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219 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

The study of the features that make up the Earth's surface & the processes that bring about their change.

Physical Geology

Father of Geology. Proposed theory of ________ "the present is the key to the past"

James Hutton; Uniformitarianism

_______ is a term that describes all the solid outer layers of the Earth. It includes the two top layers: the __________ crust (high in O + Si) & _________ crust (O + Si more Mg + Fe) as well as the upper mantle.

Crust; Continental & Oceanic

The ___________ is the part of the mantle responsible for the motion of the plates.


The _______ core is a liquid that causes Earth's magnetic field; the solid _______ core is mostly Fe.

Outer; Inner

_______ is the element that is present in all layers of the Earth.


___________ provides the most detail about the layers of the Earth.

Seismic waves

__________ The name given to the density boundary between the crust and mantle.

Mohorovic Discontinuity

The most accepted idea for how the solar system formed.

Big Bang Theory

The most accepted idea for how the solar system formed.

Nebular Hypothesis

Planetary composition is a direct result of the planet's distance from.

Distance from the Sun

The name given to solid rock that breaks off and is brought to the surface by a lava flow.


On Earth, external heat comes from ________, internal heat comes from __________ & __________.

The sun; radioactive decay & hear remaining from the Earth's formation.

Two minerals with the same formula but different crystalline structure.


Part of atom that determines name; Determines how atoms join to make compounds.

Protons; Electrons

The most common chemical group or family of minerals (all have O + Si)

Silicate minerals

The building block for all silicate minerals.... 1 Si + 4 O

Isolated tetrahedra

Group of minerals containing CO3


Mohs hardness scale: Know the ends.....1_____; 10 ________

Talc; Diamond

Rocks that form from molten rock which hardens on or below the Earth's surface.


Rocks forming from broken up rock cemented together; chemical precipitation in fluids or organic material.


Rocks formed by heat and pressure


Give the 5 part definition of a mineral:

Solid at room temperature, Natural, inorganic (generally), definite chemical composition (or range of composition), definite arrangement of atoms (which creates crystalline structure.)

Chemical bond formed when electrons are transferred.


Bond formed when electrons are shared


What rock commonly forms at divergent plate boundaries and at hot mantle plumes?


What type of rock commonly forms at transform and convergent C to C plate boundaries?


What type of rock commonly forms at edges of continents?


Cations carry a (positive, negative) charge?


The man who proposed Continental drift

Alfred Wegener

List his 4 proofs:

Fir of the continents, fossil evidence, structural trends, age of rocks, glacial deposits

His major problem was when he stated the continents ________ their way through the sea floor.


Hess proposed theory of __________ stating new sea floor forms at the _______, old is lost at _______.

Seafloor Spreading; Rifts & Trenches

Plate tectonics is derived from what two theories

Continental Drift and Seafloor Spreading

________- moving away - creates ________- Mid Atlantic

Divergent Boundaries; Rifts

_______- sliding side by side- creates _______- San Andreas

Transform- fault boundaries; transform-fault

_________- coming together


Oceanic to Continent- creates:________&________- Cascades and Andes

Trench and volcanoes

Oceanic to oceanic- creates:________&________- Japan

Trench and volcanoes

Continent to continent- creates: __________- Himalayas

Non-volcanic Mountains

Subduction zones occur when _______ crust moves beneath continental or oceanic crust.


This forms whenever the crust pulls apart creating new seafloor

Rift (valley)

This forms whenever the outer core releases energy that melts rock that migrates through the mantle and possibly the crust. BEST examples: Hawaii and Yellowstone

Mantle Plumes (Hot Spot)

Magma high in Fe + Mg


Magma high in Si + O


_________ is the first ferromagnesium mineral to solidify in a magma chamber (think Bowen's Reaction Series) along with ________ from the continuous side of Bowen's Reaction Series; the last mineral to solidify is _________.

Olivine; Labrodorite; Quartz

All igneous rocks that solidify below the surface have this origin.


All igneous rocks that solidify on the surface have this origin.


Igneous rocks names according to?

Composition and structure

The most common intrusive/extrusive igneous rock? Intrusive-_________ Extrusive-_________

Granite; Basalt

The seafloor is made of this igneous rock.


The resistance of lave/magma to flow.


