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Ch. 5 earth science vocab sections 1-5

Seismic waves

Vibrations that travel through earth carrying the energy released during an earthquake


results from a force pressing on an area


the layer of rock that forms Earth's outer crust


dark rock with a fine texture


a rock that usually is a light color and has a coarse grain texture


a layer of hot rock


the uppermost part of the mantle and the crust together forms this rigid layers


soft layer of the mantle on which the lithosphere floats

Outer core

a layer of molten metal that surrounds the inner core

Inner core

a dense ball of solid metal


the transfer of energy through space


heat transfer within a material or between materials that are touching


heat transferred by the movement of currents within a fluid


a measurement of how much mass there is in a volume of a substance

Convection current

the flow that transfers heat within a fluid

continental drift

Wegener's idea that the continents slowly moved over Earth's surface


all the continents together to form a super-continent


any trace of an ancient organism that has been preserved in a rock

mid-ocean ridges

an undersea mountain chain where new ocean floor is produced


a device that bounces sound waves off underwater objects and then records the echoes of these sound waves

sea-floor spreading

the process by witch molten material adds new oceanic crust to the ocean floor

deep-ocean trench

deep underwater canyons


the process by which ocean floor sinks beneath a deep-ocean trench and back into the mantle


the separated sections that the lithosphere is broken up into

scientific theory

a well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations

plate tectonics

the pieces of earths lithosphere are in slow, constant motion, driven by convection currents in the mantle


breaks in earths crust where rocks have slipped past each other

divergent boundary

the place where two plates move apart, or diverge

rift valley

a deep valley

convergent boundary

he place where two plates come together, or converge

transform boundary

a place where two plates slip past each other, moving in opposite directions

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