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Vocab from CP Earth Science Study Guide

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)