Molten rock ON the surface; Molten rock BELOW the surface

Lava; Magma

The common texture for rocks that solidify below the ground (you can see the minerals)


The common texture for rocks that solidify on the surface ( has tiny minerals)


The name given to solid material erupted out of a volcano.


This occurs at spreading ridges and begins the initial melting.

Decompression Melting

The name given to a section of seafloor that has been pushed up onto a continent.


When minerals form in a magma chamber and "rain" to the bottom thus changing the chemistry of the remaining magma.

Fractional Crystallization

Rising magma can change chemistry this way as it melts the original country rock.


Give the extrusive forms of these rocks: Granite=_______ Gabbro=________ Diorite=________

Rhyolite; Basalt; Andesite

The physical and chemical changes that make a sedimentary rock.


The type of sed. rx. forming from broken up and glued together rocks.


The type of sed. rx. formed chemically or by living things (one word)


What is the most common clastic rock?

Nonclastic(Chem, Biochem)

Shale; Limestone

The process of compacting and cementing sediment together to form clastic sed. rock.


The process where groundwater filters through sediment and deposits minerals that glue the rock together.


Coal formation (what you start with etc.) COAL- begin with_________ that die and fall into _______ retarding env. (like a swamp); get covered by sediment heat and pressure; time

Plant matter; Oxygen

OIL is the same except beginning with

Marine Organizms

Principle that states the oldest sedimentary rocks are found on the bottom of the sequence.

Law of Surposition

Cementation (increases, decreases) pore space but strengthens the rock.


Most sedimentary rocks from in what environment?

Shallow Marine

Clastic sed. rx's are names mainly by ________; chemical and biochemical are named by two things:

Grain size; Composition & Texture

Breaking down IN PLACE with no chemical change to rock.

Physical Weathering

Breaking down in place by changing the chemistry.

Chemical Weathering

Breaking down rock and TRANSPORTING it.


List the 5 agents of erosion:

Wind, Water, Waves, Glaciers, Gravity

In what climate will chemical weathering dominate? Physical weathering?

Humid; Arid

Pedalfer Soils form _______ climates, and contain higher concentrations of these two elements;

Humid; Aluminum and Iron

Pedocal Soils form in _________ climates, and contain higher concentrations of __________.

Arid; Calcium

The part of fault above the fault plane.

Hanging wall

The part of a fault below fault plane.


Name of the vertical line which runs down the middle of the fold bisecting the limbs.

Axial plane

Name of the sides of fold on each side of the axis.


The type of fault where the hanging wall moves DOWN

Normal fault

Type of fault in our area...sediment settling

Growth fault

Type of fault where the hanging wall moves UP

Reverse fault

A reverse fault with shallow dipping fault plane

Thrust fault

The name for all horizontal faults

Strike slip fault

An upward arch or fold


A downward fold


An area of land at least 1,000 ft above surrounding land


_________ force (stress) that pulls apart; _________ force (stress) that squeezes together

Tensional; Compressive

Rock responds by bending and staying bent.

Ductile (plastic)

Rock bends under stress then regains its shape when stress is gone


___________ a circular anticline; __________ a circular syncline

Structural domes; Structural Basin

Cascades are classifies as what type of Mtn


The basin and ranges are what type of Mtn

Fault Block

The most common oil trap along the TX Gulf coast

Growth Faults

Causes rock to fold


Causes normal faults; causes reverse faults

Tensional stress; Compressional stress

The point of rupture for an EQ


The place on the Earth's surface above the point of rupture.


List the 2 types of Body Waves type of wave motion, and what they can travel through.

A) Primary Waves (P Waves); Back and Forth; Solid, liquid and air

B) Secondary Waves; Up and down; Solids

List the 2 types of Surface waves and their motions:

A) Love Waves; side to side

B) Rayleigh Waves; Up and down

Term meaning the amount of energy released


Most favored by public...measures magnitude...not accurate for big ones far from station

Richter Scale

Most favored by geologists...measures size of rupture and how far fault moves.

Moment Magnitude scale

A giant sea wave.


