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38 terms


any compound that releases hydrogen ions when combined with water
A horizon
zone of weathered rock, some organic material, the zone of leaching, topsoil
measure of the base content of water
barrier island
long, narrow island parallel to the mainland, created by buildup of deposited sediments, protects the coast from erosion
B horizon
receives all minerals leached out of A horizon, zone of illuviation
C horizon
consists of larger rock that hasn't undergone weathering
transfer of heat/electricity through a medium, from particle to particle
vertical movement of matter because of heating and cooling
Coriolis effect
Earth's surface at the equator is moving faster than the poles, creating major prevailing winds that distribute heat unevenly; winds deflected right in the Northern hemisphere and left in the Southern hemisphere
triangular alluvial deposit (of sediments) at the mouth of a river
5 degrees north and south of equator, Intertropical Convergence Zone; here, trade winds converge and produce convectional storms; air constantly rising, not blowing
horse latitudes
30-35 degrees north and south of equator, subsiding dry air and high pressure results in very weak winds
jet stream
high-speed wind in upper troposphere; have large influence on local weather patterns
land heats up and cools down faster than water does; hot dry air rises, replaced by cooler moist air blowing from ocean, which also rises and creates seasonal rainfall
El Nino
normal trade winds are reversed due to a reversal of pressure systems on either side of the tropical Pacific (Southern Oscillation); upwelling in Central and North America's coast stops, water warmer and contains fewer nutrients; offshore fish populations decline
drainage basin, land area that drains into a particular stream
Freshwater layers
epilimnion - upper, most oxygenated
thermocline - demarcation line, at which temperature shifts dramatically
hypolimnion - lower, colder, denser layer
littoral zone
very shallow freshwater layer, abundant sunlight; extends as far as rooted plants grow
limnetic zone
open water; extends as far as sunlight penetrates
profundal zone
aphotic zone - zone that light can't reach
benthic zone
deepest layer in a freshwater lake
coastal zone
between the shore and the end of a continental shelf
euphotic zone
photic, upper layers of water; warmest region, highest levels of dissolved oxygen
bathyal zone
middle region, insufficient light for photosynthesis
abyssal zone
very cold, dark, low oxygen levels, but high level of nutrients because of decaying plant and animal matter that sinks down from zones above
red tide
toxic algal bloom that kills fish and poisons beds of filter feeders (oysters, mussels)
seasonal movement of water from the cold and nutrient-rich bottom to surface; provide new nutrient supply for growth of living organisms
interbasin transfer
water transported very long distances from its source, through aqueducts or pipelines
Ring of Fire
seismograph active area encircling the Pacific Ocean
Anadromous Fish Conservation Act
protected fish that live in the sea but grow up and breed in freshwater
Marine Mammal Protection Act
federal responsibility in protecting marine mammal considered threatened or endangered
Food Security Act
"Swampbuster", discouraged conversion of wetlands to nonwetlands
National Environmental Protection Act of 1970
Endangered Species Act
broad protection of threatened or endangered species
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, international agreement that prohibited the capture, transport, and sale of endangered or threatened species
mangrove swamps
coastal wetlands in tropical and subtropical regions; constantly replenished by nutrients from freshwater runoff, huge diversity of animals, support bacteria, decomposers, oysters, worms, that feed fish and shrimp
mineral deposit
area in which a particular mineral is concentrated