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Elements heavier than iron were formed where?

a.) in a supernova
b.) by immense pressures in the center of the Earth
c.) in the Sun
d.) in the Big Bang

In a supernova

What layers within the Earth define strength or mechanical boundaries?

a.) the lithosphere and asthenosphere
b.) the crust and mantle
c.) the continental crust and oceanic crust
d.) the mantle and the inner core

The lithosphere and asthenosphere

If we measured the light from galaxies around us and found them to be blue-shifted, what would this mean about the universe?
a.) the universe is not moving
b.) the universe is contracting
c.) the universe is expanding
d.) this has nothing to do with the relative motion of objects in the universe

The universe is contracting

Which is the lightest layer of the Earth?
a.) The upper mantle
b.) The Nerf layer
c.) The continental crust
d.) The oceanic crust

The continental layer

What is the dominant gas in the atmosphere?
a.) methane
b.) carbon dioxide
c.) oxygen
d.) hydrogen


Which of the following is not a mineral?
a.) liquid water
b.) crystals grown in a lab
c.) volcanic glass
d.) Twinkies
e.) all of the above

All of the above

Which of the following properties of a magma increases in the direction of the arrows in the diagram?

Felsic -> Intermediate -> Mafic

a.) resistance to weathering
b.) silica content
c.) initial melting temperature
d.) complexity of silicon oxygen tetrahedral structure
e.) viscosity

Initial melting temp

Which has less susceptibility to weathering, and a lower melting point?

a.) olivine as compared to quartz
b.) quartz as compared to olivine
c.) mica as compared to amphibole
d.) olivine as compared to amphibole
e.) feldspar as compared to quartz

Quartz as compared to olivine

A scientific theory is...

a.) a hunch about how thinks work
b.) a hypothesis
c.) an idea repeatedly tested and supported by an abundance of evidence
d.) the data gathering stage of the scientific method

An idea repeatedly tested and supported by an abundance of evidence

Which is false.
a.) it gets hotter as one goes deeper into the Earth
b.) the mantle is mostly solid
c.) the mantle is mostly liquid
d.) the outer core is liquid
e.) mantle rock moves even though it is mostly solid

The mantle is mostly liquid

In our current understanding of the Big Bang, ___________.
a.) Earth is much older than the rest of the universe
b.) Dr. Schutt is much older than the Earth
c.) Earth and the Universe formed at the same time
d.) the Universe is considerably older than Earth
e.) there is no way of knowing how old the Universe might be

The Universe is considerably older than Earth

The metal alloy that makes up the core of Earth is _____, as compared to the rocky mantle.
a.) less dense
b.) denser
c.) very similar in chemistry and density
d.) distinct in chemistry but very similar density


What observation is the major supporting evidence for the Big Bang theory of the Universe?
a.) Presence of 92 chemical elements in the solar system
b.) Spiral shape of galaxies
c.) Presence of Moon
d.) Light from distant galaxies has longer wavelengths

Light from distant galaxies

When did the Earth form?
a.) About 600 Ma
b.) 4.6 Ma
c.) 13.6 Ga
d.) 4.6 Ga

4.6 Ga

What layer of the Earth is liquid?
a.) The outer core
b.) The inner core
c.) The lithosphere
d.) The mantle

Outer core

Where is the Earth hottest?
a.) In a volcano
b.) At the surface
c.) At the center
d.) In the mantle


Gabbro is a rock with coarse grains. It is most similar in composition to the rock _______.
a.) Granite
b.) Rhyolite
c.) Andesite
d.) Basalt
e.) Peridotite


Beach sand is dominantly _____, because ________.
a.) olivine; it doesn't dissolve in water
b.) granite; of nearby volcanoes
c.) feldspar; it doesn't melt easily
d.) quartz; it is relatively resistant to weathering

quartz; resistant to weathering

Which of the following processes could not produce magma in the Earth?
a.) addition of pressure
b.) addition of water to mantle rocks
c.) uprise of mantle rocks as the mantle convects
d.) addition of heat from a hot magma

Addition of pressure

Which is lower in temperature?
a.)wet solidus of basalt
b.) dry solidus of basalt
c.) liquidus of basalt

wet solidus of basalt

Which is a fine-grained felsic rock?
a.) granite
b.) rhyolite
c.) gabbro
d.) basalt


