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GEology 1002 Chapter 1 Review

Course Code
GEOL 1002

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Key Terms and Concepts
Asthenosphere: the weak ductile layer of rock that constitutes the lower part of the
upper mantle (below the lithosphere) and over which the lithospheric plates slide
Climate: the average conditions of Earth’s surface environment and their variation
Climate system: the global geosystem that includes all of the components of the
Earth system and all the interactions among these components needed to
determine climate on a global scale and how it changes over time
Convection: the mechanical transfer of heat energy that occurs as a heated material
expands, rises, and displaces cooler material, which is itself heated and rises to
continue the cycle
Core: the dense central part of Earth below the core-mantle boundary, composed
principally of iron and nickel
Crust: The thin outer layer of earth, averaging from about 8 km thick under the
oceans to about 40 km thick under the continents, consisting of relatively low-
density silicates that melt at relatively low temperatures
Earth System: The collection of Earth’s open, interacting, and often overlapping
Fossil: A trace of an organism that has been preserved in the geologic record
Geodynamo: the global geosystem that produces Earth’s magnetic field, driven by
convection in the outer core
Geologic Record: Information about geological events and processes that has been
preserved in rocks as they formed at various times throughout earth’s history
Geology: The Branch of Earth science that studies all aspects of the planet: its
history, its composition and internal structure, and its surface features
Geosystem: A subsystem of the Earth system that produces specific types of
geologic activity
Inner Core: The central part of the Earth below a depth of 5150 km, consisting of a
solid sphere, composed of iron and nickel, suspended within the outer core
Lithosphere: The strong rigid shell of Earth that comprises the crust and the
uppermost part of the mantle down to an average depth of about 100 km
Magnetic field: the region of influence of a magnetized body or an electric current
Mantle: the region that forms the main bulk of Earth between the crust and core,
containing rocks of intermediate density, mostly compounds of oxygen with
magnesium, iron, and silicon
Outer core: The layer of the earth extending from the core-mantle boundary to the
inner core, at depths of 2890-5150 km, composed of molten iron and nickel and
minor amounts of lighter elements, such as oxygen or sulfur
Plate Tectonic System: The global geosystem that includes the convecting mantle
and its overlying mosaic of lithospheric plates
Principle of Uniformitarianism: A principle stating that the processes we see in
action on Earth today have worked in much the same way throughout the geologic
Scientific Method: A general procedure, based on systematic observations and
experiments, by which scientists proposed and test hypotheses that explain some
aspect of how the physical universe works
Seismic Wave: A ground vibration produced by an earthquake
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