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Historical Geology Final Exam
Delgado Community College - Geology 102 - Jordan Adams
Terms in this set (250)
Earth has____ major tectonic plates.
Which principle asserts that processes operating in the present world can be used to interpret events of the past?
The mantle is primarily composed of __________.
What layer(s) make up the lithosphere?
continental crust, upper mantle and oceanic crust
What is a testable explanation for natural phenomena, supported by evidence?
Covalent bonds occur when electron shells of adjacent atoms overlap and become shared.
Which part of the upper mantle behaves plastically and flows slowly?
Lava is molten rock below Earth's surface.
The two types of Earth's crust are known as lithospheric and oceanic.
When the south magnetic poles aligns with the north geographic pole, polarity is considered to be:
Plate tectonic processes have influenced:
the distribution and evolution of organisms
the distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes
What adjective describes fragmental materials, such as ash, explosively erupted from volcanoes?
What occurs at the Curie Point?
iron bearing minerals lose magnetization
Who was the first person to suggest that all of the continents had originally been joined together as the supercontinent Pangaea?
Detrital sedimentary rocks form through compaction or cementation, in a process called:
Although there are about 3,500 minerals, only about 2 dozen are common.
Which line of evidence was not used by Alfred Wegener to support continental drift?
What occurred 14 billion years ago?
the Big Bang
Which process is responsible for the planetary formation of Earth?
Accretion of small bodies called planetesimals
Isotopes of the same element have ____.
different numbers of neutrons, but the same number of protons
Metamorphism taking place adjacent to a body of magma (a pluton) or beneath a lava flow from heat and chemically active fluids is called ____.
Earth's magnetic poles perfectly overlap the geographic (rotational) poles.
Elongated minerals aligned in a parallel manner in metamorphic rocks create a phaneritic texture.
Uniformitarianism states that the processes operating today also operated in the past, although at different rates.
The three categories of rocks are classified by
method of formation
Harry Hess originally proposed the idea of continental drift.
Most scientists did not support Wegener's theory of continental drift because his mechanism failed to satisfactorily explain continental movement.
Magmas are classified based on silica content.
Mafic rocks are lighter in color than felsic rocks.
Which division of Earth exists below the crust and above the core?
Any rock altered in the solid state from pre-existing rocks by any combination of heat, pressure, and chemically active fluids is a(n) ____ rock.
Studies of paleomagnetism document:
how the Earth's magnetic poles have varied through time
The theory of seafloor spreading is supported by the presence of magnetic anomalies in oceanic crust.
Minerals are made of rocks
No new crust is formed and no old crust is destroyed at _________ plate boundaries.
Metamorphic rocks are rocks altered by heat, pressure or fluid activity.
Which of the following about the Earth's core is true?
the inner core is solid and the outer core is liquid
Subduction occurs at divergent plate boundaries.
The two major disciplines of geology are historical geology and physical geology.
The majority of earthquakes and volcanic activity occur along plate boundaries.
What mineral group is generally dark in color?
Convergent plate boundaries are characterized by formation of new oceanic crust.
The solar nebula theory of the formation of the solar system accounts for the differences in composition between the terrestrial and Jovian planets.
Who proposed the concept of natural selection?
What type of fine-grained igneous texture forms quickly on the Earth's surface?
Evidence for the Big Bang includes the ____.
presence of background radiation
Sedimentary rocks can be classified as felsic or mafic.
The largest layer of Earth, in terms of volume, is the ____.
Historical geology can best be described as the study of ____.
the origin and evolution of Earth
Although rocks are affected by interactions among all six major subsystems of Earth, rocks are physically classified in the ____ subsystem.
Deltas form when streams or rivers encounter a standing body of water, such as an ocean or lake.
Weathered rock samples are best for radiometric dating techniques.
Periods are the largest subdivision of geologic time.
