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STUDY GUIDE FOR INTRODUCTION TO
ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY - KEY
Terms You Should Know
*Environmental Geology - a science which objectively studies geologic information and
applies it to contemporary environmental problems such as pollution, waste management,
resource extraction, natural hazards, and human health.
System – Any entity with a combination of interconnected components
Geologic Hazard – Any geologic process or material that are harmful, hazardous, or costly to
Rapid Onset Geohazard – Events or processes, such as Earthquakes and Flash Floods, that strike
quickly with little warning (e.g., Earthquakes, Flash Flooding, local
Anthropogenic/Human Hazard - Hazards that result from pollution and degradation of the
environment. Examples include acid rain, surface and ground-water
contamination, exposure to hazardous and radioactive wastes, ozone
depletion, and global warming.
Pollution - The unfavorable alteration of the environment by humans.
Recurrence Interval = Average Time between “Major” Events, such as Earthquakes or
Magnitude – The destructive power of a Geologic Process or Hazard.
Sustainability - Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or
indirectly, on our Natural Environment (EPA).
FEMA = Federal Emergency Management Agency
Carrying Capacity is the population capable of being supported by the Earth’s available resources
Doubling Time is the time it takes in years for population to double in size.
General Study Questions - Short and Not So Short
What is "Exponential Population Growth" A term which describes a population increase
determined by a constant percentage increase (for example, 2%) of the current population.
On a graph, be able to distinguish Exponential Growth versus Linear Growth.
On 21 January 2017, how many people inhabit the Earth (to nearest tenth of a billion)
7.3-7.4 billion (currently would round to 7.4 billion) or 7,366,699,400+