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260 terms

Midyear Review

The study of the Earth's surface and interior
A possible explanation for a observation or phenomenon, developed from available info and used as a basis for testing
Astronomical Unit
The average distance between Earth and the sun, about 150 million kilometers
a group of millions, even billions, of stars held together by gravity
A large cloud of dust and gas in space
Planetary Accretion
The gradual growth of a planet by collision and sticking
Super Nova
Brilliant burst of light that follows the collapse of the iron core and explosion of a massive star
The very thin outer layer of the Earth, above the mantle composed of a rigid later of lighter rocks
the infinitely small space that all matter in the universe existed before the Big Bang
The study of the universe
Part of the experiment that is the same
Light Year
The distance that light travels in a year, about 9.5 trillion kilometers
Local Group
group of nearby galaxies that the milky way belongs to
Oblate Spheroid
shape of the earth, a slightly flattened sphere
Big Bang
Theory of creation of Universe by instant expansion of an extremely small piece of matter of extremely high density and temperature
Light made by meteoroid as it passes through Earth's atmosphere
A rocky or icy fragment that travels through space
The part of a large meteoroid that survives its trip through the atmosphere and strikes Earth's surface
The thickness of Earth's layers, located between the outer core and the Earth's crust, composed mostly of compounds rich in iron, silicon, and magnesium
Volcano located in Indonasia that erupted in 1815 and caused the Year without a Summer in New England during 1816
The scientific study of the ocean and seas
Part of an experiment that is changed. What is being tested
Unit of length. 1000 meters
Virgo Cluster
The closest cluster of galaxies to our local cluster. Contains roughly 2000 galaxies
during planetary accretion, when blobs of matter collide to form and object 1 -10 km in size
A substance composed of atoms that are chemically alike and that cannot be broken down into simpler parts
A solid, rocklike mass that revolves around the sun.
Inner Core
The solid, inner most layer of the Earth, composed of iron and nickel under extremely high pressure and temperature
Located in Siberia, site where a asteroid struck in 1908 with the power of 1000 atmonic bombs
The study of processes that govern Earth's atmosphere
An explanation based on observation, reasoning, and experimentation, especially one that has been tested and confirmed as a general explanation for a phenomena that has been observed
1) Round 2) Orbits the Sun 3) cleared most of its orbit of derbis
Nebular Hypothesis
The theory for how the solar system formed
The change from water vapor to liquid water
a mass of rock, ice, dust, and gas traveling around the sun usually in a highly eccentric orbit
Solar System
The sun and its family of orbiting planets, moods, and solar system debris
Outer Core
The layer of the Earth's interior located between the inner core and mantle, composed of iron and nickel in a liquid state
White Nights
Occurred in 1908 in Northern Europe for three nights after the asteroid stuck Tunguska
Apparent Magnitude
the brightness of a star when viewed from Earth
A group of stars that form a pattern in the sky
the solid part of the earth consisting of the crust and outer mantle
the lower layer of the crust
Magnetic Field
The energy field created by the spinning of the inner and outer cores.
Proxima Centauri
Other than the Sun the next closest star to Earth, just over 4 lightyears away
4.567 Billion Years
age of the earth
13.7 Billion Years
age of the universe
Condensation Nuclei
solid surfaces around which a gas condenses
The layer of the atmosphere we live in. The temperature decreases the higher you go
a form of oxygen that has three oxygen atoms in each molecule instead of two 03. protects us from dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the sun
The solar radiation (energy from the sun) that reaches Earth.
Dew Point
The temperature at which saturation occurs and condensation begins; a measure of the amount of water vapor in the air.
a change directly from the solid to the gaseous state or gaseous to solid without becoming liquid
Condensation Nuclei
Microscopic particles on which water vapor condenses to form cloud droplets.
Dry Adiabatic Lapse Rates
Rising unsaturated air cooling at a rate of about 1 degree Celsius for every 100m it rises.
Tropic of Cancer
a line of latitude about 23 degrees North of the equator
Tropic of Capricorn
a line of latitude about 23 degrees South of the equator
Mare's Tail
Type of cirrus cloud, indicates rain in 24 hours
Clouds that form in low, horizontal layers, cover all or most of sky
The layer of Earth's atmosphere that extends from the troposhere to the mesosphere; concentrations of ozone cause it to get warmer as you go up in this layer.
The transfer of energy through space in the form of visible light, ultraviolet rays and other types of electromagnetic waves
Specific Humidity
The amount of water vapor in the air at a given time and place; expressed as the number of grams of water vapor per kilogram of air.
