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61 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
partially molten layer above earth's interior
the great pressure acting on the plates that deforms them by folding, twisting, warping, breaking, or compressing rock
fractures in rock along which there has been movement
rock layers that have buckled under pressure by the movement of lithospheric plates
igneous rocks
rocks formed by the colling and solidification of molten rock (intrusive - magma; extrusive - lava)
metamorphic rocks
formed by igneous and sedimentary rocks by earth forces that generate heat, pressure or chemical reaction
particular chemical comination that has a hardness, density, and definite crystal structure
plate tectonics
theory that lithosphere is meade up of 12 large and many small plates drifting over the asthenosphere
sedimentary rocks
composed of particles of gravel, sand, silt and clay eroded from already existing rocks
collisions of plates with different types of crust at their edges - denser but thinner oceanic crust is forced down into athenosphere
very large sea waves caused by an earthquake or volcanic eruption below an ocean
the force that transports heated material to or toward the surface of the earth
the bowing of a large region of the earth's surface due to the movement of continents or the melting of glaciers
gradational processes
processes responsible for the reduction of land surface (weathering, mass movement, and erosion)
the breakdown and decomposition of rocks and minerals at or near the earth's sruface in response to atmospheric factors (ater, air, and temperature
mechanical weathering
physical disintegration of earth materials at or near the surface
chemical weathering
processes which cause rock to decompose rather than disintegrate (oxidation, hydrolysis, carbonation)
mass movement
the downslope movement of material due to gravity
erosional agents
forces such as wind, water, and glaciers which carve already existing landforms into new shapes
a valley area surrounding a stream which is subject to inundation by flooding
sand and mud which builds up in temporary lakes called playas at the bottom of hillsides
continental drift
theory that all landmasses were once united in one supercontinent named Pangaea and that over many millions of years the continents broke away from each other, slowly drifting to their current positions
large body of ice moving slowly down a slope or spreading outward on a land surface
wind deposited material taht is silty in texture and plae yellow or buff in color
water table
when underground water accumulates, the upper level of the zone of saturation is caleld the water table
temperature, wind, and precipitation
lowest layer of the earth's atmosphree, which extends about 10 km above the ground and contains viturally all of the air, clouds, and precipitation of the earth
process of potentially receivable solar radiation sent back to outer space or diffused in the troposphere
process in which the energy that is absorbed into the land and water during the day is returned to the atmosphere in the from of terrestial radiation at night
temperature inversion
condition in which air at lower altitudes is cooler than air aloft (dangerous because surface air is trapped)
air pressure
the weight of the atmosphere as measured at a point on the earth's surface
air mass
a large body of air with little horizontal variation in temperature, pressure, and humidity
the circulatory motion of descending cool air and ascending warm air
sea breeze
airflow from the sea to the land, resulting from a daytime pressure gradient that moves winds from the cooelr sea gradient to the warmer land surface
Coriolis Effect
in moving from high to low pressure, wind veers toward the right of the dirction of travel in the Northern hiemisphere and toward the left in the Southern Hemisphere
jet stream
strongest flow of upper air winds, moving from west to east in both the northern and southern hemispheres
a wind system that reverses direction seasonally, producing wet and dry seasons
North Atlantic drift
massive movement of warm water to northerly lands
convectional precipitation
precipitation resulting from rising, heated, moisture-laden air
orographic precipitation
precipitation which occurs as warm air is forced to rise because hils or mountains block moisture-landen winds
cyclonic (aka frontal) precipitation
the rain or snow that is produced when mosit air of one air mass is forced to rise over the edge of another air mass
relative humidity
a percentage measure of the mositure content of the air, expressed as the amount of water vapor present relative to the maximum that can exist at the current temperature
an intense tropical cyclone
hurricane in the western pacific
the occurrence of heavy snow and high winds
most violen of all storms; characterized by a funnel shaped cloud of moving winds
soil horizons
layers of soil of various thicknesses
soil properties
merals, organic matter, water, and air
the long-term average weather conditions in a given region
tropical rain forest
areas taht straddle the equator; warm, wet climates in both winter and summer; daily rainfall
areas to the north and south of the rain forest; wet and hot in the summer months; dry the remainder of the year
moderately dry lands
Mediterranean climate
clear, dry air predominates; winters are relatively short and mild; plants and flowers grow year round
humid subtropical climate
hot moist summers and moderate moist winters
marine west coast climate
more rainfall and cooler termperatures than mediterranean zones in teh winter; summers are pleasantly cool, winters are cold but not freezing
humid continental climates
a climate of east coast and continental interiors of midlatitudes, displaying large annual temeprature ranges resulting from cold winters and hot summers; preicpitation at all seasons
El Nino
the periodic (every 3 to 7 or 8 years) buildup of warm water along the west coast of South American; replacing the cold Humboldt current off the Peruvian coast, El Nino is associated with both a fall in plankton levels and short-term, widespread weather modification
La Nina
the cool ebb in low-latitude Pacific Ocean surface temperatures that occurs between El Nino peaks of sea-surface warming
global warming
a rise in surface temperatures on earth, a process believed by some to be caused by human activities that increase the concentration of greenhouse gases in teh atmosphere, maginifying the green house effect
greenhouse effect
the heating of the earth's surface as shrotwave solar energy passes through the atmosphere, which is transparent to it but opaque to rereadiated longwave terrestrail energy
the treeless area lying between the tree line of Arctic regions and the permanently ice-covered zone