Geology Midterm

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How old is the Earth?
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Terms in this set (100)
What type of clouds produce tornadoes?Cumulonimbuswhen days and nights are of equal lengthequinoxWhere are 50% of the gases making up the atmosphere found?Below 5.6 km (3.5mi)How much does the air temperature change for every 1-kilometer increase in altitude in the troposphere?Drops about 6.5 CLongest wavelengths on the electromagnetic spectrum?Radio wavesIn which zone of the atmosphere is ozone concentrated?StratosphereEarth recieves energy from the sun through what method of heat transfer?Radiationhow much if the Sun's energy does Earth reflected back into space?30%most abundant gas in the atmosphere?NitrogenOn which day do solar rays strike the Tropic of Capricorn at 90 degreesDecember 21On which day do solar rays strike the Tropic of Cancer at 90 degreesJune 21What is the normal environmental lapse rate in the troposphere?6.5 degree Celsius per kmtwo most important heat-absorbing gases in the lower atmosphereCarbon dioxide and water vaporWhat type of solar radiation does ozone filter?UltravioletCold, high latitude source regionPolar (P)Warm, low latitude source regionTropical (T)forms over land; dry source regionContinental (c)forms over water; humid source regionMaritime (m)what type of front is represented by a line with semicircles extending from one side on a weather map?warmWhat type of cyclone occurs when cold fronts and warm fronts interact in the central United States?Middle-latitude cycloneImportant elements of weather and climateTemperature, humidity, cloudiness, precipitation, air pressure, wind speed and direction4 discrete gases in the atmosphere1. Nitrogen 2. Oxygen 3. Argon 4. Carbon DioxideHeat transfer through molecular activity (contact), from warm to coldConductionHeat transfer through mass movement within a substance (fluid and gases)ConvectionHeat transfer through energy via electromagnetic waves (without contact)RadiationLines connecting points of equal temperature are called:IsothermsLiquid --> Gas - Energy absorbedEvaporationGas --> Liquid - Energy releasedcondensationSolid --> Liquid - Energy absorbedmeltingLiquid --> Solid - Energy releasedfreezingSolid --> Gas - Energy absorbedsublimationGas --> Solid - Energy releaseddepositionair that is filled to capacity with water vaporsaturated airRelating air temperature and the amount of water vapor needed to saturate airWhen water vapor condenses to form clouds the air gets warmer. More water vapor, the higher the temperature.When air rises or subsides in the atmosphere, its temperature changes as a result of the change in pressure.Adiabatic temperature changeWhy is the wet adiabatic lapse rate less than the dry adiabatic lapse rate?Condensation is occurring and latent heat is released to the surrounding airthe heat required to convert a solid into a liquid or vapor, or a liquid into a vapor, without change of temperature.Latent heatWhat are the 10 main types of clouds?Stratus, Cumulus, Cirrus, Stratocumulus, Cirrocumulus, Cirrostratus, Altocumulus, Altostratus, Nimbostratus, CumulonimbusIn which air is forced to rise over a mountainous barrier, results can be a rainshadow desertOrographic liftingIn which warmer, less-dense air is forced over cooler, denser air; fronts are part of the storm systems called midlatitude cyclonesFrontal lifting/wedginga pileup of horizontal airflow that results in an upward movement, a center of low pressure - hurricanes or midlatitude cycloneConvergencein which unequal surface heating causes localized pockets of air, thermals, to rise because of their buoyancyLocalized Convective LiftingSciences that make up Earth Sciencegeology, oceanography, meteorology, astronomyMajor Features of Continentsmountain belts and stable interior (shields and stable platforms)Major features of ocean basinsdeep ocean basins, continental margins, and oceanic ridgeWhat is air pressure?The weight of air above a given point on Earth's surfaceWhat is used to measure air pressure?mercury barometer and aneroid barometerwhat is absolute stability?when the environmental lapse rate is less than the wet adiabatic rateActs like a hot-air ballon, adiabatic cooling occurs, easily forming clouds, the environmental lapse rate is more than the dry adiabatic rateAbsolute instabilitywhen the atmosphere is stable for unsaturated parcel of air but unstable for a