Chapter 1 – Geology (completed)

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Abyssal Plain
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Very level area of the deep-ocean foor, usually lying at the foot of the continental rise.
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Asthenosphere
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a subdivision of the mantle situated below the lithosphere. this zone of weak material exists below a depth of about 100 kilometers and in some regions extends as deep as 700 kilometers. the rock within this zone is easily deformed
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Astronomy
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the scientrific study of the universe it includes the observation and interpretation of celestial bodies and phenomena
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Atmosphere
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the gaseous portion of a planet; the planet’s envelope of air. One of the traditional subdivisions of earth’s physical environment
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Biosphere
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The totality of life on earth; the parts of solid earth, hydrospere, and atmosphere in which living organisms can be found
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Closed system
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a system that is self-contained with regards to matter- that is, no matter enters or leaves
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continental margin
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that portion of the seafloor adjacent to the continents. it may include the continental shelf, continental slope, and continental rise.
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Continental rise
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the gently sloping surface at the base of the continental slope.
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Continental shelf
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the gently sloping submerged portion of the continental margin, extending from the shoreline to the continental slope.
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Continental slope
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the steep gradient that leads to the deep-ocean floor and marks the seaward edge of the continental shelf.
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Core
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located beneath the mantle, it is the innermost layer of earth. the core is divided into an outer core and an inner core.
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Crust
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the very thin outermost layer of earth
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Deep-ocean basin
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the portion of seafloor that lies between the continental margin and the oceanic ridge system. this region comprises almost 30% of the earth’s surface
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deep-ocean trench
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an elongated depression in the seafloor produced by bending of oceanic crust during subduction
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Earth Science
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the name for all the sciences that collectively see to understand earth. it includes: geology oceanography meterology astronomy
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Earth system science
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an interdisciplinary study that seeks to examine earth as a system composed of numerous interacting parts or sub systems
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Environment
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everything that surrounds and influences and organism
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geologic time scale
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the division of earth history into blocks of time-eons, eras, periods and epochs. the time scale was created using relative dating principles.
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geology
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the science that examines earth, its form and composition, and the changes it hass undergone and is undergoing
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geosphere
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the solid earth, the largest of earth’s 4 major spheres
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hydrosphere
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the water portion of our planet; one of the traditional subdivisions of earth’s physical environment
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hypothesis
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a tentative explanation that is tested to determine if it is valid
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inner core
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the solid innermost layer of earth about 1.300 kilometers (800miles) in radius
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interface
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a common boundary where different parts of a system interact
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lithosphere
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the rigid outer layer of earth including the crust and upper mantle.
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lithospheric plate
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a coherent unit of earth’s rigid outer layer that includes the crust and upper unit
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lower mantle
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the part of the mantle that extends from the core-mantle boundary to a depth of 660 kilometers
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mantle
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the 2.900 kilometer -(1,800 miles) thick layer of earth located below the crust.
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meterology
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the scientific study of the atmosphere and atmosphereic phenomena; the study of weather and climate
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nebular theroy
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the basic idea that the sun and planets formed fromt he same cloud of gas dust in interstellar space
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negative feedback mechanism
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a feedback mechanism that tends to maintain a system as it is- that is, matintain the status quo
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oceanic (mid-ocean) ridge
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a continuous elevated zone on the floor of all the major ocean basins and varying in width from 500-5,000 kilometers (300-3,000 miles). the rifts at the crests of ridges represent divergent plate boundaries
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oceanography
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the scientific study of the oceans and oceanic phenomena
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open system
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one in which both matter and energy flow into and out of the system. most natrual systems are of this type
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outer core
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a layer beneath the mantly about 2,200 kilometer (1,364 miles) thick that has the properties of a liquid
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physical environment
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the part of the environment that encommpasses water, air, soil, and rock, as well as conditions such as temperature, humidity, and sunlight.
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plate tectonics
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the theory that proposes that earth’s outer shell consists of individual plates that interact in various ways and thereby produce earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains and the crust itself.
