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Heap-leach extraction removes gold from ore by

Spraying cyanide on a pile of ore gravel

Which of the following statements regarding tectonics is true?

When continental plates collide with continental plates, both plates usually subside

Subduction is the process of a tectonic plate

Being forced below another plate

The "ring of fire" is the source of more earthquakes and volcanic activity than any other place on earth.
What causes the ring of fire?

The subduction of Pacific plates under continental plates

A mineral is composed of

Inorganic elements

The basic material of rocks is a cohesive group of

One or more minerals

Rock formed from magma extruded to the surface through volcanic vents is classified as


Water, wind and glaciers are examples of forces that cause

Mechanical weathering

The physical breakdown of a rock into smaller pieces is called

Mechanical weathering

Metamorphic rocks are produced when rocks are

Recrystallized by heat and pressure

Under the 1872 U.S. General Mining Law, mining companies are required to pay what percentage of their profits in taxes?

No taxes are paid on mining profits

According to the 1872 General Mining Law, miners can stake claim anywhere on public land, but must pay __________ per acre to take the minerals they find.

Less than US $5.00

Reclamation of strip-mined land is difficult chiefly because

Topsoil is mixed up and buried so topsoil must take time to develop again for plants to grow

Smelting ore, as in Ducktown, Tennessee, releases toxic chemicals in the form of

Gases, from baked ore

It takes _______________ energy to recycle waste aluminum (e.g., beverage cans) compared to the energy of extracting new aluminum from bauxite.

About one-twentieth as much

On average, it takes ______________ energy to produce steel from scrap metal compared to the energy of producing steel from raw ore.

About half as much

In terms of mineral resources, recycling is ________ as raw materials become more _______ and ________ are more plentiful.

Slowly increasing; scarce; wastes

______________ can lead to mass wasting.

A. Clearcutting on steep slopes
B. Building on the flood plain
C. Building flood walls for flood control
D. The overuse of our natural resources
E. All of these are practices that can lead to mass wasting

Placer mining involves washing metals, minerals and the gemstones from streambeds with a water cannon.


Climate is a description of ________ weather conditions.

Long-term, regional

The two main gases making up the lower atmosphere are

Nitrogen and oxygen

Aerosols are

Tiny particles and droplets suspended in the air

The "ozone hole" that causes concern among scientists and the public is an ozone depletion in the


Much of the ultraviolet light from the sun is absorbed by _______ as it passes through the atmosphere.


Albedo is a term describing the Earth's

Reflection of solar radiation

Which of the following would have the highest albedo?

A snowfield

The greenhouse effect in the atmosphere occurs because

A. Clouds reflect sunlight back into space
B. Oceans absorb heat and then release it slowly at night
C. Stratospheric ozone absorbs UV radiation
D. CO2, water vapor, methanol and other gases absorb infrared radiation
E. All of these are correct

The phenomenon causing the greenhouse effect is that ________ in the lower atmosphere selectively absorbs reradiated ________ radiation

Carbon dioxide, methane and other gases; infrared (heat)

Why don't storms over land have as much energy as storms over oceans?

Convection currents are intensified by the latent energy of condensation

Milankovitch cycles involve the periodic ___________ and could be responsible for ________ weather changes.

Wobbling of the earth's axis and orbital shifts; cyclic

When El Ni-o occurs every three to five years, a mass of warm Pacific water that is usually pushed westward by trade winds

Surges back eastward toward South America

Proponents of climate change say that given what we know about the probability of the greenhouse effect the best thing to do is

Severely cut back on production of greenhouse gases

Most of the excessive carbon dioxide that is expected to cause global warming is generated by green plants


Since biodiversity is usually higher in warmer, milder climates, biodiversity will probably be increased with global warming.


Primary pollutants are those that are

Released directly in dangerous forms

Secondary pollutants

Become dangerous after reacting in the atmosphere

Fugitive emissions are produced by

Strip mining, rock crushing and other dust-producing activities

Criteria pollutants are those that

Contribute the most to air quality degradation

The brown haze in smog is caused by


The most dangerous airborne particulates are those

Small enough to be drawn into the lungs

Anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are

Increasing at the rate of about 0.5 percent per year

Many fish contain high levels of _____________ and should either not be eaten or their consumption should be limited.


Which of the following statements is true?

