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Geology Unit 1 Exam Study Guide Test 26 September 2012

Scientific Method

way a scientist approaches a problem, 5 steps:
1. Problem or Experiment
2. Hypothesis
3. Test Hypothesis
4. Multiple Tests to Support Hypothesis
5. Hypothesis Becomes Theory
if hypothesis doesn't work, discard or reformulate

Earth Systems Science

breaking large, complex problems into smaller pieces
2 major categories:
1. Closed: energy in and out
2. Open: energy and matter in and out


location where the stock (item) of interest resides for awhile


process moving stock in or out


solid earth, as a whole


all living and dead organisms


gasses that surround earth


water and ice, surface and underground

Hydrologic Cycle

movement of water

Rock Cycle

processes that form, modify, transport, or break down rock

Tectonic Cycle

processes that drive movement and interactions in lithosphere


Hutton, processes governing Earth's system today have operated in similar ways in the past, "the present is the key to the past" (fossil record)

Terrestrial Planet

like earth, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars

Jovian Planet

gas, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

Planetary Accretion

outer portions of solar nebula cooled into discs of debris, random collisions formed clumps that pulled in remaining debris through gravity


fragment of extraterrestrial material that falls to earth


rim shattered


layering of terrestrial planets based on chemical composition


outermost compositional layer


middle layer of earth, made out of Olivine


intermost layer

Seismic Data

how the interior of earth responds to earthquake waves

What makes earth unique?

1. atmosphere rich in oxygen
2. hydrosphere contains water as a solid, liquid and vapor
3. biosphere full of living organisms


part of the regolith that can support rooted plants


irregular blanket of loose, noncemented rock particles that covers a planets surface

Body Wave

travels through earth's interior

Surface Wave

travels along earth's surface


when rupture commences and an earthquake's energy is 1st released

Seismic Discontinuity

boundary inside earth where velocities of seismic waves change abruptly


crystal used for drywall


naturally formed, solid, inorganic substance w/ characteristic crystal structure and a specific chemical composition

Ionic Bond

transfer of electrons from one atom to another, packed together

Covalent Bond

carbon bonding, triangle, atoms "pair up"

Metallic Bond

tightly packed atoms that share electrons

Van der Waals Bond

weak, between neutral molecules

Telling Minerals Apart

1. Color
2. Streak: thin layer of powder
3. Density: reflection of compactness of atoms
4. Luster: quality and intensity of light reflection
5. Hardness: resistance of scratching
6. Crystal Form: flat or planar surface
7. Habit: distinctive shape
8. Cleavage: manner in which mineral breaks

Silicate Minerals

strongly bonded, complex anion that contains both silicon and oxygen

Ore Deposits

localized concentration can be extracted profitably


disturbs earth's surface, damage to environment


naturally formed, coherent aggregate of minerals and possibly other non-mineral matter

Igneous Rock

form by cooling and solidification of molten rock (magma)

Sedimentary Rock

form under conditions of low pressure and low temperature near surface

Metamorphic Rock

altered by exposure to high temperature, low pressure or both


process where mineral grains form and grow in cooling magma

Volcanic Crystallization

first cooling, near or above ground

Plutonic Crystallization

slow cooling, deep in ground

3 Groups of Igneous Rocks

1. Felsic: lots of silica
2. Intermediate: intermediate silcia
3. Mafic: lower silica

Filter Pressing

compaction of early cummulates because interstitial liquid to be squeezed upwards


how rocks disintegrate, chem and physical breakdown of rock exposed to air, moisture, living organisms

Mechanical Weathering

breakdown of rock into solid fragments by physical processes

Chemical Weathering

decomposition of rocks and minerals by chem and biochemical reactions


separation of materials into ions in a solution by a solvent

Products of Weathering

1. Clay: tiny material particles of any kind that have physical properties like those of clay minerals
2. Sand: sediment made of coarse mineral grains
3. Soil: mixture of minerals w/ diff grain sizes, along w/ some some materials ob biologic origin
4. Silt: grain b/w mud and sand


wearing away of bedrock and transport of particles

Mass Wasting

slope failure or landslide, downslope movement of regolith and/or bedrock masses due to gravity


laying down of sediment


formed from fragmented and mineral debris, produced by weathering and erosion

Chemical Sediment

formed by precipitation or minerals dissolved in lake, river or sea water

Biogenic Sediment

sediment primarily composed of plant/animal remains

Clastic Sediment

sediment formed from fragmented rock and mineral debris produced by weathering and erosion


processes by which loose sediment is transformed into sedimentary rock


layered arrangement of strata in sediment

Bedding Surface

top or bottom surface or rock stratum or bed

Compaction (Lithification Process)

reduction of space in a sediment as a result of weight of overlying sediment

Concentration (Lithification Process)

substances dissolved in pure water precipitate out and form a matrix in which grains of sediments are joined together

Recrystallization (Lithification Process)

formation of new crystalline mineral grains

Types of Clastic Rocks

1. Conglomerate: large fragments in a fine grained matrix
2. Sandstone
3. Mudstone/Shale

Types of Biogenic Rocks

1. Limestone
2. Peat
3. Coal


sedimentary deposit, commonly triangle shaped, that forms where a stream enters a standing body of water


semi-enclosed body of coastal water, in which fresh water mixes w/ sea water


mineralogical, texture, chemical and structural changes that occur in rocks
result of exposure to elevated temperature/pressure

Factors that influence Metamorphism

Temperature, Pressure, pore fluids (add or take away chemicals), stress


planar arrangement of textural features in a metamorphic rock

Regional Metamorphism

extensive area of crust associated w/ plate convergence, collision and subduction
stress and foliation

Contact Metamorphism

next to igneous intrusion, rocks heated and chemically changed, local in extent

Natural Resources

useful material that is obtained from lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, or biosphere

Renewable Resources

resource that can be replenished or regenerated within human lifetime

Nonrenewable Resources

resource that cannot be replenished or regenerated within human lifetime

Mineral Resources

everything that we use one way or another uses minerals/metals that come from ground

Hydrothermal (how mineral deposits are formed)

when minerals precipitate out of hot water solution

Magmatic (how mineral deposits are formed)

when certain minerals crystallize from a magma and are concentrated perhaps by fractional crystallization

Placer (how mineral deposits are formed)

when certain minerals are transported by water and deposited in river sand banks

Rock Deformation

stress or strain causing an alteration in the shape, volume, or surface of rock


force acting on surface per unit area w/ direction
1. Tension: pulling out
2. Compression: push in
3. Shear: top and bottom


change in shape or volume of rock in response to stress

Elastic Deformation

temporary change in shape or volume from which a material rebounds after stress is removed

Ductile Deformation

permanent but gradual change in shape or volume of material, caused by flowing or bending

Brittle Deformation

permanent change in shape or volume, in which material breaks or cracks

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