48 terms

Earth Science Unit 1 Vocabulary

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Astronomy
Study of our solar system and the objects in it
Casts
Type of fossil in which material is deposited in a space created by a dead animal or plant
Cross-Cutting Relationship
The principle that an intrusion or fault is younger than the rock it cuts across
Ecology
Study of the interactions between the living things on Earth and their nonliving resources in their environments
Environmental Science
Study of the effects people have on their environments and Earth's resources
Eons
The largest division of time on the geological scale; includes Phanerozoic, Proterozoic, and Archean
Epochs
Divisions within geologic periods; the smallest units of geologic time
Eras
Divisions within the various eons and often tied to mass extinctions or major events; divided into periods, such as Paleozoic, Mesozoic, or Cenozoic
Extinct
A term that typically describes a species that no longer has any known living individuals.
Fossils
Preserved remains of plants and animals
Geologic time scale
Used to explain the history of the Earth based on rock and fossil evidence
Geology
Study of solid earth including rocks, minerals, and Earth's resources
Glaciology
The scientific study of the nature, formation, and movement of glaciers
Hydrology
Study of underground water found between soil and rock particles
Index fossils
Distinctive fossils used to establish and compare the relative ages of rock layers and the fossils they contain
Key beds
A well-defined, easily identified strata that is distinctive enough to be useful in correlation in matching rock from different areas/regions
Lateral Continuity
Principle that states that an original sedimentary layer extends laterally until it tapers or thins at its edges.
Limnology
Study of rivers and lakes
Marine biology
Study of living things in the ocean
Meteorology
Study of Earth's atmosphere and weather
Mineralogy
Study of minerals and their properties
Molds
An open area left behind after a plant or animal remains are gone; filled in with deposits to form cast fossils
Oceanography
Study of the oceans
Original Horizontality
Principle stating that sedimentary rocks are deposited in horizontal or nearly horizontal layers.
Paleontology
Study of fossils and how ancient organisms lived
Periods
Divisions in a specific era, such as Quaternary, Jurassic, and Cambrian
Petrification
The process by which organic material is turned into stone or fossils; cells are replaced with minerals
Relative age
The age of a specific rock in comparison with other rocks; i.e. older or younger than surrounding rock
Rocks
Provides clues about Earth's past; classified as igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic
Seismology
Study of earthquakes
Selenology
Study of the moon and its geology
Stratigraphy
The study of rock layers and the sequence of events they reflect
Superposition
A principle that states that younger rocks lie above older rocks if the layers have not been disturbed
Unconformity
Refers to a gap in the sequence of rock
Uniformitarianism
A principle that geologic processes that occurred in the past can be explained by current geologic processes
Volcanology
Study of volcanoes
Phanerozoic
Most recent eon on Earth in the geologic time scale
Cenozoic
Most recent era on Earth in the geologic time scale
Quaternary
Most recent period on Earth in the geologic time scale
Holocene
Most recent epoch on Earth in the geologic time scale
Amber
Fossilized tree sap that may contain the actual remains of ancient life
Tar Pit
Area composed of a petroleum-based substance that acts as a preservative for ancient predators and prey
Freezing
Preservation of ancient animals and plants in areas were temperatures were below freezing for extended periods of time
Ages
Smaller divisions of an epoch in geologic time
Trilobite
A marine arthropod, now extinct, that lived during the Paleozoic era
Impression
Type of fossil in which imprints are preserved, such as footprints in a river bed
Sedimentary
Type of rock in which most rocks form
Igneous
Type of rock formed when lava or magma cools and hardens