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Branches of geography and what each one studies

Geography is the science that is responsible for the study of phenomena that occur on the earth’s surface as a whole. This science analyzes both the division of the territory and the societies and cultures that inhabit it, as well as geographical accidents, rivers, mountains, landscapes, climates, etc.

The number of aspects that this science encompasses is so wide that it has been necessary to divide it into different groups, depending on their content, which in turn are subdivided into other sub-disciplines. Do you want to know more about the details of this division? In AgroCorrn, we explain the different branches of geography and what each one studies .

Types and branches of geography

By way of summary, we can say that geography is divided into several types or branches and each of them in more specializations. These are the main branches of geography:

  • Physical geography
  • Biological geography
  • Human geography
  • Astronomical geography
  • Mathematical geography

Next, we indicate the specializations of the branches of geography and what each one studies.

Physical geography and its specialties

As its name indicates, Physical Geography studies those patterns that occur in the physical environment, atmosphere , hydrosphere and geosphere , so that each physical phenomenon gives rise to its own specialty:

  • Geomorphology: studies the shapes of the earth’s surface, such as mountains, valleys, and plains.
  • Geomorphogenesis: studies the internal and external processes that originate the forms found on the earth’s surface.
  • Geology: studies the composition and structure of the earth, as well as its evolution. Learn more about Geography and its branches here.
  • Geogeny: study the origin and formation of our planet.
  • Petrology: study rocks, their origin and composition.
  • Lithology: studies the structure and arrangement of rocks, particularly sedimentary ones.
  • Edaphology: studies the soil, its nature, properties and relationship with the environment, from a physical, chemical and biological point of view.
  • Pedology: studies the formation of the soil and its characteristics.
  • Speleology: study underground cavities, caves and caverns.
  • Hydrology: studies both surface and underground water of the continents, their properties, distribution, movements and use.
  • Crenology: studies medicinal waters, their mineral properties, composition, formation and temperature.
  • Oceanography: study the oceans and seas, phenomena, marine fauna and flora.
  • Potamology: study river hydrology.
  • Limnology: studies the aquatic ecosystems of the continents, such as lakes, lagoons, rivers and ponds.
  • Glaciology: studies the forms that water acquires in a solid state, glaciers, snow and hail, among others.
  • Climatology: studies the different types of existing climate, their distribution and variations over time.
  • Aerology: studies the upper layers of the atmosphere, condensation, radiation and thermodynamic state.

Biological geography and its branches, specializations and related sciences

It studies the location of living beings on the earth’s surface and the conditions in which they develop, determining, for example, the distribution area of ​​a species, its history, its evolution and even the causes that can cause it to become extinct. This branch of Geography , called Biological Geography , is divided into:

  • Biology: studies living beings from different perspectives, their physiology, morphology, behavior and reproduction, trying to determine their structure and functional dynamics. Learn more about the Branches of biology and what they study in this other AgroCorrn article.
  • Botany: studies plants in all their aspects, physiology, morphology, distribution, relationships with other living beings and their effects on the environment in which they are found.
  • Ecology: studies the relationship and interaction of living beings with each other and with the environment and the effects they produce, influencing, for example, their distribution and behavior.
  • Zoology: studies animals, their morphological and anatomical description, their functioning, their way of life, feeding, reproduction and development, their behavior and distribution.

Human geography

It studies the distribution of the human being on the earth’s surface, its influence and the effects produced by its interaction with the environment at a social, political and economic level. The human geography is divided into:

  • Anthropology: studies the human being, the anatomy and functioning of his body and his cultural and social behavior.
  • Demography: studies the grouping in populations of humans within a given region along with its structure, dimension it occupies, evolution and general characteristics.
  • Ethnography: studies the culture and behavior of the human being, language, traditions and customs, which define their identity and lifestyle.
  • Geopolitics: studies the birth of a State, its growth, evolution and dynamics.
  • Sociology: studies human society, its structure, operation and phenomena that occur as a result of their interaction.

Astronomical geography

Study the behavior of planet Earth as a star and how it relates to other celestial bodies. The astronomical geography is composed of different specialties:

  • Astronomy: study the stars of the universe, planets, satellites, comets, stars and meteorites, their movements and the phenomena associated with them.
  • Actinology: studies the light and radiation of the stars, and their chemical and biological effects on living beings.
  • Astrophysics: studies the physics of celestial bodies, the formation of the stars and the evolution of the universe through laws and formulas.
  • Cosmogony: studies the formation of the stars, in particular, those that are part of the solar system.
  • Cosmology: study the laws of the universe in its entirety, history, origin, structure and evolution.
  • Cosmonautics: studies space navigation outside the atmosphere, from a scientific and technical point of view.

Mathematical geography

It contemplates the study of the surface of the Earth and its relationship with the universe through mathematical processes through its dimensions, magnitudes, shapes and characteristics. The Mathematical Geography is divided into:

  • Cartography: studies the dimensions of the earth and reflects them on maps and geographic plans and globes.
  • Chronology: study the succession of time and determine the order of dates and historical events.
  • Geodesy: study the shape of the planet earth, its gravity field and its variations over time.
  • Topography: study the details of the earth’s surface and the characteristics of the relief.

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