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137 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Be able to draw and label a diagram representing a cross section of the earth.

Be able to draw and label a diagram representing a cross section of the lithosphere.

The asthenosphere can flow—so does that mean it is liquid? Explain.

it is made of solid rock, so no. It is a highly viscous form of molten rock under the lithosphere.

What are the differences between oceanic and continental crust?

They both have different densities. Oceanic = igneous, continental = sedimentiary.

List the 8 most abundant elements in the crust.

(greatest to least): oxygen, silicon, aluminum, iron, calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium.

What element is the most abundant in the crust? (fig.2.15) How abundant is it by volume?

Oxygen, 46.6%

What are seismic waves and how are they used to determine the layers within the earth?

an elastic wave in the earth produced by an earthquake or other means. scientists use the different travel times and refractions to determine layers

Which layer of Earth is the source of most magma?

upper mantle.

What is the lithosphere? What are the parts of the lithosphere?

the rigid outer part of the earth, consisting of the crust and upper mantle.

How are the asthenosphere and lithosphere the same and different?

the asthenosphere is more "liquid" and deeper and pushes the listhosphere plates.

How are the inner core and outer core similar and different?

inner core is solid, outer core is liquid. made of iron nickel.

ch3 Who was Alfred Wegner?

originator of the theory of continental drift. although unacepted until later because it was unknown why.

What is Pangea?

Pangaea or Pangea (/pænˈdʒiːə/) was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from earlier continental units approximately 300 million years ago, and it began to break apart about 175 million years ago.

Why wasn’t Continental Drift accepted when Wegener first proposed it?

the mechanism remained elusive. the geology community was stubborn

List and explain all the evidence that Wegner used to support Continental Drift.

the landmasses fit together like a puzzle. fossils and rocks were similar from opposite continents.

ch 4 mantle plume

a localized column of hot magma rising by convection in the mantle, believed to cause volcanic activity in hot spots, such as the Hawaiian Islands, away from plate margins

a localized column of hot magma rising by convection in the mantle, believed to cause volcanic activity in hot spots, such as the Hawaiian Islands, away from plate margins

ridge-push force,

or sliding plate force is a proposed mechanism for plate motion in plate tectonics.

or sliding plate force is a proposed mechanism for plate motion in plate tectonics.

slab-pull force

is the portion of motion of a tectonic plate that can be accounted for by its subduction. Plate motion is partly driven by the weight of cold, dense plates sinking into the mantle at trenches. Thisforce and slab suction account for almost all of the force driving plate tectonics.


the sideways and downward movement of the edge of a plate of the earth's crust into the mantle beneath another plate.

transform fault

a strike-slip fault occurring at the boundary between two plates of the earth's crust.

a strike-slip fault occurring at the boundary between two plates of the earth's crust.

triple junctions


trenches are created as a result of erosion by rivers or by geological movement of tectonic plates.

volcanic arc

see top right, think japan attols

see top right, think japan attols

accretionary prism/wedge

 see top middle. a mass of sedimentary material scraped off a region of oceanic crust during subduction and piled up at the edge of the overriding plate.

see top middle. a mass of sedimentary material scraped off a region of oceanic crust during subduction and piled up at the edge of the overriding plate.

hot spot

volcanic regions thought to be fed by underlying mantle that is anomalously hot compared with the surrounding mantle. They may be on, near to, or far from tectonic plate boundaries.

q Be able to explain the three different types of plate boundaries.

q Know what and where Mendocino Triple Junction is.

