63 terms

AP Environmental Science Unit 1 - Geology

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salination
salt contamination of water or soils. This can occur due to erosion, or irrigation of desert soils (due to high evaporation rate)
phytoremediation
cleaning up polluted soils by the use of plants absorption of contaminants.
bioremediation
cleaning up polluted soils by the use of bacteria eating of contaminants.
anticline
an upward fold in the rock profile
upwelling
warm water rising to the surface
law of fossil succession
the fossil below is older than the fossil above
relative dating
A technique used to determine which of two fossils is older
Precambrian
Name for the time in earths early history that accounts for ninety percent of earth's time, but only cellular organisms lived.
Paleozoic
570 - 230 mya, characterized by the advent of fish, insects, and reptiles; ended with the largest mass extinction in history
Mesozoic
245- 144 mya. Age of Reptiles (Dinosaurs)
Cenozoic
65 mya -present - Age of Mammals
law of original horizontality
sedimentary and lava flows creating new lithosphere occurred in horizontal layers
law of superposition
the layer of rock below is older than the layer above
geologic time
Earth's history organized into four eras: Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic
Fossils can only be formed in
sedimentary rock
convection
Occurs in liquids and gases where particles are further apart, particles move rather than vibrate whilst hot particles rise and cold air falls
loam
Rich, fertile soil that is made up of about equal parts of clay, sand, and silt.
silt
0.002 and 0.05 mm, medium type of soil
clay
less than 0.002 mm, smallest type of soil, high surface area, useful for soil retention (ability of soil to hold onto water long enough for roots to access water)
sand
0.06mm to 2.0mm, biggest type of soil, high porosity, useful for aeration to roots
A horizon
topsoil, rich in organic matter, where plant roots are.
Organic matter
any substance that is made of living things or the remains of living things.
B horizon
Frequently the second major soil horizon, composed primarily of mineral and leached material with very little organic matter
C horizon
larger weathered fragments of the bedrock found above bedrock
R Horizon
Bedrock
Parent Material
material from which a soil is formed, determines composition and properties of the soil
O horizon
The layer of organic detritus such as leaves, needles, twigs, and even animal bodies.
detritus
Dead matter
humus
Rich, dark organic material formed by decay of vegetable matter, essential to soil's fertility
divergent boundaries
Two plates moving apart, new sea floor forms as they pull apart and magma fills the "crack."
magma
Molten rock beneath the earth's surface
convergent boundaries
Two plates colliding and creating either a mountain range (2 continental) or a subduction zone (2 oceanic), or trench (oceanic and continental)
epicenter
Point on Earth's surface directly above an earthquake's focus
S Wave
Earthquake secondary wave, Arrives second, only travel through solids, up down motion
crust
Earth's outermost layer.
mantle
the layer of the earth between the crust and the core
lithosphere
Earth's solid, rocky outer layer
Ring of Fire
A major belt of volcanoes that rims the Pacific Ocean
desertification
Conversion of productive lands to desert
sedimentation
Act of sediment (solid matter) settling to the bottom of a liquid.
smelting
Process in which a desired metal is separated from the other elements in an ore mineral.
lithification
Processes that turn loose sediment into rock
rain forest tropical soils
Nutrient depleted- All nutrients are found in plant matter above soil
Grasslands
Best soils. Plants return nutrients to the ground when they die.
transform boundary
Side-by side brushing against one another - Causes earthquakes. San Andreas in California
igneous
Parent (Magma) after it has cooled in place
sedimentary
Parents (Metamorphic or Igneous rocks) after they have been weathered
erosion
weathering
mesomorphic
Parents (Sedimentary or Igneous rocks) after they have been reheated and/or repressurized
physical weathering
weathering due to wind and water.
weathering
erosion, the change of physical surfaces over time.
chemical weathering
weathering due to acid rain
biological weathering
weathering due to organisms
infiltration
downward movement of water into soil
leaching
process of water carrying substances from upper layers of soil into lower layers (this is bad - pollutants are harder to remove the further down in the profile they are)
permeability
rate of water drainage into soil
porosity
% of pore space in soil by volume
compaction
decrease in porosity due to soil pore collapse
Fertilizers
mixtures of synthetic or natural mixtures containing NP and K added to crops to increase food production
turbidity
how well you can see through water, due to scattering of light. High turbidity results in less sun energy available for photosynthesis of underwater plants. Reduces oxygen in water. Caused by erosion
shield volcano
a wide, gently sloping mountain made of layers of lava and formed by quiet eruptions
composite volcano
a large, steep-sided volcano that results from explosive eruptions of andesitic and rhyolitic lavas along convergent plate boundaries
cinder cone volcano
A small, steeply sloped volcano that forms from moderately explosive eruptions of pyroclastic material.