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252 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
the study of water is called _____.
evapotranspiration occurs in three areas:
the path water takes in our environment is called the
hydrological cycle
storage refers to
soil and/or ground water
an underground rock layer that holds water is called an ____.
what is an aquifer?
an undergroudn rock layer that holds water
precipitation-evaporation (movement of water across the surface of the Earth is called
runoffs go into
rivers and streams
is an underground lake an aquifer?
amount of runoff in rivers and streams is called
amt of runoff in rivers and streams
equation for discharge
cross section area (widthXdepth) * velocity
River flows at 30 mph. Depth of river is 5 feet & Width is 10 feet. What is the Discharge?
Cross-Section = 5 feet X 10 feet = 50 square feet. Velocity is 30 x 1.5 = 45 feet / sec
Discharge would be 50 square feet x 45 feet / sec = 225 cubic feet /sec or 225 cfs
Rate of discharge depends on
Gradient (the difference in the elevation of the upstream point minus the elevation of the downstream point /distance between the two points: the larger the gradient the greater the discharge)
Drainage basin
land area that contriubtes runoff to river system
Drainage divide
boundary between drainage basins (the higher elevations)
Drainage or Stream Network
1. The system of the main river channel plus its tributaries
2. Stream network: hierarchical (ranking) system
Groundwater runoff released over large periods of time (the average flow of the stream)
Overland flow (the extra water running off land from a storm)
Stream Hydrograph
plot flow against time
What influences the shape of hydrography
a. Size of basin
b. Type of surface
c. Shape of watershed
d. Slope
e. Intensity & duration of rain
Pavement and concrete are impermeable to water so water must flow across surface
do rural or urban floods occur faster?
Fluvial Landforms
Landforms created by running water
__________ have done more to shape our earth than any other process
fluvial processes
the wearing away of land and soil though the process of running water
gully created by
fluvial processes
arroyos created by
fluvial process (running water)
gullys formed by
erosion (fluvial)
arroys formed by
erosion (fluvial)
the placement of the material carried by running water
deltas created by
deposition (fluvial)
Types of erosion
splash erosion
accelerated erosion
Splash erosion
direct force of falling drops on base soil causing a geyserlike splashing in which soil particles are lifted and then dropped into new positions
Accelerated erosion
the removal of soil much faster than it can be formed
Example: Badlands
fluvial (accelerated erosion)
3 mechanisms of Stream Geology
Stream erosion
Stream transportation
Stream deposition
Stream Erosion
Removal of material from the floor and sides of a channel
Stream Transporation
movement of the eroded particles
Stream Geology
3 mechanisms
stream erosion
" transportation
" deposition
3 mechanisms of stream transportation (movement of particles)
Material is held up by the water in the stream
Material is mixed with the water
Bed Load
sand, gravel and cobbles move by rolling or sliding from water flow
bouncing or skipping along stream bed
: rolling or sliding
2 types of bedload
Stream Deposition:
depositing the material carried by the stream
Stream Gradiation:
The SLOW reduction in the height of the headwaters of a stream through time as the stream eroded away the surrounding materials.
waterfalls aka
flood plain
belt of low flat ground present on one or both sides of a stream channel and is the area subject to flooding by that stream
deepest and fastest moving water in the river (usually at side of river)
areas where fast moving water erodes away at the side of the river (outer banks)
areas oppositve of cutbanks..areas of deposition due to slow moving water.
oxbow lakes result from
fluvial processes (erosion)
2 types of streams
meandering braided
Sandbars & Cutbanks continually reshape the river, causing it to create bigger and bigger meander loops. Eventually, we have the formation of
ox-bow lakes.
Example: Near Omaha Nebraska, "Crescent Lake, Iowa"
oxbow lake -- fluvial process
Eventually, the ox-bow lake dries up (it is no longer linked to the river) and becomes a marshy swamp called
"a meander scar."
Meandering stream.
The river has only one main channel that wanders (or meanders ) from side to side of the floodplain.