Know what kind of fault the San Andreas Fault is and what kind of plate boundary it forms

transform fault, and forms a transform fault plate boundary

What is a Wadati-Benioff zone? Where is it located? What do the earthquakes in this region tell us?

is a planar zone of seismicity corresponding with the down-going slab in a subduction zone.

how are volcanic arcs formed

Volcanic arcs form as the result of rising magmaformed by the melting of the downgoing plate. They are curved because of the curvature of the Earth.

q Which type of plate boundary is responsible for the formation of volcanic arcs?

subduction plate

At which type of plate boundary is crust made? At which type of plate boundary is crust destroyed?Which type of plate boundary neither creates nor destroys crust?

divergent, convergent, transfrom (respectively)

What type of plate boundary found located at these locations?o Basin and Range Province in the Western U.S.o East African Rifto Himalaya Mountain Rangeo Mid-Atlantic Ridge

transform, divergent, convergent, divergent

q How do we know that the plates are moving? What kind of data is used to show that the plates move?

earthquakes and volcanoes. satellite and gps lasers show plates move.

q Name the tectonic plates that California is part of.

north american plate and pacific plate. seperated by the san andreas fault

what plate is sjsu is on?

q When you are at the beach in Santa Cruz, what tectonic plate are you on?

north american plate , pacific plate

north american plate , pacific plate

q If you go on vacation to Baja California, which tectonic plate are you on?


name the plates 

name the plates

ch 5 Know the five criteria that define a mineral. Why is glass not a mineral? Why is salt a mineral but not sugar?

1) They must be solid substances2) they must be naturally-occurring3) they must have a definable chemical composition4) they must have an orderly crystalline structure5) they must be inorganic by nature.

q Which group of minerals are the most abundant minerals?


what is halite?


Know the different kinds of bonds: covalent, ionic, Van der Waals, metallic. Which is the strongest? Weakest?

What is a polymorph? Why are diamond and graphite considered polymorphs?

the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one form or crystal structure

What type of bonds do diamonds and graphite have? How do bonds contribute to the different characteristics of Diamond (hardest natural substance, translucent) and graphite (very soft--#1 on MOHs scale, good lubricant, not translucent)?

covalent bonds make strong hard.

Explain the 5 ways that minerals can form: solidification of a melt, precipitation from a water solution, diffusion, organisms, precipitation from a gas

1. crystallization of magma (cools inside the crust) or lava (cools& hardens on the surface) 2. crystallization of materials dissolved in water.

q List the 8 major rock forming elements:

O, Si, Al, Fe, Ca, Na, K, Mg

q What is silica? What mineral is made of silica?

a hard, unreactive, colorless compound that occurs as the mineral quartz and as a principal constituent of sandstone and other rocks.

what is the silica tetrahedron?

A silicon–oxygen tetrahedron is the SiO4 anionic group, or a silicon atom with four surrounding oxygen atoms arranged to define the corners of atetrahedron. This is a fundamental component of most silicates in the Earth's crust.

q Which mineral is identified using an acid test?

carbonate minerals: calcite, dolomite, magnesite, malachite

What are some examples of minerals (excluding halite) and their uses in our everyday lives?

used in everything, quartz watch, asbestos. fertilizers, cleaners

What is the difference between a rock and a mineral? (Compare the definitions)

mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic compound with a unique chemical structure and physical properties. A rock is a solid, stony mass composed of a combination of minerals or other organic compounds. For example, quartz and feldspars are minerals, but when formed together, they make a rock, granite.

What are the three major rock groups and their general characteristics? How and where do they form?

e three main types, or classes, of rock are sedimentary,metamorphic, and igneous and the differences among them have to do with how they are formed. Sedimentary rocks are formed from particles of sand, shells, pebbles, and other fragments of material. Together, all these particles are called sediment.

Be able to draw the rock cycle diagram included with this review, and explain how the cycle works. Explain how one type of rock transforms into another—know the processes involved

ch 6 how does magma form?

Differences in temperature, pressure, and structural formations in the mantle and crust cause magma to form in different ways. Decompression melting involves the upward movement of Earth's mostly-solid mantle. This hot material rises to an area of lower pressure through the process of convection.

what is partial melting

when only a portion of a substance is melted, and the melt can be made of different things

how is magma related to lava

magma is underground, lava is above ground

Know the difference between intrusive and extrusive rocks, and plutonic and volcanic rocks. Know which rocks are plutonic/intrusive and which are volcanic/extrusive.

extrusive rocks cool fast outside crust. intrusive inside crust over more time. pluton is slowly cooled under earths crust

q Draw simple diagrams that illustrate these igneous structures: sill and dike.

