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281 terms

Earth Science Ch.13: Climate Comprehensive Vocabulary

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atoll
ring-shaped coral reef around a lagoon
barrier reef
coral reef that forms around a sunken volcanic island
continental shelf
part of a continent that slopes gently away from the shoreline
continental slope
part of a continent between the continental shelf and the ocean floor
coral
small animals found in warm, shallow ocean waters
Coriolis effect
bending of Earth's winds and ocean currents by Earth's rotation
crest
highest point on an ocean wave
current
stream of water flowing in the oceans
density current
stream of water that moves up and down in ocean depths
ebb tide
outgoing, or falling tide
flood tide
incoming, or rising tide
fringing reef
coral reef that is directly attached to a shore
guyot
flat-topped, underwater seamount
lagoon
shallow body of water between a reef and the mainland
nodule
mineral lump found on the ocean floor
oceanography
study of Earth's oceans
ooze
ocean sediment that contains the remains of many ocean organisms
salinity
amount of dissolved salts in ocean water
seamount
volcanic mountain on the ocean floor
sonar
echo-sounding system that bounces sound waves off the ocean floor
submersible
underwater research vessel
thermocline
layer of ocean water in which the temperature drops sharply with depth
tide
regular change in the level of Earth's oceans
trench
deep canyon on the ocean floor
trough
lowest point of an ocean wave
wave
regular up-and-down movement of water
world ocean
body of salt water covering much of Earth's surface
condensation
changing of a gas to a liquid
evaporation
changing of a liquid to a gas
geyser
heated groundwater that erupts onto Earth's surface
groundwater
water that collects in pores in soil and sinks into the ground
kettle lake
lake formed by a retreating glacier
lake
low spot in Earth's surface filled with still water
meander
loop in a mature river
oxbow lake
curved lake formed when a bend in a river is cut off at both ends
pond
body of water similar to a lake but usually smaller and shallower
pore
tiny hole or space
precipitation
water that falls to Earth's surface from the atmosphere
rapids
part of a river where the current is swift
reservoir
artificial lake
spring
natural flow of groundwater to Earth's surface
water cycle
repeated pattern of water movement between Earth and the atmosphere
waterfall
steep fall of water, as of a stream, from a height
water table
upper layer of saturated rock and soil
well
hole dug below the water table that fills with groundwater
abrasion
wearing away of rock particles by wind and water
cave system
series of connected underground caves
deflation
removal of loose material from Earth's surface by wind
delta
triangular deposit of sediment located at the mouth of a river
deposition
process by which material carried by erosion is dropped in new places
drumlin
oval-shaped mound of till
erosion
process by which weathered material is removed and carried from a place
erratic
boulder left behind by a retreating glacier
floodplain
flat area on the side of a river where sediments are deposited during floods
glacier
moving river of ice and snow
hanging valley
small glacial valley above a main valley
iceberg
large piece of a glacier that enters the ocean
ice cap
large sheet of ice found near Earth's poles
karst topography
land that has sinkholes, caverns, and underground rivers
kettle lake
lake formed by a retreating glacier
loess
thick deposits of windblowen dust
longshore current
movement of water parallel to a shoreline
mass erosion
downhill movement of weathered materials caused by gravity
moraine
ridge of till deposited by a melting glacier
runoff
water from rain or snow that flows into streams and rivers from surface areas
sand bar
long, offshore underwater deposit of sand
sea arch
gap formed when waves cut completely through a section of rock
sea stack
column of rock remaining after the collapse of a sea arch
sediment
rock particles carried and deposited by water, wind, or ice
sinkhole
large hole in the ground formed when the roof of a cavern collapses
spit
long, narrow deposit of sand connected at one end to the shore
talus
pile of rocks and rock particles that collects at the base of a slope
till
rock material deposited by a glacier
tribuitary
smaller stream that flows into the main stream of a river system
wave-cut terrace
flat section of rock formed by the erosion of a sea cliff
acid rain
rain containing acids produced by water chemically combined wtih certain gases
bedrock
soild rock that lies beneath the soil
carbonation
chemical reaction that occurs when carbonic acid reacts with certain minerals
chemical weathering
weathering that changes the chemical makeup of rocks
horizon
soil layer
humus
decaying remains of plants & animals
hydrolysis
chemical reaction that occurs when minerals with little water content react with water
ice wedging
mechanical weathering caused by the freezing & melting of water
leaching
removing or washing away the minerals in soil
mechanical weathering
weathering in which the chemical makeup of rocks does not change
oxidation
chemical change that occurs when oxygen reacts with another substance
residual soil
soil remaining on top of the bedrock from which it formed
soil
mixture that includes silt, sand, and clay
soil profile
all the layers that make up the soil in an area
texture
size of soil particles
transported soil
soil moved away from the bedrock from which it was formed
weathering
breaking down of rocks and other materials on Earth's surface
continental drift
theory that the continents were at once one or more times a single landmass that broke apart and eventually moved into the positions they are in today.
convection current
movement of a gas or a liquid caused by changes in temperature.
hot spot
place where magma reaches the surface of a tectonic plate.
magma chamber
underground pocket of molten rock.
mid-ocean ridge
an ocean-floor feature resembling a mountain ridge on land.