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positive feedback mechanism
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a feedback mechanism that enhances or drives change
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seamount
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an isolated volcanic peak that rises at least 1,000 meters (3,000 feet) above the deep ocean floor
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shield
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a large, relatively flat expanse of ancient metamorphic rock within the stable continental interior
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stable platform
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the part of the craton that is mantled by relatively undeformed sedimentray rocks and underlain by a basement complex of igneous and metamorphic rocks
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system
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any size group of interacting part that form a complex whole
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theroy
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a well-tested and widely accepted view that explains certain observable facts
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List the sciences that make up earth science
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Oceanography, meterology, asstronomy Principles, and application of: Physics, chemistry, biology
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Name the 2 broad subdivisions of geology
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Physical and Historical
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What is the difference bewteen Physical and historical geolgoy
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Physical: examines materials compsing earth and it’s processes Historical: seeks to understand the origins and development
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what are the sciences that collectively make up earth sciences
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oceanography, meterology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology
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List at least for phenomena that can be regarded as natural hazards
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volcanoes, floods, tsunami, earthquakes, landslides, and hurricanes
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What are some examples of interactions between people and the natural environment
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clearing forests, building cities, and constructing dams
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scientific method definition and steps
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a logical approach to solving problems by observing and collecting data, formulating hypotheses, testing hypotheses, and formulating theories that are supported by data. 1) a question is raised. 2) scientific data are collected that relate to question 3) questions are posed that relate to the data and one or more hypotheses are developed that may answer the questions 4) observation and experiments are developed to test the hypotheses 5) the hypotheses are accepted, modified, or rejected based on extensive testing 6) data and results are shared with the scientific community for critique and further testing
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difference bewteen scientific theory and a hypothesis
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hypothesis: untested, unaccepted answers to specific questions Scientific theory: tested and retested and generally accepted by scientific community.
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How old is earth
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4.6 billion years
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List two examples of size/space scales in earth science that are at opposite end of the spectrum
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size of an atom — size of the galaxy formation of lighting — formation of a rock
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Scientific Law
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is a basic principle that describes a particular behavior of nature that is generally narrow in scope and can be stated briefly. Proved time and time again to be consistent with obsrevations and measurments
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What is a light year
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is the distance light travels in one earth year. about 9.5 trillion kilometers
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what is the formation of our solar system called
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Big Bang Theory
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Steps of the Big Bang Theory
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1) the birth of our solar system which began as a cloud of dust and gas called a nebula, started to gravitationally collapse 2) the nebula contracted into a rotating disk that was heated by the conversion of gravitational energy into thermal energy 3) colling of the nebular cloud caused rocky and metallic materal to condense into tiny solid particles 4) repeated collisions caused the dust-size particles to gradually coalesce into asteroid-size bodies. within a few million years these bodies acreted into the planets
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What are the inner planets
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mercury, venus, earth and mars
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What are the outer planets
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Jupiter, saturn, uranus, and neptune
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What are the outer planets mainly composed of
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ice, water, carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane and rock and metallic debris
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what are the inner planets composed of
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silicon, calcium, sodium
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what are the 4 major spheres of earth
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hydrosphere atmosphere geosphere biosphere
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compare the height of the the atmosphere to the thickness of the geospehere:
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the atomosphere is approx. 20km and the earth from crust to core is 6,400
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how much of the earth’s surface do oceans cover?
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71%
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how much of the planet’s total water supply do oceans represent
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97%
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list the 4 \”sphere’s\” and define
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Atmosphere – shallow when compared to the earth crust to core. hydrosphere – all the water (71% of the earth) biosphere – ALL life on the earth and in the sunlit portion of the earth geosphere – everything from crust to core.
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list the earth’s compositional layers
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Upper Mantle – 1) lithosphere – solid (100km) includes crust 2) Asthenosphere – solid but mobile (till 660 km deep) Lower Mantle – solide (to about 2890 km deep) Outer core – liquid ( to about 5150 km deep) Inner Core – solid ( to about 6371 km deep)
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difference between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere
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Lithosphere – is solid firm earth that does not move. includes the crust Asthenospere – is a solid but has mobility and allows the lithosphere to glide along
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what are the lithospheric plates
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are plates that include an entire continent and great portion of the sea floor.
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list the 3 types of boundaries that separate plates
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convergent boundary – one plate goes under another divergent boundary – plates pull apart transform fault – nothing is created or dystroyed, just slide past
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describe the general distribution of earth’s youngest mountains
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pacific belt
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what is the difference between shield and stable platforms
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shields are enormous flat regions Stanle platforms are mostly flat but are warped to form large basins or domes
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what are the 3 major regions of the ocean floor and some features associated with each regions
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continental margins – shelf, slope, and rises. are adjacent to landmasses deep ocean basins – abyssal plain, trenches, and seamounts oceanic (mid-ocean) ridges – belts that resemeble baseball stetches one can reach up to 70,000km
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how is an open system different from a closed system
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everything from heat and energy to matter flow freely in and out of an open system. But a closed system means that heat and energy may move freely but matter does not.