Rivers in the Eastern US (and ms river) is an exampel of a
meandering stream
Braided stream
the flow is divided into multiple threads and these rejoin and subdivide as new sandbars within the river form
western us rivers
braided streams, very shallow
Deposition of material dropped at the river mouth
: Sea Level has rised 400' in the last 10,000 years. Why?
Reason: Melting of Laurentide and Scandinavian ice sheets
Tides: What are they?
1. Daily changes in sea level. In a normal day, we experience two periods of rising water (flood tides) and 2 periods of falling water (ebb tides).
Two forces cause tides:
a) gravitational attraction of moon and to a much lesser extent the gravitational attraction of the sun. b) centrifugal force (the earth's spin pulls water away)
Biggest Tide:
Springtide: moon and sun are aligned so their gravities act together and so the sea rise is much higher
Tidal Waves ARE/ARE NOT caused by tides.
ARE NOT They are caused by undersea earthquakes. Better name is TSUNAMI
Waves Caused by
winds moving over a water surface.
low, round-crested linear waves
the area over which winds build waves: The bigger the fetch, the bigger the waves.
Collapsing Breaker:
the base of the wave collapses and the wave crashes into a mass of foam. Unrideable.
Spilling breaker:
the crest (top) of the wave slides down the front of the wave. Rideable but not much action.
Plunging breaker:
the crest shoots forward of the base (bottom) of the wave in a smooth curve. The classic surfers' wave!
Cape Cod Example of
coastal erosion
Thick, wedge-shaped deposits of sand along a body of water are called
what is Longshore Current and Beachdrifting
waves force you to drift bc waves come in at an angle
New Jersey groins
manmade barriers to prevent beach erosion
beachdrifting and longshore current create an arm of sand across a bay
a spit that ties an island to the mainland
Barrier Island:
a narrow strip of sand dunes, beaches, and marshes located a few miles off-shore
All along the Atlantic coast (Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is one) and along the Texas coast (South Padre Island is one)
Barrier island -- Barrier Islands were probably the beaches of the land during the Last Ice Age when sea level was much lower than present day. But now because they are generally made of sand, they are eroding away.
Types of Coral Reefs:
A. Fringe Reefs
B. Barrier Reefs
C. Atoll
Fringe Reefs
are built out from the shore
Barrier Reefs
are separated from an island or landmass by an enclosed water area.
: A reef which has an interior lagoon and needs no land
#1 element in earths crust
chemical compound, inorganic substance with consistent chemical composition (has the same things throughout it)
minerals grouped together or an aggregate of minerals.
Most of earth's crust is made up of ____ materials
silcate minerals (silicon and oxygen)
rocks are solidified from mineral matter in a high temperature molten state. Hard.
granite is an _______ rock
when molten, Igneous rock known as ___. When magma forces its way to surface, it is known as ____.
magma lava
Sedimentary rocks:
layer accumulations of mineral particles derived in various ways from pre-existing rocks. Soft and flaky.
Sandstone, shale
sedimentary rock
igneous or sedimentary rocks that have been physically and chemically changed usually by extreme heat and pressure
Limestone + heat/pressure = marble
carbon + heat/pressure = diamond
metamorphic rock
very thin layer (like onion skin). makes up continents and ocean basins
crust is divided into 2 layers
a. sima or basaltic layer: heavy; only exposed in ocean basins
b. sial or granitic layer: on top of sima. forms continents
the transition between crust and mantle is called
the Moho
rock underneath the lithosphere is highly heated to a state that is semiplastic (think of white hot iron that can be shaped and molded), this is called the
Important idea is that the lithosphere is capable of moving over the
lithosphere is broken up into large fragments called
lithospheric plates
Alfred Wegner, proposed that at one time all continents were fused into 1 continent called
Due to a process he called ... that continent broke apart until gradually the continents drifted into their current positions
continental drift,
If two plates of the same density hit (like two continental plates), they
throw up a huge range of land (mountain building). Prime example of this is the Himalayas
If two plates of different density (like a continental plate and an oceanic plate), ... The process of downplunging of one plate beneath another is called .. The plate boundary is called .
the denser plate (the oceanic plate) is forced down and into the softer asthenosphere.