Pangaea
single, giant landmass, or continent, that later broke apart.
plate boundary
place where two plates meet.
rift valley
flat area between two ridges that is formed by spreading plates.
seafloor spreading
process that forms new seafloor.
subduction zone
place where old oceanic crust is forced back down into an ocean trench.
tectonic plate
large, solid piece of Earth's surface.
theory of plate tectonics
theory that Earth's crust is broken into plates that float on the upper part of the mantle.
trench
deep canyon on the ocean floor.
anticline
upward fold of a mountain.
caldera
large hole that forms when the roof of a magma dome collapses.
cinder cone
volcanic cone made up of rock particles, dust, and ash.
composite cone
volcanic cone made up of alternating layers of lava and rock particles.
crater
pit at the top of a volcanic cone.
dome mountain
mountain formed when upfolds in rocks created a rounded structure that looks like a bowl turned upside down.
earthquake
sudden, strong movement of Earth's crust.
elevation
height of a point on Earth above or below sea level.
epicenter
place on Earth's surface directly above the focus.
fault
break in Earth's crust along which movement occurs.
fault-block mountains
mountain formed when normal faults uplift a block of rock.
focus
point beneath Earth's surface where an earthquake starts.
folded mountain
mountain formed by the folding of rock layers.
fracture
break in a rock.
L-wave
surface wave.
landform
physical feature of Earth's solid surface.
lava
magma that reaches Earth's surface.
P-wave
fastest earthquake wave.
plain
large, flat area just above sea level.
plateau
large, flat area at a high elevation.
Richter scale
scale that measures the energy released by an earthquake.
Ring of Fire
major earthquake and volcano zone that almost forms a circle around the Pacific Ocean.
S-wave
second earthquake wave to be recorded at a seismograph station.
seismic wave
earthquake wave.
seismograph
instrument that detects and measures earthquakes.
shield cone
volcanic cone made up of layers of hardened lava.
summit
highest point on a mountaintop.
syncline
downward fold of a mountain.
tsunami
large ocean wave caused by an earthquake.
vent
volcano opening from which lava flows.
volcanism
movement of magma inside Earth.
volcano
vent and the volcanic material around it.
absolute age
true age of a rock or fossil
amber
hardened tree sap
cast
mold filled with hardened sediments
coprolite
fossilized dung or the stomach contents of ancient animals
fossil
remains or traces of an organism that lived long ago
fossil fuel
natural fuel that was formed from the remains of living things, such as: coal, oil, or natural gas
gastrolith
stone used to grind food
geologic time scale
outline of the major divisions in Earth's history
half-life
length of time it takes for one-half the amount of a radioactive element to change into a stable element
index fossil
fossil used to help determine the relative age of rock layers
law of superposition
states that each undisturbed sedimentary rock layer is older than the layer above it
mold
imprint or hollow in rock that is shaped like and made by an organism
relative age
age of an object compared to the age of another object
clastic rock
sedimentary rock made up of fragments of rock
cycle
series of events that happen over and over again
foliated
texture of a metamorphic rock that has mineral crystals arranged in bands
igneous rock
rock formed by the crystallization of hot melted rock or minerals
lava
magma that reaches Earth's surface
magma
molten rock inside Earth
metamorphic rock
rock formed when existing rocks are changed by heat and pressure
molten rock
melted minerals
nonclastic rock
sedimentary rock made up of dissolved minerals or the remains of living things
nonfoliated
texture of metamorphic rock that does not have mineral crystals arranged in bands
pluton
large body of igneous rock that can form into different shapes when magma cools inside Earth's crust
rock
mixture of minerals, generally cemented together
rock cycle
series of natural processes by which rocks are slowly changed from one kind of rock to another kind of rock
sediment
rock particles carried and deposited by water, wind, or ice
sedimentary rock
rock formed from pieces of other rocks that are pressed together
texture
size of crystals in an igneous rock
acid test
test that helps to identify minerals containing calcium carbonate
atom
smallest part of an element that can be identified as that element
chemical formula
formula that shows the elements that make up a compound
chemical symbol
shorthand way of writing the name of an element
cleavage
tendency of some minerals to split along smooth, flat surfaces called planes
compound
substance made up of two or more elements that are chemically combined
crystal
solid substance with its atoms arranged in a regular, three-dimensional pattern
crystallization
formation of minerals caused by processes such as cooling and evaporation
density
amount of matter in a given volume
element
simple substance that cannot be broken down into simpler substances by ordinary chemical means
evaporation
process by which a liquid changes into a gas
fracture
tendency of some minerals to break into pieces with uneven surfaces
gem
stone that has been cut and polished
hardness
property of a mineral that relates to how much the mineral resists being scratched
luster
how a mineral's surface reflects light
magnetism
force of attraction or repulsion assoicated with magnets
mineral
naturally occurring, inorganic solid formed from elements or compounds and having a definite chemical makeup and regular atomic structure
molecule
