super quiz glossary

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super quiz glossary
2010-11-06 22:22:40
super quiz

super quiz glossary terms
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  1. Alluvial fan
    loose rock material that forms a sloping, fan-shaped mass at the point where a stream emerges from an upland area into a broad plain or valley
  2. Amphibole
    widespread silicate minerals found in many igneous and metamorphic rocks
  3. Angle of repose
    the steepest angle at which loose material will stand without sliding; it is measured from the horizontal
  4. Anticline
    a typically arch-shaped fold in rock in which the oldest rocks are at the core
  5. Aquiclude
    a layer of impermeable rock adjacent to one that is permeable
  6. Artesian aquifer
    an aquifer in which the level of the discharge area is lower than that of the recharge area, and the water is confined by an impervious layer; when this layer is penetrated, the natural pressure will raise the water to the surface
  7. Asthenosphere
    a weak zone in the upper mantle that underlies the lithosphere
  8. Atoll
    an island formed of coral that is circular in shape with a central lagoon
  9. Basalt
    a fine-grained extrusive igneous rock formed mostly of feldspar and pyroxene
  10. Bedding
    layering visible in rocks that results from the settling of particles during deposition
  11. Braided stream
    a stream in which large numbers of sand bars cause the stream to flow as a series of separating and uniting channels
  12. Calcite
    a widespread rock-forming mineral composed of calcium carbonate; a major constituent of limestones
  13. Caliche
    a layer of secondary calcareous material below the surface that results from the evaporation of soil moisture, which leaves behind the calcium carbonate held in solution
  14. Catastrophism
    a theory that suggests that catastrophic events are the cause of past geologic change
  15. Contact metamorphism
    the alteration of rocks surrounding an intrusion due to the heat of the intrusion
  16. Continental drift
    the theory that continents move slowly over time on a deep-seated viscous zone
  17. Continental shelf
    the gently sloping zone of shallowly submerged land that surrounds the continent
  18. Continental slope
    the steeply sloping zone between the continental shelf and the true ocean depths
  19. Convergent boundary
    the boundary between two crustal plates that are moving toward each other
  20. Core
    the central part of the Earth; it is composed of a nickel-iron mixture and is divided into inner solid and outer liquid parts
  21. Cross-stratification
    a form of bedding in which the layers are arranged at an angle to the depositional surface
  22. Crust
    the outermost layer of the solid Earth; varies in thickness from 5 km below the oceans to 60 km below the mountain chains
  23. Crystal
    a homogeneous ordered solid having naturally formed faces and a limited chemical composition
  24. Delta
    an alluvial deposit built out into a body of water by a stream
  25. Discharge area
    an area where subsurface waters are discharged into streams or lakes
  26. Dissolution
    the process of chemical weathering by groundwater in which minerals and rock material pass directly into solution
  27. Divergent boundary
    the boundary between two crustal plates that are moving away from each other
  28. Dune
    a landform consisting of a mass of sand accumulated and moved by the wind; the movement of sand from the downwind to the upwind side results in the movement of the dune in the direction of the wind
  29. Dust Bowl
    the area of the Great Plains where a combination of drought and inappropriate farming practices resulted in severe soil erosion in the 1930s
  30. Erosion
    the process of removal and transport of fragments and particles of weathered rock
  31. Extrusive igneous rock
    a rock formed from a rapidly cooling magma extruded on the Earth’s surface
  32. Fault
    a plane within rocks along which movement has taken place
  33. Feldspars
    a group of alumino-silicate minerals that are essential to the formation of igneous rocks
  34. Foliation
    a sub-planar rock fabric formed by the preferred orientation of platy minerals
  35. Geological Time Scale
    a system of organizing geological events that is usually presented in the form of a chart; the subdivision of geologic time
  36. Geomorphology
    the study of surface features on the Earth and their evolution
  37. Glacier
    a body of ice that lies wholly or largely on land and shows evidence of flowing under the influence of gravity
  38. Granite
    an intrusive igneous rock formed of quartz, feldspar, and mica
  39. Groundwater
    subsurface water in the zone of saturation; this is the water that is present below the water table
  40. Hydrocarbon
    a compound consisting only of hydrogen and carbon; natural gas and petroleum are mixtures of hydrocarbons
  41. Hypothesis
    a preliminary assumption or explanation that accounts for a set of facts and is assumed to be true for the purpose of investigation and experimentation
  42. Igneous rocks
    rocks formed by the cooling and solidification of a magma
  43. Intrusive igneous rock
    a rock formed by a slowly crystallizing magma intruded deep within the crust
  44. Isostasy
    a condition of balance within the Earth’s crust by which mountain chains are balanced by extensive “roots” that project downward, in the same manner as a floating iceberg
  45. Karst topography
    a type of landform developed in areas underlain by limestones that are easily dissolved; characteristically, solution passages and caves are developed and spires of limestone may be left as the surrounding rock is removed
  46. Isotopes
    varieties of an element that have the same number of protons and electrons but a differing number of neutrons
  47. Lagoon
    a shallow pond or lake on the edge of the ocean but separated from it
  48. Landslide
    a type of mass wasting in which material moves rapidly downward and outward along a surface of separation
  49. Laterite
    a hard red soil that results from intense chemical weathering of the surface in tropical regions
  50. Lava
