin
Editorial Director
Martine Podesto
Chief Writers
Julie Cailliau
Cécile Poulou-Gallet
Assistant Writer
Marie-Anne Legault
Cartographer
François Turcotte-Goulet
Graphic Designers
Anne Tremblay
Josée Noiseux TheVisualWorldAtlas[documentcartographique]was created and produced by
QA International
Layout
329 De la Commune West, 3rd Floor Émilie Bellemare
Montreal, Quebec H2Y 2E1 Émilie Corriveau
Canada Mélanie Giguère-Gilbert
T : 514.499.3000 Pascal Goyette
F : 514.499.3010 Danielle Quinty
ISBN : 978-2-7644-0889-6 Photo Acquisition
Gilles Vézinawww.quebec-amerique.com
Illustrator© QA International, 2008. All rights reserved.
Alain Lemire
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic
Computer Graphicsor mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval
Mathieu Douvillesystem, without permission in writing by QA International.
Translator
Kathe Roth
Proofreading
Veronica Schami Editorial Services
Project Manager
Nathalie Fréchette
Preprinting
Julien Brisebois
François Hénault
Karine Lévesque
Human Geography Consultant
Jean-Guy VaillancourtThe Visual
World Atlas
Facts and maps of the current world
QA INTERNATIONALIV : HOw TO u SE THIS BOOK
Subject
Each subject covers two to eight pages
and ofers a complete comprehension
of the theme addressed.
Introduction
An introductory text gives a basic
overview of the subject.
Explanatory texts
Explanatory texts complement the
visual information.
Legend
A legend describes the symbols
used in the main map.
KEY TO SYMBOLS ON MAP
What it stands for Visual presentation What it stands for symbol Visual presentation
mountain range summit
plateau depression
plain and basin lake
desert watercourse
ocean capital
sea geographic reference point
coastal element main road —
island international border —
continent regional boundary —
region
country
territory
(ISO country code)
Abbreviated forms of the names of countries comply with the recommendations of the International Organization for
Standardization (ISO), detailed on page 164. cityHOW TO USE THIS BOOK : V
Enlargements Photographs
Portions of the main map are enlarged to Te photographs are linked by lines to
give a detailed view of certain regions. the places where they were taken.
Visual tab
A photographic excerpt reminds
you of the chapter within which the
subject falls.
Main map
Te main map gives you an
at-a-glance overview of the
theme discussed.
MAIN ABBREVIATIONS USED
METRIc UNIT ABBREVIATION U.S. UNIT EqUIVAlENT
millimeter mm —
centimeter cm 0.4 inches
meter m 3.28 feet
kilometer km 0.62 miles
2square kilometer km 0.39 square miles
3cubic meter m 1.31 cubic yards
3cubic kilometer km 0.24 cubic miles
gram g 0.03 ounces
kilogram kg 2.2 pounds
metric ton t 1.1 short tons
million M the same
billion B the same
degrees Celsius °c 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit
hectopascal hPa 0.03 inches of mercury
liter l 33.8 ounces
million hectares M ha 2.47 million acres
hour, second h, s the same
kilometer per hour km/h the sameBoxes
kilowatt-hour kWh the same
Supplementary information is given in
megawatt MW the samesecondary maps, illustrations, graphs, and
degree ° the samestatistical tables.
before the Common Era bce
inhabitant inhab.
U.S. dollar $
gross domestic product GDP
gross national product GNPVI : INTRODUCTION
We live in an amazing world!
Earth, our blue planet, has a special something that makes it unique: it is home
to life. For millions of years, despite countless natural disasters and wild fuctuations
in climate, life has persisted.
For about the past 150 years, life on Earth, as tenacious as it may be, has come
under increasing threat. Te growing impact of human activities on the planet’s
fragile balance is putting its inhabitants at risk. Te forecasted ecological catastrophe
can be avoided, if we equip ourselves with the means to do so.
