Geography is a science that studies the phenomena that occur on the earth’s surface, including geographical features, ethnic groups, economic activities associated with the land, and the distribution of living species. Main branches of geography
There are many branches of geography and all of them can be grouped into different groups . Next we will see the main branches of this discipline, in addition to learning what they do and what their main objects of study are.
The main branches of geography
Geography is a science that is responsible for studying the phenomena that occur on the earth’s surface . Within its general conception, this discipline analyzes the environments, spaces and inhabitants of the Earth and their interactions, for this reason we can find within its field of study the geographical accidents, rivers, mountains, landscapes, countries, societies, ethnic distribution … .
Since there are many things that geography can study, it is subdivided into several branches which can be grouped into different groups. In addition, being a discipline that touches so many different aspects, it has an integrating nature, drawing on the knowledge and methods of other fields such as biology, geology, history, chemistry, sociology …
As we have commented, there are several branches of geography. These can be grouped according to their field of study, and below we present several geographic branches classified into three main groups : physical geography, biological geography, and human geography.
Physical geography includes every branch of geography that focuses its field of study on the earth’s surface in the physical . That is to say, within physical geography there is any discipline that addresses the natural geographic space and the factors that condition it. The branches within it are intended to explain the Earth in its physical constitution, shape, and natural features. Main branches of geography
Geomorphology was a branch originally developed by geographers and therefore within their discipline. Today it is considered as a science that is halfway between geography and geology and that is responsible for studying the forms of the earth’s surface. Investigate the topographic forms that make up the terrestrial landscape, such as mountains, valleys, plateaus, hills …
Hydrography studies the waters of the earth’s surface, such as rivers, lakes, oceans, and seas . It is also responsible for studying phenomena associated with the flow of water, such as sediments, the formation of rivers, tidal waves, swamps … This science is very important since 70% of the earth’s surface is water.
Glaciology studies the different forms that water has in solid state in nature . Although solid water is commonly known as ice, that is not its only form of presentation. Solid water also comes in the form of snow, sleet, glaciers, hail … Glaciology studies both current natural solid water and that of past eras and geological age.
Climatology is responsible for studying the atmospheric states of a region . Its object of study are the phenomena that occur when a part of the atmosphere contacts a part of the earth’s surface. This field of knowledge obtains information from meteorological data and relying on other branches of physical geography.
Edaphology studies the nature and properties of the soil from various points of view , taking into account the morphology, composition, formation, evolution, classification, conservation, recovery and distribution of the land. Main branches of geography
Biological geography is comprised of several branches, all of them in charge of studying the associations between living beings with the different existing terrestrial environments . That is, it is responsible for studying how plants, animals and other organisms interact and are conditioned with the earth’s surface. The most notable are the following two:
Phytogeography is responsible for analyzing the relationship that exists between different plant species and the terrestrial environment . It studies the habitat of plants and also groups them according to their genetic kinship and adaptability to the geographic environment. This discipline is what allows us to know in which latitudes it is more likely that we will find one type or another of vegetation.
Zoogeography is a lot like phytogeography, only instead of focusing on plants it focuses on animals. It is responsible for studying the geographical distribution of animal species on the earth’s surface and what factors have influenced their dispersal , such as migrations, adaptations and intra- and interspecies competencies.
Human geography studies the causes and effects that have influenced the formation and distribution of human groups on the earth’s surface . It is also in charge of investigating the role of geographical conditions on the human being and how people and the environment have mutually influenced each other, adapting to the environment or destroying it. Main branches of geography
8. Geography of the population
Population geography is a discipline that is responsible for studying human geography in its entirety . Studies aspects of human populations such as their composition, distribution, growth and migratory movements, seeing the existence of human groups as a dynamic phenomenon.
9. Urban geography
Urban geography deals with studying the elements and spaces that make up cities . This branch tries to analyze and look for the relationships that exist within an urban nucleus. It also studies how cities grow both spatially and demographically, what changes are incorporated in a city to make it more beneficial for its inhabitants and the distribution of streets, neighborhoods, parks, commercial areas .
10. Rural geography
Rural geography is in charge of analyzing how rural spaces are made up and how this conditions the economic activities carried out in them. Thus, this branch of geography takes into consideration the agricultural, livestock and commercial uses that are given to the land.
It also addresses the possible technical problems that influence production, how agriculture can harm or be respectful with the environment, changes in rural towns and how this influences the personality and culture of its inhabitants. Main branches of geography
11. Cultural geography
Cultural geography studies the phenomena and processes that occur within human groups , each with its cultural characteristics such as identity, language, traditions, customs and worldview.
Originally this branch was more oriented to the relationships between human beings and the environment in which they lived, but with the passage of time its perspective has changed and now economic and social factors are also taken into account.
12. Political geography
Political geography studies and interprets the relationships that may exist between the territory and the State as well as the growth of a country or changes in its territorial domain. Thus, within this branch we find aspects such as borders, diplomacy between states, strategic invasions, the geographical changes of a country during its history …
13. Economic geography
As its name suggests, economic geography focuses on economic aspects. Study how the combination of natural and spatial factors influences the economic activities of a specific population group or region. In addition, it takes into account aspects such as supply and demand relationships, taking a geographical perspective, that is, analyzing the relationships between consumers and producers in a specific area. Main branches of geography
14. Regional geography
Regional geography focuses on the study of a specific region of the Earth , that is, it delves into the geographical characteristics of a clearly delimited territory. Due to this, the regional geography is, in addition to human, biological, physical, cultural, economic and other characteristics since it is actually a hybrid branch of all the aforementioned. It could be considered to be the application of general geography but limited to a specific piece of the earth’s crust.