q What are pyroclastic rocks or pyroclastic debris?

formed by combination of exploded material.

q How does volcanic glass (obsidian) form?

it is extrusive, forms from rapid outside cooling

Know the names of the igneous rocks and their classification as intrusive or extrusive, plutonic or volcanic. Know the volcanic equivalents of plutonic rocks. (For example, granite is the plutonic equivalent of rhyolite.)

granite, basalt, laccoliths, batholiths, dikes

Compare and contrast the igneous textures. What does the texture (size of the crystals) tell us about where the rock formed? o If an igneous rock has large mineral grains (crystals) was it formed beneath the ground or at the surface? If an igneous rock has very small mineral grains, was it formed beneath the ground or at the surface? What if there are not minerals—the rock is glassy?o Which rock cooled (solidified) faster: one with larger crystals or smaller crystals?


q Using grain/crystal size only, how can you tell if an igneous rock is intrusive or extrusive?

When magma cools, crystals form because the solution is super-saturated with respect to some minerals. If the magma cools quickly, the crystals do not have much time to form, so they are very small. If the magma cools slowly, then the crystals have enough time to grow and become large

What are flood basalts? Where is a large igneous province in the U.S.? What is the name of these flood basalts?

s the result of a giant volcanic eruption or series of eruptions that coats large stretches of land or the ocean floor with basalt lava. Flood basalt provinces are often called traps, which derives from the characteristic stairstep geomorphology of many associated landscapes.

q What is a pluton and how is it related to batholiths?

a very large igneous intrusion extending deep in the earth's crust. batholith is a type of pluton

q How do plutons form?

Volcanic and plutonic rocks are types of igneous rock. Volcanic rocksform when lava cools and solidifies on earth and plutonic rocks formwhen magma cools and solidifies below earth. Learn about different characteristics of these igneous rocks.

large igneous provinces

(LIP) is an extremely large accumulation of igneous rocks, including liquid rock (intrusive) or volcanic rock formations (extrusive), when hot magma extrudes from inside the Earth and flows out.

flood basalts

the result of a giant volcanic eruption or series of eruptions that coats large stretches of land or the ocean floor with basalt lava


a piece of rock within an igneous rock that is not derived from the original magma but has been introduced from elsewhere, especially the surrounding country rock.

decompression melting

The process of decompression melting involves the upward movement of the earth's mantle to an area of lower pressure. The reduction in overlying pressure enables the rock to melt, leading to magma formation. Magma is formed by the melting of the earth's mantle.

flux melting

In igneous petrology, flux melting occurs when water and other volatile components are added to hot solid rock. In engineering and metallurgy,flux is a substance, such as salt, that produces a low melting point mixture with a metal oxide.

heat transfer melting

energy is increased leading to melting

partial melting

only when a portion of a solid is melted


of, relating to, or denoting a group of light-colored minerals including feldspar, feldspathoids, quartz, and muscovite.


relating to, denoting, or containing a group of dark-colored, mainly ferromagnesian minerals such as pyroxene and olivine.


relating to or denoting igneous rocks composed chiefly of mafic minerals.

Know the difference between physical/mechanical and chemical weathering

Chemical weathering most often occurs because of interactions between water, oxygen and carbon dioxide with the chemical compositions within the rock. Physical weathering is a term used in science that refers to the geological process of rocks breaking apart without changing their chemical composition

following are types of weathering: frost wedging

eeze wedging is caused by the repeated freeze-thaw. Frost wedgingoccurs as the result of 9 % expansion of water when it is converted to ice. Cracks filled with water are forced further apart when it freezes. cycle.

root wedging

When roots end up in cracks in rocks, they eventually grow larger and can split the rock apart.

thermal expansion

Thermal expansion is the tendency of matter to change in volume in response to a change in temperature, through heat transfer. Temperature is a monotonic function of the average molecular kinetic energy of a substance. When a substance is heated, the kinetic energy of its molecules increases.

salt wedging

lt wedging is the result of weak tidal currents that cannot mix the saltwater with the freshwater, thus creating a haloclin

biological weathering

animals burrowing causing rocks to break apart


In dissolution, the acid completely dissolves the original rock, leaving nothing solid behind. For example, the gradual action of carbonic acid on limestone (main mineral: calcite, or CaCO3) over a very long timespan is responsible for all of the world's spectacular limestone caves.