The maximum amount of water that can be present in the air at a certain temperature. Warmer the temp, higher the capacity
An instrument that works on the principle that evaporation causes cooling.
moisture from the air that forms drops on cool surfaces
High-altitude clouds that are thin, feathery tufts of ice crystals.
Moist Adiabatic Lapse Rates
Is the rate at which saturated air cools as it rises, .5 degrees Celsius for every 100m of rising
moisture frozen on or in a surface; feathery crystals of ice formed when water vapor in the air condenses at a temperature below freezing
Autumnal Equinox
Occurs in September, in the northern hemisphere, and marks the beginning of fall in the Northern Hemisphere
Winter Solstice
begins on Dec. 21st in northern hemisphere; northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun, so it's the coldest time of the year
Crepuscular Ray
Rays of light that shine through clouds
a circle of light around the sun or moon
The layer of the Earth's atmosphere that extends from the stratosphere to the thermosphere, characterized by decreasing temperatures.
The transfer of heat energy through collisions of the atoms or molecules of a substance, the direct transfer of heat from one substance to another substance that it is touching
Relative Humidity
A comparison of the actual amount of water vapor in the air with the maximum amount if water vapor that can be present in air. Specific Humidity/Capacity
the change of a substance from a liquid to a gas
Latent Heat
heat absorbed or given off during a change of phase at a constant temperature
A stratus cloud located on the ground
Thick, fluffy clouds with flat bases, formed by vertically rising air currents
Vernal Equinox
the day of the year that marks the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere
Chlorinated Fluorocarbons are chemicals that break down the ozone layer
High clouds.
Sun Dog
Rainbows located to the right and left of the sun. Seen with cirrostratus clouds, indicate rain is coming
The layer of Earth's atmosphere above the mesosphere, characterized by increasing temperatures with altitude.
The transfer of heat energy in a liquid or gas through the motion of the liquid or gas caused by differences in density
The condition in which the air is holding as much water vapor as possible at a given temperature and pressure.
The change from water vapor to liquid water
Water Vapor
An invisible gas formed when water reaches 100 degrees Celsius and evaporates
Condensation Level
The altitude at which water vapor begins to condense.
Summer Solstice
On June 21, it is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere due to the fact that the sun is directly over the tropic of Cancer
light wispy precipitation that evaporates before it reaches the ground (especially when the lower air is low in humidity)
Dark rain clouds.
Caused by humans
Freezing Rain
raindrops that freeze after they hit the ground or other cold surfaces
precipitation of ice pellets when there are strong rising air currents
a type of precipitation that forms when it falls through a layer of freezing air
on the side exposed to the wind
the side of something that is sheltered from the wind
air pressure
the force that air exerts per unit area
aneroid barometer
an instrument that measure air pressure, An instrument that measures changes in air pressure without using a liquid. Changes in the shape of an airtight metal box cause a needle on the barometer dial to move.
pressure gradient force
Drives air from areas of higher barometric pressure to areas of lower barometric pressure, causing winds.
a line on a weather map that joins points having the same barometric pressure
an area in which the barometric pressure is greater than that of the surrounding air
an area in which the barometric pressure is lower than that of the surrounding air
an instrument that measures wind speed
Coriolis Effect
The way Earth's rotation makes winds in the Northern Hemisphere curve to the right and winds in the Southern Hemisphere curve to the left.
Air Mass
a body of air that has about the same temperature and moisture throughout
a boundary between two air masses of different density, moisture, or temperature
Convection Current
the movement of a fluid, caused by differences in temperature, that transfers heat from one part of the fluid to another
Occluded Front
a front where a warm air mass is caught between two colder air masses and brings cool temperatures and large amounts of rain and snow
Jet Stream
narrow belt of strong winds that blows near the top of the troposphere across the US
Wind Vain
an instrument used to determine the direction that the wind is blowing
the resistance encountered when one body is moved in contact with another. Slows down the speed of wind when it flows over land
Cold Front
forms when cold air moves under warm air which is less dense and pushes air up
warm front
moving weather front along which a warm air mass slides over a cold air mass, producing stratiform clouds and precipitation
Area of high pressure where wind will move away from, associated with dry and nice weather and air that is sinking
Area of low pressure where wind will move towards, associated with cloudy and rainy weather and air that is rising
Mercury Barometer
An instrument that measures changes in air pressure, consisting of a glass tube partially filled with mercury, with its open end resting in a dish of mercury. Air pressure pushing on the mercury in the dish forces the mercury in the tube to be higher.
not formed from living things or the remains of living things
property of a mineral, least helpful
The way a mineral reflects light
Specific Gravity
the ratio of a mineral's weight compared with the weight of an equal volume of water
formed from living things or the remains of living things
a mineral's resistance to being scratched
color of a mineral's powder left behind on a streak plate
the process of becoming hard or solid by cooling Ex: magma into an igneous rock
Naturally Occurring
not made-made
the manner in which a mineral breaks along either curved or irregular surfaces
tendency of a mineral to break along flat surfaces
the process whereby heat changes something from a solid to a liquid
the laying down of sediments on the ocean floor
The process by which sediments are pressed together under their own weight to form sedimentary rocks
The process in which minerals precipitate into pore spaces between sediment grains and bind sediments together to form rock.
the process of turning something into rock
The breaking down of rocks and other materials on the Earth's surface.
