Earth Science Final Exam Study Guide

Pangaea
the name given to the early super-continent

continental drift
a hypothesis that Earth’s continents had once been joined as a single landmass

magnetometer
a device that can detect small changes in magnetic fields

paleomagnetism
the study of the magnetic record of the seafloor

magnetic reversal
a change in Earth’s magnetic field

isochron
a line on a map that connects points that have the same age

seafloor spreading
a theory that states the new ocean crust is formed at ocean ridges and destroyed at deep-sea trenches

plate tectonics
a theory that states the Earth’s crust is broken in to enormous slabs called plates

divergent boundaries
places where two tectonic plates

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are moving apart

rift valley
when continental crust begins to separate that stretched crust forms a long narrow depression

transform boundary
place where two plates slide horizontally past each other

convergent boundaries
places where two tectonic plates are moving toward each other

subduction
the process of one plate descending beneath another

ridge push
the weight of the uplifted ridge pushes an oceanic plate toward a trench

slab pull
the weight of the subducting plate helps pull the trailing plate into the subduction zone

Wegener
Proposed the theory of continental drift

flat
scientists thought the seafloor was this?

mid-ocean ridges
new crust is formed at where?

near deep-sea trenches
sediments on the ocean floor are deeper where?

seafloor spreading
discovery that led scientists to eventually accept the theory of continental drift

viscosity
internal resistance to flow

plutons
intrusive igneous rock bodies caused by magma

lava
when magma reaches Earth’s surface

vent
an opening in the Earth’s crust through which magma reaches the surface

crater
a bowl shaped depression at the top of a volcano

caldera
a depression greater than 1 km in diameter at the top of a volcano

shield
type of mountain with broad, gently sloping sides and a nearly circular base

cinder-cone
a type of volcano that forms when material is ejected high into the air and falls back and piles up around the opening

composite
a type of volcano that forms when layers of volcanic fragments alternate with lava

tephra
rock fragments thrown into the air during a volcanic eruption

Pyroclastic
flow that refers to rapidly moving volcanic material sent down a slope during an eruption

Hot spots
unusually hot regions of Earth’s crust where high temperature plumes of mantle material ruse toward the surface

lower
A wet mineral or rock will melt at a ________ temperature?

high
Magma with ________ viscosity is more explosive.

increases
increasing silica content has what effect on the viscosity of magma?

batholiths
large plutons common in the interior mountain chains

stocks
smaller, similar to batholiths

laccolith
mushroom shaped with round top and flat bottom

dikes
cuts across preexisting rocks

sills
magma that intrudes parallel to rock layers

stress
the force per unit area acting on a material

strain
the deformation of materials in response to forces acting on them

focus
the point where an earthquake originates

epicenter
the point on Earth’s surface directly above where an earthquake originates

seismometer
a device that detects and records the vibrations caused by an earthquake

magnitude
a measure of the amount of energy released during an earthquake

Richter
the scale that is based the size of the largest seismic waves produced by an earthquake

tsunami
a large ocean wave generated by vertical motion of the seafloor during an earthquake

seismic gaps
sections of active faults that have not experienced significant earthquakes for a long period of time

faults
fractures in Earth’s crust along which movement occurs

intensity
how much damage the earthquake caused

weathering
the process by which rocks on or near Earth’s surface break down and change

erosion
the removal and transport or weathered material from one location to another

mechanical weathering
the process by which rocks and minerals break down into smaller pieces

frost wedging
the repeated thawing and freezing of water in the cracks of rocks

exfoliation
process by which outer rock layers are stripped away

chemical weathering
the process by which rocks and minerals undergo changes in their composition as the result of chemical reactions

hydrolysis
the reaction of water with other substances

oxidation
the chemical reactions of oxygen with other substances

deposition
the final stage of the erosional process

rill erosion
the erosion by running water in small channels, on the side of a slope

gully erosion
when a channel becomes deep and wide

soil
the loose convering of broken rock particles and decaying organic mater overlying the bedrock of Earth’s surface

residual soil
soil located above parent material

transported soil
soil that has been moved to a new location away from its parent bedrock

soil horizon
a distinct layer within a soil profile

soil profile
the vertical sequence of soil layers

mass movement
the downslope movement of loose sediments and weathered rook resulting from the force of gravity

creep
the slow, steady, downhill flow of loose weathered Earth materials

mudflows
swiftly moving mixtures of mud and water

landslide
a rapid, down slope movement of Earth materials that occur when a relatively thin block of loose soil, rock, and debris separates from underlying bedrock