Oxidation is where oxygen from the atmosphere reacts with metal elements in the rocks to form oxides. The most common metal involved is iron


In hydrolysis, silicate and carbonate minerals transform into new minerals, principally clay minerals which have a sheetlike structure similar to mica. Both the chemical composition and crystalline structure become completely different.


The term ‘hydration’ refers to the absorption of water. The H+ and OH- ions of water incorporate themselves into the atomic structure of a mineral to form a new version of it called a hydrate. If the original mineral had a chemical formula of X, the new suite of minerals will have chemical formulas of X . nH2O. For example, anhydrite (CaSO4) exposed to water hydrates into gypsum (CaSO4 . 2H2O).

q What is jointing? How do joints in a rock form?

f natural origin in the continuity of either a layer or body of rock that lacks any visible or measurable movement parallel to the surface (plane) of the fracture.

How do joints affect weathering? A rock with joints would weather faster than a rock with no joints. Why is this true?

Joints have a profound control on weathering and erosion of bedrock. As a result, they exert a strong control on how topography and morphology of landscapes develop. Understanding the local and regional distribution, physical character, and origin of joints is a significant part of understanding the geology and geomorphology of an area. Joints often impart a well-develop fracture-induced permeability to bedrock. As a result, joints strongly influence, even control, the natural circulation (geohydrology) of fluids

q What is spheroidal weathering?

pheroidal weathering is a form of chemicalweathering that affects jointed bedrock and results in the formation of concentric orspherical layers of highly decayed rock withinweathered bedrock that is known as saprolite.

differential weathering

differential weathering. noun, Geology. the difference in degree of discoloration, disintegration, etc., of rocks of different kinds exposed to the same environment.

q How does surface area affect weathering?

A rock's exposure to the weathering elements and its surface area canaffect its rate of weathering. Rocks that are constantly bombarded by running water, wind, and other erosion agents, will weather more quickly. Rocks that have a large surface area exposed to these agents will also weather more quickly.

q What characteristics of weathering did our sugar cube weathering exercise demonstrate?

sides first, thinnest parts crashed first

q What is a weathering rind?

A weathering rind is a discolored, chemically altered, outer zone or layer of a discrete rock fragment formed by the processes ofweathering. The inner boundary of aweathering rind approximately parallels the outer surface of the rock fragment in which it has developed.

what is soil?

the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, a black or dark brown material typically consisting of a mixture of organic remains, clay, and rock particles.

how does soil form?

Soil forms as rock is broken down by weathering and mixes with othermaterials on the surface. It is constantly formed wherever bedrock isexposed. S

what is a soil profile

what are soil horizons

A soil horizon is a layer generally parallel to the soil surface, whose physical characteristics differ from the layers above and beneath. Each soil type usually has three or four horizons.

zone of leaching

The layer of soil, just beneath the topsoil, from which soluble nutrients are removed (leached) by water

zone of accumulation

On a glacier, the accumulation zone is the area above the firn line, where snowfall accumulates and exceeds the losses from ablation, (melting, evaporation, and sublimation). The annual Glacier equilibrium line separates the accumulation and ablation zone annually.

soil profile letters


a mineral deposit of gravel, sand, and nitrates, found especially in dry areas of South America.


Liquefaction is a phenomenon in which the strength and stiffness of a soil is reduced by earthquake shaking or other rapid loading.Liquefaction and related phenomena have been responsible for tremendous amounts of damage in historical earthquakes around the world.

soil compaction

In geotechnical engineering, soil compactionis the process in which a stress applied to asoil causes densification as air is displaced from the pores between the soil grains.

what is soil erosion?

