Earth Science Study Guide

Topics: Plate tectonics, Earth, Lithosphere Pages: 15 (4348 words) Published: December 4, 2012
EAR 105 extra-credit study guide.

This is both a study guide and an extra credit assignment worth 10 points on your exam! Using your class notes and the book, please answer the following questions with words or with sketches. Use this as a study guide. Remember, it will count as extra credit toward your test grade.

You may work in groups of 4 or less. If you do work in groups, all names go on ONE copy that is handed to me. You may work on separate sheets of paper, or answer using this document in a word processor.

1. List the sciences that make up Earth science.
Geology, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy.
2. How is a scientific hypothesis different from a scientific theory?
A hypothesis is a tentative but untested explanation, while a scientific theory is attested and confirmed hypothesis. A hypothesis may not work, but a theory must work. 3. List the basic steps followed in many scientific investigations.

Curiosity—observation—interpretation—hypothesize—test (experiments)—re-examine 4. How old is Earth, and how do we measure its age?
Earth is 4.6 billion years old. We use radioactive decay to measure its age. 5. What are the two kinds of ways that we talk about how old things are? Give an example of each method of determining age.

1. Radioactive decay—Uranium
2. Geologic time scale (geology structure)—younger staffs cut across old staffs. 6. Name and briefly outline the theory that describes the formation of our solar system.
Nebular hypothesis: The birth of our solar system, which began as a cloud of dust and gas called a nebula, started to gravitationally collapse. The nebula contracted into rotating disk that a heated by the conversion of gravitational energy into thermal energy. Cooling of the nebular cloud caused rocky and metallic material to condense into tiny solid particles. Repeated collisions caused the dust-size particles to gradually coalesce into asteroid-size bodies. Within a few million years these bodies accreted into the planets. 7. List and briefly define the four “spheres” that constitute our environment.

A. Hydrosphere: a dynamic mass of water that is continually on the move, evaporating from the oceans to the atmosphere, precipitating to the land, and running back to the oceans again.
B. Atmosphere: a life-giving gaseous envelope.
C. Biosphere: all life on Earth.
D. Geosphere: the solid Earth. (largest of Earth’s four spheres) 8. How much of the Earth’s surface do oceans cover, and how much of the planet’s total water do oceans represent?
71%; 97%
9. List and briefly describe Earth’s compositional layers.
1. Crust: Earth’s relatively thin, rocky outer skin (low density)
2. Mantle: a solid, rocky shell (high density)
3. Core: an iron-nickel alloy with minor amounts of oxygen, silicon, and sulfur. 10. List and briefly describe the Earth’s Mechanical layers.
1. Lithosphere: relatively cool, rigid out shell, including entire crust and uppermost mantle.
2. Asthenosphere: a soft, comparatively weak layer.
3. Mesosphere: semi-solid
4. Outer core: liquid nickel/iron
5. Inner core: solid nickel/iron
11. What term is used to describe the collection that includes gamma rays, X-rays, ultraviolet light, visible light, infrared radiation, microwaves, and radio waves?
Electromagnetic radiation
Which color of visible light has the longest wavelength and which has the shortest?
Longest: red light; shortest: purple
What is the general relationship between wavelength and energy? Longer wavelength, less energy
12. What is spectroscopy, and how is it used in a very basic sense (like we talked about in class)?
Spectroscopy is the study of properties of light that depend on wavelength.
We heat the tested item on fire and observe the light to analysis chemical characteristics. 13. Describe a continuous spectrum. Give an example of a natural phenomenon that exhibits a continuous spectrum.

An uninterrupted band of color. Eg: rainbow
What is a...
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