Chapter 8 Earth Systems AP Environmental Science Friedland and Reylea
Terms in this set (50)
The innermost zone of the planet. It is largely made up of nickel and some iron. Heat from the Earth's core creates convection cells that drive the continuous change, creation, and renewal of Earth materials in the lithosphere.
The zone in planet Earth that contains magma
The outer part of the mantle, which is composed of semi-molten, ductile rock
Includes the solid upper mantle and well as the crust. It is made up of several large and numerous smaller plates, which overlie convection cells in the asthenosphere. The lithosphere is broken into a number of plates. Oceanic plates lie primarily beneath the oceans, whereas continental plates lie beneath landmasses.
The chemically distinct outermost layer of the lithosphere. This is where soil is located. Soil is what makes life possible on the planet. The crust and overlying soil provide most of the chemical elements that comprise life
Plates where molten material from the mantle reaches the lithosphere. It is caused by heat located in the Earth's outer core and mantle.
Theory of Plate Tectonics
This theory states that Earth's lithosphere is divided into plates, most of which are in constant motion.
The sum of the processes that build up and break down the lithosphere
Where oceanic plates meet continental plates, old oceanic crust is pulled downward, beneath the continental lithosphere, and the heavier oceanic plate slides underneath the lighter continental plate.
A vent in Earth's surface that emits ash, gases, and molten lava. Volcanoes are a result of hot spots.
A fracture in rock across which there is movement
Large expanses of rock where movement has occurred. They form in the brittle upper lithosphere where two plates meet.
Earthquakes occur when the rocks of the lithosphere rupture unexpectedly along a fault. The plates can move up to several meters in just a few seconds. Earthquakes are a result of the movement of plates and their contact with each other.
Fault Zones are areas of seismic activity. One example is the San Andreas Fault in California, which is a transform fault.
The exact point on the surface of Earth directly above the location where the rock ruptures
A measure of the largest ground movement that occurs during an earthquake
The constant formation and destruction of rock. The rock cycle is the slowest of all rock cycles
Solid chemical substances with uniform structures that form under specific temperatures and pressures. Some examples of common minerals are pyrite, graphite, and halite.
Rocks that form directly from magma. They are classified by their chemical composition as basaltic or granitic, and by their mode of formation as intrusive or extrusive. Basaltic rock is dark-colored rock that contains minerals with high concentrations of iron, magnesium, and calcium. It is the dominant rock type in the crust of oceanic plates. Granitic rock is lighter-colored rock made up of the minerals feldspar, mica, and quartz, which contain elements such as silicon, aluminum, potassium, and calcium. It is the dominant rock type in the crust of continental plates.
Intrusive igneous rocks
Intrusive Igneous rocks form within the Earth as magma rises up and cools in place underground.
Extrusive Igneous Rocks
Extrusive Igneous Rocks form when magma cools above Earth's surface, as when it is ejected from a volcano or released by seafloor spreading.
When rock cools, it is subject to stresses that cause it to break. Cracks occur in this way, known as fractures, can occur in any kind of rock.
These rocks form when sediments such as muds, sands, or gravels are compressed by overlying sediments. Sedimentary rock formation occurs over long periods when environments such as sand dunes, lake beds, or landslide-prone areas are buried and the overlying materials create pressure on the materials below. Sedimentary rocks hold the fossil record that contains plant or animal remains.
Metamorphic Rocks form when sedimentary rocks, igneous rocks, or other metamorphic rocks are subjected to high temperatures and pressures. The pressures that form metamorphic rock cause profound physical and chemical changes in the rock. These pressures can be exerted by overlying rock layers or by these tectonic processes such as continental collisions, which cause extreme horizontal pressure and distortion. Metamorphic rocks include stones such as slate and marble as well as anthracite.
