15 terms

Physical Processes Vocabulary

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Plate Tectonics
the term scientists use to describe the activities of continental drift and magma flow, which create many of Earth's physical features
Continental Drift
a hypothesis stating Earth's continents were once joined in a single landmass and gradually moved or drifted apart. (Pangaea)
Erosion
wearing away (carrying away) of the Earth's surface by wind, flowing water, or glaciers
Weathering
chemical or physical processes, such as freezing, that break down rocks
Rotation
the spinning of earth on its axis. Rotation of the earth on its axis takes 24 hours and causes day and night.
Revolution
the Earth's yearly trip around the sun, taking 365 1/4 days
Solstice
one of two days on which the sun's rays strike directly on the Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn, marking the beginning of summer or winter
Equinox
one of two days on which the sun is directly above the Equator, making day and night equal in length
Precipitation
moisture that falls to the earth as rain, sleet, hail or snow
Rain Shadow Effect
result of a process by which dry areas develop on the leeward sides of mountain ranges
Climate
weather patterns typical for an area over a long period of time
Weather
condition of the atmosphere in one place during a short period of time
Ecosystem
group of living organisms interacting with their environment; community of living and nonliving things
Biotic
living or once living
Abiotic
nonliving
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