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STAAR Vocabulary Review

Control

to test or verify (a scientific experiment) by a parallel experiment or other standard of comparison.

Topographic Map

a map showing topographic features, usually by means of contour lines.

Lithosphere

the crust and upper mantle of the earth.

Plate Tectonics

a theory of global tectonics in which the lithosphere is divided into a number of crustal plates, each of which moves on the plastic asthenosphere more or less independently to collide with, slide under, or move past adjacent plates.

Convection Current

the transfer of heat by the mass movement of heated particles into an area of cooler fluid.

Plate Boundary

are found at the edge of the lithospheric plates and are of three types, convergent, divergent and conservative.

Convergent Boundary

a plate boundary where two plates move toward each other.

Divergent Boundary

a plate boundary where two plates move away from each other.

Transform Boundary

a plate boundary where two plates move past each other in opposite directions.

Sea-floor Spreading

when two oceanic plates pull apart, magma rises and new crust is formed.

Magma

molten material beneath or within the earth's crust, from which igneous rock is formed.

Lava

the molten, fluid rock that issues from a volcano or volcanic vent.

Weathering

the various mechanical and chemical processes that cause exposed rock to decompose.

Deposition

process in which sediment is laid down in new locations.

Erosion

the process by which the surface of the earth is worn away by the action of water, glaciers, winds, waves, etc.

Subduction

the process by which collision of the earth's crustal plates results in one plate's being drawn down or overridden by another, localized along the juncture (subduction zone) of two plates.

Metamorphic Rock

A type of rock that forms from an existing rock that is changed by heat, pressure, or chemical reactions.

Igneous Rock

a type of rock that forms from the cooling of molten rock at or below the surface.

Sedimentary Rock

A type of rock that forms when particles from other rocks or the remains of plants and animals are pressed and cemented together.

Rock Cycle

sequence of events in which rocks are formed, destroyed, altered, and reformed by geological processes.

Water Cycle

the continuous process by which water moves from Earth's surface to the atmosphere and back.

Watershed

the region or area drained by a river, stream, etc.; drainage area.

Aquifer

any geological formation containing or conducting ground water, especially one that supplies the water for wells, springs, etc.

Precipitation

the falling to earth of any form of water (rain or snow or hail or sleet or mist).

Condensation

the process of changing from a gaseous to a liquid or solid state.

Percolation

the filtration of a liquid for extraction or purification.

Mechanical/ Physical Weathering

no chemical alteration; just breakdown/disintegration into smaller fragments.

Chemical Weathering

the process in which rock is broken down by changes in its chemical makeup.

Ecosystem

a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment.

Abiotic Factors

the nonliving parts of an ecosystem.

Biotic Factors

the living parts of an ecosystem.

Predator

any organism that exists by preying upon other organisms.

Prey

an animal hunted or seized for food, especially by a carnivorous animal.

Producer

organism that can capture energy from sunlight or chemicals and use it to produce food from inorganic compounds; also called an autotroph.

Consumer

an organism, usually an animal, that feeds on plants or other animals.

Scavenger

an animal or other organism that feeds on dead organic matter.

Detrivore

a scavenger, such as an earthworm, that feeds on dead plant and animal matter.

Parasite

an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, known as the host, from the body of which it obtains nutriment.

Host

a living animal or plant from which a parasite obtains nutrition.

Herbivore

a herbivorous (organism that eats plants) animal.

Carnivore

an animal that eats flesh.

Omnivore

an organism that eats both meat and plants.

Food Web

a community of organisms where there are several interrelated food chains.

Food Chain

a series of steps in which organisms transfer energy by eating and being eaten.

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