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Essential Environment Chapter 11
Geology, minerals and mining.
Terms in this set (40)
study of the earth's physical features, processes, dynamic history. Geologists study and analyze rocks and the features and processes of the earth's interior and surface.
slow process by which rocks are heated, melted, cooled, broken down and reassembled, sequence of events in which rocks are formed, destroyed, altered, and reformed by geological processes
any solid aggregation of minerals, a naturally formed group of minerals bound together; can consist largely of one mineral or several different minerals in varying quantities
any naturally occurring, inorganic, or solid element compound, with a crystalline structure, specific chemical composition,distinct physical properties, and an orderly internal atomic structure
rock in its molten, liquid state. Molten mixture of rock-forming substances, gases, and water from the mantle, hot fluid or semifluid material below or within the earth's crust from which lava and other igneous rock is formed by cooling.
Molten rock that is discharged onto the earth's surface by a volcano, magma that flows or spatters across the earth's surface, liquid magma that reaches the Earth's surface.
particles of rock sent downstream or downwind from their sources by weathering and erosion, loose materials such as rock fragments, mineral grains, and bits of shell that have been moved by wind, water, ice, or gravity
produced by fire, great heat, or the action of a volcano; solidified from a molten state. Igneous rock is formed by the cooling and solidification of magma. Comes in two forms: intrusive (cools slowly beneath the earth's surface) and extrusive (cools quickly above the surface). Rocks formed by the cooling and solidifying of molten materials. Igneous rocks can form beneath the Earth's surface, or at its surface, as lava. Andesite, basalt, obsidian, pumice, rhyolite and scoria
formed when sediments are physically pressed together & dissolved minerals seep through the sediment, binding particles together, a type of rock, such as limestone, that is most likely to contain fossils and is formed when layers of sand, silt, clay, or mud are cemented and compacted together or when minerals are deposited from a solution
A type of rock that forms from an existing rock (igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rock ) that is changed by heat (not melted, still in solid state), pressure, or chemical reactions. Can affect its form or composition, or both. Examples of metamorphic rocks are schist (converted basalt), quartzite (compressed sandstone), and marble (compressed limestone or dolomite), gneiss (the product of metamorphosed granite).
thin, brittle, low-density layer of rock that covers the earth's surface, solid outermost layer of the Earth above the mantle.
the layer of hot, solid material between Earth's crust and core, thick layer of denser ductile rock underneath the crust. The middle layer of the Earth; made of hot rock that circulates by convection.
the earth's center, consisting of very hot metal that is dense and solid in the inner core and molten, or liquid, in the outer core.
movement of lithospheric plates across the earth's surface, the theory that pieces of Earth's lithosphere are in constant motion, driven by convection currents in the mantle, proposes that earth's outer shell consists of individual plates that interact in various ways and thereby produce earthquakes, volcanoes, mountains,
divergent plate boundaries
tectonic plates push apart from one another as magma rises and forms new crust as it cools, boundary where two plates move apart resulting in the upwelling of material from the mantle to create new seafloor
transform plate boundaries
two plates slip and grind alongside one another, creating friction that generates earthquakes, where plates are sliding past one another, areas of shear stresses, transform faults created, high earthquake activity & some crustal deformation (creation of hills or small mts.), no subduction or volcanism
EX: San Andreas Fault Zone in southern California
convergent plate boundaries
Forms where two plates collide when the denser plate sinks below the more buoyant plate, (ex. mid-ocean trenches). Mineral deposits and volcanoes are most abundant at convergent plate boundaries, ocean-ocean, ocean-continent or continent-continent plate edge collisions
the process by which collision of the earth's crustal plates results in one plate's being drawn down or overridden by another, localized along the juncture (subduction zone) of two plates.
when material from two plates come together and form mountains along plate boundaries, The process of two buoyant pieces of lithosphere converging and squashing together.
consequences of tectonic movement that pose hazards - Earthquakes- shaking can damage buildings- undersea could create tsunamis. Volcanoes- can be predicted (most dangerous); pyroclastic flows- hot gas and ash Mudflows- water and rock Landslides, floods, and wave erosion (Katrina)
a release of energy along tectonic plate boundaries and fault lines during which the earth relieves built-up pressure, shaking and vibration at the surface of the earth resulting from underground movement along a fault plane or from volcanic activity
results when molten rock, hot gas or ask erupts through the earth's surface; often creates a mountain over time as lava accumulates, a vent or fissure in the Earth's surface through which magma and gases are expelled
a volcanically active area of Earth's surface far from a tectonic plate boundary, localized areas where plugs of molten rock from the mantle erupt through the crust, hot regions within mantle that produce magma that rises to surface; volcanic island chains form as oceanic plates drift over a hot spot (hawaiian islands)
A hot, high-velocity mixture of ash, toxic gas and fragmented rock that flows like a liquid down slopes and over terrain. , swift-moving, potentially deadly clouds of gas, ash, and other volcanic materials produced by a violent eruption.
