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79 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
The study of Earth; focuses on describing our planet's composition, behavior, and history; also called "geoscience"
the assumption that the natural processes operating in the past are the same as those that can be observed operating in the present;
the idea that Earth has been affected by sudden, short-lived, violent events that were sometimes worldwide in scope
a scale that describes the intervals of geologic time.
geologic time scale
the last 542 million years
the time >542 million years ago
the span of time since the formation of the earth
geologic time
an envelope of gas consisting overall of 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen with minor amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, methane, ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide, that surrounds the Earth.
the surface water of Earth, along with groundwater and water vapor in the atmosphere
the relatively rigid, nonflowable, outer 100- to 150-km-thick layer of the earth; constitutin ghte crust and the top part of the mantle
the layer of the mantle that lies between 100-150 km and 350 km deep; is relatively soft and can flow when acted on by force
variations in elevation
carbon-containg compounds that either occur in living organisms, or have characteristics that resemble compounds in living organisms, are called organic chemicals
Organic chemicals
a solid substance in which atoms are arranged in an orderly pattern
a solid in which atoms are not arranged in an orderly pattern
aggregates of mineral crystals or grains, and masses of natural glass
an accumulation of loose mineral grains
solids composed of metal atoms
form when solid materials become hot and transform into a liquid
materials that easily transform into gases at the relatively low temperatures found at the Earth's surface
ground shaking due to the sudden breaking of rocks in the earth
a fracture on which sliding occurs
the rate of change in temperature with depth
geothermal gradient
the idea that continents have moved and are still moving slowly across the Earth's surface.
continental drift
the gradual widening of an ovean basin as new oceanic crust forms at a mid-ovean ride axis and then moves away from the axis
sea-floor spreading
the process by which one oveanic plate bends and sinks down into the asthenosphere eneath another plate
the region along a convergent boundary where one plate sinks beneath another.
subduction zone
the theory that the outer layer of the earth consists of separate plates that move with respect to one another
plate tectonics
the record of ancient magnetism preserved in rock
the supposed position of the earth's magnetic pole in the past, with respect to a particular continent.
a path on the globe along which a magnetic pole appears to have wandered over time; in fact, the continecnts drift, while the magnetic pole stays fairly fixed.
apparent polar-wander path
a broad, relatively flat region of the ocean that lies at least 4.5 km below sea level.
abyssal plain
a 2-km-high submarine mountain belt that forms along a divergent oceanic plate boundary
mid-ocean ridge
a deep elongate trough bordering a volcanic arch; a trench defines the trace of a convergent plate boundary
a curving chain of active volcanoes formed adjacent to a convergent plate boundary
volcanic arc
the difference between the expected strength of the earth's magnetic field at a certain location and the actual measured strenth of the field at that location.
magnetic anomaly
a boundary at which two lithosphere plates move apart from each other; they are marked by mid-ocean ridges
divergent plate boundary
a boundary at which two plates move toward each other so that one plate sinks beneath the other; only oceanic lithosphere can subduct
convergent plate boundary
a boundary at which one lithosphere plate slips laterally past another
transform plate boundary
the cloud of suspended minerals formed where hot water spews out of a vent along a mid-ocean ridge; the dissolved sulfide components of the hot water instantly precipitate when the water mixes with seawater and cools
black smokers
a point where three lithosphere plate boundaries intersect
triple junction
a location at the base of the lithosphere, at the tope of a mantle plume, where temperatures can cause meltine
hot spot
a column of very hot rock rising up through the mantle
mantle plume
a linear belt in which continental lithosphere undergoes rifting, or pulls apart
continental rift
the study of minerals, fascinates professionals and amateurs alike
homogeneous, naturally occuring, solid substance with a definable chemical composition and an internal structure characterized by an orderly arrangement of atoms in a crystalline structure.
the same through and through; cannot be physically broken into simpler components
true minerals form by geological processe, not by the activity of humans
naturally occuring
a form of matter that can amintain its shape indefinitely
a single, continuous piece of a crystalline solid, typically bounded by flat surfaces called crystal faces that grow naturally as the mineral forms
the way in which atoms are packed
crystal structure
two different minerals that have the same composition buy different crystals structures
the pattern of atoms or ions in a mineral
the color of a powder produced by pulverizing the mineral
the way a mineral surface scatters light
measure of the relative ability of a mineral to resist scratching
the density of a mineral
specific gravity
a vent at which melt rom inside the earth spews onto the planet's surface
molten rocks beneath the earth's surface
rock that forms when hot molten rock cools and freezes solid
igneous rock
rock that forms at or near the surgace of the earth by the cementing together of loose grains nbroken off prexisting rock
sedimentary rock
the processes that break up and corrode solid rock
a rock that forms from a preexisting rock
metamorphic rock
a preexisting rock
the process of forming metamorphic rock
the place within the earth where rock ruptures and slips. or the place where the exposion occurs
hypocenter (focus0
the point on the surface of the earth that lies directly above the focus
compressional body waves
shear body waves
surface waves that cause the ground to ripple up and down
surface waves that cause the gournd to ripple back and forth, creating a snake-like pattern
defines the intensity of an earthquake by the amount of damage it causes
Mercalli intensity scale
Question 1 of 3: Physicists have concluded which of the following concerning element formation?
Hydrogen and helium formed during the big bang, but heavier elements formed later, by fusion reactions in stars.
Question 2 of 3: The carbon atoms that now form your body . . .
formed by stellar nucleosynthesis.
Question 3 of 3: Which statement represents the favored geological theory describing the formation of the Earth?
. The Earth formed by the coalescence of planetesimals that occurred in a ring orbiting the Sun
Elements with more mass pulled toward the center of the planet- a mechanical process
Definition: chemical separation by partial melting and outgassing of volatiles
Crust-Mantle Boundary