Barcelona Field Studies Centre


Accessible: A place which is easy to reach.

Accessibility: How easy a place is to get to.

Active Volcano: A volcano that has erupted recently and is likely to erupt again.

Agriculture: The growing of crops and rearing of animals.

Amenities: services that people find very useful, but are not essential, like swimming pools, libraries, parks, etc..

Arable Farming: A farm or area that only grows crops.

Attractive Countryside: Areas of pleasant scenery such as mountains rivers, lakes and coasts.

Birth Rate: The number of people being born for each 1,000 of the population.

Bridging Point: An easy crossing point where the river narrows or is shallower.

Business Park: New offices built in pleasant surroundings on the edge of cities.

Capital: The amount of money belonging to a country, factory or a person.

Cardinal Points: The four main points of the compass: (N., S., E., W.)

CBD: Central Business District. This is the centre of a town or city where the main roads meet. It has the most shops, offices and high-rise buildings.

Clean-up: A method of getting rid of pollution.

Commercial Centre: Where business activities such as shops and services are concentrated.

Communications: The ways in which people, goods and ideas move from one place to another. It usually refers to roads and railways.

Confluence: Where one river joins another.

Confluence Town: A town that grows where two rivers meet.

Congestion: Overcrowding on roads causing traffic jams.

Conservation: The protection of the environment.

Conservationist: People who care for and look after the environment.

Continent: A large area of land. There are seven continents: North and South America; Asia; Europe; Africa; Australia; Antarctica.

Contour: A line drawn on a map to join places of the same height above sea-level.

Conurbation: Two cities that grow and eventually merge together.

Cross-section: A diagram showing by means of a side view the slopes and heights of the land surface.

Death Rate: The number of people dying per 1,000 of the population.

Defensive Site: A place where a settlement can be easily defended against attack such as on a hilltop or surrounded by water.

Delta: A flat area of deposited river silt found at the mouth of a river.

Densely Populated: An area that is crowded.

Density: A measure of how close together people live in an area.

Deposition: The laying down of material carried by rivers, sea, ice or wind.

Deposition Landforms: Landscape features made up of material that has been deposited by rivers, sea, ice or wind.

Drought: A long spell of dry weather resulting in a serious water shortage.

Dry Point Site: A patch of dry ground which is firm enough to build on. It is often near rivers on higher ground above the level of flood danger.

Earthquakes: A movement or tremor, of the Earth’s surface.

Economic Activity: This is about industry, jobs, earning a living and producing wealth.

Energy: The power to do something to give off heat.

Environment: The natural or physical surroundings where people, plants and animals live.

Erosion: The wearing away and removal of rock, soil, etc, by rivers, sea, ice and wind.

Erosion Landforms: Landscape features resulting from the wearing away of rock.

European Union: A group of European countries working together for the benefit of everyone in the group.

Extinct: No longer be found living on the planet.

Facilities: Services that are people feel are essential such as toilets, heating, telephones etc..

Factories: Places where things are made from natural resources and raw materials.

Fertile: Land or soil where crops can be grown successfully.

Flood Plain: The flat area at the bottom of a valley which is often flooded.

Food Mountains and Lakes: Surplus supplies of farm products that are stored.

Ford: A crossing where the river is shallow.

Fossil Fuels: Fuels from the remains of plants or ancient life.

Frontier (Border): The boundary around a country.

Function: The reason for something to be somewhere. It is its use or purpose such as a port, market, industry or tourism.

Gap: This is a low point along a line of hills or mountains through which roads and railways can pass through.

Gap Town: a town that grows at a gap in the hills.

Goods: Things made by people to sell in a market.

Gradient: The slope of the land.

Green Belt: A protected area of countryside around a city where new building is not allowed to try and stop the spread of a city.

Grid: A grid is a pattern of squares on your map which serve to fix your position. Coordinates will provide numbers that allow you to find a horizontal line and also a vertical line and follow them to the point of intersection, placing you at the bottom left-hand corner (south-west) of a particular grid.

Grid References: Any location in the United Kingdom can be described in terms of its distance from the origin (0,0), which lies to the west of the Scilly Isles. Grid references are always presented in terms of eastings (distance east from the origin) and northings (distance north from the origin). Increasing easting numbers indicate you are heading east; decreasing indicate you are heading west. Increasing northing numbers indicate you are heading north; decreasing indicate you are heading south.

Gross National Product (GNP): The wealth of a country. Its total income divided by its total population.

High Birth Rate: A lot of babies born for each 1000 of the population.

High-tech Industries: Industries using advanced machines and skilled people, e.g. computers and electronics.

Historic Sites: Important old settlements and buildings which are interesting to people.

Human Features/Activities: The actions and results of humans especially where and how people live.

Hydro-electric Power: Energy obtained from using the power of water.

Impermeable: A rock that will not let groundwater pass through it. Clay is a good example.

Income: What a person or country earns or gains in money from working, selling or trading.

Industry: a general term for working and making money.

Industrialised: Using machines and power (energy) to make things.

Infant Mortality Rate: The number of children out of every 1000 born alive that die before they reach the age of one year.

Infertile: Poor soil or land in which crops won’t grow well.

Information Technology (IT): The exchange of ideas and information.

