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Earth Science Mid Term Vocabulary
Terms in this set (100)
distance north or south of the Equator, measured in degrees
Distance east or west of the prime meridian, measured in degrees
A line on a topographic map that connects points of equal elevation
the difference in elevation between one contour line and the next
a system satellites that determines accurately the precise position of something on earth
A tool on a map showing cardinal (N,E,S,W) and intermediate (NE,SE,NW,SW) directions.
height above sea level
any method of determining whether an event or object is older or younger than other events or objects
radiometric dating method
a method of determining the age of an object by measuring the amount of a radioactive substance that is part of the object
a principle that states that younger rocks lie above older rocks if the layers have not been disturbed
length of time required for half of the radioactive atoms in a sample to decay
Age of reptiles
Age of mammals
the part of geologic time 570-245 million years ago ; invertebrates, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, ferns, and cone-bearing trees were dominant
Ended 544 million years ago, few to no fossils, some single-celled organisms, for example, bacteria
estimated formation of earth in years
rock that forms when magma cools and solidifies
rock that has been changed by heat and pressure
a rock that forms from compressed or cemented layers of sediment
A region in which a layer of limestone close to the surface creates deep valleys, caverns and sinkholes.
a sedimentary rock, composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is succeptible to carbonic rain. It breaks down and forms caverns and sinkholes found in Virginia's Valley and Ridge province.
The breaking down of rocks and other materials on the Earth's surface.
The process by which wind, water, ice, or gravity transports soil and sediment from one location to another
Process in which sediment is laid down in new locations.
a deposit of sediments that are mixed in size, shape or density. Usually formed by the erosive forces of Glaciers or Gravity.
a deposit of sediments that are similar in size (or shape, or density); the greater the similarity of particles the more sorted the sediments. Usually formed by the erosive agents of wind, waves and water.
A well in which water rises because of pressure within the aquifer
A body of rock or sediment that stores groundwater and allows the flow of groundwater.
water held underground in the soil or in pores and crevices in rock.
Flow of water from the land surface into the subsurface.
zone of saturation
zone where all open spaces in sediment and rock are completely filled with water
zone of aeration
upper soil layers that holds mostly pourous soil and rock that permits water to pass through
The upper level of the saturated zone of groundwater
a naturally occurring, inorganic solid that has a crystal structure and a definite chemical composition
instrusive igneous rock
rock formed from the slow cooling and solidification of magma beneath Earth's surface. It has visble coarse-grained minerals. Common Examples: Granite, Gabbro, Diorite, Pegmatite
extrusive igneous rock
rock that forms from the cooling and solidification of lava at Earth's surface. It us usually fine grained vessicular or glassy. Popular Examples: Basalt, Andesite, Rhyolite, Pumice, Scoria and Obsidian
clastic sedimentary rock
a sedimentary rock made of broken fragments of preexisting rock Examples: Sandstone, Conglomerate, Shale, Breccia
organic sedimentary rock
Sedimentary rock that forms from the remains of plants or animals. Examples: Coal, Coquina, and Fossiliferous Limestone,
chemical sedimentary rock
sedimentary rock consisting of material that was precipitated from water by either inorganic or organic means. Examples: Rock Salt, Chemical Limestone,
foliated metamorphic rock
A metamorphic rock that reshapes minerals through heat and pressure. It gives the patent rock a layers that have visible distorted bands of minerals Example: Gneiss
Non-Foliated Metamorphic Rock
metamorphic rock that does not always exhibit visible bands or a distorted appearance. However, it is evident that ithe rock has been compressed/flattened. Examples: Slate and Marble
A meander that has been cut off from the river
large bend in the river, formed in the middle and lower courses, have both shallow and steep sections
A landform made of sediment that is deposited where a river flows into an ocean or lake
The preserved remains or traces of organisms that once lived on Earth.
a fossil that is useful for dating and correlating the strata in which it is found.
A type of fossil that provides evidence of the activities of ancient organisms (footprints, pottery, arrowheads)
A supercontinent containing all of Earth's land that existed about 225 million years ago.
A plate boundary where two plates move toward each other.
A plate boundary where two plates move away from each other.
extremely deep areas in the ocean that are created by a subducting plate
A global system of underwater mountains created by seafloor spreading
The region where oceanic plates sink down into the asthenosphere.
The soft layer of the mantle on which the lithosphere floats.
A rigid layer made up of the uppermost part of the mantle and the crust.
A dense sphere of solid iron and nickel at the center of Earth
A layer of liquid molten iron and nickel that surrounds the inner core of Earth
the layer of the earth between the crust and the core
mantle, outer core, inner core, crust
List the layers from thickest to thinnest
A large mass of moving ice and snow on land
a seismic wave that causes particles of rock to move in a back-and-forth direction. The first wave felt.
A type of seismic wave that moves the ground up and down or side to side. It does not travel through the Earth's liquid layer.
the record of an earthquake's seismic waves produced by a seismograph
A device that records ground movements caused by seismic waves as they move through Earth
a scale of 1 to 10 used to express the energy released by an earthquake
developed to rate earthquakes according to the level of damage at a given place. Ratings I to XII
a scale of mineral hardness which uses 10 minerals. It helps users compare the hardness of samples.
a test run to find a mineral's powder color, or a mineral's true color
The way a mineral reflects light
A measure of how easily a mineral can be scratched
erosion that occurs when rocks, soil and loose sediment move downslope due to the force gravity or gravity combined with water.
A wide, sloping deposit of sediment formed where a stream leaves a mountain range
A stream or river that flows into a larger river
Virginia Province with mostly flat land that sits alongside the ocean or the Chesapeake Bay
Te part of Virgina featuring rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountain range
area along which rivers form waterfalls or rapids as the rivers drop to lower land between the Piedmont and Coastal Plain Provinces of Virginia
Blue Ridge Province or Virginia
Region of Virginia that has the highest in elevation; it is home to the Appalachian Trail.
Valley and Ridge Province
an area with long parallel ridges and valleys with folded and faulted sedimentary rocks, Karst topography limestone and caverns.
The westernmost province of Virgnia with large coal deposits.
A plate boundary where two plates move past each other in opposite directions
a type of fault where the hanging wall slides upward; caused by compression in the crust
A type of fault where the hanging wall slides downward; caused by tension in the crust
a type of fault where rocks on either side move past each other sideways with little up or down shearing motion
the part of a rock formation that appears above the surface of the surrounding land
An igneous rock layer formed when magma hardens beneath Earth's surface.
An igneous rock layer formed when lava flows onto Earth's surface and hardens.
loss of water from a plant through its leaves
process in which water moves from the ocean to the air to the ground and back to the ocean
the series of processes that change one type of rock into another type of rock
igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic
Name the three types of rock.
Time zones in the US
Eastern, Central, Mountain, Pacific
Tropic of Cancer
a line of latitude about 23 degrees North of the equator
Tropic of Capricorn
a line of latitude about 23 degrees South of the equator
0 degrees longitude
International Date Line
180 degrees longitude
0 degrees latitude
90 degrees north latitude; the northernmost point on the globe
90 degrees south latitude
The study of earthquakes
A giant wave usually caused by an earthquake beneath the ocean floor.
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