Weathering and Soil Vocabulary

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  1. weathering
    The chemical and physical processes that break down rock at Earth’s surface.
  2. erosion
    The process by which water, ice, wind, or gravity moves weathered rock and soil.
  3. uniformitarianism
    The geologic principle that the same geologic processes that operate today operated in the past to change Earth’s surface.
  4. mechanical weathering
    The type of weathering in which rock is physically broken into smaller pieces.
  5. abrasion
    The grinding away of rock by other rock particles carried in water, ice, or wind.
  6. ice wedging
    Process that splits rock when water seeps into cracks, then freezes and expands.
  7. chemical weathering
    The process that breaks down rock through chemical changes.
  8. oxidation
    A chemical change in which a substance combines with oxygen, as when iron oxidizes, forming rust.
  9. permeable
    Characteristic of a material that is full of tiny, connected air spaces that water can seep through.
  10. soil
    The loose, weathered material on Earth’s surface in which plants can grow.
  11. bedrock
    The solid layer of rock beneath the soil.
  12. humus
    Dark-colored organic material in soil.
  13. fertility
    A measure of how well soil supports plant growth.
  14. loam
    Rich, fertile soil that is made up of about equal parts of clay, sand, and silt.
  15. sod
    A thick mass of grass roots and soil.
  16. natural resource
    Anything in the environment that humans use.
  17. Dust Bowl
    The area of the Great Plains where wind erosion caused soil loss during the 1930s.
  18. soil conservation
    The management of soil to prevent its destruction
  19. contour plowing
    Plowing fields along the curves of a slope to prevent soil loss.
  20. conservation plowing
    Soil conservation method in which the dead stalks from the previous year’s crop are left in the ground to hold the soil in place.
  21. crop rotation
    The planting of different crops in a field each year to maintain the soil’s fertility.
  22. erosion
    The process by which water, ice, wind, or gravity moves weathered rock and soil.
  23. sediment
    Earth materials deposited by erosion.
  24. deposition
    Process in which sediment is laid down in new locations.
  25. gravity
    A force that moves rocks and other materials downhill.
  26. mass movement
    Any one of several processes by which gravity moves sediment downhill.
  27. runoff
    Water that flows over the ground surface rather than soaking into the ground.
  28. rill
    A tiny groove in soil made by flowing water.
  29. gully
    A large channel in soil formed by erosion.
  30. stream
    A channel through which water is continually flowing downhill.
  31. tributary
    A stream that flows into a larger stream.
  32. flood plain
    Wide valley through which a river flows.
  33. meander
    A looplike bend in the course of a river.
  34. oxbow lake
    A meander cut off from a river.
  35. alluvial fan
    A wide, sloping deposit of sediment formed where a stream leaves a mountain range.
  36. delta
    A landform made of sediment that is deposited where a river flows into an ocean or lake.
  37. groundwater
    Water that fills the cracks and spaces in underground soil and rock layers.
  38. stalactite
    A calcite deposit that hangs from the roof of a cave.
  39. stalagmite
    A cone-shaped calcite deposit that builds up from the floor of a cave.
  40. energy
    The ability to do work or cause change.
  41. potential energy
    Energy that is stored and available to be used later.
  42. kinetic energy
    The energy an object has due to its motion.
  43. abrasion
    The grinding away of rock by other rock particles carried in water, ice, or wind.
  44. load
    The amount of sediment that a river or stream carries.
  45. friction
    The force that opposes the motion of one surface as it moves across another surface.
  46. turbulence
    A type of movement of water in which, rather than moving downstream, the water moves every which way.
  47. glacier
    A large mass of moving ice and snow on land.
  48. continental glacier
    A glacier that covers much of a continent or large island.
  49. ice age
    Times in the past when continental glaciers covered large parts of Earth’s surface.
  50. valley glacier
    A long, narrow glacier that forms when snow and ice build up in a mountain valley.
  51. plucking
    The process by which a glacier picks up rocks as it flows over the land.
  52. till
    The sediments deposited directly by a glacier.
  53. moraine
    A ridge formed by the till deposited at the edge of a glacier.
  54. kettle
    A small depression that forms when a chunk of ice is left in glacial till.
  55. headland
    A part of the shore that sticks out into the ocean.
  56. beach
    Wave-washed sediment along a coast.
  57. longshore drift
    The movement of water and sediment down a beach caused by waves coming in to shore at an angle.
  58. spit
    A beach formed by longshore drift that projects like a finger out into the water.
  59. sand dune
    A deposit of wind-blown sand.
  60. deflation
    Wind erosion that removes surface materials.
  61. loess
    A wind-formed deposit made of fine particles of clay and silt.
Card Set:
Weathering and Soil Vocabulary
2015-09-02 14:09:28
earth science mierzejewski rochambeau

Weathering and soil vocabulary
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