Glossary of *S Largent* Environmental Science Ch 11 Terms

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interior of the earth; composed of a dense; hot mass of metal (mostly iron); it is divided into an inner & outer core - the inner core is a solid ball of iron with tremendous heat & pressure while the outer core is liquid/plasma with some heat & pressure; this immense area generates the magnetic field that envelops the earth; makes up 16% of the Earth’s volume and 31% of the Earth’s total mass.
surrounding the core; a hot; pliable layer of rock; much less dense due to presence of oxygen; silicon; and magnesium; makes up 82% of the Earth’s volume and 68% of the Earth’s total mass.
outermost layer; that is cool; lightweight; brittle rock; thinnest of the Earth’s zones - 2% of the Earth’s volume and 1% of the Earth’s total mass; this is where all life is found; thickness varies from 6 - 40 miles; two categories of crust: oceanic (71% of the Earth) and continental (29% of the Earth).
Tectonic plates
huge blocks of the Earth’s crust that slide around slowly; pulling apart to open new ocean basins or crashing into each other to create new; larger landmasses.
a naturally occurring; inorganic; crystalline solid with definite chemical composition; a specific internal crystal structure; and characteristic physical properties.
a solid; cohesive; aggregate of one or more crystalline minerals (i.e.; rocks are composed of one or more minerals).
Rock cycle
the process whereby rocks are broken down by chemical and physical forces; sediments are moved by wind; water; and gravity; sedimented and reformed into rock; and then crushed; folded; melted; and recrystallized into new forms. This is a method of natural recycling.
molten rock from deep in the Earth’s interior; it is called lava when it spews from volcanic vents.
Igneous Rock
crystalline minerals solidified from molten magma from deep in the Earth’s interior; these are formed under conditions with little/no water and high temperature and pressure; these are hard; non porous and have low reactivity; examples include granite; quartz; and feldspar.
Sedimentary Rock
composed of accumulated; compacted mineral fragments; such as sand and clay; these are soft; porous and chemically reactive; sedimentary rocks can also form from the compacted shells; skeletons; and other remains of dead organisms; examples include shale; limestone and sandstone.
Metamorphic Rock
igneous and sedimentary rocks modified by heat; pressure; and chemical reactions; examples include slate; marble and quartzite.
anything obtained from the living and nonliving environment to meet human needs and wants.
malleable substances that are useful and valuable because they are strong; relatively light; and can be reshaped for many purposes.
Strategic Metals & Minerals
materials a country cannot produce itself but that it - uses for essential materials or processes.
reprocessing of discarded materials into new; useful products.

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