Subduction Zone
If two plates are moving away from one another,
a crack between the two forms and new material is formed
What causes the plates to move in the first place?
Convective currents in the asthenosphere. Differential heating causes the movement.
MidAtlantic Mid-Oceanic ridge formed by
plates moving apart
plates moving apart causes
Shield volcanoes
typeso f volcanoes
strato , shield
. Strato Volcano
a. Very explosive, with rocks gases and ash
b. creates high cone, deep steep sides and layered appearance
when a volcano explodes in a violent explosion such that the central portion of the volcano is destroyed, the great central depression that remains is called is called
a caldera
Crater Lake, Oregon or the San Francisco Peaks in northern Arizona
Strato volcano/caldera
Indonesian term for a volcanic-created mudflow.
Combination of three processes: Mass Wasting+Fluvial+Tectonics
Shield Volcanoes
groups of fissures or tunnels that are active over a long period of time creating broad mountains
Mostly located in oceanic areas
created by Hot Spots
Hot Spots:
as a lithospheric plate drifts slowly over a Hot Spot, a succession of shield volcanos is formed. As the plate drifts over the plate, a chain of volcanic islands is formed
2 types of lava flow
e. Pahoehoe: ropy
f. A’a: sharp, brittle
Lava Tube:
A long "worm-like" cave that is formed as molten lava flows through a tube formation of older cold hard lava
east and west sides of the San Francisco Peaks.
lava tubes
cheap and efficient portable volcanic observatories.
US International Volcano Disaster Assistance Program:
the result of sudden yielding of the rock under unequal stresses: in essence, when one rock surface moves one way and the surface next to it moves another.
the result of sudden yielding of the rock under unequal stresses: in essence, when one rock surface moves one way and the surface next to it moves another.
Fault line:
the division on the surface between the two different rock surfaces
Two types of faults
1. Normal fault
2. Transcurrent fault
Normal fault
the plane of slippage is steep or nearly vertical. One rock surface is raised or lowered in relation to the surface next to it.
Transcurrent fault
in a transcurrent fault, the movement is not vertical but predominantly horizontal. No scarp results.
San Andreas Fault is what kind of fault
Mongollon rim is what kind of fault?
faults are from what kind of process/
tectonic landforms
a motion of the ground surface
Safety from earthquakes
a. •Inside, stand in doorway, or crouch under a desk or table, well away from windows or glass dividers.
B. •Outside, stand away from buildings, trees, telephones and electrical lines.
c. •On the road, drive away from underpasses and overpasses; stop in safe area; stay in vehicle.
Where do earthquakes occur?
so-called Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean. But also within a continental plate.
NOT a tidal wave. Is a huge wave created by an undersea earthquake.
Geothermal Energy:
Geysers created by Hot Spots. The heat produced by a hot spot can sometimes be high enough to boil water. If an underground river flows above a hot spot then that river can be heated to the boiling point. If there is a vent to the earth's surface from which the steam can escape, the result is a geyser. Example: "Old Faithful" in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.
Old Faithful example of
Geothermal energy (geysers)
The last eruption of a mega-volcano was in Toba
Landforms shaped by mass movement
Talus slope/cone: created by
Soil Creep
very slow movement of soil down a slope
Earth Flow
water-filled soil moves downslope
Bulging toe:
the landform created by an earth flow
what is mass wasting?
the movement of material by gravity
cannot be destroyed but can be transformed from one kind to another
potential energy
energy of position -- the higher the position, the higher potential energy
kinetic energy
the energy of motion
the faster the motion, the greater the amt of energy
how is a talus slope created?