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contrast positive and negative feeback mechanisms
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negative feedback such as sweating to maintain a normal body temperature. Whereas postive feedback mechanisms drive change.
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what are the 2 sources of enregy for the earth system
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sun that drives the external processes that occur in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and at the earth’s surface heat from the earth’s interior – heat that remains from when the planet was formed which powers the internal processes that produce volcanoes, earthquakes and mountains
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Review card 1:
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Earth science is the name for all the sciences that collectvely seek to understand earth and its neighbors in space. it includes geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astrongomy. geology is traditionally divided into 2 broad areas: physical and historical
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Review card 2:
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the relationship between people and the natural environment is an important focus of earth science. this includes natural hazards,k resources, and human influences on earth processes
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Review card 3:
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All science is based on the assumption that the natural world behaves in a consistent and predictable manner. The process by which scientists gather facts through observation and careful measurement and formulate scientific hyptheses and theories is called the scientific method. to determine what is occurring in the natural world, scientists often (1) pose questions about the natural world and collect facts that relate to these quedstions (2) ask questions and develop hypotheses that may answer these questions (3) develop observations and experiments to test the hypotheses (4) accept, modify, or reject hypotheses on the basis of extensive testing. (5) share results with the broader scientific community. other discoveries represent purely theoretical ideas that have stood up to extensive examination. still other scientific advancements have been made when totatlly unexpected happening occured during and experiment.
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Review card 4:
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one of the challenges for those who study earthis great variety of space and time scales. the geologic time scale subdivides the 4.6 billion years of earth histroy into various units.
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Review card 5:
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The nebular theory describes the formation of the solar system. The planets and the sun began forming about 5 billions years ago from a large cloud of dust and gases. As the cloud contracted, it began to rotate and assume a disk shape. Material that was gravitationally pulled toward the center became the protosun. Within the rotating disk, small centers, called planetesimals, swept up more and more of the cloud’s debris. Because of their high temperatures and weak gravitational fields, the inner planets were unable to accumulate and retain many of the lighter components. Because of the very cold temperatures existing far from the sun, the large outer planets consist of huge amounts of the lighter materials. these gaseous substances account for the comparatively large sizes and low desities of the outter planets
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Review card 6:
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Earth’s physical environment is traditionally divided into 3 major parts: the solid earth or geosphere; the water portion of our planet the hydrosphere; and earth’s gaseous envelope the atmosphere. in addition, the biosphere, the totality of life on earth, interacts with each of the 3 physical realms and is an equally integral part of eath.
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Review card 7:
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Earth’s internal structure is divided into layers based on differences in chemical composition and on the basis of changes in physical properties. compositionally, Earth is divided into a thin outer crust, a solid rocky mantle, and a dense core. other layers, based on physical properties include the lithosphere, asthenosphere, lower mantle, outer core, and inner core
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Review card 8:
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2 principal divisions of earth’s surface are the continents and ocean basins. A significant difference is their relative levels. The elevation differences between continents and ocean basins is primarily the result of differences in their respective desities and thicknesses
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Review card 9:
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The largest features of the continents can be divided into 2 categories: mountain belts and the stable interior. the ocean floor is divided into 3 major topographic units; continental margins, deep-ocean basins, and oceanic(mid-ocean) ridges.
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Review card 10:
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Although each of the Earth’s 4 spheres can be studied separately, they are all related in a complex and ontinuously interacting whole that we call the earth system. eath system science uses an interdisciplinary approach to inegrate the knowledge of several academic fields in the study of our planet and its global environmental problems.
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Review card 11:
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A system is a group of interacting parts that form a complex whole. Closed systems are those in which energy moves feely in and out, but matter does not enter or leave the system. in an open system, both energy and matter flow into and out of the system.
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Review card 12:
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the 2 sources of energy that power the earth system are (1) the sun, which drives the external processes that occur in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and at Earth’s surface, and (2) Heat from the Earth’s interior, which powers the internal processes that produce volcanoes, earthquakes, and mountains.

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