5th Grade Landforms Vocabulary

Archipelago 
 A large group or chain of islands; also a
large area of water containing several
islands.  
Bank   The border of any stream.  
Bay 
 Any inlet of an ocean, sea or lake that
extends into the land. A bay is smaller
than a gulf.  
Bayou 
 A slow, sluggish stream that meanders
through lowlands and marshes.  
Beach 
 The shore of an ocean or a lake that is
covered by sand or pebbles.  
Bluff   A steep bank beside a body of water.  
Branch
 
Canyon
 
 A small stream or creek emptying into a
larger stream.
A deep, narrow valley with steep sides,
often with a river flowing through it.  
Cape 
 A narrow piece of land projecting into
the sea.  
Cave 
 A deep, hollowed out area under the
earth's surface.  
Channel 
 1. A narrow strip of water. 2. The deeper
part of a stream or body of water which is
navigable.  
Cliff   The steep, rocky face of a bluff.  
Coast   Land along the ocean.  
Cove 
 A small, sheltered bay in the shoreline of
any body of water.  
Crag 
 A projecting point of rock, usually
perpendicular.  
Crater 
 The bowl shaped opening at the top of a
volcano.  
Delta 
 A deposit of sand, silt, and pebbles that
forms at the mouth of a river.  
Divide   A watershed; a ridge of land.  
Dune 
 A hill or ridge of sand heaped up by the
wind.  
Fjord 
 A deep, narrow inlet of the sea, between
high, rocky banks.  
Foothills   A hilly area at the base of a mountain.  
Glacier 
 A large sheet of ice, usually at high
elevations, which moves slowly over land
or down a valley.  
Gorge 
 A narrow passage between steep
mountains or hills; a steep, rocky ravine.  
Gulf 
 Water bordering on, and laying within, a
curved coastline; usually larger than a bay
and smaller than a sea; sometimes nearly
surrounded by land.  
Hill 
 A raised landform, not as high as a
mountain.  
Inlet   A recess, such as a bay, along a coast.  
Island 
 A body of land completely surrounded by
water.  
Lagoon 
 1. A shallow body of water connected to
the sea by an inlet. 2. Water enclosed by a
narrow strip of land.  
Lake 
 A body of water completely surrounded by
land.  
Mesa 
 A flat topped, rocky hill with steeply
sloping sides.  
Mountain
 
 
Mountain Range 
A natural raised part of the earth's
surface, usually rising more or less abruptly
and has a peak.
 A chain of connecting mountains.  
Ocean 
 Any of the largest connecting bodies of
salt water on the earth's surface; the
Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic Oceans.  
Pass 
 An opening through hills or mountains
used as a route for travel.  
Peak   The pointed top of a mountain.  
Peninsula 
 A piece of land nearly surrounded by
water and attached to a larger area of
land.  
Piedmont 
 An area of rolling land along the foot
of a mountain range.  
Plain   A large, level area of land.  
Plateau 
 A high, flat landform with steep sides.
A plateau is larger than a mesa.  
Pond 
 A body of water surrounded by land,
but smaller than a lake.  
Rapids 
 Part of a stream where the water flows
very swiftly over rocks.  
Reef 
 A ridge of rocks or coral in a body of
water, which lies slightly beneath, or
at, the surface.  
Ridge 
 A long, narrow, conspicuous elevation
of land.  
River 
 A large stream of water that drains and
area of land and flows into another river
or body of water.  
River Mouth 
 The point where a river empties and ends
its course.  
Sandbar 
 A long, narrow bank of sand in a body of
water.  
Sea 
 1. Another word for ocean. 2. A large body
of salt water.  
Shoreline   The edge of a body of water.  
Summit   Highest part of a hill or mountian.  
Tributary 
 A stream or river that flows into another
stream or river.  
Valley 
 An area of land between hills or
mountains.  
Volcano 
 1. A cone shaped mountain formed by lava
and cinders that erupted through a crater.
2. An opening in the earth's surface from
which lava, steam, cinders, gas and rock
fragments are released.  
Waterfall 
 A flow of water falling from a high place
to a low place.  




 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 A beach on the NC shore.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Me on a glacier in the Columbia Icefields.
 
Lake Erie, NY
 
 A mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
 
 Part of a mountain range, taken by Mr. McAvinney.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
 
 
The town of Banff, AB, Canada lies in the Bow River Valley.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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