A melt cannot be more mafic than it's source. This means:
a.) melting granite can produce a basaltic melt
b.) melting granite can produce an andesite melt
c.) melting peridotite can produce a basaltic melt
d.) melting diorite can produce a komatic melt

melting peridotite can produce a basaltic melt

At places liek Long Valley or Yellowstone, there is a large feature that has formed as the land has collapsed into the magma chamber below. What is this?
a.) a crater
b.) pumice
c.) a caldera
d.) obsidian

a caldera

Which of the following is not a manifestation of a physical weathering process?
a.) roots pry a crack open
b.) rock breaks apart by the formation of joints
c.) water reacts with minerals and breaks molecules apart
d.) salt crystals grow between grains and push the grains apart

water reacts with minerals and breaks molecules apart

Which of the following is not a manifestation of chemical weathering?
a.) The dissolving of calcite in water to produce Ca2 and CO3 in solution.
b.) Bonding of oxygen to iron ions to produce oxide minerals
c.) Growth of ice crystals in cracks to wedge the cracks open
d.) Absorption of water molecules into the crystal structure of minerals

Growth of ice crystals in cracks

On Earth, loose sediment which covers bedrock and has been chemically altered by reactions with rainwater and the addition of organic matter by the biosphere is termed:
a.) soil
b.) loess
c.) regolith
d.) caprock


True or False.
Large-scale volcanic eruptions can cause a drop in global temps.


The breakdown of exposed rock into small fragments and dissolved ions is termed:
a.) deposition
b.) erosion
c.) weathering
d.) all of the above


The black areas of the moon, the mare, are:
a.) limestone
b.) olivine sand
c.) chert
d.) basalt


Nonviolent eruptions characterized by extensive flows of basaltic lave are termed:
a.) pyroclastic
b.) effusive
c.) explosive


The eastern US is a...
a.) transform boundary
b.) subduction zone
c.) passive margin
d.) subject to M9 earthquakes

passive margin

Which is true about the evolution of life on Earth?
a.) mammals came before insects
b.) land animals evolved before sea creautres
c.) dinosaurs and humans lived happily side by side
d.) the oxygen content in the atmosphere increased dramatically about 2-3 Ga, due to photosynthesis by cyanobacteria

oxygen content rose

When did the Earth become internally differentiated?
a.) archean
b.) hadean
c.) proterozoic
d.) paleozoic


The Earth's plates are...
a.) discrete pieces of lithosphere at the surface of the solid Earth that move with respect to one another
b.) discrete layers of lithosphere that are vertically stacked one atop the other
c.) composed only of continental rocks that plow through the weaker oceanic rocks
d.) made up of hotspots

discrete pieces of lithosphere at the surface of the solid Earth that move with respect to one another

Which of the following is correct about metamorphic rocks?
a.) igneous rock may not be converted to metamorphic rocks in the rock cycle
b.) metamorphic rocks can be distinguished by texture and mineralogy
c.) metamorphic rocks are only produced from sedimentary rocks
d.) weathering, erosion, and lithification lead to metamorphic rocks
e.) metamorphic rocks are only produces below about 200 degrees

metamorphic rocks can be distinguished by texture and mineralogy

Geographically, a shield is:
a.) a low lying region where Precambrian rocks crop out
b.) a mountainous region at a convergent plate boundary
c.) a region of compressed rock located behind a volcanic arc at a convergent continental margin
d.) a passive margin

low lying region where Precambrian rocks crop out

Why are banded-iron formations significant in Earths history?
a.) they indicate the transition from soft shelled to hard shelled animals
b.) formed during snowball earth
c.) indicate the increase in the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere
d.) they are due to the differentiation of the Earth's core

indicate the increase in the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere

The 1.7 Ga metamorphic rocks found throughout the northern Colorado Rockies indicate:
a.) there was a mountain range here 1.7 Ga
b.) lots of hot magma came to the surface, baking the rocks
c.) friction from the creation of the rockies created these rocks
d.) Colorado is a cratoon formed in the Archean

mountain range 1.7 Ga

The order if the major Eras in geologic time, from oldest to youngest is:
a.) precambrian, mesozoic, cenozoic, paleozoic
b.) precambrian, paleozoic, mesozoic, cenozoic
c.) paleozoic, precambrian, mesozoic, cenozoic
d.) cenozoic, mesozoic, paleozoic, precambrian

Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic

Evidence for which event at the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary includes: an iridium-rich layer of clay, glass spherules, and shocked quartz grains?
a.) the impact of a bolide
b.) long trend of global cooling
c.) worldwide explosive volcanism

impact of a bolide

Put these rocks in order from coldest to hottest at the time of formation.
a.) metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary
b.) sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic
c.) igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic
d.) sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous

sedimentary, metamorphic, igneous

What kind of rick is sandstone?
a.) metamorphic; it's been subjected to high temp and pressure to fuse the sand grains together
b.) igneous; sand grains crystallized out of a magma
c.) sedimentary; sand grains have been cemented together during lithification
d.) biochemical rock; made from a muddy shallow marine bay
e.) evaporate; has precipitated out of a solution as an ocean or lake dried up

sedimentary; sand grains cemented together during lithification

Which of these is not an agent of metamorphism?
a.) diagenesis
b.) pressure
c.) differential stress
d.) heat
e.) hydrothermal fluids


