What is physical geography

physical geography

physical geography, Physiogeography, the study of the abiotic and biotic environment in nature. The physiogeographical environment is the product of a complex structure of effects in which the geofactors (relief, climate, rock, soil, water balance, vegetation, use and time) are causally and highly interdependent via energy and material flows (processes). This open system is called a geofactor system or geo-ecosystem (geofactors Fig.)). The system behavior results in a highly variable differentiation of natural spatial conditions and natural spatial development dynamics in terms of both space and time. The questions of physical geography arise from the analysis of the geofactorial relationship structure. For pragmatic reasons, physico-geographical investigations generally start from the consideration of a particular problem of one of the partial spheres of the geosphere. The sub-disciplines of physical geography (geomorphology, climatic geography, hydrogeography, soil geography and biogeography or vegetation and zoogeography) developed analogously. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of physical geography, the boundaries to the neighboring disciplines of geosciences are fluid. There are also overlaps with cultural studies (geography). Accordingly, the range of topics of physical-geographical work is very broad. It includes questions of past and future landscape development, the sustainable use of natural resources, soil and water pollution, soil protection, flood dynamics, effects of anthropogenic influences on the environment, etc. Geoecology. [PH]