chapter notes

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31 Oct 2010
Chapter 5
Hypoxia: the condition of extremely low dissolved oxygen concentrations in a body of water
Eutrophication: the process of nutrient enrichment, increased production of organic matter, and
subsequent ecosystem degradation
Cycles: shape the landscapes and guide the flow of key chemical elements and compounds that support
life and regulate climate
System: network of relationships among parts, elements, or components that interact with/influence
one another through the exchange of energy, matter, or information
Open systems: systems that receive inputs of energy and matter and produce outputs of both
Closed systems: systems that receive inputs and produce outputs of energy but not matter
x Energy inputs to Earth = solar radiation, heat released by geothermal activity, organismal
metabolism, human activities
x Informational inputs = visual, olfactory (chemical), magnetic, thermal signs
x Matter inputs = when chemicals/physical material move along systems
Feedback loop: a systems output serving as an input to that system
Negative feedback loop: output that results from a system moving in one direction acts as input that
moves the system in another direction
Positive feedback loop: drives a system to one extreme rare in nature but common in natural systems
altered by human impact
Dynamic equilibrium: when processes within a system move in opposing directions at equivalent rates
so their effects balance out
Homeostasis: a system to maintain constant or stable internal conditions
Resistance = strength of the system’s tendency to remain constant
Resilience = measure of how readily the system will return to its original state after disrupted
Steady state: a state of dynamic equilibrium or balance in which there is no net change in the system
Emergent properties: characteristics not evident in the components alone
Lithosphere: rock and sediment, planets uppermost layers
x Rocks and minerals rock cycle
x Igneous (magma Æ lava Æ cools into igneous) cooling below surface = intrusive (e.g.
granite), above = extrusive (e.g. basalt)
x Sedimentary (sediments Æ layers + weight and pressure Æ lithification (e.g. limestone))
x Metamorphic (heat + pressure (e.g. marble))
Plate tectonics: a process that underlies earthquakes and volcanoes determining the
geography of Earths surface
Crust floating on top of mantle surrounding the core of iron
Earths internal heat drives convection currents that flow in loops in mantle (up, warms; down,
Movement of plate tectonics influence climate & lifes evolution
Divergent plate boundaries: magma surging upward to the surface divides/pushes plates apart
Transform plate boundary: two plates grinding, creating friction Æ earthquakes
Convergent plate boundaries: 1. Plate of crust may slide beneath another (subduction)
2. two colliding plates may slowly lift material from both plates
Atmosphere: air surrounding our planet
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