And Earth is worth protecting. Our tiny piece of the Universe ofers a panoply
of breathtaking landscapes, from the vertiginous heights of the Himalayas and the
extraordinary aridity of the Sahara to the bursts of color in tropical seas. With so
much beauty and diversity, Earth deserves all of our respect.
In order to respect Earth, we have to know it better. Each region of the world
stands out, whether for its geography, its geology, its fauna, its population, its political
organization, or its economy. You will fnd out about all of these aspects in Te Visual
World Atlas.
Today, all the continents have been explored and uncovered, but the knowledge
that has accumulated makes sense only if it is explained and deciphered. Tis book
does not present the most minute details on each region, but ofers a careful selection
of relevant information that will enable you to discover our world and understand
the phenomena that sweep across it.
Te Visual World Atlas provides a complete, detailed overview of Earth. It covers
31 subjects in physical and human geography and ofers thousands of statistical
facts concerning the 193 countries of the world. It contains more than 110 thematic
maps, as well as photographs taken all over the world.
With this book in your hands, Earth, in all its diversity, is within your reach.
In a world in perpetual change, Te Visual World Atlas gives you the keys to
comprehending the present and grasping the challenges to be met in the future.: VII Contents
E A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E T : : 8
10 TheSolarSystem 24 Landformsontheoceanfoor
12 TheplanetEarth 26 Volcanoes
14 ThestructureofEarth 28 Earthquakes
18 Continentalrelieffeatures
E A R T H : A B L U E P L A N E T : : 3 0
32 Theworldocean
38 Freshwater
E A R T H : A P L A N E T I N BA L A N C E : : 4 2
44 Climates 58 Thebiosphere
48 Coldenvironments 62 Theconservationofspecies
50 Arid 64 Atmosphericpollution
52 Climaticcatastrophes 68 Waterandsoilpollution
E A R T H : A N I N H A B I T E D P L A N E T : : 7 0
72 Thepoliticalworld 98 Agriculture
78 Worldpopulation 102 Transportation
82 Languages 106 Inequalities
84 Religions 110 Freshwaterresources
86 Sports 112 Health
90 Economics 114 Illiteracy
96 Energy 116 Conficts
T H E C O N T I N E N T S : : 1 2 0
122 NorthAmerica 146 Africa
128 SouthAmerica 152 Oceania
134 Europe 158 Antarctica
140 Asia
161 Glossary
164 Statisticaldatasources
165 Geographicalindex
172 Thematicindex
176 PhotocreditsE a r t h : a r o c k y P l a n E t
Earth is the largest rocky planet in the Solar System. It ofers a variety
of ever-changing landscapes. as the immense plates that form Earth’s
crust slowly move toward and away from each other, mountains rise,
oceans open up, volcanoes erupt. Erosion is also constantly shaping
the planet’s relief features: mountains fatten, valleys are dug, coastlines
recede. o bserving Earth’s landscapes enables us to understand the
history of our planet, explain its structure, and anticipate its future
transformations.
TOP: Rocky beach, California, United States
LEFT: The Glen Coe Valley, Scotland 10 : THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Te Universe contains an almost unimaginable number of galaxies—no fewer than
100 billion! In the midst of this immensity is our galaxy, the Milky Way. Te Solar
System is located on the periphery of the Milky Way. It includes one star, the Sun,
and eight planets, three dwarf planets (Ceres, Eris, and Pluto), more than 160 natural
satellites orbiting these planets, millions of asteroids (small, rocky celestial bodies),
millions of comets (balls of dirty snow), billions of pebbles, and cosmic dust and gases.
The planets of the Solar System
Te planets closest to the Sun are rocky planets. Tey are also called the inner planets,
since they are situated between the Sun and the main asteroid belt. Earth is one of
them. Te planets situated outside the main asteroid belt are called the outer planets.
Tey are gaseous giants, composed mainly of hydrogen and helium.