Most carbon monoxide produced in the United States comes from internal combustion engines (cars)

Ozone is produced by

Photochemical oxidation

Aesthetic degradation is a term that describes

Noises, odors and light pollution

Radon in houses comes from

Radioactive decay in the Earth below a house

Native peoples living in the Canadian Arctic have some of the highest recorded PCB concentrations in their bodies because of

Long-range transport of airborne pollutants

___________ ozone is harmful, damaging plants and human health while ozone at the _________ level screens out mutagenic ultraviolet radiation.

Tropospheric; stratosphere

Pollutants such as chlorofluorocarbons deplete atmospheric ozone

When chlorine-containing molecules are oxidized at the expense of O3

The most common human health response to air pollution is

Inflammatory responses in sensitive tissues

Which of the following is the best example of synergistic effects?

The prevalence of cancer among smokers exposed to asbestos fibers

Worldwide, air pollution control efforts are least advanced or least successful in

Major cities of developing countries

Norilsk, Russia has been notable in recent years for its

Widespread and terrible pollution conditions

Human-produced pollutants are different from natural particulates and gases because they are almost always chemically more dangerous.


Synergistic effects occur when there is more damage of exposure when two factors are together.


Which of the following is not a factor in determining how much or how little precipitation a region receives?


Transpiration is the way plants

Absorb water from the atmosphere

Evaporation is

Liquid water turning to vapor well below boiling temperature

The rainiest or snowiest zone on the mountain in the diagram would be in the area marked

From A to B

Air moving in the direction indicated in the diagram will become dryer as it moves from

B to D

Residence time of water in oceans is a measure of the

Average amount of time a water molecule spends in the ocean

The hydrologic compartment that contains the greatest amount of fresh water is

Ice and snow

Water enters groundwater by


The place where aquifers are most likely to be contaminated is at

Recharge zones

The amount of water in aquifers in the United States is

Over thirty times greater than all surface water in the United States

The largest river in the world is the


Which of the following factors is the most important factor in determining whether a country is "water rich" or "water poor"?

Renewable water supplies

The United States has a drought cycle that brings dry periods about every ____ years


Technically speaking, when water is consumed it

Is no longer available for other purposes

Human water withdrawals have been increasing at about ___________ rate as worldwide population growth.

Twice the

In general, water use worldwide is dominated by

Agricultural use

The activity that uses the greatest share of U.S. household water is

Flushing the toilet

On the graph of domestic water use per person, each letter represents a country. Which of the following is most likely?

A is the United States; B is China

The Ogallala Aquifer supplies water to ___________ and once held more water than all of the surface water __________.

The central Plains states; in the world

Withdrawal of groundwater often causes subsidence, a situation where

Porous rocks settle and ground level falls

A method of increasing water supplies that has been successful, but expensive is


Many experts think that in the future, water conflicts will be a major cause of international conflict. Currently, however, there are no international conflicts over water.


Charging a higher proportion of real costs rather than subsidies has led to water conservation.


Which of the following would not help to improve water quality?

Keeping your car well maintained

_________ sources of water pollution are relatively easy to monitor and regulate while _____________ sources of water pollution are difficult to monitor and clean up.

Point; nonpoint

The discharge from a nonpoint source of pollution is

Highly seasonal in quantity

____________ is to point source of water pollution as _____________ is to nonpoint source of water pollution.

Power plant effluent; golf course runoff

The water pollutant that most commonly threatens human health is

Pathogenic organisms

On the graph of clean drinking water per person, each letter represents a country. Which of the following is most likely?

A is the United States; B is India

When natural waters are overloaded with plant nutrients, such as nitrate and phosphate ions, they become


Cultural eutrophication results from

Human activity

Tertiary treatment of sewage produces water that is typically used for

Dumping into freshwater systems

Dioxins, pesticides and polychlorinated biphenyls are all types of

Toxic organic compounds

Best practical technology (BPT) is legally required for all

Point source polluters

In 1998, a change in the approach to water quality was initiated by _________ with an emphasis on _________.

The EPA; watershed management

Feedlots are a major cause of _________ in water.

A. Viruses
B. Coliform bacteria
C. Nitrates
D. Phosphates
E. All of these are correct

__________ should never be allowed down a drain when a septic tank and drain field system is being used for
sewage disposal.

Chlorine and antimicrobial cleansers

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