A mosquito trapped in amber (like in the movie Jurassic Park) is an example of a(n):
unaltered body fossil
The period of time not represented by strata in an unconformity is a hiatus.
Which is NOT true about radioactive decay?
it is only used in relative dating techniques
Delta formation and shape is affected by:
fluvial, tidal or wave processes
Which type of radioactive decay occurs when an electron is added to the parent nucleus?
As sediment is deposited within a delta, it grows or ___________.
Relative dating of geologic events was not possible before the discovery of radioactivity in the late 19th century.
Uniformitarianism is the assumption that ____.
present-day geological processes also occurred in the past, although at different rates
Sedimentary structures form prior to lithification.
Depositional environments have unique physical, biologic and chemical processes.
__________ dating is the method of placing geologic events in sequential order based on their position in the rock record.
Which of the following can be used to determine the direction of ancient wind or water currents?
asymmetrical ripple marks
A break or gap in the geologic record resulting from erosion or nondeposition or both is a(n) ____.
Which of the following principles was NOT proposed by Nicolas Steno?
principle of inclusions
Radiometric dates are unaffected by metamorphism.
The ____ states that sediment extends laterally in all directions until it thins and pinches out, or terminates, against the edge of the depositional basin.
principle of lateral continuity
The degree to which detrital particles have had their sharp edges and corners smoothed off by abrasion is ____.
If the Earth went through another ice age, and glaciers expanded, what would occur?
A great example of a trace fossil would be the impression left by a crawling trilobite, an extinct arthropod.
Which of the following is NOT a body fossil?
worm trails and burrows
Who developed the principle of uniformitarianism?
The principle of fossil succession is based on the fact that fossils ____.
succeed one another through time in an order
A sediment layer in which grain size decreases from the bottom up is ____.
A division on the geologic time scale represents ____.
a distinctive event in the rock record
Fluvial is a term referring to ____.
river and stream deposits
Which is NOT an example of a sedimentary structure?
If the grains in a sedimentary rock are all roughly the same size, we describe that rock as:
The rock layers in the Grand Canyon were deposited during marine transgressions and regressions.
Which of the following was not among the early attempts to determine Earth's age?
the rate of rainfall and volcanic ash entering the oceans
Species with durable skeletons are more likely to be captured in the fossil record.
Change in sea level is most affected by ____.
glacial ice volumes and tectonic activity
An erosion surface that overlays rock layers positioned at an angle:
A deposit of sediment where a stream or river enters the sea is called a(n) ____.
Fossils are most commonly found in igneous rocks.
Preserved records of prehistoric organic activity such as tracks, trails, burrows, and nests are called ____.
You are hiking in the mountains and come across a cliff in which a vein of igneous rock (basalt dike) is cutting across the layers of sedimentary rock (shale) in the area. According to the principle of cross-cutting relationships, the igneous rock (basalt dike) is __________ than the sedimentary rock (shale).
Determining specific, quantitative dates for rock units or events expressed in years before the present is known as ____ dating.
A nonconformity occurs when:
an erosional surface separates an upper sedimentary layer from a lower igneous or metamorphic layer
A rock sample containing an isotope with a half-life of 28 million years. How much time does it take for 50% of the parent element to decay to its daughter element?
14 million years
When minerals replace the bodily remains during fossilization, we say the fossil has been ____.
The principle of _________________ states that older rock layers will be found below younger rock layers.
Guide fossils are most useful because they ____.
occur over a brief time interval
All atoms of the same element have the same atomic number.
Petrified wood is an example of a body fossil.
The atomic number represents the:
the number of protons
A transgression occurs when the sea retreats off of continental areas.
What process is used to demonstrate that two rock strata are equivalent?
Most of the organisms that have ever existed are now extinct.
A population of similar individuals that in nature interbreed and produce fertile offspring:
Most continents contain large central areas in which very ancient rocks are exposed. These areas are called ____.