physical weather action taken place on steep cliff area, breaks rock into fragments mainly by frost action, gravity carries rock fragments downslope
Mud Flow occurs when there is
1. More water than Earth Flow
Mudflows occur in places where
there is little vegation
Mudflows are found in
arid or semiarid areas or in areas subject to forest or wild fires
south slope of A Mountain example orf
talus slope
very slow mass wasting called
soil creep
importance of understanding mass wasting
classic natural hazard: can move in a matter of minutes
mudflows aka
debris flow
mudflows also common in areas of
volcanic eruptions
The sequence of how much mass wasting &/or fluvial transport depends on
how much water is present
No water -----> All Water
Landslide Earthflow Mudflow Flash Flood
a volcanic mudflow
a lahar is a mixture of __, __, and ___ processes
tectonic, mass wasting, fluvial
weathering and erosion can be both ___ and ____
physical and chemical
physical weathering aka
freeze/thaw action
the MacGyver principle
physical weathering/freeze thaw
when water freezes it expands. if expansion takes place in the joints spaces of rocks, the rocks themselves breaks apart
when water evaporates frolm cracks, leaving behind salt crystals that grow over time. crystals expand and break up rock letting gravity carry the materal downslope. this is called
when water evaporates frolm cracks, leaving behind salt crystals that grow over time. crystals expand and break up rock letting gravity carry the materal downslope.
unloading aka
pressure release weathering
when rock is deeply buried and subjected to high pressure. pressure is released on surface and rock can break away
devils tower wyoming is an exaple of
unloading (weathering)
when some materials absorb water and expand. known as
when minerals absorb water and expand causing rocks to break up
hydration is an example of
physical weathering
cyrstallization is an example of
physical weathering
unloading is an example of
physical weathering
carbonation and solution is an example of
chemical weathering
carbonation and solution
a mineral dissolving into a solution
Sedona is an example of
San Francisco Peaks good example of
lava tube
Volcanic Ranking Scale (VEI) numbers
Aeolian processes:
Landform changes created by wind
Two types of Wind Erosion
Wind Abrasion
dust storm an example of
deflation (aeolian processes)
loose particles lying on the ground are lifted up into the air or rolled along the ground
Wind Abrasion:
When wind drives sand and dust particles against exposed rock or soil surface causing it to be worn away by impact of the sand
Dust storms:
strong winds lifte huge quantities of fine dust forming a dense low cloud of material.
A landform produced by deflation is a shallow depression called a .
After deflation has gone on for some time and has blown away the smaller particles, the remains are a solid surface called a
desert pavement
Sand dune:
any hill of loose sand shaped by the wind. Several different kinds of sand dunes exist.
Crescent (barchan) dune.
Hill of sand which is quarter-moon or crescent-shaped
The tips of the crescent point
The steep slope of the leeward (downwind) side of a barchan/crescent sandune is called the
. Barchan dunes form where the winds
flow consistently from one direction.
Traverse Dunes:
long ridges of sand separated by long troughs or valleys of sand.
Traverse Dunes are related to Barchan dunes because their tips blow
Traverse Dunes tend to form in areas with
abundant sand > large areas of sand ("sand seas") are called ergs.
abundant sand > large areas of sand ("sand seas") are called
The central Sahara
. Traverse Dunes
A type of Dune that occurs in semiarid rather than arid areas is called a
Parabolic Dune.
Parabolic Dune Usually found behind
the points of the parabolic point
limestone gravestone dissolving good example of
carbonation and solution
turquoise an example of
Seif or Longitudinal Dune
is a long narrow ridge oriented parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind.
the Sandhills of Nebraska.
Seif or longitudinal dune
Star Dunes:
these are huge dune mountains that are found in large erg ("sandsea") deserts.They are sand mountains that can be as much as 600-700 foot high. Star Dunes are fixed in position (don't move) and seem to require wind blowing from many different directions to form.
In a few extremely dry (arid) areas, strong winds have eroded long parallel grooves in the solft silts of old dried-up lake beds These ridges are called
Man-Made deserts ( plowing land that experiences wide variations in precipitation can lead to deflation and the land becoming a desert).
A glacier is
any body of flowing ice that has been formed on land by compaction and re-crystallization of ice
Two Types of glaciers
1. Continental
2. Alpine or mountain
Today only two continental icesheets exist:
1. Greenland
2. Antarctica
During the Pleistocene (remember, it's the last ice age), there were two more ice sheets:
1. Laurentide Ice Sheet (N. America)
2. Scandinavian Ice Sheet (N. Europe
alpien or continental glaciers smaller?
alpine glaciers found in
higher altitudes
Three types of alpine glaciers
1. Cirque Glacier:
2. Valley Glacier:
3. Piedmont Glacier:
Cirque Glacier:
Glacier found near the top of the mountain on the sdie of the mountain. The glacier craves out a bowl-like depression in the side of the mountains.
