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70 Cards in this Set

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water mixes with magma and creates small eruptions


hot rock rises and melts the lithosphere, often creating volcanoes

pahoehoe lava

lava that makes rivers, wrinkles itself; smooth

a'a lava

looks like rubble, not smooth; comes from pahoehoe after it loses gas and cools


holes in lava formed by escaping gas

(found in pumice)

pillow lava

caused by underwater eruptions; very round shapes, cools very quickly


formed by collapse of overlying rock into an evacuated magma chamber


vents where volcanic gases escape

fissure eruption

eruption along rift zone; magma forces its way up through the cracks that it formed

cinder cones

small, steep-sided volcanoes built of mafic ash, scoria, and lava; explosive


frothed glass


volcanic fragments commonly welded together; a product of explosive volcanism


volcanic ash mixes with water and flows


volcanic glass; felsic lava flows; no crystalline structure

hydrothermal alteration

rocks are chemically changed and often weakened through interaction with hot water


the rock is altered to clay and water flow is low, therefore the composition is not clean


rock is broken down at or near the earth's surfact to form sediment

mechanical/physical weathering

rocks are physically broken apart

chemical weathering

minerals are changed into more stable components due to interaction with water rich in carbonic acid


the removal of soluble components into water


chemical combination of an element with oxygen


the incorporation and transportation of material (sediment) by a mobile agent


indicates how far the material was transported; smoothness of sediment


often indicates the mechanism of transport (water, wind, ice); the range of grain size within a material

fluvial environment

the erosive capability of streams is directly related to the velocity, which is primarily dependent upon the gradient and discharge

differential weathering/erosion

different rock units weather and erode at different rates; this is what creates a stair-step pattern in the grand canyon

the inner gorge

steep gorge in the Grand Canyon that the river is between--igneous intrusive and metamorphic rock

active margin

plate boundary is basically the edge of a continent

passive margin

continental edge is a central part of a plate; not on a boundary

percentage of Hawaiian species found nowhere else in the world

90% endemic species

types of volcanoes that form from mafic

shield volcanoes and cinder cone volcanoes

direction of pacific plate


direction of

Hawaiian hazards identified by NPS

1. Volcanism

2. mass wasting (slump:slow, slide:quick downslope movement) due to gravity

3. costal erosion due to rising sea level

4. seismic activity and tsunamis formed at convergent boundaries (subduction zones)

5. added by professor: volcanic gases

land forms of mafic lava flows

lava tubes, skylights

How do we monitor volcanoes?

1. What happened in the past?

2. What are the changes in the volcano's shape?

3. How do earthquakes affect the volcano?

4. What kind of gases are released and how much? ( fresh magma=more gases released; so2:co2 ratio higher

how are Hawaiian tsunamis formed

when large pieces of land fall into the ocean (because the islands are gravitationally unstable)

describe the life cycle of a Hawaiian island

volcanoes move off the hotspot, cool and subside, often becoming a sea mount

what causes the continential volcanic arc?

subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate

what are cascade range volcanoes made of?

lava flows and pyroclastic materials

what is significant about the Mt. St. Helens volcanic research center

it was the first time the US geographic survey got to monitor all processes of volcanism

describe the differences between a caldera and a crater

calderas are a collapse feature that are generally larger while craters are explosive destruction features that are typically smaller

examples of composite/stratovolcano activity

ash column, pyroclastic flow, and lahars

why was the Mt. St. Helens Sediment Dam built?

to capture lahars

why was crater lake misnamed

it is actually a caldera

Mt. Ranier

14,410 ft tall, capped by snow and glaciers, ~2 million visitors/year, largest single-peak glacier system, likely the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range

Yellowstone National Park

first NP, created in 1872, ~3 million visitors/year, 60% of the worlds geysers

issues in Yellowstone

bison: brucellosis virus--bison who leave the park are killed

snowmobiles: 95% of Yellowstone is affected by noise or air pollution because of snowmobiles, 318/day are allowed in the park

wolves: reintroduced as a form of elk control; removed from endangered species list in 2009

how are calderas formed

rising magma bulges the surface, cracks form and propagate down, intersecting the magma chamber and causing eruption. Then, overlying rock collapses, forming the caldera

volcanic products of Yellowstone

tuff, obsidian

geothermal features

geysers, hot springs, and mud pots caused by superheating of water; hot springs have an open conduit, continuous flow; geyser eruption driven by gas expansion WATER VAPOR! Geysers require a restricted conduit and storage chambers

products of weathering

sediment, soil, ions in water

examples of physical weathering

frost wedging, roots

examples of chemical weatherin

leaching, oxidation

main controls on the rate of weathering

1. climate: temperature and rainfall

2. parent material: mineral solubility and rock structure ( interlocking vs. clastic)

3. erosion: transportation of a material

examples of mobile agents of erosion

wind, water, ice

best and worst sorters

wind is the best and ice is the worst

what does a coarse material reflect

a high energy environment

examples of clastic sedimentary rocks (named by texture/grain size)

conglomerate: coarse

sandstone: medium

shale: very fine

examples of chemical sedimentary (named for mineral precipitated

limestone: calcite

gypsum: gypsum

what is the main type of rock that composes the Colorado Plateau


what resources have been taken from the Colorado Plateau

copper and gold

logging and grazing





What was the Colorado River developed for?

Flood control, irrigation, electricity generation

Benefits of Colorado River Control

hydroelectricity for 30 million people, irrigation, recreation

Consequences of Colorado River control

apportionment exceeds capacity, dams disrupt geological processes and natural environment (sediment is not being transported)

Describe the air and water quality in the Grand Canyon.

air: anitiquated coal plants create thick haze over the canyon

water: dissolved ions and pollution have doubled

Due to differential weathering, which types of rocks create a diagonal slope, and which create a cliff?

Soft rocks create a diagonal shape, while hard rocks form cliffs

What were the reasons for sea level change in the Permian?

Primary: the creation of Pangea

Others: glaciers, water temperature, sea floor spreading

How was the Grand Canyon formed?

D: depostion--sediment underwater

U: uplift--high and flat

D: downcutting-- Colorado River

E: erosion--snow, ice, water

steps of formation of arches

1. rocks are jointed (cracked)

-this is caused by salt domes pushing up from underneath

2. differential weathering occurs along joints creating fins

3. erosion along geologic contacts causes collapse of overlying rock