THE INNER PLANETS
MERCURY VENUS EARTH MARS
diameter (km) 4,879 12,104 12,756 6,794
average distance from the Sun (AU)
0.39 0.72 1 1.52
1 AU (astronomical unit) = 149,600,000 km
period of rotation 58.6 days 243 days 23.9 hr 24.6 hr
24mass (relative to Earth) 0.055 0.82 1 (5.9 × 10 kg) 0.11
2gravity at the equator (relative to Earth) 38% 91% 100% (9.766 m/s ) 38%
temperature (ºC) –173 to 427 462 –88 to 58 –87 to –5
number of known natural satellites 0 0 1, the Moon 2
carbon dioxide, nitrogen, carbon dioxide,
composition of the atmosphere no substantial atmosphere
nitrogen oxygen nitrogen
date of discovery known since antiquity known since antiquity known since antiquity known since antiquity
Source: NASA
THE ORBITS OF THE PLANETS AND DWARF PLANETS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Sun Mercury Venus Mars Ceres Jupiter SaturnEarth
E A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E T E A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E T
THE SOLAR SYSTEM : 11
Center of the Milky Way
Our Solar System is situated about 28,000 light-years—that is,
280 million billion km—from the center of the Milky Way.
THE OUTER PLANETS
jUpiter SatUrn UranUS neptUne
diameter (km) 142,984 120,536 51,118 49,528
average distance from the Sun (aU)
5.2 9.54 19.19 30.07
1 aU (astronomical unit) = 149,600,000 km
period of rotation 9.8 hr 10.6 hr 17.2 hr 16.1 hr
mass (relative to earth) 318 95 14 17
gravity at the equator (relative to earth) 214% 107% 86% 110%
temperature (ºC) – 148 –178 –216 –214
number of known natural satellites 62 60 27 13
hydrogen, hydrogen, hydrogen, helium, hydrogen, helium,
composition of the atmosphere
helium helium methane methane
date of discovery known since antiquity known since antiquity 1781 1846
Source: NASA
Uranus pluto eris neptune12 : the planet earth
Formed 4.6 billion years ago, Earth is the largest of the four rocky planets
in the Solar System. It has a single natural satellite: the Moon. Earth is the
densest celestial body in the Solar System: each cubic meter of the planet
weighs an average of 5.5 metric tons. It is also the only planet that
has vast oceans of liquid water, within which life appeared
3.5 billion years ago.
Plesetsk
Cosmodrome (RUS)
Kodiak Air
Base (USA)
Svobodny
Cosmodrome (RUS)
Baikonur
Cosmodrome (KAZ)
Jiuquan Satellite
Launch Center (CHN)
Virginia Air & Taiyuan Satellite
Space Center (USA) Launch Center (CHN)
Vandenberg Air
lake Manicouagan, Canada Force Base (USA)
Palmachim Kagoshima The crater of Lake Manicouagan, in northeast Air Base (ISR)
Space Center (JPN)Edwards Air
Kennedy Space Center/Canada, results from the impact of a meteorite Xichang Space Force Base (USA) Gando Air Cape Canaveral (USA) Launch Center (CHN)Base (USA)212 million years ago. Tanegashima
Space Center (JPN)
earth seen from space
Earth’s vast oceans, from which it gets its
Sriharikota
nickname “the blue planet,” can be seen from Air Base (IND)
Guyana Space
Center (Europe)space. Its continents, with jagged coastlines, are
formed of mountains, deserts, lakes—all relief
Odyssey/Sea Launch
features that are visible from space. Observation launch platform (USA)Alacantara Launch
Center (BRA)
satellites can also detect a number of impact craters
(the imprints of collisions between Earth and
Christmas Island
launch base (AUS)meteorites) and forests. Earth observation satellites
are sent into space from launch bases dispersed
around the globe.
hurricane Iris
Cyclones are visible from space. They form cloud disks
almost 1,000 km in diameter.
