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2014-04-14 21:29:03
natural hazards disasters
Geol 1301 Review Topics for Exam III
Show Answers:

  1. What is potential -vs- kinetic energy?
    potential is stored: water being held back by a dam

    kinetic is motion: water flowing from the dam (loses potential and gains kinetic)
  2. What is heat?
    • lowest form of energy
    • energy from random motion of atoms & molecules
    • two types:  sensible & latent
  3. How is heat transferred?
    • Conduction: transferred through a substance by means of atomic or molecular interactions (metal pan handle becomes hot)
    • Convection: transferred by mass movement of a fluid (boiling water, rotating current)
    • Radiation:  wavelike energy that is emitted by any substance that possess heat (the sun! electromagnetic)
  4. How do clouds affect the amount of energy hitting the earth?
    it lessens it by reflecting it back to outer space
  5. How does wavelength relate to the amount of energy?
    • shortest wavelengths:  highest energy
    • longest wavelengths:  lowest energy
  6. What is the composition of the atmosphere?
    • 78% nitrogen
    • 21% oxygen
    • 1% other
  7. What are the lower levels of the atmosphere and what are their characteristics?
    Troposphere:  lowest level, up to 10 km above surface, rapid upward decrease in temp, clouds

    Mesosphere:  up to 50 km above surface, contains ozone maximum which filters out radiation, rapid upward increase in temp
  8. What is atmospheric pressure at sea level?
    14.7 lbs/sq. inch
  9. How do high and low pressure areas control the wind?
    temperature variations create differences in atmospheric pressure and cause air to flow horizontally from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure
  10. How does temperature control the amount of moisture in an air mass?
    evaporation of seawater near equator create warm air masses with high humidity, air masses cool as they rise causing condensation and precipitation, now air is dry, cold and dense
  11. How does air become more saturated with water?
    • by evaporation into the air
    • by mixing of two masses of air of different temperatures
    • by cooling the air
  12. What are the kinds of air mass boundaries?
    • cold front: cold into warm
    • warm front: warm into cold
    • stationary front: cool and warm with little movement
    • occluded front: cool overtakes cool w/ warm air wedged above
    • dryline: air masses differ in moisture content rather than temperature
  13. How does a thunderstorm form?
    warm humid air in lower atmosphere, steep vertical temperature gradient and an updraft to force moist air up to colder levels of atmosphere

    • 3 stages:
    • 1) cumulus stage - upward growth in size of a cumulus cloud
    • 2) mature stage - downdraft and falling precipitation leave base of cloud
    • 3) dissipative stage - upward supply of moist air is blocked by downdrafts at the lower levels of the cloud
  14. energy
    ability to do work
  15. force
    an influence needed to accelerate or produce change in motion of a body
  16. sensible heat
    energy created by random molecular motion that may be physically sensed, such as by a thermometer
  17. latent heat
    • heat of vaporization
    • amount of heat needed to transform matter
    • difficult to measure
  18. condensation
    change in matter from a gas phase into a liquid phase
  19. Coriolis effect
    an apparent deflection in the path of a moving object
  20. dew point
    atmospheric temperature below which water droplets begin to condense and dew can form
  21. aerosols
    a suspension of microscopic liquid and solid particles (such as mineral dust and soot) in the atmosphere
  22. cumulus
    any cloud that develops vertically
  23. cumulonimbus
    thunderstorm cloud that grows vertically until it reaches a stable layer of air
  24. anvil-head (top)
    appears during mature stage of thunderstorms when upper limit of growth has been reached and cloud continues to build outward