Glossary of Chapter 4 Vocabulary Earth Science

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A vibration that travels through Earth carrying the energy rleased during an earthquake.
seismic wave
The amount of force pushing on a surface or area.
The layer of rock that forms Earth’s outer surface.
The layer of hot, solid material between Earth’s crust and core.
A rigid layer made up of the uppermost part of the mantle and the crust. One of four spheres into which scientists divide Earth.
The soft layer of the mantle on which the lithosphere floats.
A layer of molten iron and nickel that surrounds the inner core of Earth.
outer core
The dense sphere of solid iron and nickel in the center of the Earth.
inner core
The movement of energy from a warmer object to a cooler object.
heat transfer
The direct transfer of energy through empty space by electromagnetic waves.
The transfer of heat from one substance to another by direct contact of particles of matter.
The transfer of heat by movements of a fluid.
The amount of mass in a given space; mass per unit volume.
The movement of a fluid, caused by differences in temperature, that transfers heat from one are kept constant.
convection current
The name of the single landmass that broke apart 225 million years ago and gave rise to today’s continents.
The hypothesis that the continents slowly move across Earth’s surface.
continental drift
The preserved remains or traces of living things.
The undersea mountain chain where new ocean floor is produced; a divergent plate boundary.
mid-ocean ridge
A system that determines the distance of an object under water by recording echoes of sound waves; gets its name from sound navigation and ranging.
The process by which molten material adds new oceanic crust to the ocean floor.
sea-floor spreading
The deep valley along the ocean floor through which oceanic crust slowly sinks toward the mantle.
deep-ocean trench
The process by which oceanic crust sinks beneath a deep-ocean trench and back into the mantle at a convergent plate boundary.
A section of the lithosphere that slowly moves over the asthenosphere, carrying pieces of continental and oceanic crust.
A well-tested concept that explains a wide range of observations.
scientific theory
The theory that pieces of Earth’s lithosphere are in constant motion, driven by convection currents in the mantle.
plate tectonics
A break or crack in Earth’s lithosphere along which the rocks move.
A plate boundary where two plates move past each other in opposite direction.
transform boundary
A plate boundary where tow plates move away from each other.
divergent boundary
A deep valley that forms where tow plates move apart.
rift valley
A plate boundary where two plates move toward each other.
convergent boundary

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