What two factors determine life?
metabolism and reproduction
Archaeopteryx was a bird-like creature with reptile characteristics. This showed recent evolutionary traits as well as features from the ancestral group. This evolution mechanism is called:
Organisms with an evolutionary advantage are those that:
adapt to their environment
The process by which life formed from nonliving matter is known as ____.
If a small population of a species becomes separated from its parent population and evolves into a new species, that is called:
Which is NOT a type of evolution?
The primary source for free oxygen introduced into the atmosphere during the Proterozoic was through photosynthesis.
Oxygen (O2) is released into the atmosphere through a metabolic process between water and carbon dioxide, called:
Since its formation, the Moon has been slowly moving towards Earth.
During which type of evolution do distantly related species develop similar characteristics?
____________ and ____________ are the two primary components of Earth's current atmosphere.
Earth was a hot, barren, waterless planet during the early Hadean eon.
The longest eon in the Precambrian, making up 42.5% of geologic time, is the:
Most basement rock formed during the Archean and Proterozoic eons.
In the controversial hypothesis of Snowball Earth, what process ended the period of worldwide cooling?
What is a mass extinction?
An increase in the rate of extinctions that reduces Earth's biotic diversity
Earth's early atmosphere was very rich in oxygen (O2).
Small-scale evolutionary change always results in the origination of a new species.
The Moon formed after a large object collided with Earth.
The oldest known supercontinent in Earth's history is called:
Basement rocks are made up of:
igneous and metamorphic rocks
Hot mineral-rich seawater is ejected from ____.
submarine hydrothermal vents
The Precambrian (the Hadean, Archean and Proterozoic Eons) makes up the smallest proportion of geologic time.
During ___________, soft-bodied organisms making up the Ediacaran fauna were fossilized in Australia.
The Midcontinent Rift was likely caused by:
Laurentia beginning to split apart
The nucleus or foundation of a continent, formed during the collision and accretion of volcanic islands, is called a ____
Continental crust began forming during the Hadean.
Which continent did not have glaciers during the Neoproterozoic glaciations?
The early atmosphere was formed due to outgassing, or the release of gases from Earth's interior, during what type of process?
In an ophiolite, what is exposed above sea level?
upper mantle and oceanic crust layers
Cell division yielding sex cells, sperm and eggs in animals, and pollen and ovules in plants, in which the number of chromosomes is reduced by half is ____.
Greenstone belts are made up of _________ rocks in the lower and middle layers and _________ rocks in the upper layers.
volcanic (igneous), sedimentary
Which biological process may have resulted in the development of eukaryotic organisms from primitive prokaryotic organisms?
Oxygen levels in the atmosphere have been stable over Earth's history.
The fossil record shows significant changes in the diversity of organisms through time.
Why are the Ediacaran fossils, found in Australia, so rare?
they lacked a durable skeleton
Submarine hydrothermal vents commonly are found near mid-oceanic ridges where seafloor spreading occurs.
Human wisdom teeth and the dew claws of dogs are examples of ____ since their functionality has changed over time.
Microevolution results from the cumulative effects of macroevolution.
The three intervals, from oldest to youngest, of Precambrian time are the ____.
The three intervals, from oldest to youngest, of Precambrian time are the ____.
What control the traits of living things, such as the color of a pea plant?
Humans are complex organisms, also known as eukaryote organisms.
Which is NOT a piece of evidence used to support the theory of evolution?
What does the Wilson Cycle explain?
the opening and closing of ocean basins
Why does Earth have water?
outgassing and comet impacts
The theory of evolution____.
states organisms have changed since life originated.
The theory of genetics was initially developed by studying ____.
Reptiles evolved before amphibians.
There are three periods in the Late Paleozoic (416 - 251 million years ago). From oldest to youngest, these periods are:
Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian
What is a broad shallow sea that covers part of a continent?
epeiric (epicontinental) sea
The Early Paleozoic (542 - 416 million years ago) consists of three periods. From oldest to youngest, they are:
Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian
Invertebrates are defined as animals with shells.
