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121 Cards in this Set

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Phanerozoic Eon
last 542 million years and the time before Precambrian Period
Cenozoic
the youngest interval in the Phanerozoic Eon
Earth System
chemical elements cycle between different rock types, rock and sea, sea and air, and all entities and life
geologist
scientist who studies the Earth
hypothesis
a possible explanation involving only naturally occurring processes that can explain a set of observation
Mesozoic Era
one interval, before the Cenozoic Era, that is part of the Phanerozoic Eon
Paleozoic Era
one interval in the Phanerazoic Eon that is before the Mesozoic Era
Archean Eon
the eon lasting from 2.5-4.5 billion years ago
geologic time scale
used to define intervals of time
Geology
the study of Earth
Hadean
First eon on Earth, first section of Precambrian Eon
Precambrian
the time period from the birth of Earth to Phanerazoic Eon, including intervals of Hadean, Archean, and Proterozoic
**Plates
large cracks in the crust; discrete pieces that move slowly relative to each other
Science
the use of observation, experiment, and calcultion to explain how nature operates
Scientific Law
scientific ideas that must be considered absolutely correct, for if they were violated the natural universe if we knew it would not be correct
Scientific Method
sequence of steps for systematically analyzing scientific problems in a way that leads to verifiable results
Scientists
people who study and try to understand natural phenomena
Shatter cones
small cone shaped cracks that are the result of meteorite impacts
** Theory
Scientific ideas supported by an abundance of evidence. They have passed many tests and failed none.
Theory of Plate Tectonics
theory that describes the movement of plates and its consequences. Foundation for understanding most geological phenomena
Accretion Disk
because of rotation, the condensing portion of a nebula evolved into a spinning disk-shaped mass of gas
Asteroid
small bodies of solid rock or metal that orbit around the sun and reside mostly in the Asteroid Belt between Mars & Jupiter
Big Bang Theory
cataclysmic explosion that started the universe through expansion
Expanding Universe Theory
theory that the universe is expanding
Comet
icy planetesmal whose highly elliptical orbit brings it sufficiently close to the sun that emits a glowing tail of gas and dust as it melts
Cosmology
study of the overall structure and evolution of the universe
Differentiation
the process by which protoplanets and large planetesimals developed internal layering early in their history
Doppler Effect
change in a frequency of light or sound that is relative the sedentary observer
Galaxies
groups of stars that gravity pulls together to form immense systems or groups
Gas Giant Planets
Jovian planets (jupiter-like), Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune composed mostly of He and H
Terrestrial Planets
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the planets that are closest to the sun because they consist of a shell of rocks surrounding a core of iron alloy
Geocentric Model
Earth sits motionaless at the center of the universe while all planets revolve around it. Proposed by Ptolemy*
Heliocentric Model
proposed by Copernicus saying that all the planets orbit the Sun. Supported by Galileo and Kepler
Lightyear
distance light travels in one Earth year; 9.5 trillion km*
Meteorite
Solid objects falling from space that land on a planet
Moon
an object locked in orbit round a planet
Nebula
patchy clouds of gas that come to being as universe expands and cools
Nebular theory
stars and planets form when stars pull gas, dust, and ice together to form a swirling disk. The center of a disk becomes a star. Rings around the star condense into planetesimals that combine to form planets
Planetesimals
bodies whose diameter exceed about 1 km. Because of their mass, they exert enough gravity to pull/attract nearby objects
Planet
large solid spherical object orbiting a star
Precession
*wobble of the Earth's axis. It takes 23,000 years and may effect climate
Proto-planetary Disk
planetismals that continue to suck in the dust and ice into their own mass, becoming bodies almost the size of planets
Protostar
central ball of an accretion disk that pulled in enough atoms to become hot enough to grow
Stellar Wind
Stream of atoms emitted from stars in its lifetime
Supernova
red giant that violently explodes
Universe
our surroundings, galaxy of stars and planets that we are part of
Alloy
mixture containing more than 1 type of metal atom
Asthenosphere
layer under the Lithosphere where rock can flow
Atmosphere
envelope of gas consisting of 78% N, 21% O, minor amounts of Ar, CO2, Ne, Ch4, Ozone, Carbon Monoxide, and SO2
Basalt
mafic rock of small grains, very dense
Organic Chemicals
Carbon containing compounds that resemble living organisms or characteristics that resemble molecules
Glass
solid which aroms are arrange in an orderly pattern
Rocks
aggregates of mineral crystals or grains and masses of natural glass
