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Terms in this set (165)
The Earth's axis is tilted ____ degrees from a perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic
Water can hold _____ heat energy than a comparable volume of rock
The Subarctic zone contains ___ degrees north latitude
The sub solar point occurs at ____ latitudes, between the tropics
The tropopause altitude is highest at the equator because of:
The tropopause is located approximately ____ km from Earth's surface
What is the most important control on temperature?
When water evaporates from a surface, energy is stored ____ the water
Different plants use different types of photosynthesis, each producing a different carbon isotope ratio in plant materials, which scientists use to determine past temperature and rainfall conditions
16O is locked up in snow and ice during periods of colder temperatures, and oceans therefore have more 18O at those times
In normal faults, the hanging wall slides over the ___
The San Andreas fault would have to be a _____ fault associated with tension forces for California to fall into the ocean
If the saturation vapor pressure increases while the amount of water vapor in the air is constant, this would indicate that the temperature has _____
Seasonal fluctuations in CO2 emissions reflect seasonal changes in __________ in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere
When water ____, it releases heat energy and heats the surrounding air
What is the vertical profile of groundwater resources?
Zone of aeration, water table, zone of saturation, impermeable rock
Pangea is currently dated at ____ to ____ million years ago
225 to 200
Where is this true? PET>AET
In a hot desert
What is the difference between wilting point and field capacity approximately equal to?
______ is the science that studies the relationships among geographic areas, natural systems, society, cultural activities, and the interdependence of all of the above through space.
The ____ is essential to understanding Earth and the complex relations between Earth's physical systems and humanity.
The scientific method goes as follows: observations, questions and variables, _____, testing, results, theory development
What are the three abiotic (or non-living) systems of Earth?
atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere
What is Earth's one biotic, or living, system?
Latitude and parallels, longitude and meridian allow all places on earth to be precisely _____
What is the angular distance north or south of the equator, measured from the center of earth, called?
What is the angular distance east or west of a point on Earth's surface measured from the center of Earth?
A ____ is a generalized depiction of the layout of Earth's surface area
What are the three map scales?
representative fraction, written scale, graphic scale
What is the one advantage to the graphic map scale?
If a map is reduced or enlarged, the graphic scale enlarges or reduces along with the map
________ obtains information about Earth systems from great distances without the need for physical contact
What is the computer-based, data-processing tool for gathering, manipulating, and analyzing geographic information called?
Our solar system is located on a remote, trailing edge of the Milky Way galaxy (a flattened, disk-shaped mass) estimated to contain up to ___ billion stars
How many light-years is our solar system?
In its orbit, Earth is at ____ (its closest point to the sun) during our Northern Hemisphere winter
Earth is at ____ (its farthest position from the sun) during out Northern Hemisphere summer
Earth's orbit around the sun is presently _____ (a closed oval path)
What is the plane of Earth's orbit about the sun called?
The plane of the ecliptic
Light reaches Earth from the sun in how long?
8 minutes 20 seconds
What is the average distance from the earth to the sun?
What causes sunspots?
magnetic storms on the sun
Sunspots are more than ___ times Earth's diameter
Temperatures of sunspots are ___ than the temperatures of their surroundings
How long is the activity cycle of sunspots?
_____ is clouds of electrically charged particles, and takes about 3 days to reach Earth
What can produce solar wind?
Solar radiation occupies a portion of the _______ of radiant energy.
What is the solar radiation that reaches a horizontal plane at earth called?
What are the five reasons for the seasons?
revolution, rotation, till of Earth's axis, axial parallelism, and sphericity
What is revolution? (a reason for seasons)
Earth's rotation around the sun
what is rotation? (a reason for seasons)
Earth rotates on its axis
How far is Earth tilted from the plane of the ecliptic? (a reason for seasons)
Axial parallelism: axis maintains _____ during orbit around the sun, North Pole points toward the North Star (Polaris)
Air is a simple mixture of gases that is naturally ___, ___, ___, and ____
odorless, colorless, tasteless, and formless
Both air pressure and air density decrease with _____ altitude
What are the atmosphere's two broad zones?
