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Vocab for Unit 8: chapter 10 and 15
Terms in this set (60)
Planting trees and crops together.
Planting of crops in strips with rows of trees or shrubs on each side.
commercial inorganic fertilizer
Commercially prepared mixture of plant nutrients such as nitrates, phosphates, and potassium applied to the soil to restore fertility and increase crop yields. Compare organic fertilizer.
Crop cultivation in which the soil is disturbed little (minimum-tillage farming) or not at all (no-till farming) to reduce soil erosion, lower labor costs, and save energy. Compare conventional-tillage farming.
Plowing and planting across the changing slope of land, rather than in straight lines, to help retain water and reduce soil erosion.
Crop cultivation method in which a planting surface is made by plowing land, breaking up the exposed soil, and then smoothing the surface. Compare conservation-tillage farming.
convergent plate boundary
Area where earth's lithospheric plates are pushed together. See subduction zone. Compare divergent plate boundary, transform fault.
Planting a field, or an area of a field, with different crops from year to year to reduce soil nutrient depletion. A plant such as corn, tobacco, or cotton, which removes large amounts of nitrogen from the soil, is planted one year. The next year a legume such as soybeans, which adds nitrogen to the soil, is planted.
Conversion of rangeland, rain-fed cropland, or irrigated cropland to desertlike land, with a drop in agricultural productivity of 10% or more. It usually is caused by a combination of overgrazing, soil erosion, prolonged drought, and climate change.
divergent plate boundary
Area where earth's lithospheric plates move apart in opposite directions. Compare convergent plate boundary, transform fault.
Process or group of processes by which loose or consolidated earth materials are dissolved, loosened, or worn away and removed from one place and deposited in another. See weathering.
Study of the earth's dynamic history. Geologists study and analyze rocks and the features and processes of the earth's interior and surface.
Freshly cut or still-growing green vegetation that is plowed into the soil to increase the organic matter and humus available to support crop growth. Compare animal manure.
Restoring land suffering from gully erosion by seeding gullies with quick-growing plants, building small dams to collect silt and gradually fill in the channels, and building channels to divert water away from the gully.
Slightly soluble residue of undigested or partially decomposed organic material in topsoil. This material helps retain water and water-soluble nutrients, which can be taken up by plant roots.
Rock formed when molten rock material (magma) wells up from the earth's interior, cools, and solidifies into rock masses. See rock cycle. Compare metamorphic rock, sedimentary rock.
Downward movement of water through soil.
See commercial inorganic fertilizer.
Method for reducing soil erosion that identifies easily erodible land that should not be planted in crops or cleared of vegetation.
Process in which various chemicals in upper layers of soil are dissolved and carried to lower layers and, in some cases, to groundwater.
Outer shell of the earth, composed of the crust and the rigid, outermost part of the mantle outside the asthenosphere; material found in earth's plates. See crust, mantle.
Soils containing a mixture of clay, sand, silt, and humus. Good for growing most crops.
Rock produced when a preexisting rock is subjected to high temperatures (which may cause it to melt partially), high pressures, chemically active fluids, or a combination of these agents. See rock cycle. Compare igneous rock, sedimentary rock.
Any naturally occurring inorganic substance found in the earth's crust as a crystalline solid. See mineral resource.
Organic material such as animal manure, green manure, and compost, applied to cropland as a source of plant nutrients. Compare commercial inorganic fertilizer.
Degree to which underground rock and soil pores are interconnected and thus a measure of the degree to which water can flow freely from one pore to another. Compare porosity.
Theory of geophysical processes that explains the movements of lithospheric plates and the processes that occur at their boundaries. See lithosphere, tectonic plates.
Percentage of space in rock or soil occupied by voids, whether the voids are isolated or connected. Compare permeability.
Largest and slowest of the earth's cycles, consisting of geologic, physical, and chemical processes that form and modify rocks and soil in the earth's crust over millions of years.
Accumulation of salts in soil that can eventually make the soil unable to support plant growth.
Rock that forms from the accumulated products of erosion and in some cases from the compacted shells, skeletons, and other remains of dead organisms. See rock cycle. Compare igneous rock, metamorphic rock.
Complex mixture of inorganic minerals (clay, silt, pebbles, and sand), decaying organic matter, water, air, and living organisms.
