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24 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the part of the mantle that lies below the lithosphere; behaves plastically and flows
Big Bang
a model for the evolution of the universe in which a dense, hot state was followed by expansion, cooling, and a less dense state
the interior part of the Earth, beginning at a depth of about 2900 km; probably composed mostly of iron and nickel; divided into an outer liquid core and a solid inner core
Earth's outermost layer; the upper part of the lithosphere, which is separated from the mantle by the Moho; divided into continental and oceanic crust
geologic time scale
a chart with the designation for the earliest interval of geologic time at the bottom, followed upward by dsignations for progressively more recent time intervals
the science concerned with the study of Earth; includes studies of Earth materials (minerals and rocks), surface and internal processes, and Earth history
a provisional explanation for observations; subject to continual testing and modification, if well supported by evidence, hypotheses are generally called theories
igneous rock
any rock formed by cooling and crystallization of magma or by the accumulation and consolidation of pyroclastic materials
Jovian planets
any of the four planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune) that resemble Jupiter, all are large and have low mean densities, indicating they are composed mostly of lightweight gases, such as hydrogen and helium, and frozen compounds, such as ammonia and methane
Earth's outer rigid part consisting of the upper mantle, oceanic crust, and continental crust
the thick layer between Earth's crust and core
metamorphic rock
any rock altered by high temperature and pressure and the chemical activities f fluids is said to have been metamorphosed (slate, gneiss, and marble)
a naturally occurring, inorganic crystalline solid that has characteristic physical properties and a narrowly defined chemical composition
an individidual segment of lithosphere that moves over the asthenosphere
plate tectonic theory
the theory that large segments of the outer part of Earth (lithospheric plates) move relative to one another
principle of uniformitarianism
a principle holding that we can interpret past events by understanding present-day processes; based on the assumption that natural laes have not changed through time
an aggregate of one or more minerals, as in limestone or granite, or fragments, as in conglomerate; includes rocklike materials such as coal and natural glass
rock cycle
a group of processes through which Earth materials may pass as they are transformed from one rock type to another
scientific method
a logical, orderly approach that involves gathering data, formulating and testing hypotheses, and proposing theories
sedimentary rock
any rock composed of sediment (sandstone, limestone)
solar nebula theory
a theory for the evolution of the solar system from a rotating cloud of gas
a combination of related parts that interact in an organized fashion. Earth's systems include the atmosphere, hydroshpere, biosphere, and solid Earth
terrestrial planet
any of the four innermost planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars), they are all small and have high mean densities indicating they are composed of rck and metallic elements
an explanation for some natural phenomenon that has a large body of supporting evidence, to be considered scientific, it must be testable