Earth Science 100 Things to Know

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  1. The only way to change the density of something is by changing temperatures or applying pressure.
  2. Warm things are generally less dense than cold things and the warm things will rise.
  3. Water is less dense when it is frozen than in its liquid state. Water is most dense at 4oC.
  4. Generally, patterns on Earth are cyclic and will reoccur at some point in time.
  5. The closer the contour lines are together, the steeper the gradient
  6. Equilibrium means balance, and Earth is always trying to find.
  7. Earth absorbs shorter waves like visible light and ultraviolet rays and radiates long waves like infrared,
  8. At a small scale, Earth's orbit and shape look like a perfect circle.
  9. The altitude of Polaris is equal to your latitude.
  10. Latitude lines measure north and south of the Equator, even though they are drawn east to west.
  11. Longitude lines measure east and west of the Prime Meridian, even though they are drawn north to south. They are also based on observations of the Sun.
  12. Earth rotates west to east and makes it appear as if the sun rises in the east. Also, all the planets but Venus revolve counter clockwise.
  13. Phases of the moon are caused by the Moons revolution around Earth.
  14. Planets retrograde when we pass them in space. That means they look like they go backwards.
  15. June 21: Summer Solstice, high in sky, overhead at 23.5oN (Tropic of Cancer)and long day, March and September 21: Vernol and Automnul Equinoxes, medium in sky, overhead at Equator and 12 hours every where in the world, December 21: Low in sky, overhead at 23.5oS (Tropic of Capricorn)and short day.
  16. Stars go around Polaris in a complete circle.
  17. The red shift proves the universe is expanding.
  18. The equator has 12 hours of daylight no matter what.
  19. The longer the shadow you have, the lower the suns altitude.
  20. We know Earth rotates because of the Foucault Pendulum
  21. Earth is closer to the Sun in Winter than it is in summer.
  22. A planet has a stronger gravitational pull resulting in a higher velocity when it is close to the sun.
  23. The Sun is one foci of an ellipse and the other point is a mathematical spot in space.
  24. Dark objects absorb energy and light objects reflect it.
  25. When an object is closer to Earth, it looks bigger. That's why in a solar eclipse, the moon is much small than the sun, but the moon is close enough that it covers most of the sun.
  26. Vertical rays only occur between the Tropics.
  27. The Coriolis effect is prevailing winds. The prevailing winds rotate to the right in the Northern hemisphere and left in the Southern hemisphere.
  28. High Pressure always flows to low pressure.
  29. High pressure rotates clockwise out outwards.
  30. Low pressure rotates counterclockwise and towards the center.
  31. Objects with high specific heats don't absorb radiation easily or release radiation well.
  32. July has the hottest day of the year usually because even though it doesn't get the most radiation, the energy from the radiation is released.
  33. The day is hotter at about 2-5 P.M. and colder right before sunrise because of the way the ground radiates the insolation.
  34. The higher the temperature, the lower the pressure.
  35. The higher the humidity, the less pressure there is in the atmosphere.
  36. The higher your altitude, the lower the pressure there is in the atmosphere.
  37. Cold dry air exerts a higher pressure and warm moist air exerts a lower pressure.
  38. Wind is the motion of high pressure moving to low pressure.
  39. Isobars that are close together mean that the pressure gradient is high.
  40. Wind is named for the direction that is is coming because you don't care where its going, just where it came from. That helps you determine the temperature you may get.
  41. Pressure systems move Northeast.
  42. The closer the air temperature is to the dew point, the better chance of precipitation. There needs to be a 100% Relative Humidity for precipitation to fall.
  43. When a cold front passes, temperatures and humidity go down and pressure rises. Also, you will experience precipitation when the warm air is forced up quickly.
  44. Generally, when a warm front comes in, temperatures and humidity go up and pressure decreases.
  45. Occluded fronts are cold fronts that over power a warm front and you get two cold air masses colliding.
  46. Cold fronts move faster than warm fronts.
  47. As air goes up, it expands and cools, forming clouds because colder air can't hold as much water as warm air.
  48. High pressure kills clouds.
  49. Porosity has nothing to do with particle size, but how tightly packed the sediments are packed does.
  50. Permeability increases when particle size increases.
  51. Capillarity increases when particle size decreases.
  52. Bodies of water affect temperatures and help make them less severe
  53. Air expands because pressure applied to the air is decreasing.
  54. For runoff, you want bare ground, a lot of precipitation (enough so the permeability rate is less), soil is moist and saturated, and the slope pf the land is too great.
