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the name of the single landmass that broke apart 200 million years ago and gave rise to today's continents

Continental Drift Theory

the theory that the continents have not always been in their present locations but have moved there over millions of years


the outer layer of the Earth


the layer of the earth between the crust and the core

Inner Core

A dense sphere of solid iron and nickel at the center of the earth

Outer Core

a layer of molten iron and nickel that surrounds the inner core of Earth


a scientist who studies the forces that make and shape planet earth


stress that squeezes rock until it folds or breaks


stress that pushes a mass of rock in opposite directions


a balance between and interplay of opposing elements or tendencies (especially in art or literature)


a long steep-sided depression in the ocean floor

Continental Shelf

a gently sloping, shallow area of the ocean floor that extends outward from the edge of a continent

Continental Slope

a steep incline leading down from the edge of the continental shelf

Mid-Ocean Ridge

an undersea mountain chain where new ocean floor is produced; a divergent plate boundary

Surface Waves

are the slowest and largest of the seismic waves and cause most of the destruction during an earthquake. A type of seismic wave that forms when P waves and S waves reach Earth's surface

Primary Waves

1st wave, P, travels the fastest, back-and-forth waves, move through solids, liquids, and gases. Waves that travel outward from an Earthquake's focus and cause particles in rocks to move back and forth in the same direction the wave is moving

Secondary Waves

These waves are slow, and they are near the surface


a giant wave caused by an earthquake on the ocean floor


(geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other


a measuring instrument for detecting and measuring the intensity and direction and duration of movements of the ground (as an earthquake)

Richter Scale

a logarithmic scale of 1 to 10 used to express the energy released by an earthquake using seismic waves

Cinder Cone Volcano

a steep, cone-shaped hill or small mountain made of volcanic ash, cinders, and bombs piled up around a volcano's opening

Shield Volcano

a wide, gently sloping mountain made of layers of lava and formed by quiet eruptions

Dome Volcano

a volcano with steep sides that is formed by lava flows and has massive eruptions

Composite Volcano

a tall, cone-shaped mountain in which layers of lava alternate with layers of ash and other volcanic materials. Volcano built by alternating explosive and quiet eruptions that produce layers of tephra and lava

Extinct Volcano

A volcano that has not erupted for thousands of years and probably will not erupt again.

Active Volcano

a volcano that is erupting or has shown signs that it may erupt in the near future

Dormant Volcano

A volcano that has not erupted for a long time, but may erupt again one day.


the shade of color the rock is


the way a mineral reflects light from its surface


the color of a mineral's powder


a mineral's ability to split easily along flat surfaces


the manner in which a mineral breaks along either curved or irregular surfaces

Mohs Scale

a scale of hardness of solids

Sedimentary Rock

A type of rock that forms when particles from other rocks or the remains of plants and animals are pressed and cemented together

Metamorphic Rock

A type of rock that forms from an existing rock that is changed by heat, pressure, or chemical reactions

Igneous Rock

produced by fire, great heat, or the action of a volcano; solidified from a molten state. Igneous rock is formed by the cooling and solidification of magma.


condition in which the earth's surface is worn away by the action of water and wind

Elements that make up the Atmosphere

Nitrogen, Oxygen, Helium, Argon, and traces of Kyrpton and Xenon


the layer closest to Earth, where almost all weather occurs; the thinnest layer


Layer in the atmosphere above the stratopause, Temperature decreases


2nd layer of atmosphere. upper and lower. upper is warmer becuase it contains the ozone layer.


the uppermost layer of the atmosphere, in which temperature increases as altitude increases


The direct transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves.


the direct transfer of heat from one substance to another substance that it is touching


the transfer of thermal energy by the circulation or movement of a liquid or gas

Infrared Radiation

electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than visible light but shorter than radio waves

Ultraviolet Radiation

a type of energy that comes to Earth from the Sun, can damage skin and cause cancer, and is mostly absorbed by the ozone layer

Greenhouse Effect

natural situation in which heat is retained in Earth's atmosphere by carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and other gases

Intertidal Zone

portion of the shoreline that lies between the high and low tide lines

Neretic Zone

Coral reef, seaweed, extends from low tide to the edge of the open sea.

Open Ocean Zone

the area that includes most deep ocean waters; most organisms live near the surface. Beyond the edge of the continental shelf


all organisms that swim actively in open water, independent of currents


the aggregate of small plant and animal organisms that float or drift in great numbers in fresh or salt water


organisms (plants and animals) that live at or near the bottom of a sea


flat topped underwater animals


underwater volcanoes


a localized and violently destructive windstorm occurring over land characterized by a funnel-shaped cloud extending toward the ground


tropical storm with violent wind and heavy rain


a storm with widespread snowfall accompanied by strong winds


a small storm often accompanied by heavy precipitation and frequent thunder and lightning

Cumulus Clouds

puffy white clouds that tend to have flat bottoms

Stratus Clouds

look like flat blankets and are usually the lowest clouds in the sky

Cirrus Clouds

thin, white, wispy clouds with a feathery appearance


an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure

Wind Vane

instrument used to measure wind direction

Rain Gauge

instrument used to measure rainfall


an instrument used to measure wind speed


meaures the outisde temperature


the process of changing from a gaseous to a liquid or solid state

Water Cycle

the continuous movement of water between Earth's surface and the air, changing from liquid to gas to liquid

Theory of Relativity

einsteins theory that time is different depending on how fast you travel or how massive of object that you are on


the union of atoms


the splitting of atoms which releases tremendous amounts of energy and is used to start the chain reaction of an atomic explosion


(chemistry) a substance formed by chemical union of two or more elements or ingredients in definite proportion by weight


(chemistry) a substance consisting of two or more substances mixed together (not in fixed proportions and not with chemical bonding)


a mixture in which one substance is dissolved in another


groups of two or more atoms held together by chemical bonds


the smallest unit of matter that has the characteristics of an element; consists of three main types of subatomic particles: protons neutrons and electrons.


negatively charged particles


Positively charged particles


the particles of the nucleus that have no charge

Sun Size

diameter= 1.4 million km

Sun Color

red orange and yellow


reddish loops of gas that link different parts of sunspot regions

Solar Flares

storm on the sun that shows up as a bright burst of light on the sun's surface


a massive grouping of stars, gas and dusts in space

Spiral Galaxy

a galaxy with a bulge in the middle and arms that spiral outward in a pinwheel pattern

Elliptical Galaxy

A galaxy shaped like a round or flattened ball, generally containing only old stars.

Irregular Galaxy

a galaxy that does not have a regular shape

Geothermal Energy

the energy produced by heat within the Earth

Solar Energy

Energy from the sun


electricity produced by water power


plant materials and animal waste used as fuel

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