Which of these locations overlie a hot spot?
a.) Hawaii
b.) Yellowstone
c.) Iceland
d.) All of the above

all of the above

Cratons, the relatively undeformed heart of continents grew during which geologic eon?
a.) Ectozoic
b.) Proterozoic
c.) Archean
d.) Hadean
e.) Phanerozoic


Which is true about the sequence of events on Earth?
a.) Insects came before reptiles, which came before humans
b.) Dinosaurs went extinct because they watched to much TV
c.) Humans did not co-exist with woolly mammoths
d.) The oceans were created during the Proterozoic Eon
e.) North America has been pretty much the same since the Archean

Insects came before reptiles, which came before humans

There is a long mountain chain that trends roughly north and south along the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. At this mounain chain, new pillow basalts are constantly being formed. What is this?
a.) passive margin
b.) active margin
c.) lost continent of Atlantis
d.) convergent boundary
e.) divergent boundary

divergent boundary

Why are there no volcanoes in the Himalayas, which are produced at a continent-continent convergent boundary?
a.) the mountains are too high for magma to make it through them
b.) no water is being brought down into the mantle by subduction, and thus no melting is occurring in the mantle here
c.) volcanoes are only produced by hot spots
d.) there is not enough friction here to produce magma

No water is being brought down into the mantle by subduction, and thus no melting is occuring in the mantle here

A mineral within a metamorphic rock that can be used to provide a narrow constraint on the temp and pressure of formation of the rock is termed a(n):
a.) thermineral
b.) index mineral
c.) mafic mineral
d.) halide mineral
e.) a googlemineral

index mineral

A buried body of shale is subjected to differential stress, causing clay minerals to realign and produce slate. This is an example of:
a.) diagenesis
b.) erosion
c.) metamorphisim
d.) weathering


Marble and quartzite are nonfoliated rocks because:
a.) they are never found beneath fault zones or collisional mountian ranges
b.) both are dominated by minerals that produce equant grains
c.) both are dominated by minerals with crystalline structures that cannot be dissolved
d.) foliation only occurs in mountain-building events, and marble and quartzite are formed only through contact metamorphism

Both are dominated by minerals that produce equant grains

Which of these is a typical feature of an oceanic hotspot?
a.) magnitude 9 earthquakes
b.) melting due to water brought down by subduction
c.) felsic magmatism
d.) deep earthquakes
e.) long chains of volcanic islands/quyots

long chains of volcanic islands

What kind of lavas would you expect to find at a mid ocean ridge?
a.) silicic
b.) mafic
c.) explosive eruptions
d.) intermediate
e.) none


Compared to low grade metamorphic rocks, high grade rocks:
a.) always contain more quartz and felspar
b.)are produces closer to the surface, high in the stratigraphic column
c.) are more valuble
d.) are produced at greater temp and pressure
e.) are produced at cooler temp, but greater pressures

are produced at greater temp and pressure

Where is the lithosphere thinnest?
a.) convergent boundaries
b.) oceanic divergent boundaries
c.) under mountain ranges
d.) at the deepest places in the oceans

oceanic divergent boundaries

Of the places within and neat the continental US, the Pacific Northwest has the potential for the largest earthquakes. Why is this?
a.) there is a subduction zone here
b.) people here commit more evil acts
c.) there's lots of rain here
d.) there is a transform boundary that runs through Oregon and Washington
e.) the coast region is a divergent boundary, and the earthquakes are caused by cracking rocks

There is a subduction zone here

What type of rock is associated with karst topography?
a.) ice
b.) granite
c.) sandstone
d.) limestone


True or False.

Pumping groundwater can reverse the regional groundwater flow direction.


What caused Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington?
a.) ice scoured out of the Earth here
b.) years of drought
c.) poor and irresponsible land use
d.) a massive flood caused by a lake that was previously dammed by ice
e.) politicians in Washington D.C.

A massive flood

As earthquake magnitude goes up by 1, how much does S-wave amplitude increase at a given seismometer?
a.) 10
b.) 1
c.) 0.1
d.) S-Wave amplitude is constant for all magnitude earthquakes
e.) 0.01


The Earth averages about 134 magnitude 6.0-6.9 earthquakes a year; about how many magnitude 5.0-5.9 earthquakes do you expect on an average year?
a.) 1
b.) 5
c.) 13400
d.) 1340
e.) 13


Which is the first arriving earthquake wave?
a.) S wave
b.) P wave
c.) Love wave
d.) Rayleigh Wave
e.) the Shaky Wave

P wave

The Rocky Mountains were produced by _____ during the Laramide Orogeny.
a.) continent-continent collision with the Pacific Plate
b.) steep-angle subduction and mountain building near the coast
c.) flat-angle subduction and mountain building well inland from the coast
d.) strike-slip faulting along the San Andreas Fault
e.) continental drifting forming normal fault block mountains