Intensive Farming: Farms which cover small areas but which use either many people or a lot of capital (money). No land is wasted.

Isolated: Difficult to reach. Far from other places.

Labour: Workers, employed people.

Landscape: The scenery. What the land looks like

Less Developed: A poorer area where there are less communications, services and where people have lower living standards.

Life Expectancy: The average number of years a person can expect to live.

Limestone: A pale coloured rock which is permeable and stores water.

Literacy Rate: The number of people in a country who can read and write.

Living Standards: How well people are able to live. It is linked to the amount of money they earn.

Location: Where a place is.

Market: A place where raw materials and goods are sold.

Market Gardening: The growing of fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Meander: A bend in a river.

Mechanised: Work done by machines.

Mediterranean Climate: Places which have hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

Migrant Workers: People who are born in one country and travel to work in another.

Migration: The movement of people from one place to another to live or to work.

Mining: The extraction or digging out of minerals from deep under the ground, e.g. coal, iron ore.

Mouth: The end of a river where it flows into the sea.

Natural Harbour: a safe place for ships where the shape of the coastline provides shelter from the wind and waves.

Natural Resources: Raw materials which are obtained from the environment, e.g. water, coal or fertile soil.

Non-renewable Resources: Resources that can only be used once, e.g. coal, oil.

Ordnance Survey: The official government organisation for producing maps of the UK.

Peak: The top or summit of a hill or mountain.

Peninsula: A narrow piece of land jutting out into the sea.

Permeable: A rock that will allow water to pass through it such as limestone.

Physical Features/Activities: These are the result of natural forces which shape the earth and effect the atmosphere.

Plan: A detailed map of a small area.

Plain: A low flat area.

Plateau: A high flat area.

Political Map: A map which shows countries, their borders and main cities.

Pollution: Noise, dirt and other harmful substances produced by people and machines which spoil an area.

Population Distribution: How people are spread out over an area.

Population Explosion: A sudden rapid rise in the number of people.

Population Growth: The increase in the number of people in an area.

Population Growth Rate: A measure of how quickly the number of people in an area increases.

Port: A place used by ships to load and unload people and goods.

Position: Where a place is.

Poverty: This is where people are poor, have no savings, own very little and often have low living standards.

Power: Energy needed to work machines and to produce electricity.

Primary Activity: Collecting and using natural resources, e.g. farming, fishing, forestry and mining.

Profit: making more than you need to survive.

Prosperous: This is where people are rich and well-off.

Pull Factors: Things that attract people to live in an area.

Push Factors: Things that make people want to leave an area.

Quarry: Where rock is cut from the surface of the land.

Raw Materials: Natural resources which are used to make things.

Recycling: Turning waste into something which is usable again.

Redevelop: To knock everything down and start all over again.

Reservoir: A human made lake which is used to store water supplies, often behind a dam.

Relief: The shape of the land surface and its height.

Residential: A housing area where people live.

Resistant Rock: A hard rock which resists being worn down and stands out as hills.

Resources: Things which can be useful to people. They may be natural like coal and iron ore, or of other value like money and skilled workers.

River Basin: The area drained by a river and its tributaries.

Rural: Countryside.

Rural-to-urban Migration: The movement of people from the countryside to the towns and cities.

Scenery: The appearance or view across the natural landscape.

Scenic: Attractive and interesting view of the landscape.

Seasonal Jobs: Employment that lasts for only part of the year.

Secondary Activities: Where natural resources are made or manufactured in factories into goods.

Services: These are used by people and include shops, schools, buses and hospitals.

Service Industry: This is an industry where a service is provided. It includes cleaners, shop and office workers, police, doctors and train drivers.

Settlement: Where people choose to live.

Settlement Hierarchy: settlements ordered by their size: hamlets, villages, towns, cities, conurbations.

Sheltered Site: A place shielded or protected from stormy weather because it is low-lying or behind a hill.

Silt: Soil left behind after a river floods.

Site: The actual place where a settlement or a building is located.

Situation: The wider area surrounding a settlement.

Slope: This is the angle at which the land is tilted. Slopes can be gentle or steep.

Soil Erosion: The removal of soil by wind or water.

Source: The beginning of a river in the mountains.

Sparsely Populated: An area that has few people living in it.

Spring: This is where water flows out of the ground.

Standard of Living: How well-off a person or a country is.

Subsistence: Growing just enough food for your own needs with nothing left over to sell.

Suburb: An area of housing around the edge of a city.

Technology: New ways of using resources and developing new equipment.

Tourist Attractions: Places where people travel for interest and pleasure.

Trade: The exchange of goods or services.

Transport: Ways of moving people and goods from one place to another.

Transportation: The movement of eroded material by rivers, sea, ice and wind.

Tributary: A small river which flows into the main river.

True North: The direction which points to the North Pole.

Unemployment Rate: The number of people out of work for each 1000 of the population.

Urban: Large area of houses, factories, etc..

Valley: An area of lowland with slopes either side. A river flows along the lowest part.

Vegetation: All kinds of plants including shrubs and trees.

Vineyard: Where grapes are grown to make wine.

Volcano: A cone-shaped mountain made up from lava and ash.

Wildlife Habitats: The homes of plant and animals.