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Describe the characteristics of running water in relation to the Earth's surface?
When water falls on the Earth's surface, or forms by melting of snow or ice, that water is drawn to lower elevations by the force of gravity. All running water on Earth seeks its base level, or which is the level of a local lake or, ultimately, global sea level.
What is the water cycle?
Earth's water cycle is the way that our planet uses, stores, and recycles water that occurs on the surface and in the subsurface.
What is an alluvial fan and what is an alluvial plain?
An alluvial fan is a fan-shaped pile of sediment at the mouth of alpine valleys; these depositional features mark the boundary between the mountains and surrounding plains.
An alluvial plain is a region of stream networks and valleys that occurs between the alluvial fans and the nearest coastline.
What is the gradient and what is the sediment load of a braided stream, and a meandering stream?
The gradient of a braided stream is relatively high and the sediment load is high volume.
What is a cut bank and what is a point bar?
Cut bank is the site of erosion by stream flow on the outside of a meander bend.
Point bar is the site of deposition by stream flow on the inside of a meander bend.
What is bank-full discharge and what is valley-full discharge?
Bank-full (channel-full) discharge occurs when floodwaters fill up the channel but do not move beyond the channel onto the floodplain.
Valley-full discharge occurs when floodwaters fill up the channel and move beyond the channel to fill up part or all of the floodplain area.
What is cut-off and what is avulsion?
In cut-off, the stream or river flow simply passes directly across the near point between reaches of the channel and cuts off part of the channel.
In avulsion, the stream or river simply casts off a long segment of its channel in favor of a more direct channel route on the floodplain.
What are the three components of a delta lobe?
Delta platform; Delta slope; and Pro-delta area.
What is discharge and how is it mathematically related to the variables cross-sectional area and velocity?
Discharge is the variable Q in the equation Q = A*V, where A is the cross-sectional area and V is velocity of the water.
What is the name of the drainage pattern that characterizes a consequent stream?
What is groundwater?
Groundwater is the water stored under the Earth's surface, mainly in porosity of soil, sediment, and rocks and in fractures in rocks.
What is the water table?
The water table is the line of contact between vadose and phreatic zones is the water table.
What is an aquifer?
An aquifer is a layer of soil, sediment, or rock that is capable of storing and discharging significant amounts of water.
What is permeability?
Permeability -- This is the total amount of interconnectedness of open spaces in the soil, sediment, or rock.
What is the chemical equation for the acidification of groundwater?
H2O + CO2 = carbonic acid H2CO3
What is a gaining or effluent stream?
A gaining or effluent stream has an associated stream valley that is at or below the local water table, thus allowing ground water to seep into the flow of the stream.
What is the rule of groundwater motion with respect to water-table contour lines?
Groundwater tends to flow perpendicular to water-table contour lines.
What is a confined and what is an unconfined aquifer?
Confined aquifer is an aquifer with an aquitard or impermeable layer both above and below the aquifer.
Unconfined aquifer is an aquifer with an aquitard or impermeable layer below the aquifer.
What is a flowing or artesian well?
An artesian well is a well in which the main characteristic is water that rises above the level of the ground, and thus can easily flow outward from the well.
What is a connate water aquifer?
Connate-water aquifers typically lack a recharge area, therefore only a relatively small amount of water is available from this kind of aquifers.
What is a coastline?
A coastline is the geographic boundary between the land and any body of water, such as a lake or ocean.
What are the three present causes of global coastline change?
Sea-level rising, land-level rising; and coastal processes.
What is a secondary coastline?
Secondary coastlines are shaped by the normal processes of marine erosion and deposition, including storm processes.
What is a glacial erosion coastline and how does one form?
A glacial erosion coastline is formed by the movement of a mountain valley glacier. After the valley glacier melted, sea water filled the empty valley, thus forming a deep arm of the sea.
What is a wave-erosion coastline and how does one form?
A wave-erosion coastline formed by wave-erosion processes, especially wave focusing on headlands.
What is longshore drift?
Longshore drift is the wind-wave driven process of waves breaking on the shoreface (swash) and then the water rushing back down the shoreface toward the water body (backwash).
What is a barrier island and how does one form?
A barrier island is a liner coastline that is not attached to the land, but instead there is a body of water between the barrier island and the mainland. Barrier islands form in one of three ways: lengthening spits; shoreward migration of offshore sand bars; or world-wide rise in sea level.
Where is a tombolo and how does one form?
Tombolos are formed by sand deposition where longshore drift is blocked (actually, wave energy is blocked), and thus sand piles up in the shadow of an offshore obstruction.
What is a key and how does one form?
The dead reefs form islands called keys.
What is the purpose of a breakwater?
A breakwater is a barrier to waves that causes sand deposition but also establishes a protected body of water for boat traffic and anchorage.