the MOOn
Te Moon is Earth’s only natural satellite. It makes THE visib LE FACE OF THE MOON
Lunar relief features and landing sites for lunar missionsone revolution around Earth in 28 days and always
has the same face turned toward the planet (the
visible face). Its diameter is 3,476 km, and its surface
is pocked with craters produced by collisions with Mare Frigoris
Montes
Juraasteroids. Situated only 384,400 km from Earth,
Montes Lacus17 Caucasus Somniorumthe Moon is the most-studied celestial body after Mare
MareImbrium 2 Serenitatis15 21our planet. Since the late 1950s, several dozen space
Rima Brayley Montes 17 Mare13 Apenninus Crisiummissions, manned and unmanned, have explored it. Oceanus Montes Dorsum MareProcellarum Carpatus Montes 24Buckland MarginisHaemusMare Mare
9 Insularum TranquillitatisSinus
20Medii 5 Mare6Rimae 11 16 SmythiiRiccioli 31 Rimae12 14 Gutenberg
Mare Mare16Cognitum Fecunditatis
MareRimae SirsalisLacus Verislunar mission landing sites Nectaris
Montes Cordillera Mare NubiumMareApollo (manned missions, USA) Rupes AltaiHumorum
Montes Rook
Vallis SnelliusSurveyor (USA)
7Luna (USSR) Vallis Rheita
The fgure represents the mission number.
Sources: USGS; NASA
E A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E TE A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E T
THE PLANET EARTH : 13
Plesetsk
Cosmodrome (RUS)
Kodiak Air
Base (USA)
Svobodny
Cosmodrome (RUS)
Baikonur
Cosmodrome (KAZ)
Jiuquan Satellite
Launch Center (CHN)
Virginia Air & Taiyuan Satellite
Space Center (USA) Launch Center (CHN)
Vandenberg Air
Force Base (USA)
Palmachim Kagoshima
Air Base (ISR)
Space Center (JPN)Edwards Air
Kennedy Space Center/ Xichang Space Force Base (USA) Gando Air Cape Canaveral (USA) Launch Center (CHN)Base (USA)
Tanegashima
Space Center (JPN)
Sriharikota
Air Base (IND)
Guyana Space
Center (Europe)
Odyssey/Sea Launch
launch platform (USA)Alacantara Launch
Center (BRA)
Christmas Island
launch base (AUS)
EARTH SEEN BY SATELLi TE
Launch bases
Artifcial satellites, space probes, and
manned vessels
Meteorites
Diameter of impact crater
100–300 km
10–99.9 km
1–9.9 km Phytoplankton, offshore of Namibia Lake Balkhash, Kazakhstan
0.1–0.9 kmArtifcial satellites allow us to study the development The affuents of Lake Balkhash are visible on
Source: The Earth Impact Database, University of and movement of phytoplankton. satellite images.
New Brunswick
Composite image built from data recorded by NASA satellites in 200114 : THE STRUCTURE OF EARTH
e interior of our planet, with its extreme pressure and temperature conditions, is still
a mysterious place. It is where minerals are created and metamorphosed through processes
that span millions of years. e immense plates that form Earth’s crust fl oat on the
surface of a mass of partially liquid rock. As these plates collide
with each other, they build mountains and open up oceans.
Plate tectonics
Although it seems to be immobile,
the land on which we live moves several
centimeters each year. India and Asia, for
example, are moving toward each other by 4 to 6 cm every year.
is phenomenon, called plate tectonics , results from the fact N O R T H A M E R I C A N
that the l ithosphere , the outer layer of Earth, is fragmented into a P L A T E
dozen huge plates, the tectonic plates, about 100 km thick, that slide
over the surface of Earth’s mantle. Plate tectonics is responsible for
most of the components of Earth’s surface, including oceans, created
when two plates move apart (divergent plates), and mountain ranges
(convergent plates) that come into existence when two plates collide.
