CSET 118: Rock Formation and Shaping Earth's Surface

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  1. Diagram and explain the rock cycle
    • igneous rocks from when lava or magma cools and hardens 
    • sedimentary rocks from from sediment 
    •  - clastic = formed when broken pieces of other rocks are compacted and cemented
    •  - organic = form from remains of plants and animals 
    •  - chemical = form when dissolved minerals come out of solution 
    • metamorphic - any rocks changed by heat and pressure 
    •  - foliated = have grains arranged into bands or layers 
    •  - nonfoliated = do not show banding
  2. Describe relative and absolute dating techniques, including how half-lives are used in radiometric dating
    • relative age:
    • age when compared with the ages of other rocks, layers of sedimentary rock, law of superposition - in layers of horizontal sedimentary rock, the oldest layer is at the bottom 
    • igenous intrusions (hardened magma that was pushed up from the mantle, look younger), faults (break in the Earth's crust) and other gaps in time 
    • inclusions - pieces of rock that are made part of a newly forming rock 
    • uncomformities - gaps in time 
    • match up layers across a big area - aided with index fossils (widespread, from an organism that did not exist for long) 

    • absolute age:
    • a calculation of the number of years that have passed since the rock formed
    • radioactive elements - unstable elements
    • rate of decay of a radioactive element is constant 
    • half-life = the length of time it takes for half of the radioactive atoms in an element to decay into a different atom 
    • the age of a rock is determined using radioactive dating
  3. Compare uniformitarianism and catastrophism
    • catastrophism: the idea that a series of sudden and widespread catastrophes created the features on Earth 
    • the six catastrophes would have caused rapid and significant changes on Earth, corresponding to the Bible
    • not a valid hypothesis - no evidence  

    • uniformitarianism: history of Earth is cyclical in nature 
    • plutonism - igenous rocks came from cooling magmas 
    • unconformity - a gap in time, indicating time of erosion in the rock record
  4. Describe the dynamic processes of erosion, deposition, and transport
    • erosion:
    • particles that have been made small enough are removed by erosion, altering the shape of landforms
    • water running downhill is the dominant agent 

    • transport:
    • after material is picked up by erosion it is transported 

    • deposition:
    • material that is transported is eventually deposited 
    • when transporting agent slows and no longer as the energy to carry the material
  5. Describe coastal processes including beach erosion and natural hazards
    • coastal processes - battle between land-dominated processes and ocean-dominated processes 
    • delta - deposition of sediment by rivers 
    • dunes - wind may deposit sand along a shoreline 
    • beaches - sand and larger sediments often remain at the shore 
    • barrier islands - longshore current may pick up sand and carry it along the shoreline and forms barrier islands when the sand is deposited 
    • beach erosion - waves may undercut a bank, causing a landslide 
    • hurricanes - these storms form in the tropics where the ocean surface is warm
  6. Describe the effects of natural hazards, including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, and floods, on natural and human-made habitats and environmental and human responses to those events
    • earthquakes:
    • the natural environment recovers quickly
    • in human environments buildings collapse, gas pipes rupture, can trigger a landslide 
    • locations for schools and hospitals should be found by looking at geologic maps 
    • structures should be built to be able to withstand some ground shaking 

    • tsunamis:
    • enormous waves triggered by undersea earthquakes or volcanic eruptions 
    • damage to the environment can be high - saltwater infiltrates aquifers and farmland 

    • volcanic eruptions:
    • can destroy natural and human habitats near the volcano or at a great distance 
    • explosive eruptions can cause the most damage by spewing ash and rock over large areas - reducing air quality, causing acid rain
    • predicting - give signs such as increased earthquake activity, gas emission, ground deformation, higher heat flow 

    • landslides:
    • when soil and rock move rapidly down a hillside 
    • cause damage to whatever they drag downhill

    • flood:
    • when there is too much rainfall or snowmelt for existing drainages 
    • can bury or wash away habitats 
    • controlling methods - planting vegetation, digging channels, levees, dams
Card Set:
CSET 118: Rock Formation and Shaping Earth's Surface
2013-07-06 05:05:58

Science CSET
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