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Exfoliation Dome

Process: A magma chamber hardens under ground and formed into a pluton. The pluton is then put under pressure and pushes back against the pressure. Resulting in sheeting on the surface of the rocks.

Continental Divide

Imaginary line. To west, water will flow to Pacific and to east, water will flow to Atlantic

Spheroidal Weathering

Idea that edges of objects tend to weather first, therefore rounding the object

Frost Wedging

When water freezes it expands about 10% in volume. Therefore in cold climates, the most weathering and erosion is done by frost weathering. Water seeps into cracks of rocks, freezes, expands, and eventually the rock will break apart.

Clastic Sedimentary Rocks

formed from mechanically weathered sediments and rock fragments

Chemical Sedimentary rocks

form when minerals are precipitated from a solution or left behind when a solution evaporates


when the sediments are put under pressure, the water is squeezed away. minerals are left behind. Resulting in sedimentary rocks.


Sedimentary Rock made up of angled pebbles


Sedimentary Rock made up of rounded pebbles


Sedimentary Rock made up of cemented sand


Process of turning something into a rock

Cleopatra's Needle

Large monument in desert in Egypt for 3,000 years, moved to NYC, after 100 years very weathered by chemicals (acid rain and pollution)

Wind Gap

A pass carved through a rock outcrop by flowing water


any rock that has been shaped by the wind

Checkerboard Mesa

Fossilized Sand Dune

Valle Grande

is a 12-mile-wide collapsed volcanic caldera in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico.


collapsed volcanic crater

Ponderosa Pine

Bark smells like vanilla or sugar cookies

Crater Lake

Large caldera created in Oregon from emptied magma chamber (collapsed) after eruption

Lava Dome

a bulbous mass associated with an old-age volcano produced when thick lava is slowly squeezed from the vent, lava domes may act as plugs to deflect subsequent gaseous eruptions


broad, flat-topped landform with steep sides; smaller than a plateau


a flat topped rock or hill formation with steep sides, highly weathered Mesa

Talus Slope

Pile of debris at the base of a cliff, roughly 45 degree angle

Columnar Jointing

Basalt lava flows contract and may fracture in roughly hexagonal columns.

Volcanic Neck

solid igneous core of a volcano left behind after the softer cone has been eroded

Differential Weathering

Varying rates of weathering resulting from some rocks in an area being more resistant to weathering than others.

Cattle Guard

grate in the road which cattle will not walk over

Mushroom Rock

Rock shaped like a mushroom, created when wind blown sand erodes the base of the rock

Desert Pavement

A layer of coarse pebbles and gravel created when wind removed the finer material.


Erosion from wind lifting up and removing loose material, moves finer particles in the air and rolls the larger grains

Monument Valley

a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster sandstone buttes, including the mitten rocks

Cap Stone

A rock that protects other rocks beneath it


a column of weathered rock

Desert Varnish

Is the dark coating which is found on exposed rock surfaces in arid environments, contains magnesium


A carving or inscription on a rock.

Ice Wedging

Water seeps into cracks, freezes and expands


forming or depositing in layers


the remains (or an impression) of a plant or animal that is preserved in a rock

Organic Sedimentary Rock

Sedimentary rock that forms from the remains of plants or animals.

Box Canyon

A box canyon is a small ravine or canyon with steep walls on three sides, allowing access and egress only through the mouth of the canyon. ...

Magma Chamber

an underground pool that holds magma, below a volcano

Volcanic Pipe

brings magma from magma chamber towards the surface


outer surface of rocks will break off due to reduction in pressure fom where it formed


A falling mass of snow that contains rocks, dirt and ice

Mass Movement

the downhill movement of rock and soil because of gravity


Slow, imperceptible movement of material downhill (curved Trees)

White Death

Whispered Nickname for an avalanche

Surface Hoar

forms when snow is exposed to the air, crystals get larger. Creates weak layer of snow.


Overhang of snow that is created as wind blows snow over the top of a mountain

Snow slab

Large block of snow that breaks free when a weak layer of snow is below stong layer(s)


Sedimentary Rock made up of cemented mud particles


organic sedimentary rock formed from cemented pieces of shell


broken pieces of rock, categorized by size


when pressure forces water out of pore spaces of sediment


the depositing of river carried sediments on the ocean floor. largest sediments are deposited closest to shore


Removal and transport of weather materials by natural processes


The breaking down of rocks and other materials on the Earth's surface.

Mechanical Weathering

The type of weathering in which rock is physically broken into smaller pieces

Chemical Weathering

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


the wearing down of rock particles by friction due to water or wind or ice


the chemical reaction of oxygen with other substances

Acid Rain

precipitation that is more acidic than normal because of air pollution


chemical decomposition in which a compound is split into other compounds by reacting with water


The process by which sediments are separated by size as they move down through the water column

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