Soil erosion is a naturally occurring process that affects all landforms. In agriculture, soil erosion refers to the wearing away of a field's topsoil by the natural physical forces of water (Figure 1) and wind (Figure 2) or through forces associated with farming activities such as tillage.

q What are the 3 main mineral components of soil?

clay, silt, sand

q How do clay and sand affect soil in terms of water retention/drainage and nutrients?

what is loam?

a fertile soil of clay and sand containing humus.

what is sediment

matter that settles to the bottom of a liquid; dregs.


is the process in which sediments compact under pressure, expel connate fluids, and gradually become solid rock. Essentially, lithification is a process of porosity destruction through compaction and cementation.

q What are the three common cements found in clastic sedimentary rocks?


how would you know if its calcite cement

usually forms in freshwater

q What is the process of making a clastic sedimentary rock? Name an example of a clastic rock.

lastic sedimentary rocks such as breccia, conglomerate,sandstone, siltstone, and shale are formed from mechanical weathering debris.

q How do chemical sedimentary rocks form? Which rocks are chemical sedimentary rocks?

Chemical sedimentary rocks, such as rock salt, iron ore,chert, flint, some dolomites, and some limestones, form when dissolved materials precipitate from solution.

q What is the difference between conglomerate and breccia?

breccia, angular. congolmuerte - rounded

How does roundness and sphericity of a rock or sedimentary grains within a rock indicate the distance from the source rock?o In our class experiment with the colored chalk, how was rounding of the chalk related to time?

it sinks down more with more time

organic sedimentary rock

Organic-rich sedimentary rocks are a specific type of sedimentary rock that contains significant amounts (>3%) of organic carbon. The most common types include coal, lignite, oil shale, or black shale.

how does coal form

over time and compaction from peat

What can sedimentary rocks tell us? What kind of past environment do these rocks indicate: chert, limestone, mudstone/shale

they can tell us about the pas

depositional environment

In geology, depositional environment orsedimentary environment describes the combination of physical, chemical and biological processes associated with thedeposition of a particular type of sediment and, therefore, the rock types that will be formed after lithification, if the sediment is preserved in the rock record ...

turbidity current

an underwater current flowing swiftly downslope owing to the weight of sediment it carries.

stratigraphic formation

A formation is a rock unit that is distinctive enough in appearance that a geologic mapper can tell it apart from the surrounding rock layers. It must also be thick enough and extensive enough to plot on a map.


a deposit of clay, silt, sand, and gravel left by flowing streams in a river valley or delta, typically producing fertile soil.


a hard sedimentary rock, composed mainly of calcium carbonate or dolomite, used as building material and in the making of cement.


a hard, dark, opaque rock composed of silica (chalcedony) with an amorphous or microscopically fine-grained texture. It occurs as nodules (flint) or, less often, in massive beds.

bonneville salt flats

densely packed salt pan in Tooele County in northwestern Utah


a natural salt or mineral deposit left after the evaporation of a body of water.

gypsum and salt evaporites

a soft white or gray mineral consisting of hydrated calcium sulfate. It occurs chiefly in sedimentary deposits and is used to make plaster of Paris and fertilizers, and in the building industry.

According to Plate Tectonics, someday, will Los Angeles be adjacent to San Francisco?

yes in millions of years. the two plates are moving past each other

How long would it take for Los Angeles to become adjacent to San Francisco if the Pacific Plate ismoving north relative to the North American Plate at a rate of 6 cm per year? The distance between LosAngeles and San Francisco = 480 km

8 million years

Which tectonic plate is Los Angeles on?


According to Plate Tectonics, will California someday fall into the ocean?


What are the differences between Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics?

The Cascade Range in the northwestern U.S. and the Andes mountain range in South America are bothvolcanic chains (arcs). Look at the plate boundaries shown on the world map in Figure 4.16 and explainwhy the Andes volcanic chain is so much longer than the Cascade volcanic chain.

Why air and water important parts of soil?

Describe the way that magma is produced in subduction zones

Describe how magmas are produced at divergent boundaries