Valley Glacier:
a glacier that extends down the mountains from the cirque glacier down the mountains.
Piedmont Glacier:
a glacier that extends from the valley glacier into the area around the mountain.
is a general term for all compacted snow ... a transition between snow and glacial ice
is a specific term for néve that does not melt.
the zone of melting on a glacier
the zone of nonmelting snow on a glacier, the region where snow is added to a glacier.
If zone of accumulation is larger than ablation, the glacier , if ablation is larger than accumulations, the glacier .
The bowl-like depression that is carved by a glacier. Cirques are high up in the mtns. surrounded by high sheer cliffs.
the crack between the glacier and the mountains. Dangerous: it is often covered by a thin layer of snow.
As a glacier flows down a mountains, it reaches areas where elevation suddently drops. Ice will not flow down these drops but instead it breaks into deep crevasses and ice falls.
Glaciers move because
Which part of a glacier moves the fastest?
the weight of the ice and gravity pull them down the mountain or across the land.
The center moves fastest because the sides and bottom of a glacier are sliding against rock and therefore friction slows down those parts of a glacier down.
Two methods of glacial erosion.
F. Glacial Abrasion
G. Glacial Plucking
Glacial Abrasion:
As rock and ice carried by glacier, they scrape and grind against surrounding rock and wear it away.
Glacial Plucking:
glacier forces rock fragments to be lifted out of surrounding rock by freezing water in cracks and surrounding rock. Cracks expand and the rock fragment "pops" out of the surrounding rock and is carried down the mountain by the ice.
What happens to rocks that are carried by glacier?
Moraine: Debris carried and deposited by glacier. Often appears as small hills or ridges after glacier has melted awway.
Three types of alpine (mountain) moraines
1. Lateral: material carried and deposited by glaciers on sides of glacier.
2. Medial: debris created by 2 lateral moraines merging: the debris is located in middle of a new glacier.
3. Terminal debris is pushed and left in front of the glacier
Formed when 2 cirque glaciers on opposite sides of mountain cut away the mountains, leaving a sharp ridge between the two cirques
when 3 or more cirques intersect (or three or more arétes intersect), you get a "horn".
. Glacial Trough:
a huge "U"-shaped valley carved by a glacier
When a glacial trough fills with sea water, we call it a
A river valley tends to be a __ shaped while a glacial trough tends to cut a ___ shaped valley
When a cirque glacier melts, it generally leaves a small lake in the cirque depression. This lake is called a
"tarn lake
What happens to the land when it is under that much ice?
The land sinks!
Isostatic depression:
The weight of ice is so great that the land is depressed sometimes to the point of being below sea level.
Hudson Bay ex of
isostatic depression
Ice Shelf:
A large plate of moving ice that has slid out on top of the ocean. Can be hundreds of feet thick.Example: Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica
Sea Ice:
Ice formed directly on ocean by freezing ocean water
Formed by pieces breaking off ("calving") continental glaciers and falling into ocean.
Meltwater stream.
A river created by water from melting ice from a glacier
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway
B. Rivers in the Central United States

landforms from what?
Moraines: Just as with alpine glaciers, continental glaciers have moraines. However, continental glaciers are so big that they don't
have sides and thus only have terminal moraines composed of the rubble and debris carried ahead of the glacier
the shape of continental moraines are huge curved paths called
When two lobes of a continental glacier come together, they form an "
interlobate" moraine.
If, as the continental glacier is retreating, the glacier stops or actually starts advancing slightly, a smaller moraine forms behind the terminal moraine. This moraine is called a
recessional moraine.
After a glacier is gone, the moraine appears as a belt of knobby hills separated by small hollows. The hills are called "". The hollows often fill with water and the resulting lake is called a "".
kettle lake
like a river of rock
That ridge is called an esker.
A hill that resembles an upside-down spoon. It consists of glacial till and is found behind the terminal moraine.