Sometimes, two plates simply slip against each other along what is called
C A R I B B E A N a transform f ault. Although the movement of lithospheric plates is slow and
P L A T Econtinuous, it is nonetheless the cause of the most violent and devastating
phenomena on the planet: v olcanic eruptions and earthquakes .
C O C O S
P L A T E
P A C I F I C
P L A T E S O U T H
A M E R I C A N
P L A T ETHE T ECTONIC PLATES N A Z C A
P L A T EEdges of the plates
Relative movements between two plates
Divergent plates
Convergent plates
Transform fault
Movement of a plate
Direction of movement of a plate
Sources: USGS; ESRI
A N T A R C T I C P L A T E
San Andreas Fault, California, United States
Frictions along the San Andreas Fault, at the juncture
of the Pacifi c and North American plates, cause
frequent earthquakes.
E A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E TE A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E T
Th E s TRuCTuRE OF EARTh : 15
E u r a s i a n
P l a t E
P a c i f i c
P l a t E
a r a b i a n
P l a t E
P h i l i P P i n E s E a
P l a t E
a f r i c a n
P l a t E
i n d i a n - a u s t r a l i a n
P l a t E
CONTINENTAL DRIFT
In the early 20th century, the German geophysicist and Panthalassa Pangaea
climatologist Alfred Wegener noted that the continents
looked like they might be able to ft together. He
observed, for example, that the contours of the west coast
of Africa were an almost perfect match with those of
the east coast of South America. He thus formulated the
hypothesis, demonstrated in the 1960s, that millions of
years ago there was just one huge continent, Pangaea, in a
single ocean, Panthalassa. Tis supercontinent apparently
EARTh 250 m ILLION yEARs Ag Obroke up gradually, forming new continents and new
oceans that continued to drift on the surface of the globe.
Te expansion of the sea foor and plate tectonics are
responsible for the mechanism of continental drift. Te
plates carrying continents are moving toward or away from
each other at speeds varying from 1 to 18 cm per year.
EARTh TODAy16 : THE s Truc Tur E OF EAr TH
The interior of Earth
It is impossible to have a completely clear picture of Earth’s formed of three concentric layers—from densest to lightest, core,
internal structure. However, study of the transformations of the mantle, and crust. Each has an individual chemical composition
planet’s surface and analysis of other planets in the Solar System and specifc physical properties. Earth’s crust, composed of
have supplied much information about the interior of Earth. oceanic crust and continental crust, represents barely 3% of the
Our planet has a total mass of about 6 trillion tons and is planet’s volume.
COMPOSITION OF EARTH
silicon (15%)
oxygen (30%)
iron (35%)
other elements (3%) magnesium (13%)
nickel (2%)sulfur (2%)
The continental crust is 20 to 40 km thick, and Most of Earth’s surface consists of
up to 70 km thick under mountain ranges.oceanic crust about 10 km thick.
The lithosphere, Earth’s rigid outer part, is
composed of terrestrial crust (continental or
oceanic) and part of the mantle.
CROSS SECTION OF EARTH
In the asthenosphere, the temperature reaches
more than 1,200°C, a temperature at which
rock partially melts. The plasticity of this layer
makes continental drift possible.
convection currents transport Earth’s
internal heat toward the surface.
Volcanic eruption of Etna (Italy), in 2002 >The mantle takes up 80% of Earth’s total
The lava that fows from erupting volcanoes comes volume. Composed mainly of volcanic rock,
from magma rising from Earth’s mantle.it is in a state of partial fusion (magma) at
a temperature of about 3,000°C.
The outer core is composed of
molten metal.
Although the core takes up 16% of the volume
of Earth, it makes up only 33% of its mass. It
contains the heaviest elements on the planet,
such as iron and nickel. The inner core is composed of metals in a solid state,
even though the temperature is above 6,000°C.
E A R T H : A R O C K Y P L A N E T