rapid downslope movement of a mass of loose soil, rock, or debris that has separated from the bedrock; can be triggered by an earthquake, large amounts of rock or soil collapse and flow downhill. A downslope movement of rock and soil over a surface and under the influence of gravity. (accelerated version of mass wasting),
downslope movement of soil and rock due to gravity; occurs naturally but is often brought about by land use practices that expose or loosen soil, movement, caused by gravity, in which bedrock, rock debris, or soil moves downslope in bulk
Large, powerful, ocean wave generated by the vertical motions of the seafloor during an earthquake; in shallow water, can form huge, fast-moving breakers exceeding 30 m in height that can damage coastal areas. , A sea wave of local or distant origin that results from large-scale seafloor displacements associated with large earthquakes, major submarine slides, or exploding volcanic islands.
a chemical element or mass of such an element; lustrous and opaque; malleable; can conduct heat and electricity, a mixture containing two or more metallic elements or metallic and nonmetallic elements usually fused together or dissolving into each other when molten,
a mineral or grouping of minerals from which we extract metals, part of a metal-yielding material that can be economically and legally extracted at a given time. An ore typically contains two parts: the ore mineral, which contains the desired metal, and waste mineral material. Usually a useful metallic mineral that can be mined at a profit; the term is also applied to certain nonmetallic minerals such as fluorite and sulfur
proccess in which rock and soil are stripped from earths surface to expose the underlying materials to be mined, layers of surface soil and rock are removed from large areas to expose the resource; commonly used for coal, sand, gravel, and oil sands; can trigger extensive soil erosion,
overlying soil and rock that covers a resource; replaced after a resource is used up, the surface soil that must be moved away to get at coal seams and mineral deposits
sulfide minerals in newly exposed rock surfaces react with O2 and rainwater to produce sulfuric acid, leads to chemical runoff as it leaches metals from the rocks, pollution caused when sulfuric acid and dangerous dissolved materials such as lead, arsenic, and cadmium wash from coal and metal mines into nearby lakes and streams
shafts are excavated deep into the ground to reach concentrated pockets or seams of a resource; networks of tunnels are exposed to follow deposits; one of two major methods used to remove coal; the most dangerous form of mining.
open pit mining
Removing minerals such as gravel, sand, and metal ores by digging them out of the earth's surface and leaving an open pit. When a mineral is spread widely and evenly throughout a rock formation or earth is resistant to tunneling, a giant hole is dug to remove the desired ore; used to extract copper, iron, gold, diamonds, and coal.
open pit mines used to extract clay, gravel, sand, and stones like limestone, granite and marble, open pit mines where building stone, crushed rock, sand, and gravel are found., places where stone is dug, cut or blasted out for use in building construction. The products from the quarries are often used in building constuction.
A form of mining that required little technology or skill, placer mining techniques included using a shovel and a washing pan to separate gold from the ore in streams and riverbeds. An early phase of the mining industry, placer mining could be performed by miners working as individuals or in small groups. Miners sift through material in riverbed deposits using running water to separate mud from valuable resources; used to mine for coltan and gold; disturbs stream banks, causes erosion and harms riparian plant communities,
Type of surface mining that uses explosives, massive shovels, and even larger machinery called draglines to remove the top of a mountain to expose seams of coal underneath a mountain. Entire mountain tops are blasted off through repeated cycles of blasting; used primarily for coal in the Appalachian Mountains; waste is dumped into adjacent valleys; removes whole watersheds, has major external impacts on the surrounding area,
large vacuum-cleaner-like hydraulic dredges are used to collect sand and gravel from the ocean floor; commonly used to extract sulfur, phosphorite, CaCo2, and silica
Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act
1977; mandates restoration efforts (companies must remove structures, replace overburden, fill in shafts, and replant the area); requires companies to post bonds to cover reclamation before mining is approved. Regulates active coal mines and regulates reclamation of abandoned mine lands. Sets environmental standards that mines must follow while operating and achieve when reclaiming mined land. this ensures that the mining site will be reclaimed no matter what. United States federal law
General Mining Act
1872; encourages prospecting for minerals on federally owned land b allowing any US citizen to stake a claim on any plot of public land and patent the claim for a small price; extracted minerals require no payment to the public, -allowed individuals and companies to recover ores or fuels from federal lands
-was written primarily to encourage development and settlement in the western United States and, as a result, contains very few environmental protection provisions
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