What is wind?
Wind is the atmosphere in motion because of pressure differences, which are caused by solar heating of the air.
What are the three aeolian or wind-related processes?
Erosion, transportation, and deposition.
According to the Shield diagram, how fast does wind have to be moving to erode and transport sand that is 1 mm in size?
About 35 cm/sec.
What are three wind transportation mechanisms?
Suspension, saltation, and bedload.
What are the two wind erosion mechanisms?
Abrasion and deflation.
What is an oceanite and how does this deposit form?
Oceanites are wind-blown red clay and silt deposits in the world's ocean basins.
What is a barchan dune and what conditions control how this dune forms?
Barchan dunes are crescent-shaped (or lunat) dunes that form in arid areas where the sand supply is limited.
What is a transverse dune and what conditions control how this dune forms?
Transverse dunes are long, linear dunes that form in areas with abundant sand supply and constant, strong winds.
What is a longitudinal dune and what conditions control how this dune forms?
Longitudinal dunes are elongate piles of sand that form where the wind passes around an obstruction and sand accumulates initially behind that obstruction, but later on accumulates in a long pile beyond the obstruction.
What a desert and what is desertification?
A desert is defined as an area of the Earth's surface that receives less than 25 cm of rain or other precipitation per year.
Desertification is the process of non-desert land becoming a desert over time, typically because of global climate change.
What is a glacier?
A glacier is a mass of ice and sediment that is moving slowly in a downslope direction because of the pull of gravity.
What is ice metamorphism?
Ice metamorphism involves the conversion of original snow and fine ice grains to firn and then to glacial ice.
What is a cirque and what is a permanent snow field?
A cirque is a bowl-shaped depression on a mountain side or at a mountain top, usually at the head of a mountain valley; it contains a permanent snow field.
What is an unconfined glacier?
Unconfined glaciers are located on the lower elevations of continents, usually at some distance from mountain ranges.
What was the Laurentide continental glacier?
The Laurentide continental glacier was a large mass of ice covered much of North America from about 115,000 to 11,700 years ago.
What is a lateral debris band and where and how does one form?
A lateral debris band is a long pile of mineral and rock debris that tends to collect at the margins of the valley glacier.
What were pluvial lakes and where and how did they form?
Pluvial lakes are former glacier-related lakes that were filled by water because of the high levels of precipitation in lower latitudes during a glacial interval.
What were channeled scablands and where and how did they form?
Channeled scablands are deeply scoured river channels created by catastrophic flooding caused by dams on proglacial lakes that burst suddenly.
What is eccentricity and what was its effect on glacial cycles?
Eccentricity is the ~ 100,000 year cycle of the shape change in Earth's orbit around the Sun.
Eccentricity is the main driving mechanism in the present periodic (~100, 000 year) cyclcity of global cooling.
What has been the role of plate tectonics in the development of Earth ice ages?
Plate tectonics causes polar ice sheet development that accompanies continental movement into polar positions.
Having a continent at one or both poles accelerates global cooling, as shown with all known ice ages.
What is an earthquake?
Earthquakes are seismic waves that are produced by the sudden motion of rocks on opposite sides of a fault because of tectonic stresses within the Earth.
What is the Richter scale?
The Richter scale is the measure of the energy released by the earthquake's seismic waves; it is the log to the base 10 of the maximum seismic wave amplitude (measured in 1000 mm) at a distance of 100 km from the epicenter.
What is the Mercalli scale?
The Mercalli scale measures the relative amount of damage to dwelling structures at a particular location.
What is a recurrence interval of earthquakes?
Recurrence interval is the average time span between occurrences of an earthquake of a given magnitude on a specific fault.
What is a body wave and what are the two kinds of body waves?
Body waves are earthquake waves that pass through the body of the Earth (including the mantle); there are two kinds, P and S waves.
How do P wave propagate in the Earth?
P waves are pressure waves that travel through the Earth's crust at 6 to 10 km/sec.
What is lag time (regarding earthquake studies)?
Because P and S waves travel at different speeds, but along the same paths in the body of the Earth, the lag time between arrival of the faster P wave and the slower S wave, from the same earthquake, can be used to determine distance from the seismograph.
What is triangulation? (regarding earthquake studies)?
Triangulation is the process of using the lag time at three stations to establish epicenter location of an earthquake.
Where do intermediate focus earthquakes occur?
Behind island arcs and near the trenches.
Where are Earth's main earthquake hazard areas?
Earth's main earthquake hazard areas include: Trench areas that are located offshore from island arcs and volcanic mountain chains; Deep crustal fault systems with active stresses on local rocks; Coastal zones located on the opposite side of trenched and deep crustal fault systems (tsunami danger zones); most convergent and sliding tectonic plate boundaries; and Most hot spot areas.
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