Flat-angle subduction

The Pierre Shale, below us right now, is sediment from:
a.) a shallow inland sea, and was deposited about 115 Ma. It contains fish fossils.
b.) the Ancestral Rocky Mountains, deposited about 300 Ma. It forms Red Rocks.
c.) the Alleghanian Rocky Mountains, deposited about 300 Ma. It contains coal.
d.) the Dakota Hogback; it was deposited after the Ice Age.
e.) Kansas, where an ancient mountain range once existed.

a shallow inland sea

In an area of the river where flow velocity decreases...
a.) discharge increases
b.) you are near the thalweg
c.) competence is reduced and sediment drops out
d.) the gradient is likely increasing

Competence is reduced and sediment drops out

The lowest elevation to which a stream can downcut is the...
a.) base level
b.) floodplain
c.) stream gradient
d.) thalweg

Base level

The deepest part of the channel, where stream flows fastest, is the:
a.) base level
b.) floodplain
c.) stream gradient
d.) thalweg


The Morrison formation:
a.) contains Jim Morrison's dead body
b.) formed about 150 Ma, and contains many dinosaur fossils
c.) is a sedimentary record of the Ancestral Rockies
d.) is a marine sediment from 115 Ma

form about 150 M and contains dinosaur fossils

The Fountain Formation:
a.) has many geysers
b.) is the first coherent rock layer under our classroom
c.) was created about 850 Ma during rifting
d.) is formed by weathered sediments from the Laramide orogeny
e.) consists of red sandstone deposits that were weathered off the Ancestral Rockies

consists of red sandstone deposits

Which are in order from oldest to youngest?
a.) Basin and Range extension, Sevier Orogeny, Ancestral Rockies, Laramide Orogeny
b.) Ancestral Rockies, Sevier Orogeny, Ancestral Rockies, Basin and Range extension
c.) Sevier Orogeny, Basin and Range extension, Ancestral Rockies, Laramide Orogeny
d.) Sevier Orogeny, Laramide Orogeny, Ancestral Rockies, Basin and Range extenion

Ancestral Rockies, Sevier Orogeny, Laramide Orogeny, Basin and Range extension

Which is older of the following choices.
a.) The San Andreas Fault
b.) Cascade volcanoes
c.) The Laramide Orogeny
d.) the granite on Longs Peak

Granite on Longs Peak

The energy release of all earthquakes over the last 100 years indicates that:
a.) over 50% of all energy released due to small earthquakes (M<6)
b.) Over 50% of all energy is released due to 3 main ones (Sumatra, Alaska, Chile)
c.) Over 50% of all energy released is due to medium sized earthquakes, like the 1906 San Francisco quake
d.) There is not any pattern between energy release and the number of earthquakes of a particular magnitude

3 main ones

In terms of earthquake hazard, where is it better to build a house?
a.) on fill dirt, since it dampens out earthquake vibrations
b.) on bedrock, since shaking from an earthquake has lower amplitude on this

On bedrock

Which is false.
A meandering river is:
a.) sinuous
b.) generally found where stream gradients are large
c.) often found near deltas
d.) usually associated with alluvial, rather than bedrock, settings

Generally found where stream gradients are large

How does urbanization affect flooding?
a.) it decreases the size of floods
b.) increases size and frequency
c.) decreases the size but increases the frequency

increases size and frequency

Ephemeral streams:
a.) consist of a series of intertwined channels that are overloaded with sediment
b.) have flowing water either episodically or during a portion of the year
c.) have a channel that is highly sinuous
d.) are those that divert flow from streams they have intersected through stream erosion

have flowing water either episodically or during a portion of the year

If a river gains water from the water table, what can be inferred?
a.) the river bed is below the regional water table
b.) the river bed is above the regional water table
c.) the river is ephemeral

the river bed is below the regional water table

Which of these has higher porosity?
a.) a jar of marbles
b.) a jar of marbles and sand
c.) a jar of silt that is tightly packed

a jar of marbles

If an igneous rock is unfractured, it serves as a _____ in a local hydrogeology.

a.) aquifer
b.) aquitard
c.) artesian well
d.) perched aquifer
e.) spring


Where is groundwater flowing fastest?
a.) where the water table has the steepest gradient
b.) where the water table has the flattest gradient
c.) where rainfall is the highest
d.) where permeability is lowest
e.) at drainage divides

where the water table has the steepest gradient

Does groundwater ever flow upwards?
a.) no
b.) yes, in an area of recharge
c.) yes, in an area of discharge
d.) yes, typically under the highest places in the landscape

yes, in an area of discharge

In a hilly landscape, where would you expect hydraulic head to be highest?
a.) in the valleys
b.) at the hill crests
c.) right between the hills and in the landscape

at the hill crests

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