Engineering Geology - Chapter 1 - Intro to Geology

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herfi001
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189855
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Engineering Geology - Chapter 1 - Intro to Geology
Updated:
2012-12-17 13:22:39
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Geology Engineering Civil Geotechnical Intro Geological Time Plate Tectonics Earth Interior Internal Processes Divergent Convergent Transform Boundaries External Heat Engine Geologic Hazards Systems Introduction Minnesota
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CHAPTER 1: Introducing Geology, the Essentials of Plate Tectonics, and Other Important Concepts. TOPICS: Who Needs Geology?, Earth Systems, Overview of Physical Geology - Important Concepts, and Geological Time.
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  1. What is meant by equilibrium?
    What happens when rocks are forced out of equilibrium?
    Equilibrium: New materials that are stable under conditions at the Earth’s surface; materials that have adjusted to the physical/chemical conditions of their original environment so that they remain unchanged/unaltered over time.

    When rocks are forced out of equilibrium, they become unstable causing them to break down and form new materials. An example of this is a granite, having been formed at high temperatures, then brought to the surface and consequentially broken down to clay due to dissimilar conditions. After this breakdown, the new clay-granite is in equilibrium.
  2. What tectonic plate are we in Minnesota?
    Where is the nearest plate boundary, and what kind of boundary is it?
    Minnesota is on the North American Plate.

    • The closest boundaries are those with the
    • -Pacific Plate (divergant mostly & transform by San Andreas fault)
    • -Juan de Fuca plate, (convergant)
    • -Cocos plate, (convergant)
    • -Caribbean Plate. (mostly transform with some areas of convergance)
  3. What is the most likely geologic hazard in Minnesota? Why don't we get a lot of geological hazards? 
    Because we are situated atop the Canadian Shield, our region is resilient to most geologic hazards; there are no earthquakes, no volcanic eruptions, and no tsunamis (as we are in the center of the continent). There are some tornadoes (no hurricanes, obviously) around MN and other states, but there are none in Duluth because of our proximity to Lake Superior.

    Ergo, the potential geologic hazard in this region is flooding, as some people reside on flood basins, and other low-lying areas. Mass wasting (landslides) associated to flooding may also be a problem in Minnesota
  4. What are the relationships among the mantle, the crust, the asthenosphere, and the lithosphere?
    Earth is divided into 3 layers: Crust, Mantle, and Core, distinguished primarily by chemcal composition. The crust is the outermost shell, and is the thinnest layer, the mantle is the thickest layer and lies inbetween the crust and core. The core is the center of the earth, made up of mostly iron, and consisting of a liquid outer core and solid inner core. 

    Earth is also classified into 2 larger layers, which encompass the other layers: the lithospher and asthenosphere. The lithosphere is made up of the Crust and uppermost part of the Mantle and is rigid and brittle. The tectonic plates are part of the lithosphere. The Asthenosphere is under the lithosphere and is made up of the rest of the Mantle and the Core. It is viscous (behaves similar to a liquid) and the lithosphere essentially "floats" on top of it. 
  5. Plate tectonics is a result of Earth's internal heat engine, powered by (choose all that apply)

    A. the Sun
    B. heat flowing from Earth's interior outward
    C. gravity
    B. heat flowing from Earth's interior outward
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  6. A typical rate of plate motion is
    A. 3-4 meters per year
    B. 1-10 centimeters per year
    C. 1,000 kilometers per year
    D. 1 kilometer per year
    B. 1-10 centimeters per year
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  7. How thick is each of these "layers" of the Earth?
    a. Crust
    b. Mantle
    c. Core
    d. Lithosphere
    • a. Crust: 3-75 meters
    • b. Mantle: 2,900 kilometers
    • c. Core: 3,400 kilometer (radius)
    • d. Lithosphere: 100 kilometers
  8. What landforms & phenomena are associated with Divergant boundaries?
    mid-oceanic ridges, small to moderate earthquakes,

    also, convergant boundaries are how the continents split to form oceans
  9. What landforms & phenomena are associated with convergant boundaries?
    Mountains, Ridges, Volcanoes. Can also cause large earthquakes.

    • Ocean-Continent: Major mountain belt on edge of continent
    • Ocean-Ocean: Underground Volcanoes, Volcanic Island Arcs
    • Continent-Continent: mountains, ridges
  10. What landforms & phenomena are associated with Tranform boundaries?
    Earthquakes, joints, faults
  11. Name some geological hazards
    • Possible answers:
    • Earthquake
    • volcano
    • mudflows
    • floods
    • wave erosion at coastlines
    • landslides
    • tsunami
  12. The largest zone of Earth's interior by volume is the
    A. crust
    B. inner core
    C. mantle
    D. outer core
    C. mantle 
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  13. Oceanic and continental crust differ in
    A. composition
    B. density
    C. thickness
    D. all of the preceding
    D. all of the precedin
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  14. The forces generated inside Earth that cause deformation of rock as well as vertical and horizontal movement of portions of Earth's crust are called
    A. all of the preceding
    B. tectonic forces
    C. gravitational forces
    D. erosional forces
    B. tectonic forces
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  15. Which is a type of a plate boundary?
    A. convergent
    B. all of the preceding
    C. transform
    D. divergent
    B. all of the preceding
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  16. The lithosphere is
    A. the same as the crust
    B. the layer beneath the crust
    C. the crust and uppermost mantle
    D. only part of the mantle
    C. the crust and uppermost mantle
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  17. Decribe the different types of plate boundaries:
    • Divergant: Plates move apart
    • -Magma rises, cools, and forms new lithosphere
    • -How continents split and new oceans form

    • Convergant: Plates move together
    • -Geological activitiy differes by type of convergence, due to difference in densities of oceanic and continental rock
    • -3 Types of convergence: Ocean-continent, Ocean-ocean, and Continent-continent

    • Transform: Plates slide past eachother
    • -Move along faults/joints, which cut through the crust
    • -most occur in the ocean
  18. Describe the different types of Convergent plate boundaries:
    • Ocean-Continent: Oceanic plate subducts under continental plate
    • -melting takes place at subduction zone and either erupts in volcanoes or solidifies in crust
    • -rock that doesn't melt and is under high pressure may turn into metamorphic rock

    • Ocean-Ocean: Denser plate subducts under less dense plate. 
    • -process similar to ocean-continent convergence

    • Continent-Continent: Two continents collide, and causes them to buckle and deform, with signficant thickening and verticle uplift. 
    • -preceeded by two Ocean-continent convergences where an oceanic plate subducts under continents from both sides. Eventually the entire oceanic plate is subducted and the two continents collide.
  19. Describe tectonic forces
    Tectonic Forces - The forces generated inside Earth that cause deformation of rock as well as vertical and horizontal movement of portions of Earth's crust.
  20. List the 3 different types of families of rocks.
    • igneous
    • sedimentary
    • metamorphic
  21. Based on chemical composition, list the layers in which the Earth is divided.
    • crust
    • mantle
    • core
  22. Based on geophysical/mechanical properties, list the layers in which the Earth is divided.
    • lithosphere
    • asthenosphere;
    • solid mantle;
    • solid core
    • liquid core.

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