Process of pinpointing the epicenter of an EQ...need 3 stations


Theory used to explain what causes EQ's

Elastic Rebound Theory

List the 3 factors that affect ground shaking

Magnitude, distance from epicenter, type of rock in the area

Know something about these famous earthquakes:

New Madrid (largest mag. in US, "failed rift system)

Loma Prieta (World Series, bridge collapsed in San Francisco, transform fault between Pacific & N. Am.)

Alaska 1964 (plate subduction, long duration (4 min) most extensive crustal deformation)

Chile (largest EQ ever recorded; Mw= 9.5 caused by subduction of Nazca under S. Am.)

japan 2011 (devestating tsunami, Fukushima power plant explosions/leaks)

A layered meta. rx


Not layered meta rx.

Non foliated

Pressure equal in all directions;

pressure more from one side

Confining; Directed

What is the maximum temp. for a meta. rx?

what is the minimum temp? _________________

Melting point; Just above Diagenesis Temp.

Progressive metamorphism only occurs with what parent rock?____________…from slate - phyllite – schist - gneiss


The type of metamorphism that covers a large area


The type of metamorphism around igneous intrusions


Tell what these rocks become if metamorphosed:

Limestone ___________

Sandstone _________

Basalt ______

Marble; quartzite; serpentinite

If platy minerals are present in the parent rock, the foliation will be (parallel, perpendicular) to the stress.


Grouping meta. rx's of various mineral compositions formed under different grades of metamorphism from different parent rocks.

Metamorphic Facies

Classification for a volcano that has erupted in recorded history


Classification for a volcano that has not erupted in recorded history and the cone is very eroded


The most common gas released by a volcanic eruption

Water vapor

When magma cools and draws inward forming hexagonal pillars know as?

columnar jointing

The type of cone that is often very broad; composed of basalt


The type of cone that is very tall; composed of pyroclastic tuff/breccia


This is the most common volcanic structure; usually made of andesite

Strato volcano

The name given to the pit in the top of the volcano


A very LARGE pit caused by a magma chamber emptying so fast, the mountain collapses


A mud flow associated with volcanoes mostly comprised of ash, water, debris


The most active volcanic area in world;

around the ____________ ocean

Ring of fire; Pacific

The Cascade volcano that erupted in 1980; it had all pyroclastic flows, no lava and leveled trees for up to 20 miles from the lateral blast site.

Mt. St. Helen

The Cascades are caused by the subduction of the ____________________ plate under the ____________ plate

Juan de Fuca; N. American

As the amount of volatiles (gases and fluids) increases, the rating for dangerous eruption (increases, decreases).


his was the largest volcanic eruption ever to occur in the U.S.


This was the historic eruption that covered the city of Pompeii in 79 AD


_____________________ was the historic eruption on the island of Martinque with warning signs including the snakes, centipedes. The burning pyroclastic flow killed over 30,000 people.


_______________________ is the main source of magma for volcanic eruptions


____________________ is ropy looking basalt; __________ is very rough textured basalt.

Pahoehoe; Aa'

Active continental margins have these characteristics (circle):

a. (long, short) continental shelf

b. continental slope of (4 – 5 or 10 – 15) degrees

c. slope ends with a (continental rise or trench) d. form (near or away) from a plate boundary

e. an example would be:

a) Short

b) 10-15

c) Trench

d) Near

e) Pacific ocean-Juan de Fuca & N. American plates

Passive continental margins have these characteristics (circle):

a. (long, short) continental shelf

b. continental slope of (4 – 5 or 10 – 15) degrees c. slope ends with a (continental rise or trench) d. form (near or away) from a plate boundary

e. an example would be:

a) Long

b) 4 - 5

c) Continental rise

d) Near

e) East cost N. America & Atlantic ocean

What causes tides? ___________________________ How many high tides per day? __________

Gravity between moon, eart and sun


What makes waves?


List the 3 factors that determine wave height:

Wind speed, Wind duration, Fetch- Distance wave over open water

The surf zone occurs because the bottom of the seafloor (deeper, shallower) than the wave base.


Longshore currents are generated as _______________hit the shore. They run (parallel, perpendicular) to the shore.

Retracted Waves Parallel

The amount of time it takes a wave to pass is known as the _____________

Wave period

An underwater volcano


Geyser-like formation on the sea floor near rifts

Black smoker

distance between two adjacent crests

Wave length

the lowest level a wave can erode (it is equal to ½ the wavelength)

Wave base

Barrier Islands (like Galveston) may have formed as this feature was eroded


Most beach sand is made of what mineral?


