Physical Geology textbook terms.doc

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Environmental Science

Physical Geology Textbook terms Quiz 1 Chapter 1 accretion: the process of building large bodies of matter through collisions and gravitational attraction asthenosphere: a region of the Earth's outer shell beneath the lithosphere. The asthenosphere is of indeterminate thickness and behaves physically core: the central zone of the Earth cross-section: a representation of a portion of the earth in a vertical plane crust: the outer layer of rock, forming a then skin over the earth's surface differentiation: separation of different ingredients from an originally homogenous mixture Earth system: a small part of the larger solar system that has its own component parts, or subsystems: the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and the geosphere exploration geologist: geoscientists who work for exploration companies looking for gold, silver, or diamonds geology: the scientific study of the planet earth geomatician: a geoscientist who collects, organizes, analyzes and creates images from spatial and geographic data available in digital form geoscientist: a professional who deals with environmental problems from the finding and managing of drinking water to managing radioactive waste hypothesis: a tentative theory igneous rock: a rock formed or apparently formed from solidification of magma Jovian planets: planets that have low densities: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune lithospheric plates: large pieces of the earth's surface that move over the asthenosphere and interact with each other at plate boundaries magma: molten rock, usually mostly silica. The liquid may contain dissolved gases as well as some solid minerals mantle: a thick shell of rock that separates the earth's crust above from the core below metamorphic rock: a rock produced by metamorphism nebula: a large volume of interstellar gas and dust outgassing: occurs when water and gaseous elements are released during volcanic eruptions Pangea: a supercontinent that broke apart 200 million years ago to form the present continents peridotite: a plutonic rock composed mostly of olivine with little or no feldspar planetismals: smaller, irregularly shaped planets prokaryotes: microorganisms that are the earliest forms of preserved in the geologic record rock cycle: a theoretical concept relating tectonism, erosion, and various rock-forming processes to the common rock types scientific method: a means of gaining knowledge through objective procedures sedimentary rock: rock that has formed from (1) lithification of any type of sediment, (2) precipitation from solution, or (3) consolidation of the remains of plants or animals stromatolites: mound-like organic structures formed by the trapping of sediment particles by prokaryotic bacteria. These are some of the oldest fossils on earth terrestrial planets: planets that are small, dense and rocky: Mercury, Venus, earth, and Mars Testing Your Knowledge Use the questions below to prepare for exams based on this chapter. 1.What historical events/changes caused the rapid expansion of our geologic knowledge? What were early geologists looking for?  2.How has the profession of geoscience changed in the past 100 years? Which geoscience specialization deals with the formation and makeup of rocks?  Petrologists deal with the formation and makeup of rocks 3.What is the scientific method? Explain how it works and how you use it in your everyday life.  Scientific method – the method in which scientists first identify a problem. Then they select an methodology to collect data in order to help solve the problem. Having collected the data they then analyze and interpret the information, possibly using maps or computer graphic tools and come up with a solution. Using the data that are appropriate to solve the problem, the geologists creates a hypothesis 4.What are the main issues in environmental geoscience in your part of the country? 5.How did the Earth accumulate enough heat to melt and allow differentiation to occur? Explain how differentiation shaped the internal structure of the Earth.  Heat generated by accretion of debris and gravitational compression of the growing eath anf from decay of radioactive isotopes allowed the planet to melt. Under such condition, the heavier materials such as iron and nickel settled toward the planet's centre, while lighter materials such as silica and oxygen rose toward the Earth's surface. This process of zonation of different materials within a planet is termed differentiation. (look up core) 6.What are the relationships among the mantle, the crust, the asthenosphere, and the lithosphere? 7.The largest zone of Earth’s interior by volume is the a. crust b. mantle c. outer core d. inner core 8.The lithosphere is a. the same as the crust b. the layer beneath the crust c. the crust and uppermost mantle d. only part of the mantle 9.How old is the universe as we know it today? Compare this to the age of the solar system and to the age of the Earth. 10.What is the rock cycle? Explain why it is a simplification of the real processes at work. Chapter 2 anamoly: a deviation from average readings of magnetic strength aseimic ridge: submarine ridge with which no earthquakes are associated asthenosphere: definition above continental drift: a concept suggesting that continents move over the earth's surface convection: a very slow circulation of a substance driven by differences in temperature and density within that substance convergent plate boundary: a boundary between two plates that are moving toward each other divergent plate boundary: boundary separating two plates moving away from each other guyots: flat-topped seamount island arc: a curved line of islands lithosphere: the rigid outer shell of the earth, 70 to 125 or more km thick magmatic arc: a line of batholiths or volcanoes. Generally the line, as seen from above, is curved magnetic polarity time scale: records the pattern of magnetic reversals over time magnetic reversals: a change in the earth's magnetic field is greatest and where the magnetic lines of force appear to leave or enter the earth magnetometer: an instrument that measures the strength of the earths magnetic field mantle plume: narrow column of hot mantle rock that rises and spreads radially outward mid-oceanic ridge: a giant mountain range that lies under the ocean and extends around the world normal polarity: a period (such as the present) when magnetic lines of force flow from the south pole to the north pile and compass needles point to the north oceanic trench: a narrow, deep trough parallel to the edge of a continent or an island arc orogeny: an episode of intense deformation of the rocks in a region, generally accompanied by metamorphism and plutonic activity palomagnetism: a study of ancient magnetic fields plate: a large, mobile slab of rock making up part of the earth's surface plate tectonics: a theory
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