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84 Cards in this Set

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The transition of one rock into another by temperatures and/or pressures unlike those in which it formed
hydrothermal metamorphism
– chemical alterations from hot, ion-rich water
regional metamorphism
Occurs during mountain building
Produces the greatest volume of metamorphic rock
Rocks usually display zones of contact and/or hydrothermal metamorphism
Most important agent
Recrystallization results in new, stable minerals
chemically active fluid
Mainly water with other volatile components
Enhances migration of ions
Aids in recrystallization of existing minerals
sources of fluids
Pore spaces of sedimentary rocks
Fractures in igneous rocks
Hydrated minerals such as clays and micas
any planar arrangement of mineral grains or structural features within a rock
porphyrytic texture
Large grains, called porphyroblasts, surrounded by a fine-grained matrix of other minerals
Gradation in the degree of metamorphism between slate and schist
Platy minerals not large enough to be identified with the unaided eye
Glossy sheen and wavy surfaces
Exhibits rock cleavage
Composed mainly of fine crystals of muscovite and/or chlorite
Medium- to coarse-grained
Platy minerals (mainly micas) predominate
The term schist describes the texture
To indicate composition, mineral names are used (such as mica schist)
Medium- to coarse-grained
Banded appearance
High-grade metamorphism
Often composed of white or light-colored feldspar-rich layers with bands of dark ferromagnesian minerals
Coarse, crystalline
Parent rock was limestone or dolostone
Composed essentially of calcite or dolomite crystals
Used as a decorative and monument stone
Exhibits a variety of colors
Formed from a parent rock of quartz-rich sandstone
Quartz grains are fused together
Highest grades of metamorphism that is transitional to igneous rocks
Contain light bands of igneous components along with areas of unmelted metamorphic rock
the role of water
Diminishes particle cohesion (friction)
Water adds weight
Movement of a mass of rock or unconsolidated material as a unit along a curved surface
Occurs along oversteepened slopes
Blocks of bedrock slide down a slope
Generally very fast and destructive
debris flow
Consists of soil and regolith with a large amount of water
Often confined to channels
Form on hillsides in humid regions
Water saturates the soil
Commonly involve materials rich in clay and silt
Gradual movement of soil and regolith downhill
Aided by the alternate expansion and contraction of the surface material
Promoted by a dense clay hardpan or impermeable bedrock layer
Common in regions underlain by permafrost
Can occur on gentle slopes
ground water
found in the pores of soil and sediment, plus narrow fractures in bedrock
- largest reservoir of fresh water that is readily available to humans
belt of soil moisture
water held by molecular attraction on soil particles in the near-surface zone
zones of saturation
form when water reaches a zone where all of the open spaces in sediment and rock are completely filled with water
water table
the upper limit of the zone of saturation
capillary fringe
-Extends upward from the water table
-Groundwater is held by surface tension in tiny passages between grains of soil or sediment
zones of aeration
-Area above the water table
-Includes the capillary fringe and the belt of soil moisture
-Water cannot be pumped by wells
gaining streams
gain water from the inflow of groundwater through the streambed
losing streams
gain water from the inflow of groundwater through the streambed
percentage of total volume of rock or sediment that consists of pore spaces
-Determines how much groundwater can be stored
-Variations can be considerable over short distances
the ability of a material to transmit a fluid
an impermeable layer that hinders or prevents water movement (such as clay)
permeable rock strata or sediment that transmits groundwater freely (such as sands and gravels)
Darcy's Law
If permeability remains uniform, the velocity of groundwater will increase as the slope of the water table increases
hydraulic head
the vertical difference between the recharge and discharge points
hydraulic gradiant
the water table slope, determined by dividing the vertical difference between the recharge and discharge points by the length of flow between these points
Occur where the water table intersects Earth’s surface
Natural outflow of groundwater
Can be caused by an aquitard creating a localized zone of saturation which is called a perched water table
hot springs
Water is 6-9oC warmer than the mean annual air temperature of the locality
The water for most hot springs is heated by cooling of igneous rock
Intermittent hot springs
Water erupts with great force