The extinction event at the end of the Permian affected only marine-dwelling organisms.
The Iapetus Ocean opened along a divergent plate boundary.
Repeated deposits of marine and nonmarine stratigraphic layers are called:
A flowerless, seed-bearing plant is called a(n) ____.
When geologists identify coal deposits, they know the past environment was characterized by ____.
The stable nucleus of a continent consisting of a Precambrian shield and a platform of buried ancient rocks is a(n) ____.
What two landmasses joined together to form Pangaea during the Late Paleozoic?
Gondwana and Laurasia
____________, lobe-finned bony fish, were common during the Late Paleozoic and were the closest ancestors of amphibians.
The single, worldwide ocean that surrounded Pangaea was called:
The Absaroka Sequence represents the first major transgression onto the North American continent.
An extinct group of arthropods with a body divided into three lobes is a(n) ____.
The Cambrian explosion refers to ____.
a sudden appearance of fossils
During the Cambrian, most of Earth's land was located in the northern hemisphere.
Ammonoids have a short stratigraphic range and wide geographic distribution, making them excellent guide fossils.
During the ________ period of the Late Paleozoic, plants rapidly diversified.
All of the organisms that live on or in the seafloor are part of the benthos.
Which of these is NOT a Paleozoic orogeny?
Three of the five largest mass extinctions occurred throughout the Paleozoic, at the end of the ____, _____, and ____ periods (oldest to youngest).
Ordovician, Devonian, Permian
What is the order of Paleozoic sequences, from oldest to youngest?
Sauk, Tippecanoe, Kaskaskia, and Absaroka
Any organism that ingests sediment and extracts nutrients from it is a(n):
What is the possible cause of the end-Ordovician mass extinction?
glaciation over the South Pole, cooling climates
During the Middle to Late Devonian, black shale deposition occurred during the ____________ Sequence.
Swampy conditions during the Carboniferous lead to coal deposits forming throughout North America.
What is the definition of a "mass extinction"?
geologically brief period when species extinctions exceed background levels
A tetrapod is a(n) ____.
A ___________ is a stratigraphic unit that captures a transgressive-regressive cycle. On either end of the cycle, unconformities are present.
Lobe-finned fish are important in the fossil record because it is believed that these fish eventually gave rise to amphibians.
During the Paleozoic, the Appalachian Mobile Belt and Taconic Highlands formed along a _______________ plate boundary.
All chordates must possess a(n) ____.
skeletal rod, central nervous system, and filter feeding organs
The first major Paleozoic transgression onto the North American craton was the ____ sequence.
What two sequences were deposited in the early Paleozoic?
Sauk and Tippecanoe
During the Paleozoic, there were ______ continents on Earth.
Animals lived on land before plants moved to land.
Fish that have thin bones, but no muscles, attaching their fins to their body are called:
Deltas prograde, or grow, when sea level transgresses (rises).
The Great Biodiversification Event occurred during the ____.
Echinoderms and chordates are thought to be more closely related that other phyla are to these groups because ____.
both have embryonic cells with radial cleavage
During the __________ period, the largest mass extinction wiped out 96% of all marine invertebrates and >67% of reptiles and amphibians.
Charles D. Walcott was the creator of the world's first geologic map.
In between vascular and gymnosperm plants, an intermediate evolutionary step called ____________ was necessary.
In North America, the Devonian period is subdivided into the Pennsylvanian and Mississippian periods.
As Gondwana moved over the South Pole during the Carboniferous, the climatic conditions could be described as:
Evaporite deposition was caused by the presence and closure of _________ around depositional basins.
Enchinoderms (invertebrate starfish and sea urchins) share a common ancestor and radial embryonic cell arrangement with chordates (vertebrates).
