Learning outcomes of the course unit
The porpouse of the first part of the course is to provide the basic knowledge of the physical phenomena of the atmosphere in order to explain the different climatic conditions that characterize the earth’s surface. Therefore the heart’s rotation around its axis and the revolution around the sun are considered in order to justify the different seasonal insolation at different latitudes. Then the structure of the atmosphere, the main meteorological phenomena and their distribution on the earth’surface are examinated. All these knowledges allow to analyze the two main systems of climate classification: the empirical-quantitative system of W. Koppen and the genetic-qualitative system of A. N. Strahler.
In the second part of the course, mainly developed through exercises, the basic informations on the use of topographic maps are given.
Course contents summary
The earth’s shape: sphere, ellipsoid, geoid.
The earth’s rotation: linear and angular velocity; Guglielmini and Foucault experiments.
The earth’s revolution.; characteristics of the orbit; first and second laws of Keplero.
The effects of the inclination of the earth’s axis: solstices and equinoxes; sunrise and sunset time;
length of day and night; sun elevation and declination; apparent sun’s path; twilight.
The time: local and standard time; the world time zones.
The day: sideral day; apparent and mean solar day; apparent and mean solar time; equation of time; analemma.
The atmosphere: atmosphere structure and composition; atmospheric pressure and temperature; the magnetosphere.
The solar radiation; electromagnetic radiation spectrum; solar constant; insolation distribution on the earth; radiation balance.
The air temperature; measure of temperature; temperature on continental and oceanic environment; daily and annual temperature cycles; world distribution of temperatures.
The atmospheric pressure; measurement of pressure; isobaric surface; isobar; pressure gradient.
The wind; convective circulation; the Coriolis force; geostrophic and cyclostrophic winds; cyclone and anticyclone; friction and surface wind; measurement of the wind; surface wind systems; global atmospheric circulation; monsoons; jet streams.
The atmospheric moisture; absolute, specific and relative humidity; dew point temperature; measurement of humidity; condensation; clouds and precipitations; measurement of precipitations; conditions producing precipitations.
The air masses, fronts and storms; classification of air masses; air-mass source regions; cold, warm, stationary, occluded fronts; characteristics and evolution of the cyclones of the middle latitudes; tropi cal cyclones; tornadoes.
The climate classifications: W. Koppen and A. N. Strahler systems; classification criteria and world distribution.
The map classification: general and thematic maps.
The map projections: azimuthal, conic, cylindrical; modified, conventional, interrupted.
The geographic grid: longitude and latitude.
Field and aerial mapping.
The italian cartography.
The UTM and Gauss-Boaga systems.
The GPS (Global Positioning System).
The magnetic declination.
The topographic map symbols.
The relief portrayal: contour lines, spot heigths, altitude tinting, shaded relief, slope angle.
The topographic and the stream longitudinal profiles.
The drainage basin divide.
The cartography of Emilia-romagna region.
The numerical cartography.
A.N. STRAHLER:"Geografia Fisica", PICCIN, Padova (1984).
S.PEREGO:"Cartografia . Lettura delle Carte Topografiche (2003).
A.N.STRAHLER:"The Earth Sciences",Harper&Row, (1971).
L.ARUTA, P.MARESCALCHI:"Cartografia:lettura delle carte",Flaccovio, Palermo (1983).