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Vocabuarly Practice for CRCT


amount of mass in a certain amount of volume (ex. which is more dense? a coke can filled with feathers or a coke can filled with rocks?)


Earth's inner most layer - made mostly of the elements iron and nickel


layer that surrounds the core - makes up most of Earth's mass

Convection current

created by hot materials rising, cooling off, and then sinking back down


outer zone of Earth - made of the crust and upper mantle - broken into tectonic plates


slowly flowing layer of rock under the lithosphere

Theory of Continental Drift

Proposed by Alfred Wegener who claimed that the continents were once part of one giant land mass called Pangea which later broke apart causing their present positions

Plate tectonics

outer part of Earth is divided into several distinct segments that occasionally shift

Convergent boundaries

where tectonic plates come together

Divergent boundaries

where tectonic plates move apart

Transform boundaries

where tectonic plates slide past each other


solids that occur naturally and have a definite structure and chemical composition


groups of minerals packed tightly together


"fire formed" - formed from cooling magma and lava


rocks that change - "morph" - due to heat and pressure


rocks that are formed from bits of weathered rock or remains of tiny organisms being pressed together into a solid mass

Rock cycle

describes the interactions that form and change rocks over time


remains or traces of past life

Fossil Record

history of earth's life as shown by fossils

Mechanical weathering

physical breakdown of rock into smaller pieces; may be broken down by wind, water, ice, etc.

Chemical weathering

change in the chemical composition of rock that breaks it down (ex. acid rain)


transportation of sediment from one place to another by wind, flowing water, ice, and gravity


particles of rock broken down by weathering


dropping of sediment by flowing water, wind or glaciers when their movement slows


mound of sand deposited by wind erosion


huge mass of slowly moving ice


occurs when gravity pulls huge amounts of rocks and sediment down a hill or mountain


things made by nature that people need or use

Nonrenewable resources

resources that cannot be replaced or reproduced in a lifetime (ex. fossil fuels, coal, petroleum, natural gas)

Renewable resources

resources that can be replaced in a relatively short period of time (ex. plants, animals, water)

Fossil fuels

source of energy that comes from the remains of plants and animals that died millions of years ago (ex. natural gas, petroleum, and coal)


constantly changing resource made from rock and mineral fragments, humus, air and water


decayed plant and animal material in the ground

Texture of soil

refers to how it feels and the size of its rock particles


the contamination of soil, water, or air with harmful substances

Global warming

increase in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere


the protection of resources from pollution or damage


using raw material more than once to reduce waste

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