Homosphere (surface to 80km, heterosphere (80-480km)
According tp the atmospheric temperature profile, the atmosphere has four layers:
troposphere and mesosphere, stratosphere and thermosphere
For the troposphere and mesosphere, temperatures ____ with increasing altitude
for the stratosphere and thermosphere, temperatures ___ with increasing altitude
According to the atmospheric function, the atmosphere has two layers: the ____ and _____
ionosphere (80-480km) and ozonosphere (18-50km)
The ionosphere absorbs ____
The ozonosphere absorbs ____
Solar energy through the troposphere to Earth's surface undergoes ___, scattering, diffusion, and reflection
What refers to the passage of shortwave and long wave energy through the atmosphere or water?
what is reflection?
a portion of arriving radiation that bounces directly back into space without being absorbed or performing any work
what is scattering?
changing direction of light's movement, without altering its wavelengths
Rayleigh scattering rule: the ___ the wavelength, the greater the scattering and vise versa
Albedo is the ___ quality of a surface.
Albedo of water surfaces vary with ____ altitude.
Blue sky, red sunrise, and red sunset are due to ____
____ is the molecule-to-molecule transfer of energy
____ is the energy transfer by vertical movement
_____ is the energy transfer by horizontal movement.
_____ is the balance of all radiation at Earth's surface
Net radiation is expended from a non-vegetated surface through three passageways:
sensible heat flux, latent heat of evaporation, ground heat flux
What is sensible heat flux?
the heat energy transfer between air and surface
what is latent heat of evaporation?
the energy stored in water vapor as water evaporates
what is ground heat flux?
when the energy flows into or out of the ground surface by conduction
____ is a measure of the average kinetic energy of individual molecules in matter
____ is a form of energy that flows from one system of object to another due to temperature difference
Heat and temperature are ___ because changes in temperature are caused by the absorption or emission of heat energy
There are four principal temperature controlling factors:
latitude, altitude, cloud cover, and land-water heating differences
Altitude: temperatures ___ with increasing altitude
Air density ___ with increasing altitude
Thin air has a ___ ability to absorb and radiate sensible heat
evaporation is ___ over water surfaces
The term ____ describes locations that exhibit the moderating influences of the ocean, usually along coastlines or on islands.
marine effect (maritime)
_____ refers to areas less affected by the sea and therefore having a greater range between maximum and minimum temperatures on both a daily and yearly basis
What correlates cold and wind speed?
wing chill index
In regards to the wind chill index, stronger wind leads to a ____ wind chill index
What correlated heat and humidity?
The higher the humidity, the ___ the heat index
A change from one phase of water (liquid, solid, gas) is called a ___.
Latent heat is the heat ___ required for water to undergo a phase change
A change from liquid to solid is called:
A change form solid to liquid is called:
A change from liquid to vapor is called:
A change from vapor to liquid is called:
A change from vapor to sold is called:
A change from solid to vapor is called:
The amount of water vapor in the air is called:
______ is a ratio of the amount of water vapor actually int he air to the maximum a mount possible at a given temperature
The temperature at which air achieves saturation is called:
The ______ refers to the tendency of an air parcel either tor email in place or to change vertical position by ascending or descending.
An air parcel is ____ if it resists displacement upward or, when disturbed, it tends tor turn to its starting place
An air parcel is ___ if it continues to rise until it reaches an altitude where the surrounding air has a density (air temperature) similar to its own
The degree of stability depends on ____ difference between inside an air parcel and the air surrounding the parcel
What is it called when an aggregation of tiny moisture droplets and ice crystals suspend in the air?
Cloud formation process: ___ cooling by vertical lift, air parcel cools to dew-point temperature, air parcel becomes saturated, condensation occurs
Water molecules came from within Earth over a period of billions of years in the ___ process.
Water covers about 71% of Earth and approximately ____% is freshwater (most of this is frozen) and the remaining is salt water.
The _____ cycle is a model of Earth's water system, which has operated fro billions of years from the lower atmosphere to several kilometers beneath Earth's surface.
______ is the net movement of free water molecules away from a were surface into air
____ is the movement of water through plants and back into the atmosphere
Evapotranspiration is ___ and ___ combined into one term
evaporation and transpiration
A water budget can be established for any area of Earth's surface by measuring the ____ input and the output of various water demands int he area considered.
