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30 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Average residence time
the amount of time it takes for the total stock or supply of material in a system to be cycled through the system
· T = S/F
(T: residence time, S: total size of stock, F: average rate of transfer)
Carrying capacity
the max number of a population of a species that may be maintained within a particular environment without degrading the ability of that environment to maintain that population in the future
Doubling time
time necessary for a quantity of whatever is being measured to double
Earth systems science
study of earth as a system
Environmental crisis
refers to the hypothesis that environmental degradation has reached a crisis point as a result of human use of the environment
Environmental geology
application of geological info to environmental problems
Environmental unity
principle of environmental studies that states that everything is connected to everything else
Exponential growth
type of compound growth in which a total amount or number increases at a certain percentage each year, and each years rate of growth is
Gaia hypothesis/ James Lovelock
a series of hypotheses that explain how earth as a system may operate with respect to life. Metaphorically earth is viewed as a giant organisms consisting of various interactive systems with distinct feedback and thresholds that result in producing an environment beneficial to many life forms on earth, life is an important ingredient in producing that environment
· Earth is an organism
· Life significantly affects the Earth’s environment
· Life modifies the environment for the betterment of life
· Life deliberately or consciously controls the global environment
Geologic time
time extending from the beginning of the earth to the present, determined in part from earths history as recorded in the rocks and sediments that have been deposited and formed at various times, the geologic time scale is the chronological arrangement of rocks of various ages generally from the oldest event to the youngest
the science of earth including its structure, composition and history
Growth rate
a rate usually measured as a percentages by which something is changing
a statement intended to be a possible answer to a scientific question, the best hypotheses may be tested ,often multiple hypotheses are developed to answer a particular question
Input-output analysis
a type of systems analysis in which rates of input and output are calculated and compared
Land ethic
ethic that affirms the right of all resources including plants, animals, and earth materials, to continued existence, and at least in some location, continued existence in a natural state
Law of faunal assemblages
also known as the law of faunal succession, this is a general law of the geological sciences that states that the fossils or organisms succeed one other in an order that may be recognized. The fossils content of sedimentary rocks suggest the rocks relative age
Scientific method
method by which scientist work, starting with the asking of a question concerning a particular problem. Followed by a development and testing of hypotheses
refers to the development or use of resources in such a way that future generations will have a fair share of earth resources and inherit a quality environment, Refers to types of development that are economically viable, do not damage the environment and are socially just
any part of the universe that is isolated in thought or in fact for the purpose of studying or observing changes that occur under various imposed conditions
a strong scientific statement, hypotheses may become a theory after it has been tested many times
concept that the present is the key to the past, we can read the geologic record by studying present process
layer of gases surrounding earth
Continental drift
movement of continents in response to seafloor spreading, the most recent episode of continental drift supposedly began about 200 million yrs ago with the breakup of the super continent Pangaea
transfer of heat involving movements of particles, for example, the boiling of water in which hot water rises to the surface and displaces cooler water that moves towards the bottom
with the respect to the interior of earth the central part of earth below the mantle, divides into solid inner core with a radius approximately 1300 km and a molten outer core with a thickness of about 2000 km, the core is thought be metallic and composted mostly of iron
the outermost layer of the solid earth, embedded in the top of lithosphere that varies in thickness from 6 to 7 km below the oceans to as much as 70 km beneath continental mountain ranges
Hot spot
assumed stationary heat sources located below the lithosphere that feeds volcanic processes near earths surface
outer layer of earth approx 100 km thick, that comprises the plate that contain the ocean basin and continents
Magnetic reversal
involves the change of earth magnetic field between normal polarity and reverse polarity, also sometimes known as geomagnetic reversal
Mid oceanic ridge
a topographic high commonly found in the central part of oceans characterized by seafloor spreading, ex. Mid Atlantic ridge