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may have to view them definition to term rather than term to definition

Age of Universe

13.7 billion years

Age of Solar System

5 billion years

Age of the Earth

4.567 billion years

Astronomical units (AMU)

measure distances in space to planets

Light years

measure distance to stars and distant objects

Three things that define a planet?

round, orbits the sun, cleared neighborhood

Specific Humidity

actual amount of moisture in the air

Relative Humidity

percent of total possible humidity in the air

Formula for relative humidity

specific humidity divided by capacity

Dew point

temperature where water vapor condenses


maximum amount of water vapor the air can hold

What happens when air is saturated?

The specific humidity is equal to the capacity, water vapor will become liquid, dew point temperature


measures the dry bulb temperature and wet bulb temperature

Dry bulb temperature

regular air temperature

Wet bulb temperature

cooler temperature reached by evaporating water off a thermometer

Latent heat

heat absorbed or released when water condenses or evaporates

Cirrus clouds

high, thin, wispy clouds

Cumulus clouds

puffy, flat bottom, air moving up

Stratus clouds

flat layers of clouds that cover much or all of the sky


added to cloud name when it's a rain cloud


added to a cloud name when it's a high cloud


small clouds left over from a rain storm


stratus clouds that touch the ground


rain or snow that evaporates before it reaches the ground


blows from high to low pressure

Three things that make wind blow:

air pressure, friction, Coriolis Effect

Coriolis Effect

bends wind to the right in northern hemisphere, wind to the left in southern hemisphere


line of equal pressure on a map

Low pressure area

air rising, cloudy and stormy weather

High pressure area

air sinking, clear weather

Cold front

cumulonimbus clouds, brief and heavy rains, thunder/lightening, clearing with cooler temperatures

Warm front

see cirrus clouds, stratus, stratonimbus with long, steady, moderate rains, clearing with warmer temperatures

Layers of the atmosphere (top to bottom)

thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, troposphere

Sea breeze

wind blows from water to shore (low pressure over shore). happens during the day

Land breeze

wind blows from shore to water (low pressure over water). happens during the night


solid, naturally occurring, inorganic, same chemical structure, atoms in orderly arrangement

Identification of minerals

luster, fracture/cleavage, streak, specific gravity, color, hardness, crystal shape

Mechanical weathering

rock is physically broken into smaller pieces

Frost wedging

happens to ice and water. ice melts and refreezes


sand/pebbles grinding against a rock and wearing it down

Upward expansion

exfoliation domes

Chemical weathering

rock is broken down by changes in its chemical makeup


reactions involving water


reactions with oxygen (rusting)

Rates of weathering

surface area, composition of rock, climate


rock shaped by wind


collapsed volcano (Crater Lake)

Volcanic neck

internal but now exposed "pipes" of volcanoes


flat-topped mountain


smaller mesa

Talus slope

pile of broken rock at the base of a mountain

Mushroom rock

weathered at bade by sand carried in wind near the ground

Cap rock

harder rock on top of softer rock, harder rock protects softer rock

Desert pavement

layers of pebbles on desert floor

Desert varnish

dark oxidized material on rocks

Spheroidal weathering

corners of rocks weather first, sphere-shaped rocks

Wind gap

gap in a ridge created by river that is no longer there

Sedimentary rocks

rocks formed from the weathering, erosion, depostion, and compaction of other rocks

Clastic sedimentary rocks

made of pieces of rock broken from other rocks

Organic sedimentary rocks

made of remains of plants or animals

Chemical sedimentary rocks

made from minerals dissolved in water

Bed load

largest sediment rolled along river bed


sediment that bounces along river bed


sediment carried in water of river

Dissolved load

cannot be seen, minerals are dissolved


deposit of sediment formed when river enters a large body of water and drops sediment it was carrying

Alluvial fan

deposit of sediment formed when river comes out of a narrow mountain onto a flat plain and drops sediment in was carrying

Young river

straight course, fast water, waterfalls, v-shaped valleys

Middle-aged river

small meanders, small flood plains

Old river

large meanders, large flood plains, lots of oxbow lake/meander scars


deposit of sediment on a river bank created when a river floods


high point of land the separates the drainage basins of two rivers

Base level

lowest point a river reaches (often ocean)

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