sediment
accumulation of loose mineral grains
metals
solids composed of metal atoms
melts
form when solid materials melt and transform into liquid
volatiles
materials that easily ttransform into gas at the relatively low temp on Earth's surface
granite
felsic rock with large grains, least dense of silicates
Gabbro
mafic rock with large grains
Peridotite
ultramafic rock with large grains, densest of silicates
Crust
not very sense; two types known as Oceanic and Continental
Mantle
denser solid, 2nd layer of Earth
Core
very dense center of earth, 13 g/cm3
earthquake
ground shaking of sudden breaks in the center of the Earth
fault
fracture on which sliding ocurs
geothermal gradient
rate of change in temperature in depth
Moho boundary
Mohoravic boundary between crust and mantle where earthquake velocity changes after this point because of density change
Meteor
any object that enters Earth's atmosphere from space; a glowing streak
Meteorite
meteors that strike Earth
Upper Mantle
660 km deep,
Lower Mantle
660-2900 km deep,
Transition Zone
400-660 km deep where mantle undergoes abrupt changes
Outer Core
convective flow generates magnetic field, liquid iron alloy, 10-12 g/cm3
Inner Core
solid metal ball in center of Earth
Cryosphere
hydrosphere + ice that covers earth
Hydrosphere
The surface water + ground water (fills cracks and sediments)
Topography
physical features of land surfaces represented by changes in elevation
Dipole
magnet with north and south pole; this is Earth's magnetic field
Magnetic Field
region affected by force of magnet
Pangea
Supercontinent that later fragmented into continents, drifting to present-day positions; proposed by Wegner
Continental Drift Hypothesis
Pangea supercontinent that fragmented into continents, drifting to present-day positions
Sea-floor spreading
proposed by Hess; one reason for continental drift; new ocean floor forms meaning older sea floor is subducted
Subduction
cause two continents to move towards each other; needs this to keep Earth's circumference constant
Plate Tectonics (2)
model for how continental drift, sea floor spreading, and subduciton al take place
plates
distinct pieces of earth's crust that move relative to each other
paleomagnetism
record of earth's magnetic field that is kept in rocks
apparent polar-wanderer path
each continent has a different pole-wanderer path, showing that earth's poles stay consistent but continents move
bathometry
shape of sea floor surface
Mid Ocean Ridges
submarine mountain ranges 2-2.5 km below sea level
Abyssall plains
broad flat regions 4-5km below sea level
Deep ocean trenches
occur along perimeter of Pacific Oceans and other, 8-12km deep, border volcanic arcs
volcanic arc
curving chain of active volcanoes
seamount
underwater volcano that has stopped erupting and underwent erosion
fracture zone
vertical fracture that lie at right angles to MORs and segments ridges into small pieces
Magnetic Anamoly
Difference between expected measured strength and actual strength of earth Earth's magnetc fields
positive/negative anomoly
positive/negative difference between expected and measured
Magnetic reversals
time when earths field flips form normal to reverse polarity
Active Margins
plate boundaries
Continental Margins
Boundaries between continent and crusts/ocean
Passive Boundaries
not plate boundaries
Plate Boundary
breaks in the pieces of lithospheric plates
Buoyancy
Upward force active upon an object immersed or floating in fluid
Continental Shelf
sediment layer on edge of continent
Divergent Boundary
two plates move apart from one another; mid ocean ridges form here
Convergent Boundary
two plates move towards each other
Transform Boundary
two plates slip on each other
Black Smoker
little chimney that spew hot mineralized water because they are heated by magma below the surface
Convergent Margin
Subduction zone where one plate subducts another; where deep ocean trenches happen
Volcanic Arc
chain of volcanoes that develop behind an accretionary prism
Accretionary Prism
sediment is squashed and contorted in process of making prism; like snow in snow plow
Triple Junction
places where three plate boundaries intersect
Hot Spots
Volcanoes that exist at a point where there is no intersection of plates
Mantle Plume
Column of hot rick that flows upwards to form a hot spot; stays fixed in one place while plates move over it
Hot Spot Track
track of active/extinct volcanoes that form over a mantle plume and plate moves over them; example: Hawaii
Rifting
splitting of 2 continents because of a divergent boundary
collision
when a convergent boundary ceases to exist because a buoyant piece of lithosphere moves into subduction zone
ridge push force
force of top of ridge will push things under
slab pull force
will pull things being subducted because so dense
velocity of plate motions
speed of one plate in relation to another plate; movement of plate relative to fixed point in mantle
absolute plate velocity
movement of plate relative to fixed point in mantle
GPS
satellites orbiting earth that provide us with our position