Study your flashcards anywhere!

Download the official Cram app for free >

  • Shuffle
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Alphabetize
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Front First
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Both Sides
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off
  • Read
    Toggle On
    Toggle Off

How to study your flashcards.

Right/Left arrow keys: Navigate between flashcards.right arrow keyleft arrow key

Up/Down arrow keys: Flip the card between the front and back.down keyup key

H key: Show hint (3rd side).h key

A key: Read text to speech.a key


Play button


Play button




Click to flip

59 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
Inner zone of the earth. It consist of a solid inner core and a liquid outer core.
Zone of the earth's interior between its core and its crust.
Molten rock below the earth's surface.
The region below the lithosphere.
Outermost part of the mantle (above the asthenosphere).
The solid, outermost layer of the Earth, lying above the mantle
Hot spots
A volcanic area that forms as a tectonic plate moves over a point heated from deep within the Earth's mantle. The Hawaiian Islands formed as a series of hot spots.
Plate tectonics
Theory of geophysical processes that explains the movements of lithospheric plates and the processes that occur at their boundaries.
Tectonic cycle
Crust being created at the same rate it is destroyed.
Area in which oceanic lithosphere is carried downward (subducted) under an island arc or continent at a convergent plate boundary. A trench ordinarily forms at the boundary between the two converging plates.
A vent or fissure in the earth's surface through which magma, liquid lava, and gasses are released into the environment.
Divergent plate boundaries
Area where the earth's lithospheric plates move apart in opposite directions.
Seafloor spreading
A process in which new ocean floor is created as molten material from the earth's mantle rises in margins between plates or ridges and spreads out.
Convergent plate boundaries
Area where the earth's lithospheric plates are pushed together.
Transform fault boundary
Area where the earth's lithospheric plates move in opposite but parallel directions along a fracture (fault) in the lithosphere.
A fracture in a rock formation along which there has been movement of the blocks of rock on either side of the plane of fracture. Faults are caused by plate-tectonic forces.
Fault zones
A network of interconnected fractures representing the surficial expression of a fault.
Shaking of the ground resulting from the fracturing and displacement of rock, which produces a fault, or from subsequent movement along the fault.
Seismic activity
The types, frequency and size of earthquakes that happen over a period of time in a certain area.
The point on the Earth's surface that is directly above the focus (the point of origin) of an earthquake. The epicenter is usually the location where the greatest damage associated with an earthquake occurs.
Richter scale
A logarithmic scale used to rate the strength or total energy of earthquakes. The scale has no upper limit but usually ranges from 1 to 9.
Rock cycle
The process by which rocks are formed, altered, destroyed, and reformed by geological processes and which is recurrent, returning to a starting point.
Any naturally occurring inorganic substance found in the earth's crust as a crystalline solid.
Igneous Rocks
Rock formed when molten rock material (magma) wells up from the earth's interior, cools, and solidifies into rock masses.
Having been forced between preexisting rocks or rock layers while in a molten or plastic condition.
Noting or pertaining to a class of igneous rocks that have been forced out in a molten or plastic condition upon the surface of the earth.
Any local separation or discontinuity plane in a geologic formation, such as a joint or a fault that divides the rock into two or more pieces.
Sedimentary rocks
Rock that forms from the accumulated products of erosion and in some cases from the compacted shells, skeletons, and other remains of dead organisms.
Metamorphic rocks
Rock produced when a preexisting rock is subjected to high temperatures (which may cause it to melt partially), high pressures, chemically active fluids, or a combination of these agents.
Physical weathering
Any of the various weathering processes that cause physical disintegration of exposed rock without any change in the chemical composition of the rock.
Chemical weathering
Any of the various weathering processes that cause exposed rock to undergo chemical decomposition, changing the chemical and mineralogical composition of the rock.
Acid rain
Precipitation, as rain, snow, or sleet, containing relatively high concentrations of acid-forming chemicals, as the pollutants from coal smoke, chemical manufacturing, and smelting, that have been released into the atmosphere and combined with water vapor.
Process or group of processes by which loose or consolidated earth materials are dissolved, loosened, or worn away and removed from one place and deposited in another.
The accumulation or laying down of matter by a natural process, as the laying down of sediments in a river.
Complex mixture of inorganic minerals (clay, slit, pebbles, and sand), decaying organic matter, water, air, and living organisms.
Parent material
The underlying geological material (generally bedrock or a superficial or drift deposit) in which soil horizons form.
A specific layer of soil or subsoil in a vertical cross-section of land.
O horizon
The layer of loose leaves and organic debris at the surface of soil.
A horizon
In ABC soil, the uppermost, darkest zone that is rich in organic matter.
The upper portion of a soil, usually dark colored and rich in organic material. It is more or less equivalent to the upper portion of an A horizon in an ABC soil.
E horizon
Residual deposits of soil, dust, and sand produced by the action of the wind.
B horizon
In ABC soil, the second and middle zone, characterized by an accumulation of soluble or suspended organic material, clay, iron, or aluminum.
C horizon
In ABC soil, the lowermost zone, consisting mainly of unconsolidated, weathered rock fragments.
The general physical appearance of a rock, especially with respect to the size, shape, size variability, and geometric arrangement of its mineral crystals.
Cation exchange capacity
The maximum quantity of total cations, of any class, that a soil is capable of holding, at a given pH value, available for exchange with the soil solution.
Soil bases
pH is defined as the negative logarithm (base 10). Basic soils have a high saturation of base cations (K+, Ca2+, Mg2+ and Na+).
Soil acids
Acidity in soils comes from H+ and Al3+ ions in the soil solution and absorbed to soil surfaces.
Base saturation
The fraction of exchangeable cations that are base cations (Ca, Mg, K and Na). It can be expressed as a percentage, and called percent base saturation.
Soil degradation
Process associated with the loss of equilibrium of a stable soil. It is due to the replacement of primary plant communities(known as climax) by secondary communities.
Crustal abundance
The abundance of elements in the earth's crust.
A naturally occurring mineral or rock from which a valuable or useful substance, especially a metal, can be extracted at a reasonable cost.
Any of a large group of chemical elements, including iron, gold, copper, lead, and magnesium, that readily become cations.
Classification of mineral deposits based on their geologic certainty and economic value.
Strip mining
Removing a mineral deposit from the Earth after first removing the layer of earth above it. Cheapest method of mining, is also the most controversial, because it jeopardizes the environment.
Mining spoils (tailings)
The overburden removed during coal and ore mining.
Open-pit mining
A method of extracting rock or minerals from the earth by their removal from an open pit or borrow.
Mountaintop removal
A form of surface mining that involves the mining of the summit or summit ridge of a mountain.
Placer mining
The extraction of minerals from placers, as by panning, washing, or dredging.
Subsurface mining
Consists of digging tunnels or shafts into the earth to reach buried ore deposits.