47 terms

Processes Shaping Planet Earth

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Atmosphere
world of air
Lithosphere
solid rock portion of the earth
Hydrosphere
All bodies of water
Biosphere
where plants and animals live (everything combined)
Alfred Wegener in 1912
Continental drift theory he came up with
Pangaea
supercontinent
Continental drift theory
earth was once a supercontinent that divided and slowly drifted apart over millions of years
CONVECTION and GRAVITY
causes for plate movement
Mountain Building
two land plates slowly push into one another, they often fold upward
SEAFLOOR SPREADING
plates move apart, magma rises up through the cracks in the ocean floor creating a ridge of mountains or islands
RIFT VALLEYS
long valleys between parallel ridges of mountains
fault
a break in Earth's crust
earthquakes
parts of the rocky crust will break causing a fault and sending vibrations
seismograph
Scientists measure the waves sent by an earthquake
tsunami
earthquake occurs under or near the ocean
VOLCANOES
Pockets of molten rock form beneath the Earth's surface and may break through the Earth's crust
Ring of Fire
zone of volcanoes and frequent earthquakes in the Pacific Ocean
WEATHERING
wearing down of rocks at the Earth's surface by actions of wind, water, ice and living things
EROSION
process by which rock, sand and soil are broken down and carried away
DEPOSITION
deposit particles and sediment in another place building it up
VALLEYS
long, low areas between ranges of mountains, hills or uplands
PLATEAU
a flat highland whose sides drop suddenly because of erosion
CANYONS
deep gorge or ravine between cliffs often carved from landscape by a river
Plains or Prairie
large, flat grassland w/few trees
Oceans (4 of them)
Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Arctic
Waves
Swells or ridges in water produced by winds
Tides
regular rises and falls of the ocean created by the gravitational pull of the moon or the sun
Ocean Currents
movements of the ocean's waters
Transfer of Energy
carrying warm water from the tropics to colder regions, and cold water from polar regions towards the tropics
Lakes
95% of earth's fresh water
drainage basin
area drained by a major river and its tributaries
Water table
level at which the rock is saturated, falls back into a body of water
Continental shelf
the earth's surface from the edge of a continent to the deep part of the ocean
Relief
the difference in elevation of a landform from its lowest point to its highest point
Island
a body of land surrounded by water
Swamp
a lowland region that is saturated by water
Strait
a narrow channel connecting 2 larger bodies of water
Delta
a triangular area of land formed from deposits at the mouth of a river
Oasis
a spot of fertile land in a desert, fed by water from wells or underground springs
Cataract
a step-like series of waterfalls
Climate
average weather conditions of a place over a period of time.
Temperate Deciduous Forest
Trees change color in fall and lose leaves in winter
Coniferous Forest
those trees bearing cones and needles. Found in huge areas in northern regions of North America, Asia and Europe
Tropical Rain Forests
Develop in tropical areas near the equator where there is ample (a lot of) rainfall and warm temperatures year-round
Grassland
Exist where climate is drier and not enough rainfall to support large amounts of trees
Deserts
Regions that receive less than 10 inches rainfall annually
Tundra
Much of ground is frozen year-round (cold desert)
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