Occur where extensive underground chambers exist within hot igneous rock
Groundwater heats, expands, changes to steam, and erupts
Artestian Well
a situation in which groundwater under pressure rises above the level of the aquifer
types of Artesian Well
Nonflowing – pressure surface is below ground level
Flowing – pressure surface is above the ground
Ground sinks when water is pumped from wells faster than natural recharge processes can replace it (San Joaquin Valley of California)
saltwater contamination
Excessive groundwater withdrawal causes saltwater to be drawn into wells, thus contaminating the freshwater supply
Primarily a problem in coastal areas
Most caverns are created by acidic groundwater dissolving soluble rock at or just below the surface in the zone of saturation
Karst topography
Landscapes that have been shaped mainly by the dissolving power of groundwater
a thick mass of ice that originates on land from the accumulation, compaction, and recrystallization of snow
Valley (alpine) glaciers
Exist in mountainous areas
Flow down a valley from an accumulation center at its head
ice sheets
Exist on a larger scale than valley glaciers
Two major ice sheets on Earth are over Greenland and Antarctica
steps in glacial ice formation
-Air infiltrates snow
-Snowflakes become smaller, thicker, and more spherical
-Air is forced out
-Snow is recrystallized into a much denser mass of small grains called firn
-Once the thickness of the ice and snow exceeds 50 meters, firn fuses into a solid mass of interlocking ice crystals
plastic slip
Occurs within the ice
Under pressure, ice behaves as a plastic material
basal slip
Entire ice mass slipping along the ground
Most glaciers are thought to move this way by this process
zone of accumulation
-The area where a glacier forms
-Elevation of the snowline varies greatly
zones of wastage
the area where there is a net loss to the glacier due to Melting, calving
– the breaking off of large pieces of ice (icebergs where the glacier has reached the sea)
glacial budget
Balance, or lack of balance, between accumulation at the upper end of the glacier, and loss at the lower end is referred to as the
lifting of rocks
Rocks within the ice acting like sandpaper to smooth and polish the surface below
glacial drift
refers to all sediments of glacial origin
stratified drift
sediments laid down by glacial meltwater
material that is deposited directly by the ice
Smooth, elongated, parallel hills
Steep side faces the direction from which the ice advanced
Occur in clusters called drumlin fields
Formation not fully understood
4 main stages of ice age in america
indirect effects of ice age glaciers
-Forces migration of animals and plants
-Changes in stream courses
-Rebounding upward of the crust in former centers of ice accumulation
-Worldwide change in sea level
-Climatic changes
Milankovitch hypothesis
-Shape (eccentricity) of Earth’s orbit varies
-Angle of Earth’s axis (obliquity) changes
-Earth’s axis wobbles (precession)
-Changes in climate over the past several hundred thousand years are closely associated with variations in the geometry of Earth’s orbit
processes involved in hydrologic cycle
physical and chemical processes that result in a redistribution of the stable isotopes of an element in a compound.
infiltration capacity is controlled by...
-intensity and duration of rainfall
-prior wetted condition of the soil
-soil texture
-nature of the vegetative cover
stream discharge
Width x Depth x Velocity
stream erosion
lifting loosely consolidated particles by abrasion and dissolution
indicates the maximum particle size a stream can transport
-determined by streams velocity
alluvian fans
develop where a high-gradient stream leaves a narrow valley
-sopes outward in a broad arc
forms when a stream enters an ocean or lake
-forest beds
-topset beds
-bottomset beds
stream valleys
most common landform on Earth's surface
narrow valleys
-V shaped
-downcutting toward base level
-features often include rapids and waterfalls
wide valleys
-stream near base level
-downward erosion is less dominant
-stream energy is directed from side to side forming a flood plain
incised meanders
meanders in steep, narrow valleys
-caused by drop in base level or uplift of region
remnants of a former floodplain
-river has adjusted to relative drop in base level by downcutting
drainage networks
land area that contributes water to the stream in the drainage basin
-imaginary line seperating one basin from another is a divide
drainage pattern
patter of the interconnected network of streams in an area
stream piracy
the diversion of the drainage of one stream into another
water gap
notch were a river cuts through a ride that lies in its path
antecedent stream
stream existed before the ridge was formed
superposed stream
stream let down upon a preexisting structure
types of floods
-ice jam
-dam failure