slump
when the mass of material in a landslide rotates and slides along a curved surface

avalanches
landslides that occur in mountainous areas with thick accumulations of snow

deflation
the lowering of the land surface that results from the wind’s removal of surface particles

abrasion
occurs when particles such as sand rub against the surface of rocks or other materials

ventifacts
rocks shaped by wind-blown sediments

dune
pile of wind-blown sand that develops over time

loess
thick, wind-blown silt deposits

glaciers
a large, moving mass of ice

valley glaciers
glaciers that form in valleys in high, mountainous areas

continental glaciers
glaciers that cover broad, continent-sized areas

cirques
deep depressions

moraines
ridges consisting of till deposited by glaciers

outwash plain
the area at the leading edge of the glacier, where the meltwater streams flow and deposit outwash

drumlins
glaciers that move over older moraines from the material into elongated landforms

eskers
long, winding ridges of layered sediments that are deposited by steams flowing under a melting glacier

wetland
a land area that is covered with water for a large part of the year

eutrophication
process by which lakes become rich in nutrients form the surrounding watershed

lake
a depression in the landscape that collects and holds water

rejuvenation
when a stream actively resumes the process of downcutting toward its base level

meander
a bend or curve in a stream channel caused by moving water

stream bank
the ground bordering the stream on each side

delta
the triangular deposit that forms when a stream enters a large body of water

stream channel
the narrow pathway cut into the sediment or rock by moving water

floodplain
the broad flat area that extends out from the stream bank and is covered by excess water during times of flooding

flood
occurs when water spills out over the sides of a stream’s bans onto the adjacent land

bed load
consists of the sand, pebbles, and cobbles that are pushed or rolled along the bed of a stream

suspension
particles held up by the turbulence of a stream’s moving water

divide
a high land area that separates one watershed from another

watershed
all the land area whose water drains into a stream system

runoff
water flowing downslope along Earth’s surface

hydrosphere
all the water on Earth’s surface

infiltration
the process by which water enters the ground

porosity
the percentage of pore space in a material

water table
the upper boundary of the zone of saturation

permeability
the ability of a material to let water pass through

aquifers
permeable layers through which groundwater flows

cave
a natural underground opening with a connection to Earth’s surface

sinkhole
a depression in the ground caused by the collapse pf a cave or by the dissolution of bedrock

stalagmites
dripstone deposits on the floor of caves

springs
natural discharges of groundwater

geysers
explosive hot springs

drawdown
the difference between the original water table and the water level in a pumped well

recharge
water from precipitation and runoff is added back into the zone of saturation

hot springs
springs with a temperature that is higher than that of the human body

acquicludes
impermeable layers that are barriers to groundwater flow

beach
a sloping band of sand, pebbles, gravel or mud at the edge of the sea

margin
the submerged parts of the continents

turbidity currents
rapid flowing water currents along the bottom of the sea that carry heavy sediment loads

rise
a deposit at the base of the continental slope is called a continental ________.

abyssal plain
the smooth parts of the ocean floor

seamounts
submerged basaltic volcanoes more than 1km high

oceanography
scientific study of oceans

sea level
the level of the oceans’ surface

salinity
a measure of the amount of dissolved salt in seawater

thermocline
the layer of the ocean characterized by rapidly decreasing temperature with depth

crest
the highest point of a wave

wave
a rhythmic movement that carries energy through space or matter

tides
the periodic rise and fall of sea levels

breakers
collapsing waves

trough
the lowest point of a wave

density currents
currents cause by differences in the temperatures and salinity of ocean currents

upwelling
the upward movement of the ocean water

estuary
the area where the lower end of a freshwater river or stream enters the ocean

shelf
the shallowest part of the continental margin extending seaward is the continental _______.

70%
What percentage of Earth’s surface is below sea level?

continental slope
What marks the true edge of a continent?

mud
What do the sediments of the abyssal plain mostly consist of?

Which represents the flattest part of Earth’s surface?
abyssal plains

What is the average salinity of seawater?
35 ppt

Which type of seawater has the greatest density?
cold with high salinity

What is the average depth of the oceans?
3800m

Which are the most common gases emitted by volcanoes?
water vapor and carbon dioxide

Which of the following is used to measure ocean depth?
sonar

What type of high tides occurs during a full moon?
spring tides

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