saturated parcelConditional instabilityWhat is the Coriolis Effect?The effect of Earth's rotation on the direction of winds and currents.How does friction affect wind?slows air movement which changes wind directionWhat are upper-air winds?jet stream winds that generally blow parallel to isobarsDifferences between cyclones and anticyclonesCyclones - rising air, low pressure, clouds and precipitation, counterclockwise in the NH Anticyclones - sinking air, high pressure, fair weather, clockwise in the NHWhat is the Southern Oscillation?winds across the tropical Pacific reverse direction and blow from west to east—the trade winds weaken or reverse. Southern Oscillation causes El NiñoWhat is a stationary front?Where two air masses meet, but neither one advances.What is an occluded front?when a cold front overtakes a warm frontRole of Air Aloft in cyclonesoutflow of air aloft sustains the low pressureWhat do thunderstorms require?warm and moist air, instability (lifting)Where do hurricanes form?between 5 and 20 degrees latitude in warm, tropical oceansCategories of hurricane damage-storm surge -wind damage -inland flooding from torrential rainsFive parts of the climate system-atmosphere -hydrosphere -geosphere -biosphere -cryosphereWhy is climate classification important?Brings order to large quantities of informationCriteria used in the koppen system of climate classificationuses mean monthly and annual values of temperature and precipitationWet tropics & Tropical wet-and-drywinter-less climates all month, mean temperature 18 degrees Celsius or higher-eastern side of continents -20 to 40 degrees latitude range -hot summers / mild winters -winter precipitation is generated along frontsHumid Subtropics-western side of continents -onshore flow of ocean air -cool summers/mild wintersMarine West Coast-western side of continents -strong winter rainfall -often called a Mediterranean climateDry-summer subtropics-central & eastern portions of North America & Eurasia -severe winter and summer temperatures -precipitation is generally greater in the summer -snow remains on the ground for extended periodsHumid continental-referred to as the taiga climate -largest stretch of continuous forests -source regions of cP air masses -frigid winters, warm but short summersSubarcticTundra vs Ice cap climatestundra -severe winters, cool summers Ice cap -no monthly mean above 0 degrees Celsius with permanent ice and snowWhat is salinity?the amount of salt dissolved in water and is measured in parts per thousandSources of sea saltschemical weathering of rocks and outgassing (gases from volcanic eruptions)Causes of variations in salinityDecrease -precipitation -runoff -melting Increase -evaporation -formation of iceVariation in ocean temperature with depthlow latitudes -high temperature & rapid decrease in temp. with depth (thermocline) high latitudes -low temperatures & no rapid change with depthVariation in ocean density with depthlow latitudes -low density at surface & increases rapidly with depth (pycnocline) high latitudes -high density at surface & little change in density with depth-floaters -algae -animals -bacteria (most of Earth's biomass)Plankton-swimmers, most independently of the ocean currentsNekton-bottom-dwellers -most live in perpetual darkness in deep waterBenthosFactors used to divide the ocean into marine life zonesavailability of light, distance from shore, and water depthproductivity in polar oceans-high nutrients concentrations -reaches peak in summer monthsproductivity in tropical oceans-Low in the open ocean -Thermocline eliminates the supply of nutrients from deeper waters belowproductivity in temperate oceans-highest overall productivity -determined by seasonsWhat are trophic levels?levels of nourishment in a food chainEfficiency of energy transfer between trophic levelstransfer of energy between trophic levels is very inefficient, about 2 percentfactors the create and influence surface-ocean currents and effect on climate-energy comes from prevailing winds -develop from friction -deflected by the Coriolis effect -transfer heat -west coast gets cold currents -east coast gets warm currentsUpwellingThe movement of deep, cold, and nutrient-rich water to the surfacedeep ocean circulationA response to density differences, also known as thermohaline Circulation, ocean conveyor beltWhat kind of system is Earth?closed systemThe relationship between density and salinitydensity increases with increasing salinity