What Are the Two Main Branches of Geography?

Geography is usually taught beginning in elementary school.

What Are the Two Main Branches of Geography?

Geography is the study of the Earth that focuses on its land, physical features, and atmosphere, as well as human activities and how they are influenced by the Earth. Geography examines the nature and relative organization of physical places, locations and human societies throughout the globe. It is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography. Geography is considered a discipline that bridges the natural sciences (physical geography) and the social sciences (human geography).

Human Geography

Human geography focuses on understanding the dynamics and behavior of humans and how they interact with the physical world around them. It is a branch of geography that studies the patterns and processes responsible for shaping human societies, and focuses on economic, social, cultural, political and human aspects. Human geography explores how human beings interact with their environment over time and across space.

Human geography can be subdivided into various fields, including historical, cultural, social, urban, political, economic, development, and health geography. Over time, additional sub-categories have been added, such as feminist and behavioral geography.

Physical Geography

Physical geography strives to understand the dynamics of physical landscapes and the environment. Therefore, physical geography studies the natural world, including the lithosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere, atmosphere and biosphere. The discipline can be further divided into a number of fields, including biogeography, climatology, meteorology, coastal geography, landscape ecology, environmental management, glaciology, hydrology, hydrography, oceanography, paleogeography, pedology, quaternary science and oceanography. Hence, physical geography examines how features in the landscape are formed over time, how physical systems develop, as well as the spatial distribution, movement, and unique characteristics of flora and fauna.


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