Methods used to reduce soil erosion, prevent depletion of soil nutrients, and restore nutrients already lost by erosion, leaching, and excessive crop harvesting.
Movement of soil components, especially topsoil, from one place to another, usually by wind, flowing water, or both. This natural process can be greatly accelerated by human activities that remove vegetation from soil.
Horizontal zones that make up a particular mature soil. Each horizon has a distinct texture and composition that vary with different types of soils. See soil profile.
Rate at which water and air move from upper to lower soil layers. Compare porosity.
Cross-sectional view of the horizons in a soil. See soil horizon.
Planting regular crops and close-growing plants, such as hay or nitrogen-fixing legumes, in alternating rows or bands to help reduce depletion of soil nutrients.
Area in which oceanic lithosphere is carried downward (subducted) under the island arc or continent at a convergent plate boundary. A trench ordinarily forms at the boundary between the two converging plates. See convergent plate boundary.
Various-sized areas of the earth's lithosphere that move slowly around the mantle's flowing asthenosphere. Most earthquakes and volcanoes occur around the boundaries of these plates. See lithosphere, plate tectonics.
Area where the earth's lithospheric plates move in opposite but parallel directions along a fracture (fault) in the lithosphere. Compare convergent plate boundary, divergent plate boundary.
Saturation of soil with irrigation water or excessive precipitation so the water table rises close to the surface.
Physical and chemical processes in which solid rock exposed at earth's surface is changed to separate solid particles and dissolved material, which can then be moved to another place as sediment. See erosion.
Row of trees or hedges planted to partially block wind flow and reduce soil erosion on cultivated land.
area strip mining
Type of surface mining used where the terrain is flat. An earthmover strips away the overburden, and a power shovel digs a cut to remove the mineral deposit. After removal of the mineral, the trench is filled with overburden, and a new cut is made parallel to the previous one. The process is repeated over the entire site. Compare dredging, mountaintop removal, open-pit mining, subsurface mining.
contour strip mining
Form of surface mining used on hilly or mountainous terrain. A power shovel cuts a series of terraces into the side of a hill. An earthmover removes the overburden, and a power shovel extracts the coal, with the overburden from each new terrace dumped onto the one below. Compare area strip mining, dredging, mountaintop removal, open-pit mining, subsurface mining.
Time it takes to use a certain fraction, usually 80%, of the known or estimated supply of a nonrenewable resource at an assumed rate of use. Finding and extracting the remaining 20% usually costs more than it is worth.
Type of surface mining in which chain buckets and draglines scrape up sand, gravel, and other surface deposits covered with water. It is also used to remove sediment from streams and harbors to maintain shipping channels. See dredge spoils. Compare area strip mining, contour strip mining, mountaintop removal, open-pit mining, subsurface.
Exhaustion of 80% of the estimated supply of a nonrenewable resource. Finding, extracting, and processing the remaining 20% usually costs more than it is worth; may also apply to the depletion of a renewable resource, such as a fish or tree species.
Waste or undesired material in an ore. See ore.
Type of surface mining that uses explosives, massive shovels, and even larger machinery called draglines to remove the top of a mountain to expose seams of coal underneath a mountain. Compare area strip mining, contour strip mining.
Part of a metal-yielding material that can be economically and legally extracted at a given time. An ore typically contains two parts: the ore mineral, which contains the desired metal, and waste mineral material (gangue).
Layer of soil and rock overlying a mineral deposit. Surface mining removes this layer.
Resources that have been identified and from which a usable mineral can be extracted profitably at present prices with current mining technology. See identified resources, undiscovered resources.
Process in which a desired metal is separated from the other elements in an ore mineral.
Unwanted rock and other waste materials produced when a material is removed from the earth's surface or subsurface by mining, dredging, quarrying, and excavation.
Form of surface mining in which bulldozers, power shovels, or stripping wheels remove large chunks of the earth's surface in strips. See area strip mining, contour strip mining, surface mining. Compare subsurface mining.
Extraction of a metal ore or fuel resource such as coal from a deep underground deposit. Compare surface mining.
Removing soil, subsoil, and other strata and then extracting a mineral deposit found fairly close to the earth's surface. See area strip mining, contour strip mining, mountaintop removal, open-pit mining. Compare subsurface mining.
Rock and other waste materials removed as impurities when waste mineral material is separated from the metal in an ore.
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