____ lies beneath the surface beyond the soil moisture root zone.
Excess surface water moves through the zone of ___, where soil is not saturated.
Eventually, the water reaches the saturation zone. The upper limit of the water that collects in the saturation zone is called the:
An ____ is a rock layer that is permeable to groundwater flow in usable amounts.
An unconfined aquifer has a ____ layer on top and an impermeable one beneath.
A confined aquifer is bounded above and below by ____ layers of rock or unconsolidated material
Without direct measurements, scientists use ___ methods to study past climates.
____ analysis uses relative amounts of the isotopes of chemical elements to identify the composition of past oceans and ice masses.
The science of using tree growth rings to study past climates is ______
Analysis of mineral deposits in caves that form ____ and the growth of rings of ocean corals can also identify past environmental conditions.
Climate ____ are processes that either amplify or reduce climatic trans toward warming or cooling.
The primary greenhouse gases produced by human activities are ___, ___, ___, and ___
carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, halogenated gases
The increasing presence of anthropogenic gases is causing a positive _____ forcing (or climate forcing)
Climate models show that positive radiative forcing is caused by what type of gases rather than natural factors such as solar variability and volcanic aerosols?
anthropogenic greenhouse gases
What is the principle mitigation measure to slow rates of climate change?
to reduce carbon emissions, especially in our buying of fossil fuels
The _____ interface is where the endogenic system (internal), powered by heat energy from within the planet, interacts with the exogenic system (external), powered by insulation and influenced by gravity
The most fundamental principle of Earth science is:
Uniformitarianism assumes that the same physical processes active in the environment today have been operating throughout ___ time.
Scientists use ___ waves to probe the Earth's internal structure and density profile.
Earth's three major internal layers are:
core, mantle, and crust
The outer part of Earth's crust is divided into two layers:
lithosphere and asthenosphere
The uppermost mantle, along with the crust, makes up the
Below the lithosphere is the ____, or plastic layer
Three main groups of rock are:
igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic
Igneous rock is
sedimentary rock is formed from
metamorphic rock is formed from being
______ is the theory that the lithosphere is divided into a number of plates that float independently over the mantle and along whose boundaries occur the formation of new crust, the building of mountains, and the seismic activity that causes earthquakes
There are three types of plate boundaries:
convergent, divergent, transform
Evidence for testing the plate tectonics theory include:
seafloor spreading, magnetic reversal, age of the seafloor, earthquake and volcanic activity, and hot spots
____ boundaries occur in areas of crustal collision and subduction, where areas of continental and oceanic lithosphere meet, crust is compressed and then lost in a destruction process as it moves downward into the mantle
____ boundaries occur in areas of seafloor spreading, where upwelling material from the mantle form new seafloor and lithospheric plates spread apart in a constructional process
___ boundaries occur where plates slide past one another, usually at right angles, to a seafloor spreading center
____ is the vertical elevation difference in a local landscape . There are three crustal orders of relief.
First order of relief:
coarsest level, consists of continental landmasses and ocean basins
second order of relief:
the intermediate level, includes mountain masses, plains, lowlands (continental features), mid-ocean ridges, oceanic trenches, etc .
third order of relief:
the most detailed level, includes mountain masses, plains, lowlands (continental features), mid-ocean ridges, oceanic trenches
A continent has a nucleus of ancient crystalline rocks called a:
A region where a craton is exposed is a:
As continental crust forms, it is enlarged through accretion of:
Compression causes rocks to deform in a process known as ___, during which rock strata bend and may overturn
When rock strata are stressed beyond their ability to remain a solid unit, they express the strain as a ___ or ____.
fracture or fault
Rocks on either side of the fracture are displaced relative to the other side in a process known as:
Three types of fault are ___ (by tension stress), ___ (by compression stress), and ____ (by shear stress)
normal, reverse, strike-slip
What is the birth of mountains called?
Three types of tectonic activity cause mountain building:
ocean plate-continental plate collision, oceanic plate-oceanic plate collisions, and continental plate-continental plate collision
An ____ is the release of energy that occurs at the moment of fracture along a fault in the crust, producing seismic waves
Seismic motions are measured with a seismometer, also called a:
A ____ forms at the end of a central vent of pipe that rises from the asthenosphere through the crust
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