Earth Science Final Vocab
water cycle
water that constantly moves among the oceans, atmosphere, solid earth, and the biosphere
precipitation
water that falls
evaporation
when water turns from a liquid to a gas
condensation

forming a cloud- gas turns to a liquid

 

infiltration
the movemnt of surface water into rock or soil through cracks and pore spaces
gradient
the slope or steepness of a stream channel
discharge
volume of water that is passing through the river at a certain time
tributary
body of water that feeds into a larger body of water
deposition
occurs as streamflow drops below the critical setting velocity of a certain particle size
drainage basin
the land area that contributes water to a stream
divide
an imaginary line that separates the drainage basins of the stream from another
water table
upper level of the zone of saturation
porosity
percentage of pore staces, determines how much groundwater can be stored
permeability
ability to transmit water through connected pore spaces
aquifer
permeable rock layers or sediments that transmits groundwater freely
spring
ground surface and water table intersect
cavern
naturally formed underground chamber, made from limestone and carbonic acid
precession
traces out a cone over a period of 26,000 years- movement of our axis
crecent
less than half is visible
gibbous
more than half is visible
perihelion
the time in janurary when earth is closest to the sun
aphelion
the time in july when earth is fartherst from the sun
perigee
the point at which the moon is closest to the earth
apogee
the point at which the moon is fartherst from earth
precambrian
88% of earths history
phanerozoic
3 eras within the
uniformitarianism
the concept that processes that have shaped earth in the past are essentially the same as those operating today
law of superposition
undeformed sequence of sedimentary rocks, ecah bed is older than the one above it
original horizontality
principle of relative dating layers of sediments are generally deposited in a horizontal position
cross-cutting relationships
a rock or fault is younger than any rock or fault through which it cuts
unconformities
a surface that represents a break in the rock record, caused by erosion or lack of deposition
radiometric dating
procedure of calculating absolute ages of rock
conduit
pipe that leads to surface of the earth from the magma chamber
shield volcano
broad gently sloping, built from basaltic lavas, largest and least explosive
cinder volcano
small volcano built primarily of pyroclastic material ejected from a single vent
composite volcano
volcano compsed of both lava flows and pyroclastic material- most explosive
lahar
mudflow created when ice and snow melt at the summit of volcanoes during an eruption
caldera
large depression typically caused by collapse or ejection of the summit area of a volcano
pluton
intrusive igneous structure that results from the cooling and hardening of magma beneath the surface of earth
order of the layers

troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere

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troposphere
Bottom layer, where temp decreases with an increase in altitude- where weather takes place
stratosphere
characterized by increasing temps with height
mesosphere
characterized by decreasing temps with height
thermosphere
characterized by increasing temps due to absorption of short wave energy by oxygen
cirrus clouds
high elevation, wispy and feathery looking, indicates future rain
saturation
the number of water vaper particles leaving the surface balances the number returning- 100% humidity
seisomogram
shows all 3 types of seismic waves- record surface waves, p waves, and s waves
P-wave
push-pull waves
intensity
meausre of the amount of earthquake shaking at a given location based on damage
moment magnitude
derived from the amount of displacement that occurs along a fault zone
lithosphere
rigid outer layer of earth, including the crust and upper mantle
asthenosphere
weak plastic layer of the mantle situated below the lithosphere; rock within this zone is easily deformed
divergent
where two plates move apart- constructive
transform
where two plates grind past eachother we production or destruction of the lithosphere
trench
a surface feature in the seafloor produced by the decsending plate during subduction
rift valley
deep faulted structures found along the axes of divergent plate bounderies
continental volcanic arc
form in part by volcanic activity caused by the subduction of oceanic lithosphere
paleomagnetism
natural remnant magnetism in rock bodies; this permanent magnetization can be used to determine location of poles
regolith
layer of rock and mineral fragments that covers most of earths land surface
talus
an acculmution of rock debris at the base of a cliff
exfoliation
reducing pressure on a rock surface allowing slbs of outer rock to break off in layers
soil horizon
layer of soil that has identifiable characteristics produced by chemical weathering and other soil forming processes
slump
downward slipping of a mass of rock or unconsolidated material moving as a unit along a curved surface
mineral
inorganic crystalline material with a unique chemical composition
cleavage
tendency of a mineral to break along a flat even surface
fracture
minerals do not show cleavage when broken
crystallization
molten rock cools and hardens into a mineral
silicates
most common group of minerals- made of silcon and oxygen
igneous
when magma or lava solidifies
metamorphic
rock that is changed by heat, pressure, or fluids
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