The removal and transport of weathered material by natural processes
the force applied to a unit area of surface, forces water out between grains of sediment in the lithification process, also can cause rocks to metamorphose
most abundant group of minerals, made up of compounds that contain silicon and oxygen
Silica Tetrahedron
Basic building block of silicate minerals, made up of four oxygen atoms and 1 silicon aton
Metamorphic Rock
A type of rock that forms from an existing rock that is changed by heat, pressure, or chemical reactions
Igneous Rock
a type of rock that forms from the cooling of molten rock at or below the surface
Sedimentary Rock
A type of rock that forms when particles from other rocks or the remains of plants and animals are pressed and cemented together
a naturally occurring, inorganic, solid that has a crystal structure and a definite chemical composition
molten rock located below the surface
molten rock that has reached the surface
type of fracture with curved breaks, like what happens with thick glass or the bottom of a bottle, shell shaped
Double Refraction
property exhibited by transparent minerals that produce a double image of any object viewed through them, Ex: The mineral Iceland Spar
an organism that grows, feeds and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host
any organism with a round mouth and no jaw
organisms that live is fresh water and spawn in the ocean
Army Corp of Engineers
The group responsible for major engineering projects completed by the government
hot, liquid rock
broken up pieces of rock
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
Water Cycle
An illustration that water is throughout every earth system
River System
A river and all of it's tributaries
Drainage Basin
All of the land where rain fall will run off into a river system
an imaginary line between two drainage basins
Continental Divide
Splits country in two
Drainage Pattern
Shape the rivers make
Drainage pattern. Like a tree, with progressively bigger rivers, all ending into one large river at the bottom.
Drainage pattern. All rivers moving out from one central spot
Drainage pattern. Rivers flowing into right angles
Drainage pattern. Right angles into major spot
Bed Load
Sediments that are moved along the bottom (bed) of a river. Biggest material.
Modes of Transportation
Ways sediments are moved throughout a river.
Skipping. A combination of bed load and suspended load.
Disolved Load
Particles and sediments disolved into the water.
Removal of sediment. The faster the river moves the more erosion will take place.
When sediment is dropped by a river. When a river slows down, material can no longer be carried and get deposited on the river bed.
Young Rivers
Straight, high velocities, V shaped valley, downcutting
Holes carved into rock at the base of river with a whirlpool action.
Old Rivers
Waterfalls, rapids, curves and corners, cutoffs
Middle Aged Rivers
Meanders formed, deposition, point bars
Barriers composed of sediments made on either side of a river due to flooding.
Base Level
The elevation to which a river has the ability to erode its bed down to, everywhere along its course, Lowest elevation to which the stream can erode downward, for many streams, the water surface level of the body of water into which they flow
a measure that describes the maximum size of the particles a stream can carry
a low triangular area where a river divides before entering a larger body of water
The volume of water a river transports over a given amount of time.
Process of selection and separation of sediment grains according to their grain size (or grain shape or specific gravity).
Flash Flood
a sudden local flood of great volume and short duration
the rising of a body of water and its overflowing onto normally dry land
Flood Plain
a low plain adjacent to a river that is formed chiefly of river sediment and is subject to flooding
the slope of a river over a certain distance
headward erosion
the process through which land is worn away at the head of streams or gullies
meander scar
The remnants of an old meandering river (without water)
the amount of sediment that a river or stream carries
wide and deep, loop-like bend in the course of a river
Oxbow Lake
a crescent-shaped lake (often temporary) that is formed when a meander of a river is cut off from the main channel
Cut Bank
downstream and outside side of the meander, flows somewhat faster
Stream Piracy
The process by which one stream captures the headwaters of another stream
a mixture in which particles of a material are more or less evenly dispersed throughout a river
a branched river that flows into the main streaming river
a ridge of land that separates two adjacent river systems
Point Bar
deposit of sediment build up by a river on the inside bend of a meander
The total amount of sediment a river can hold.
Fernando De Soto
First European to see the Mississippi River
is chris jacks the man