smallest part of a substance that has all the properties of that substance
ore
mineral that is mined because it contains useful metals or nonmetals
physical property
observable characteristic that describes an object
precipitation
process that occurs when elements and compounds leave a solution and crystallize out as solids
solution
mixture in which the particles of one substance are evenly mixed with the particles of another substance
streak
color of the powder left by a mineral
subscript
number in a chemical formula that shows how many of each atom are in one molecule of a compound
atmosphere
envelope of gases surrounding Earth
contour interval
difference in elevation between one contour line and the next
contour line
line drawn on a map that connects all points having the same elevation
core
innermost region of Earth
crust
solid, thin outer layer of Earth
distortion
error in shape, size, or distance
earth science
study of Earth and its history
elevation
height of a point on Earth above or below sea level
globe
three-dimensional model of Earth's surface
hydrosphere
part of Earth that is water
latitude
distance in degrees north or south of the equator
legend
list of map symbols and their meanings
lithosphere
solid part of Earth
longitude
measurment in degrees east or west of the prime meridian
mantle
thick layer of Earth below the crust
map
flat model of Earth's surface
map projection
drawing of Earth's surface, or part of it, on a flat surface
meridian
line on a map or a globe running fron the North Pole to the South Pole along Earth's surface
parallel
horizontal line on a map or globe that circles Earth from east to west at intervals starting at the equator
scale
feature that relates distances on a map to actual distances on Earth's surface
specialist
person who studies or works on only one part of a subject
sphere
round, three-dimensional object
symbol
drawing on a map that represents a real object
topography
general form and shape of the land on Earth's surface
data
information you collect when you observe something
model
tool scientists use to represent an object or process
simulation
computer model that usually shows a process
unit
amount used to measure something
meter
basic unit of length or distance
mass
amount of matter in something
gram
basic unit of mass
volume
amount of space an object takes up
liter
basic unit of liquid volume
meniscus
curve at the surface of a liquid in a thin tube
temperature
measure of the amount of heat energy something contains
communication
sharing information
infer
to form a conclusion
predict
to state ahead of time what you think is going to happen
hypothesis
suggested answer to a question or problem
theory
set of hypotheses that have been supported by testing over and over again
variable
anything that can affect the outcome of an experiment
constant
something that does not change
controlled experiment
experiment in which all the conditions except one are kept constant
air current
up-and-down movement of air
anemometer
instrument that measures wind speed
atmosphere
envelope of gases surrounding the Earth
barometer
instrument used to measure air pressure
cellular respiration
process by which a cell releases energy from food molecules
conduction
transfer of heat through matter by direct contact
convection
transfer of heat within a liquid or a gas
matter
anything that has mass and volume
mesosphere
third layer of the atmosphere
monsoon
wind that changes direction within the seasons
newton
metric unit of force
pressure
amount of force per unit of area
radiant energy
energy given off by the Sun that can travel through empty space
radiation
movement of the Sun's energy through empty space
stratosphere
second layer of the atmosphere
thermosphere
upper layer of the atmosphere
troposphere
lowest layer of the atmosphere
wind
horizontal movement of air
wind vane
instrument that indicates wind direction
air mass
large volume of air with about the same temperature and amount of moisture throughout
capacity
amount of material something can hold
cirrus cloud
light, feathery cloud
cold front
forward edge of a cold air mass, formed when a cold air mass pushes under a warm air mass
condensation
changing of a gas to a liquid
cumulus cloud
big, puffy clouds
dew point
temperature to which air must be cooled to reach saturation
evaporation
changing of a liquid into a gas
front
boundary between air masses of different densities
frost
ice formed from condensation below the freezing point of water
humidity
amount of water vapor in the air
hurricane
tropical storm with very strong winds
isobar
line on a weather map that connects points of equal air pressure
isotherm
line on a weather map that joins places that have the same temperatures
millibar
unit of measurement for air pressure
polar air mass
air mass that forms over cold regions
precipitation
water that falls to Earth from the atmosphere
psychrometer
instrument used to find relative humidity
rain gauge
device used to measure precipitation
relative humidity
amount of water vapor in the air compared with the amount of water vapor the air can hold at capacity
saturated
filled to capacity
specific humidity
actual amount of water in the air
station model
record of weather information at a weather station
stratus cloud
sheetlike cloud that forms layers across the sky
thunderstorm
storm with thunder, lightning, and often heavy rain and strong winds
tornado
small, very violent funnel-shaped cloud that spins
transpiration
process by which plants give off water vapor into the air
tropical air mass
air mass that forms over warm regions
warm front
forward edge of a warm air mass, formed when a warm air mass pushes over a cold air mass