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100 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Abyssal plain
Very level area of the deep ocean floor. Lies at the foot of continental rise.
Includes all life on earth.
Earth's innermost layer, right under the mantle. Made up of an iron-nickel alloy.
Fossil succession principal
Fossils succeed each other in a definite and determinable order and time periods can be recognized by their fossil content.
The water portion of our planet.
Nebular hypothesis
The theory that a rotating nebula of dust and gases contracted and produced the sun and planets.
Relative dating
Rocks are placed in their chronological order, not dated by exact age.
Atomic number
The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom.
Dark silicates
Silicate minerals containing ions of iron and /or magnesium in their structure. Higher specific gravity and darker than nonferromagnesian silicates
A naturally occurring, inorganic crystalline material with a unique chemical structure.
Minerals groups that are not silicates and less abundant in earth's crust.
Nonferromagnesiumm silicates
(Light silicates) Light in color with a lower specific gravity than dark (ferromagnesian) silicates.
Specific gravity
The ratio of a substance's weight to the weight of an equal volume of water.
Andesitic composition
Rocks with a composition between granitic and basaltic. Contain at least 25% dark silicate materials. Also known as intermediate.
Basaltic composition
Rocks with a great deal of dark silicate materials and plagioclase feldspar. (no quartz) Also known as mafic
Also known as granitic. Composed mostly of light-colored silicates. (particularly quartz and feldspar)
Geothermal gradient
The gradual increase in temp with depth in the crust.
Igneous rock that formed below Earth's surface.
Pegmatic texture
Coarse-grained igneous rocks with interlocking crystals all larger than a centimeter in diameter.
Intraplate volcanism
Igneous activity that occurs within a tectonic plate away from plate boundaries.
A massive igneous body intruded between preexisting strata.
Parasitic cone
A volcanic cone that forms on the flank of a larger volcano.
Pyroclastic flow
A heated mixture, largely of ash and pumice fragments, that travels down the flanks of a volcano or along the surface of the ground.
Chemical weathering
Internal structure of a mineral is altered by the removal or addition of elements.
The incorporation and transportation of material by a mobile agent, such as water, wind, or ice.
The depletion of soluble materials from the upper soil by downward-percolating water.
Soil taxonomy
A soil classification system consisting of six hierarchical categories based on observable soil characteristics.
Parallel layers of sedimentary rock.
Clastic rock
Sedimentary rock texture consisting of broken fragments of preexisting rock.
Structure in which relatively thin layers are inclined at an angle by currents of wind or water.
Eruption column
Buoyant plumes of hot ash laden gases that can extend thousands of meters into the atmosphere.
The process of converting sediments to solid rock.
Texture of sedimentary rocks in which the minerals form a pattern of interlocking crystals.
Salt flat
A white crust on the ground produced when water evaporates and leaves its dissolved materials behind.
Mud crack
When wet mud dries shrinks and cracks in rocks.
Detrital sedimentary rock
Rocks that form from the accumulation of materials that originate and are transported as solid particles derived from both mechanical and chemical weathering.
Burial metamorphism
Low-grade metamorphism that occurs in the lowest layers of very thick accumulations of sedimentary strata.
Confining pressure
Greater with depth in which forces are applied equally in all directions.
A term for linear arrangement of textural features.
Gneissic texture
Texture in which dark and light silicate minerals have separated. Banded appearance.
Hydrothermal metamorphism
Chemical alterations that occur as hot ion-rich water goes through fractures in rock.
Rock cleavage
Planes along which rocks split into thin, tabular slabs when hit.
When platy minerals are large enough to be seen by the unaided eye.
The slow downhill movement of soil and regolith.
Debris flow
A relatively rapid type of mass wasting that involves a flow of soil and regolith containing a large amount of water.
The downslope movement of water-saturated, clay-rich sediment. Mostly in humid regions.
Debris flows.
Permanently frozen subsoil.
A movement common to mass-wasting processes in which the material moving downslope remains coherent.
Talus slope
An accumulation of rock debris at the base of a cliff.
Alluvial fan
A fan-shaped deposit of sediment formed when a stream's slope is reduced.
Braided stream
A stream consisting of numerous intertwining channels.
Cut bank
Area of active erosion on the outside of a meander.
Dentritic pattern
A stream system resembling a branching tree.
Dissolved load
Portion of stream's load carried in solution.
Incised meander
Meandering channel in a steep narrow valley. Form when an area is uplifted or when base level drops.
A looplike bend in a stream
Yazoo tributary
A tributary that flows parallel to the main stream.
Rock or sediment through which groundwater moves easily.
A well in which the water rises above the level where it was initially encountered.
A fountain of hot water ejected from the ground.
Hot spring
Concentration of heat in the mantle.
Karst topography
Consisting of sinkholes.
Icicle that hangs from the ceiling of a cavern
grows upward from the floor of a cavern.
Water table
The upper level of the saturated zone of groundwater.
Alpine glacier
Valley glacier
A deep crack in the surface of a glacier.
Glacial Budget
The balance (or lack of) between accumulation at the upper end of a glacier and loss at the other end.
Ground moraine
Layer of till deposited as the ice front retreats.
Pluvial lake
Formed during a period of increased rainfall.
valley glacier
Glacier confined to a mountain valley.
Ice shelf
large relatively flat masses of floating ice that extend seaward from the coast but remain attached to land along one or more sides.
Grinding and scraping of a rock surface
Barchan dune
Solitary sand dune shaped like a downward pointing crescent.
One of the two types of dry climate (the drier).
Deposits of windblown silt lacking visible layers. Capable of maintaining a nearly vertical cliff.
Barrier Island
Elongated ridge of sand that parallels the coast.
Structure to protect nearshore areas from breaking waves.
Tidal flats
Areas affected by alternating tidal currents.
The horizontal distance separating successive crests or troughs.
Wave height
The vertical distance between trough and crest of a wave.
Wave period
The time interval between the passage of successive crests at a stationary point.
Smaller earthquake after a large one.
Small earthquakes before a big one.
Seismic sea wave
Seismic sea wave. Generated by earthquake activity and dangerous.
Richter scale
A scale of Earthquake magnitude based on the motion of a seismograph.
A measure of the degree of earthquake shaking at a given locale based on the amount of damage.
about 65 million years ago it began. Follows Mesozoic era.
Time required for one half of the atoms of a radioactive substance to decay.
From 540-248 million years ago. Between Precambrian and Mesozoic.
All geologic time prior to the Paleozoic era.
between Paleozoic and Cenozoic. From 248-65 million years ago.
Transform fault
A major strike-slip fault that cuts through the lithosphere and accommodates motion between two plates.
Dip-slip fault
A fault in which the movement is parallel to the dip of the fault.
Reverse fault-
A fault in which the material above the fault plane moves up in relation to the material below.
Rift zone
A region of Earth's crust along which divergence is taking place.
Continental rise
The gently sloping surface at the base of the continental slope.
Continental shelf
Gently sloping submerged portion of the continental margin. From shoreline to continental slope.
Continental Slope
Steep gradient that leads to the deep-ocean floor and marks the seaward edge of the continental shelf.