Which of the following was critical for the adaptation of reptiles to terrestrial ecosystems?
the amniote egg
Petroleum deposits in the Gulf of Mexico began as extensive reef features during which period?
The name 'dinosaur', meaning "fearfully great lizard", was proposed by Charles Darwin.
Which oldest positively identified fossil bird had feathers, but retained many reptile characteristics?
Of all theraspids, ______ were the most mammal-like, and are the ancestor of all true mammals.
None of the reptiles from the Cretaceous period survived the end-Cretaceous mass extinction.
Birds evolved from theropods during the ____________ period.
The Saurischian dinosaurs are known as the bird-hipped dinosaurs.
The Gulf of Mexico began to form as North America separated from ____.
The interior of western North American continent was flooded by the Middle Jurassic ____.
Cold-blooded species, like reptiles, are said to be:
What was the first major transgression during the Mesozoic?
the Sundance Sea
What resources accumulated or formed during the Mesozoic?
gold and petroleum
Which type of dinosaur is a quadrupedal herbivore?
Tyrannosaurus rex is an example of a theropod, a lizard-hipped dinosaur.
Sea levels were lower in the Mesozoic than they are today.
Which of the following is NOT true about pterosaurs?
They were dinosaurs
The two major transgressions during the Mesozoic formed the:
Sundance Sea and Cretaceous Interior Seaway
The Mesozoic Era was geologically busy. Which event did not occur during the Mesozoic?
the supercontinent Rodinia was created
The three phases of the Cordilleran orogeny are, from oldest to youngest, ____.
Nevadan, Sevier, and Laramide
The two types of saurischians are sauropods and:
What flowering plants dominated the land ecosystems during the Late Cretaceous?
The Sonoma Orogeny is unique because:
it contains ocean rock thrusted on top of continental rock
The mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous was of far greater magnitude than the extinction at the end of the Permian.
Rifting between Laurasia and Gondwana caused:
the breakup of Pangaea
What type of ore deposits formed along the western United States during the Mesozoic period?
Angiosperms (flowering plants) evolved from gymnosperms.
During the Triassic, block-faulting along the east coast of North American formed the Newark Group
During the Mesozoic, angiosperms first evolved, and today they are ______ of present-day plant species.
What conditions are favorable for evaporite formation?
high temperatures, high evaporation
The mountain building events of the west coast that began in the Jurassic and continued into the Cenozoic are collectively called the ____.
The two major groups of dinosaurs were the:
The iridium anomaly at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary supports which mass extinction theory?
meteorite or asteroid impact caused widespread climatic change
Mountain-building activity in the present-day Sierra Nevadas occurred during which phase of the Cordilleran orogeny?
The three time periods of the Mesozoic, from oldest to youngest, are:
Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous
The Tethys Sea closed as _______ moved northward, eventually forming the Mediterranean Sea.
What was NOT an effect of Pangaea's breakup during the Mesozoic:
uniform worldwide climate
Volcanic island arcs along the west coast of North America moved _________ during the Cretaceous period.
Ocean circulation became more complex during the Mesozoic Era.
The Cretaceous Interior Seaway is another name for the Sundance Sea.
Pangaea broke apart during the Cretaceous period.
What differentiates the ornithschian and saurischian dinosaurs?
Which mammals reproduce and give birth live young?
Labryrinthodont (toothy) amphibians went extinct during the:
Ornithiscan and saurischian dinosaurs shared a common ancestor.
What formation was created from sediments deposited into the retreating Sundance Sea and is famous for dinosaur remains?
How can mammal and reptile fossils be differentiated?
jaw structure and ear bones
Cyads appeared during the Mesozoic, and are common in what type of climate?
What type of fish were abundant during the Mesozoic and remain the most diverse today?
During the Triassic, the separation of North America and Africa resulted in the formation of _____ along the eastern coast.
the Atlantic Ocean
How did the "Age of Reptiles" get its name?
the dominant land-dwelling animals were reptiles
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