Glossary of Earth Science 1 Semester Finals Study Guide

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tiny building blocks of matter, made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons
atomic number
the number of protons in a atom
a physcial property of matter that can be determined by dividing the mass of an object by its volume
The curved upper surface of a liquid in a container
naturally occurring inorganic solid that has a definite chemical composition and an orderly internal atmoic structure
color of a mineral when it is in powdered form
intrusive igneous
a rock that generally contains large crystals and forms when magma cools slowly abeneath Earth's surface
foliated metamorphic
rock, such as slate and gneiss, whose mineral grains flatten and line up in parallel layers
flat,raised landform made up of nearly horizontal rocks that have been uplifted
contour interval
space between contour lines: the interval between contour lines on a map, or the altitude the interval represents
ice wedging
mechanical weathering process that occurs when water freezes in the cracks of rocks and expands, causing the rock to break apart
chemical weathering
occurs when chemical reactions dissolve the minerals in rocks or change them into different minerals
surface area
the area of surface on an object that is exposed (to the elements)
mixture of different-sized sediments that is dropped from the base of a retreating glacier and can cover huge areas of land
mass movement
any type of erosion that occures as gravity moves materials down-slope
young stream
a stream that has recently been formed; flows quickly, is steep, carries all sizes of sediments, mostly straight
dropping of sediments that occurs when an agent of erosion, such has gravity, a glacier, wind, or water, loses its energy and can no longer carry its load
rigid layer of earth about 100 km thick, made of the crust and a part of the upper mantle
convection current
current in earth's mantle that transfers heat in earth's interior and is the driving force for plate tectonics
the process by which collision of the earth's plates results in one plate's being drawn down or overridden by another, along the boundary of two plates.
in an earthquake, the point below earth's surface where energy is released in the form iof seismic waves
secondary wave
seismic wave that moves rock particles at right angles to the direction of the wave
the paper that the earthquake measures from the seismograph are drawn on
positively charged particle that is located in the nucleus of an atom
atomic mass
the mass of an atom
how much stuff is in something
A metric unit of mass equal to one thousandth of a kilogram.
describes the way a mineral reflects light from its surfac; can be either metallic or nonmetallic
the way a rock breaks
physical property of some minerals that causees them to break along smooth flat surfaces
physical property of some minerals that causes them to break with uneven, rough, or jagged surfaces
extrusive igneous
fine-grained rock that forms when magma cools quickly at or near the earth's surface
detrital sedimentary
fragments of sediments, glued and compacted together
topographic map
a map that shows the changes in elevation of Earth's surface and indicates such features as roads and cities
map scale
the relationship between distances on a map and distances on earth's surface that can be represented as a ratio or as a small bar divided into sections
mechanical weathering
physical process that breaks rocks apart without changing their chemical makeup; can be caused by ice wedging, animals, and plant roots
soil profile
vertical section of soil layers, each of which is a horizon
gravity erosion
the process by which surface materials are worn away and transported from one place to another by gravity
large ridge of rocks and soil deposited by a glacier when it stops moving forward
windblown deposit of tightly packed, fine-grained sediments
old stream
a stream that has existed for a while; slow-flowing, many curves, carries little sediment, ends in sea often, little slope
seafloor spreading
Alfred Hess's theory that new seafloor is formed when magma is forced upward toward the surface at a mid-ocean ridge
athe plasticlike layer of earth on which the lithospheric plates float and move around
converging plates
plates that are coming together against each other
opening in earth's surface that erupts sulfurous gaes, ash, and lava; can form at earth's plate boundaries, where plates move apart or together, and at hot spots
point on eart'hs surface directly above an earthquake's focus
surface wave
seismic wave that moves rock particles up and down in a backward rolling motion and side to side rolling motion and side to side in a swaying motion
a particle without an electric charge in the nucleus of an atom
atoms of the same element that have different numbers of neutrons
how much space an object takes up- 3 dimensional; volume = units cubed
mL; a thousandth of a liter; a measurement of volume
measure of how easily a mineral can be scratched, determined by the arrangement of the mineral's atoms; measured by Moh's hardness scale, 0-7+;
rock cycle
model that describes how rocks slowly change from one form to another through time
dense, dark-colored igneous rock formed from magma; rich in magnesium and iron and poor in silica
large,flat landform that often has thick, fertile soil and is usually found in the interior region of a continent
contour line
line on a map that connects points of equal elevation
mechanical or chemical surface processes that break rocks into smaller and smaller pieces
loose materials (rock fragments, mineral grains, etc.) that have been moved by wind, water, ice ,or gravity
dark-colored, decayed organic matter that supplies nutrients to plants and is found mainly in topsoil
glacier erosion
glaciers eroding rocks by scraping along them and causing ice wedging
a type of erosion that occurs when wind blows over loose sediments, removes small particles, and leaves coarser sediments behind
water erosion
the process by which water wears away at surfaces
process in which surface materials are worn away and transported from one place to another by agents such as gravity, water, wind, and glaciers
plate tectonics
the theory that earth's crust and upper mantle are broken into plates that float and move around on a plasticlike layer of the mantle
diverging plates
plates that are moving away from each other at a plate boundary
transform boundary
two plates that are slipping and sliding past each other
seismic waves
waves generated by an earthquake
primary wave (P-wave)
seismic wave that moves rock particles back and forth in the same direction that the wave travels
instrument used to register earthquake waves and record the time that each arrived

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