Hawaii is famous for its black sand beaches made of __________ and the green beaches made of ________________

Basalt; Olivine

What causes emergent coastlines?

What feature might you see?

Global cooling-sea level falling & uplift

Marine Terraces

What causes submergent coastlines? ________________________

What features might you see? ____________ and ________________

Global warming- sea level rising (melting glaciers)

Estuaries and Fjords

Today most coastlines around the world are classified as: _________ because of __________________________

Submergent; melting glaciers

The name given to a flat topped volcano on the seafloor: _______________


What is the major erosional agent along a shoreline? ______________________________


______________________ Zone of groundwater containing air and water


______________________ Zone of groundwater that is saturated with water


______________________ Impermeable layer that doesn’t allow water to flow through it


______________________ The top of the phreatic zone

Water table

Amount of pore spaces


Amount of INTERCONNECTED pore spaces


What forms when erosion exposes the water table on the surface?


The type of aquifer with impermeable rock above and below


The type of aquifer with all permeable rock above aquifer


Any lowering of the land


Topography….you see features like caves and sinkholes


Cave formation usually form in _________________ rock …gw dissolves hole; area uplifted so water drains out of caves; the carbon dioxide in the water leaves the droplet when it enters the opening causing what mineral to form? ____________ the formations on the ceiling is called:_______________ or floor…______________

Limestone; Calcite; Stalactites; Stalagmites

Ogallala aquifer in W. Tx …got its water from the melting glaciers at the end of the last _______________

Ice age

Type of well were water rises to the surface due to pressure


a hot spring that erupts periodically due to an underground constriction


What causes the hydrologic cycle to work? _____________________

Sun-Solar radiation

Any body of water confined to a channel regardless of size


A small stream feeding into larger one


Sediment build up on the sides of a stream channel


The name of the geographic area that supplies water for a stream

Drainage bsin

The name of the high land that separates drainage basins


The most common, tree-like, drainage pattern


Streams pattern that intersect at 90 degree angles, usually hill country


The name of the curve in a stream (usually low gradient)


A pinched off meander creates this feature


The name of the deposit of sediment at the mouth of a river


The delta that supplies more sediment than eroded away


The delta where waves erode faster than the sediment can be deposited….SEE barrier islands

Wave dominated

The difference in elevation along a stream channel…streams must have it to flow


The depositional side of the river channel

Point bar

The erosional side of channel

Cut bank

What shape valley do streams cut?

V Shape

Streams moving sediment by bounding it along the river channel.


Incised meanders can only form if the land is doing what?


The name of the deposit at the base of mts in dry climates

Alluvial fan

Most deserts form at these latitudes

30 N & 30 S

Deserts form in_____________________ behind mts or too far from ____________

Rain shadow zones ; Oceans

A lake in a desert….dried up most of the time


The most important erosional agent in a desert


What causes wind? _________________________________________

Differences in air temperature

The name of a flat topped hill with steep cliffs on all sides: _______________; a pillar in the desert: _________

Mesa; Butte

The type of sand dunes that form near oceans with prevailing wind, sand, vegetation.


Glaciers form in areas where more snow falls in _____________ than melts in __________, also in high ______________ and _______________________

Winter; summer;

Latitudes; Altitudes

The most common type of glacier – form in mts


The type of Glacier that form in Greenland and Antarctica


This forms when a tributary glacier valley is left higher than the main valley

Hanging valley

The pointed mountain peak carved by a glacier


The ridge between glaciers


The moraine marks the farthest advancement of a glacier


_______________________ The most accepted theory for the ice ages …changes in earths orbit and _________________

Milankovitch theory


Glaciers cut what shape valley?

U shape

Glaciers move by sliding on meltwater _______________________; and by the middle moving faster than the sides: ____________________

Basal sliding ; Plastic flow

The name of the zone of a glacier that has snow year round

Zone of accumulation

The zone where all the snow and some ice melts in summer

Zone of wastage

An upside down spoon shaped hill carved by glaciers


A winding ridge that forms under the glacier as it advances


When do glaciers advance? (summer or winter)