    molten rock; usually results from the eruption of a volcano
  51. Lithification
    the process whereby sediments are converted to solid rock by the processes of compaction and cementation
  52. Lithosphere
    the oceanic and continental part of the crust together with the upper, brittle part of the mantle; it varies in thickness from 1–2 km at the ocean ridges to 140–160 km below the oceanic crust
  53. Magma
    a mass of molten rock that, when cooled, will form an igneous rock
  54. Mantle
    the zone that lies between the core and the Earth’s crust and is approximately 2300 km thick
  55. Mantle plume
    hot material rising through the mantle at “hot spots”
  56. Mass wasting
    a general term for the movement of large masses of material by landslides or by flowage or soil creep
  57. Metamorphic rocks
    rocks that have been altered due to conditions of increased temperature and pressure
  58. Meteorites
    small extraterrestrial bodies that enter the Earth’s atmosphere and land on its surface
  59. Mica
    a group of sheet-silicate minerals that have a platy appearance
  60. Mineral
    a substance that is usually inorganic and that has a characteristic crystalline structure that can be used to identify it; rocks are composed of minerals
  61. Moraine
    an accumulation of sediment deposited by the action of a glacier
  62. Oil shale
    a mud rock that will yield oil by distillation
  63. Olivine
    an iron-magnesium-silicate mineral occurring in many igneous rocks
  64. Orogeny
    the compression of a belt of the Earth’s crust to form a mountain chain
  65. Outcrop
    the portion of a rock formation that is exposed on the surface of the ground
  66. Paleomagnetism
    the study of remnant magnetism or the record of the Earth’s past magnetic field
  67. Pangaea
    a hypothetical single ancient supercontinent comprised of an amalgamation of all the continental crust present at that time
  68. Permeability
    in geology, a measure of how easily water can pass through rock
  69. Planetesimal
    a small planetary body accreted from the original solar nebula
  70. Plate tectonics
    the unifying theory that draws together continental drift and seafloor spreading into a unifying theory of the evolution of the surface of the Earth
  71. Playa lake
    a shallow lake occupying the lowest part of an enclosed basin
  72. Plutonic
    refers to igneous rocks that have crystallized at great depth
  73. Porosity
    a measure of the volume of a rock that consists of space
  74. Pyroxene
    silicate minerals, usually black or dark green, that occur in both igneous and metamorphic rocks
  75. Quartz
    the most widely distributed and common rock forming mineral; composed of silicon dioxide
  76. Recharge area
    the area that acts as a catchment for an aquifer
  77. Reef
    a sedimentary rock aggregate formed of the skeletons of colonial organisms that lived below the surface of the ocean
  78. Regional metamorphism
    metamorphism occurring on a regional scale, usually in areas where lithospheric plates are converging
  79. Replacement
    the process by which material is slowly removed by solution and is replaced by another mineral; this can occur atom by atom so that the original structure is retained
  80. Rock cycle
    the cyclic connection between the three major groups of rock in which weathering products at the surface are converted to sedimentary rocks and then to metamorphic and igneous rocks by an increase in temperature and pressure
  81. Schist
    a regional metamorphic rock with a coarse texture and a planar fabric (schistosity)
  82. Seafloor spreading
    the theory that the ocean floor is created at divergent plate boundaries as the plates are moved apart by mantle convection
  83. Sedimentary rocks
    rocks formed by the erosion of rocks on the Earth’s surface and the accumulation and burial of the erosion products
  84. Sediments
    accumulations of loose particles of organic and inorganic material that are the precursors of sedimentary rocks
  85. Sinkhole
    a depression in the surface of the ground often connecting to a cavern or subterranean passage
  86. Solar nebula
    the original cloud of rotating gas and dust from which the solar system was formed
  87. Solar system
    the system that consists of the sun and the planets, satellites, and asteroids that rotate around it; its age is considered to be about 4.56 billion years
  88. Stromatolites
    a layered structure, often forming mounds, that is built up over a long period of time by mats of cyanobacteria that trap sediment
  89. Subduction
    the process by which dense oceanic crust material is overridden by lighter continental crust and sinks down into the mantle
  90. Tar sands
    a reservoir for oil in which the volatiles have escaped, and the sediment is impregnated with the residue
  91. Tempestite
    a deposit formed of suspended material picked up by a storm
  92. Theory
    a set of facts, propositions, or principles used to explain scientific phenomena; a description of the world that has met many observations and experimental tests
  93. Till
    unconsolidated and unsorted sediments deposited directly by the action of ice
  94. Turbidity current
    a density current that carries sediments very rapidly from delta fronts across the continental slope to deposit them as turbidites at the foot of the slope or on the abyssal plain
  95. Uniformitarianism
    “the present is the key to the past”; the idea that processes operating now on the Earth’s surface also operated in the past
  96. Varves
    sediments resulting from the regular deposition of material due to annual seasonal influences; in glacial lake sediments, a lower, coarser layer is deposited in the summer, and a finer layer follows in the winter
  97. Volcanic
    describes igneous rocks that have crystallized at the surface
  98. Walther’s Law
    a law that implies that a vertical sequence of sediments will be the product of a series of environments that lay adjacent to each other laterally; the environments replace each other as they move laterally
  99. Water table
    the upper surface of the saturated zone within bedrock
  100. Weathering
    the mechanical and chemical breakdown of rocks at the Earth’s surface