Location [Stds. 1, 3]
Place [Stds. 4, 7, 9, 10]
Human-Environment Interaction [Stds. 8, 12, 14-18]
Movement [Stds. 11, 13]
Regions [Stds. 2, 5, 6]


 Standard 7: Physical Processes That Shape
the Patterns of Earth's Surface

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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WEATHER
// TODAY'S WEATHER IN ASIA

Using satellite imagery and maps, the The Weather Channel provides forecast maps for Asia. Students can use these maps to reflect on analogous weather data at their home location.

// TSUNAMIS, EARTHQUAKES, VOLCANOES, AND TYPHOONS

Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and typhoons are among the most powerful natural features that shape and reshape lives in East Asia. The Asian "Ring of Fire" is part of a system that circles the Pacific Basin.

LINK: This Dynamic Earth: The Story of Plate Tectonics [United States Geological Survey]

CASE STUDY: JAPAN
// JAPAN'S ACTIVE VOLCANOES

Within the tight confines of Japan's four major islands, there are a large number of active volcanoes. Mt. Fuji and other volcanoes are the result of the subduction of the Pacific plate under the Eurasian plate within the "Ring of Fire" (see above). While some parts of Japan's volcanic backbone are quiet, like Mt. Fuji, others are violent, such as the volcano at Sakurajima in Kagoshima, Kyushu.

1) Map showing distribution of active volcanoes in Japan (2005); 2) OutdoorJapan.com live webcam view of Mt. Fuji; 3) Images of Sakurajima.

LINK: Geological Map of Volcanoes: Research of Recent Eruption History, Japanese Volcanic Islands [National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Japan]

CASE STUDY: CHINA
// CHINA'S MOUNTAINS AND DESERTS
The west of China is comprised of mountains and deserts as well as plateaus that do not provide much arable land for agriculture. Throughout most of history, the civilization that grew up to the east in what is today China was not surrounded by other nearby major civilizations. To this extent the Chinese were "isolated" from competing civilizations, although there was a broad and fluid frontier zone on the western margins. This geographical fact is important to remember when discussing the Western encroachment on China from the sea during the late imperial period.

Although the mountains and deserts of the west limited contact between early imperial dynasties and other centers of civilization in the Inner Asia, Middle East, South Asia, and Europe, there were some important and notable exchanges of culture. The legendary Silk Road facilitated the exchange of goods and ideas between China and each of these areas. [See Standard 5 for a more detailed discussion of the Silk Road.]

See an outline map of China's mountains and deserts.
// CHINA'S MAJOR RIVERS

China's two major rivers, the Huang He (Yellow River) and the Chang Jiang (Yangzi or Yangtze River), as well as the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) delta system marked by the Xi Jiang (West River) in southeastern China, have provided the framework for agricultural development and population growth throughout China's history.

Another river, the Heilong Jiang (known also as the Amur River, its Russian name) marks the border between China and Russia; at times in the past, this area was one of confrontation between the neighbors.

The drainage basins of China's rivers differ in terms of extent and topography, offering varying opportunities for agricultural development. Because some of China's largest rivers have their source regions on the high Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and drop great distances over their middle and lower courses, China is rich in hydroelectric resources. ... Read more in the Asia for Educators teaching unit, "China's Geography" ...

See an outline map of China's major rivers.

CASE STUDY: VIETNAM
LINK: Stories of Hope: Mekong Delta, Vietnam [Journey to Planet Earth, PBS]
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