GEOL 1005 Final
Terms in this set (88)
A general term applied to a rapid mass-wasting event
a quicksand condition arising in wet soil shaken by seismic waves; soil loses its strength as particles lose contact with each other
mass wasting (mass movement)
the downslope movement of material due to gravity
a form of mass wasting in which a relatively coherent mass of material moves downslope along a well-defined surface
the accumulation of unconsolidated rock and mineral fragments and organic matter formed in place at the earth's surface; capable of supporting life
Angle of repose
the steepest angle at which loose material remains stationary without sliding downslope
mass wasting by free-fall of material not always in contact with the ground underneath
the ability of a material to resist shearing stress
stress that tends to cause different parts of an object to slide past each other across a plane; with respect to mass movements, stress tending to pull material downslope
a force applied to an object
a low mound or ridge of sediment (usually sand) deposited by wind
Very rapid and turbulent mass wasting of debris, air, and water.
clay The sediment formed from glacial rock flour deposited in a marine setting, weakened by subsequent flushing with fresh pore water.
A fine sediment of pulverized rock produced by glacial erosion.
a slide moved only a short distance, often with a rotational component to the movement
accumulation of rock debris at the base of a cliff
mass wasting in which materials move in a chaotic fashion
creep (rock or soil)
Slow, gradual downslope movement of unstable surficial materials (as contrasted with more abrupt landslides)
The percentage of the total volume of a rock or sediment that consists of open spaces.
A measure of how readily fluid can flow through a rock, sediment, or soil
Saturated zone (phreatic zone)
The region of rock or soil in which pore spaces are completely filled with liquid
water in the zone of saturation, below the water table
unsaturated zone (vadose zone)
A partly saturated region of rock or soil, above the water table
the top of the zone of saturation
The water in the soil in the zone of aeration, or vadose zone.
the process of infiltration and migration by which ground water is replenished
occurs where ground water flows into a stream, escapes at the surface in a spring, or otherwise exits the aquifer.
rock that is sufficiently porous and permeable to be useful as a source of water
rock of low permeability, through which water flows very slowly
an aquifer surrounded by a layer of impermeable rock or clay that impedes water flow
an aquifer made of porous rock covered by soil out of which water can easily flow
a confined aquifer system in which ground water can rise above its aquifer under its own pressure
The potential level to which water will rise above the water level in an aquifer in a well that penetrates a confined aquifer; if the potential level is higher than the land surface, the well will overflow..
the potential energy available to drive the flow of a given volume of groundwater at a location
Darcy's Law Equation
cone of depression
a broadly conical depression of the water table or potentiometric surface caused by pumped groundwater withdrawal
perched water table
a quantity of groundwater that lies above the regional water table because an underlying lens of impermeable rock or sediment prevents the water from sinking down to the regional water table
a circular depression formed when the roof of a cave collapses
Salt water intrusion
near the coast, over-pumping of groundwater causes saltwater to move into the aquifer
A type of landscape in rainy regions where there is limestone near the surface, characterized by caverns, sinkholes, and valleys
Water that has certain dissolved ions in it - predominately calcium and magnesium ions
hydrocarbon fuels formed from organic matter
A natural resource that is not replaced in a useful time frame.
a liquid mixture of complex hydrocarbon compounds; used widely as a fuel source
a gaseous mixture of hydrocarbons, especially methane
coal bed methane
methane associated with, and extracted from, coal deposits
Natural gas occurring within or extracted from shale. Previously impossible to extract without gracing
The pumping of water at high pressure to break apart rocks in order to release natural gas
deep aquifers under unusually high pressure, exceeding normal hydrostatic (fluid) pressure
How is coal formed?
formed from plant remains subject to high heat and pressure without exposure to oxygen over millions of years
softest form of coal; low sulfur content; not much energy
A form of coal that is softer than anthracite but harder than lignite.
coal of a hard variety that contains relatively pure carbon and burns with little flame and smoke. Hardest coal
The heating and partial combustion of coal to release gases such as methane and carbon monoxide; after pollutants are washed out, these gases become efficient, clean-burning fuel.
Any process by which coal is converted into a liquid hydrocarbon fuel.
Rock that contains hydrocarbons; can be burned directly or processed to extract liquid petroleum
Solid, waxy mixture of hydrocarbons found in oil shale rock
a deposit of loose sand or partially consolidated sandstone containing petroleum or other hydrocarbons.
A degraded petroleum that forms when petroleum migrates to the surface of Earth and is modified by bacteria.
A nuclear reaction in which a massive nucleus splits into smaller nuclei with the simultaneous release of energy
a nuclear reaction in which atomic nuclei of low atomic number fuse to form a heavier nucleus with the release of energy.
Turns uranium into a renewable resource by generating plutonium
a possible nuclear reactor accident resulting from loss of core coolant and subsequent overheating
the shutdown of a nuclear reactor at the end of its safe, useful life; includes the disposal of radioactive parts
Solar energy cells, usually made from silicon, that collect solar rays to generate electricity.
Energy from steam or hot water produced from hot or molten underground rocks.
the rate of increase of temperature with increasing depth in the earth.
hot dry rock
geothermal resource area in which geothermal gradients are high but indigenous ground water is lacking
ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC)
A potential energy source that involves harnessing the solar radiation absorbed by tropical oceans in the tropics.
Fuels, such as ethanol or methanol, that are created from the fermentation of plants or plant products.
The type of weathering in which rock is physically broken into smaller pieces
The process that breaks down rock through chemical changes
The organic horizon at the surface of many soils, composed of organic detritus in various stages of decomposition
Usually top zone in soil profile, consisting of mix of mineral and organic material.
precipitation infiltrates down through the A horizon and below. In so doing, the water may dissolve soluble minerals and carry them away with it.
E horizon (zone of leaching)
The zone of leaching that forms under the O horizon or, less often, the A horizon.
B horizon (zone of accumulation)
A soil layer characterized by the accumulation of material leached downward from the A horizon above; also called zone of accumulation.
The least-weathered soil horizon, which always occurs beneath the B horizon and is similar to the parent material.
A red, highly leached soil type found in the tropics that is rich in oxides of iron and aluminum
soil associated with drier regions and characterized by an accumulation of calcium carbonate in the upper horizons
soil of humid regions characterized by the accumulation of iron oxides and aluminum-rich clays in the B horizon
Small particles of dust released into the atmosphere by many natural processes and human activities
Acid rain is caused by
release of sulfur by burning of fossil fuels
Rain containing acids that form in the atmosphere when industrial gas emissions (especially sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides) combine with water.
Isolation of carbon in some reservoir, from which it does not contribute to atmospheric CO2.
A situation in which a relatively warm layer of air at mid-altitude covers a layer of cold, dense air below. Can lead to serious pollution problems
an area of the ozone layer (near the poles) that is seasonally depleted of ozone
Electromagnetic radiation just to the short-wavelength side of the visible light spectrum; biologically hazardous.