  55. Chemical weathering is more often seen in warm and humid climates, and physical weathering is mainly seen in cold, humid climates.
  56. Gravity drives erosion. It moves the water or rocks the may wear it away and help move glaciers.
  57. Erosion occurs on the outside of streams and deposition occurs on the inside curve.
  58. The greater the slope, the faster the streams velocity.
  59. Speed is greatest on the outside of a bend in a stream and in the center in a straight path.
  60. Big, round, and dense things sink faster than small, rough, less dense objects.
  61. Water sorts sediments vertically, meaning that the big sediments line up horizontally on the bottom and the small sediments sort horizontally on the top. It is called vertical sorting because as you move up vertically, the smaller the sediment gets.
  62. An unconformity shows a gap in the rock record because it is a buried erosional surface.
  63. An object broken into pieces has more surface area and the weathering rate is faster.
  64. Ocean crust is made of basalt, is thin, and is more dense than the thick granite of the continental crust.
  65. Fossils form in sedimentary rocks, and maybe in metamorphic rocks if they are not completely destroyed by heat and pressure.
  66. Sedimentary rocks form in layers.
  67. If an igneous rock cools fast, it has small crystals.
  68. If an igneous rock has big crystals, it formed slowly.
  69. Metamorphic Rocks form from heat and pressure of other rocks. Some rocks show banding and foliation, while others are non foliated.
  70. A silicate mineral has oxygen and silicon in it. It is the main mineral family in Earth's crust.
  71. Arid/Dry areas are steep, sharp, and angular.
  72. A wet, humid landscape is smooth with round slopes and hills.
  73. Mid-Ocean Ridges are diverging boundaries and sea floor spreading makes room for new Earth to take place. This causes the change in magnetic pole reversals.
  74. Trenches are caused by converging boundaries in a subduction zone, where a deep part of water is made from the plates sliding over and under each other.
  75. P Waves are faster than S-Waves
  76. S waves only travel through solids, so when the S-Waves stop at the outer core, we know it is liquid because S-Waves don't travel through it.
  77. Three stations are required to find the epicenter of an earthquake.
  78. The plate move because convection currentss in the mantle move the plates.
  79. Two sides of ocean ridges mirror each other.
  80. Contour lines always point upstream.
  81. Plate tectonics show that Earth's crust is broken into plates that move and were one time in a super island called Pangaea.
  82. The three types of plates are converging/subducting, diverging, and transform.
  83. Mountains are formed from uplift.
  84. A half-life of a radio active element is always the same.
  85. Volcanoes are formed to release the heat from Earth's mantle and core.
  86. Index fossils are good for correlating because they lived for a short period of time in a widespread region.
  87. Undisturbed strata means the bottom layer is oldest.
  88. Intrusion and faults are younger than the rocks that they intruded on.
  89. Uranium 238 Dates Old Rocks.
  90. Carbon 14 dates recently living objects.
  91. Use your Reference Tables, even if you think you know! Better safe than sorry...
  92. Draw picture to help you understand.
  93. You have a long time to take the test, stay calm.
  94. Read or analyze data first so you don't just jump to the answer on the chart or paragraph, when it may be wrong.
  95. Choose the answer that makes the most sense.
  96. Eliminate choices that don't make sense.
  97. Never leave a question blank or second guess yourself. Only change it if you are sure that there is a mistake.
  98. Take a break every few seconds to keep your mind focused and stay on task.
  99. Don't write too much. Write the right answer and support it with detail, but not so much that your going to get the question wrong if a little detail is off.
  100. Eat a good dinner, good sleep, and have a good breakfast that morning. Also, start studying NOW a little bit every day so that you remember it and retain it for the test later. Don't cram!
Card Set:
Earth Science 100 Things to Know
2011-05-18 03:22:08
Things Know Earth Science MoonRacer

There are no answers on these cards. These are 100 things that you will want to remember for Earth Science. Thank you to Mr. Sheehan who was nice and shared this information for all students who are taking the exam. For more help, see <>
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