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AP Environmental Science - Chapter 8 Vocabulary

Teacher: Mrs. Allison Class: AP Environmental Science
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Terms in this set (...)

Core
The core part of the earth that is mostly nickel and iron. There are two parts, the solid inner core and the molten outer core.
Mantle
The part of earth between the core and the crust.
Magma
Molten rock that is under the earth's surface.
Asthenosphere
The material between the mantle and the crust that is malleable enough to conduct seismic waves.
Lithosphere
The outermost shell of earth, like the crust.
Crust
See Lithosphere - The outermost shell of earth.
Hot spots
Volcanic regions fed by unusually hot mantle under them.
Plate tectonics
The scientific study of the movement of earth's lithosphere.
Tectonic cycle
The creation and destruction of the lithosphere.
Subduction
When one tectonic plate is forced under another.
Volcano
A bunched up section of crust which magma comes out of.
Divergent plate boundaries
Plate boundaries that are moving apart. (Convergent come together, Divergent divide)
Seafloor spreading
When a divergent plate boundary is underwater, so the magma coming out is immediately turned into seafloor.
Convergent plate boundary
Where two plates come together. (Convergent come together, Divergent divide)
Fault
A crack in earth's surface because of the tectonic plates.
Fault zones
The area that can be affected by a fault.
Earthquakes
When energy is released from the stress between two plates so that it shakes the earth.
Seismic activity
Activity in the earth such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
Epicenter
The place directly vertical of where an earthquake starts.
Focus
The place where an earthquake starts.
Richter scale
The scale used to assess the strength of an earthquake.
Tsunami
When an earthquake under the ocean creates a massive wave.
Rock cycle
A series of processes on the surface and inside Earth that slowly changes rocks from one kind to another.
Minerals
A naturally occurring, inorganic solid.
Igneous rocks
Formed from the cooling of magma.
Intrusive
The kind of igneous rock formed when magma cools slowly under the earth.
Extrusive
The kind of igneous rock formed when magma cools quickly at or near earth's surface.
Fractures
Any separations between geologic formations.
Sedimentary rocks
Rocks formed from small bits and pieces of other rocks.
Metamorphic rocks
Rocks formed when heat and pressure change a rock from one kind to another.
Physical weathering
When rocks are weathered through physical processes like freezing and thawing.
Chemical weathering
When rocks are weathered through changes in their chemical makeup.
Acid rain
Rainwater with a low pH, usually because of pollution.
Erosion
The process through which rocks are weathered and carried away.
Deposition
The collection of sediments or particles that have been weathered or eroded.
Soil
A mix of minerals and organic materials that plants use to grow.
Parent material
The material from which soil is formed.
Horizons
The different layers of soil.
O horizon
Soil that contains leaf litter with organic matter underneath.
A horizon
The topsoil horizon.
Topsoil
A mixture of particles derived from rock, living organisms, and humus.
E horizon
The soil layer from which minerals are leached as water percolates through the soil.
B horizon
The soil layer that contains most of a soil's inorganic matter and is mostly broken-down rock consisting of varying mixtures of sand, silt, and clay.
C horizon
The soil layer that consists mainly of larger weathered fragments of the bedrock.
Texture
The relationship between the materials inside of a rock.
Cation exchange capacity
The nutrient holding capacity of soil.
Soil bases
Calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium.
Soil acids
Aluminum and hydrogen.
Base saturation
The proportion of soil bases to soil acids, expressed as a percentage.
Soil degradation
A reduction in the quality of soil.
Crustal abundance
The average concentration of an element in the crust
Ores
A mineral that contains a a useful material like gold or silver.
Metals
Elements that are good conductors of electric current and heat.
Reserve
The amount of a substance that can be extracted from the earth right now.
Strip mining
The process by which miners strip away at the surface of the earth to lay bare the mineral deposits
Mining spoils - tailings
The minerals left over when the good materials are extracted from ores.
Open-pit mining
Removing minerals such as gravel, sand, and metal ores by digging them out of the earth's surface and leaving an open pit.
Mountaintop removal
Type of surface mining that uses explosives, massive shovels, and even larger machinery called drag lines to remove the top of a mountain to expose seams of coal underneath a mountain.
Placer mining
Method of extracting mineral ore by hand using simple tools like picks, shovels, and pans.
Subsurface mining
The extraction of mineral and energy resources from deep underground deposits.