The mechanical breakdown of rocks and minerals. Physical weathering can be caused by water, wind, or variations in temperature such as seasonal freeze-thaw cycles. Coarse-grained rock formed by slow cooling or metamorphism tends of weather more quickly than fine-grained rock formed by rapid cooling or metamorphism. By producing more surface area for chemical weathering processes to act on, physical weathering increases the rate of chemical weathering
The breakdown of rocks and minerals by chemical reactions, the dissolving of chemical elements from rocks, or both. It releases essential nutrients from rocks, making them available for use by plants and other organisms. Chemical weathering is most important on newly exposed minerals, known as primary minerals. It alters primary minerals to form secondary minerals and the ionic forms of their constituent chemical elements
Acid Rain is responsible for rapid degradation of old statues, gravestones, limestone, and marble. When it falls on soil, it can promote chemical weathering of certain minerals in the soil, releasing elements that may then be taken up by plants or leached from the soil into groundwater and streams.
The physical removal of rock fragments from a landscape or ecosystem. Erosion is the result of two mechanisms. Wind, water, and ice transport soil and other Earth materials by downslope creep under the force of gravity. Living organisms, such as animals that burrow under the soil, also cause erosion. Human land uses contribute to the rate of erosion. Deforestation, overgrazing, unmanaged construction activity, and road building.
The accumulation or depositing of eroded material such as sediment fragments, or soil
A mix of geologic and organic components.
The rock material underlying it from which its inorganic components are derived. Different soil types arise from different parent materials.
Soils do not develop well when temperatures are below freezing because decomposition of organic matter and water movement are both extremely slow in frozen or nearly frozen soils. Climate also has an indirect effect on soil formation through its influence on the type of vegetation that develops, and this on the type of detritus left after the vegetation dies.
Topography is the surface slope and arrangement of a landscape. It is the third factor that influences soil formation. Soils that form on steep slopes are constantly subjected to erosion and more drastic mass movements of material such as landslides. Soils that form at the bottoms of steep slopes may continually accumulate material from higher elevations and become quite deep.
Plants remove nutrients from soil and excrete organic acids that speed chemical weathering. Animals that tunnel or burrow, such earthworms, gophers, and voles, mix the soil, distributing organic and mineral matter uniformly throughout.
The amount of time a soil has spent developing is important in determining its properties. As soils age, they develop a variety of characteristics. Continual inputs of organic matter for hundreds of thousands of years have made soils deep and fertile. Other soils that are equally old, but with less productive communities above them and perhaps greater quantities of water moving through them, can become relatively infertile.
Layers. The specific composition of those horizons depends largely on climate, vegetation, and parent material
At the surface of many soils is a layer of organic detritus and animal bodies, all in various stages of decomposition
This is also known as topsoil. It is a zone of organic material and minerals that have been mixed together
A zone of leaching, or eluviation. It forms under the O Horizon or the A Horizon. When present, it always occurs above the B Horizon. When the E Horizon is present, iron, aluminum, and dissolved organic acids from the overlying horizons are transported through and removed from the E Horizon and deposited in the B Horizon, where they accumulate.
This is commonly known as subsoil. It is composed primarily of mineral material with very little organic matter.
The least weathered soil horizon, always occurs beneath the B Horizon. The C Horizon is similar to the parent material.
The texture of a soil is determined by percentages of sand, silt, and clay it contains. Soil texture can have a strong influence on how the physical environment responds to environmental pollution.
How quickly soil drains. This depends on the texture of the soil. Sand has the highest porosity, because sand particles are the largest. Clay particles has the the lowest porosity, because it is the smallest of the three components. Silt particles are intermediate in size and in their ability to drain or retain wate
Cation Exchange Capacity
The ability of a soil to absorb and release cations. The overall CEC of a soil is a function of the amount and types of clay particles present. Soils with high CECs have the potential to provide essential cations to plants and are desirable for agriculture.
A measure of the proportion of soil bases to soil acids, expressed as a percentage.
The loss of some or all of the ability of soils to support plant growth. One of the major causes of soil degradation is soil erosion which occurs when topsoil is disturbed or vegetation is removed, allowing the soil to be eroded by water or wind.
The Mining Law of 1872`
This is a United States federal law that authorizes and governs prospecting and mining for economic minerals. It was passed to promote the development and settlement of publicly-owned lands in the western United States.
The Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977
The primary federal law that regulates the environmental effects of coal mining in the United States.
extract (metal) from its ore by a process involving heating and melting.