Environmental Geology Exam Flashcards

Terms Definitions
Copper, Iron
particles briefly suspended
a positively charged ion
dynamic equilbrium
concept=workdone, sediments delivered to a stream, and sediment transported by a stream
Generally massive coastal protection structure built parallel to the coast that may be designed to dissipate wave energy?
where a particular species lives
slow weathering or chemical decomposition (sinkholes)
Concentration of naturally occurring material in or on crust in a form that can potentially be extracted as a profit (lifetime income)
Sumatra 2004
earthquake triggered tsunami killing 230,000 people
igneous rock
rock formed by the cooling/solidification of molten magma (melted rock)
Seismic data indicates that the Earth's mantle is NOT liquid because ___ DO travel through them.
Types of Sedimentary Rocks
Detrital and Chemical
may indicate level of drainage, well-drained soils are well aerated and may have red hues (oxidized iron...think of rust)
0.074 to 2 mm in diameter
Reduction of combustible waste to inert residue by burning at high temperatures
Primary Recovery
Recovery using no techniques other than pumping.
Flood plain
primary effects-injury and loss of life, damage and destruction of property, eroison and depostion of sediments/ secondary effects-water pollution, fire disease, displacement of people, interuption of social and economic activities
Rift Zone
regions where new divergent boundaries form in a continental lithospheric plate
Phreatic Eruption
A violent, explosive volcanic eruption like a steam-boiler explosion, occurring when subsurface water is heated and converted to steam by hot magma underground
are minerals that contain the element carbon and one other element ex.) calcite, dolomite
Moment Magnitude
The earthquake rating scale that describes the amount of energy released, now considered most appropriate for larger earthquakes?
"Science" comes from the Latin word scientia, which means ___.
geopressurized zones
Deep aquifers under unusually high pressure exceeding hydrostatic pressure.
A group of individuals capable of interbreeding
convergent plate boundary
plates converge, producing a subduction zone, mountains, volcanoes, and earthquakes
soil organisms
then modify weathered rock into residual soil (modified in place) or transported soil (transported by wind or water before modification).
Portion of the resource that is identified and currently available to be extracted as a profit (money in pocket)
The solid, plastic layer of the mantle beneath the lithosphere; made of mantle rock that flows very slowly, which allows tectonic plates to move on top of it
Outer shell of the earth, composed of the crust and the rigid, outermost part of the mantle outside the asthenosphere; material found in earth's plates.
Alluvial Fan
a wide, sloping deposit of sediment formed where a stream leaves a mountain range
Lava Dome
a bulbous mass associated with an old-age volcano produced when thick lava is slowly squeezed from the vent, lava domes may act as plugs to deflect subsequent gaseous eruptions
the outer layer of the Earth. solid rock.
Ash Eruption
At Mt Pinitubo in the Philippines, most of the loss of life was associated with?
Which of the following is not a descriptive term for soil structure, platy, blocky, uniform, prismatic?
Measure of how readily fluid can flow through a rock, sediment or soil.
Any part of the universe that we select for a study
is often thought of as a system, basically a big machine in which parts interact
concept 4
limited resources (earth is our only habitat and has limited resources; recycling is necessary)
How long a material remains in the biosphere
Geologic time
range in billion or million years from present, how long it takes for a raindrop to fall, big spiral relate humans to geologic time, time is of the essense; effect that people leave on the planet
Strike slip fault
fault rupture of the ground generates vibrations or waves in the rock that we feel as ground shaking. nearly vertical and during an earthquake one slides past the other. ex. San Andreas Fault
Earthquake Cycle
The concept that there is a periodic quality about the occurrence of major earthquakes on a given fault zone, with repeated cycles of stress buildup, rupture, and relaxation of stress through smaller aftershocks
transform plate boundary
Boundary between two plates that are sliding past each other. They connect two Mid Ocean Ridges
Neap Tipe
The periodic tide that occurs when the sun moon and earth are all aligned?
A form of coal that is softer than anthracite but harder than lignite
if permafrost is thin, can thaw it and then build; sink foundation into perm frozen sections; insulate to avoid melting permafrost
What did Alfred Wegener propose?
The idea of Continental Drift
4 Main Parts of the Earth System
Lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere
Surface Waves
a type of seismic wave that forms when P waves and S waves reach Earth's surface
Aral Sea
Once the 4th largest Sea now the 8th because of large amounts of water diverted for crop irrigation, and human purposes
E horizon
may be almost white b/c it has been leached
Loma Prieta, CA (1989)
The quake with the epicenter in Santa Cruz that set San Fransisco on fire; caused 5 Billion dollars of damage and killed 62 people
input and output equal
no change in size of stock (managed system such as university with constant enrollment)
Briefly describe how oil and gas deposits form and mature.
Both are comprised of different elements of hydrogen and carbon. The first step to producing a large deposit is a large initail accumulation of organic matter. Another step is organic debris which can burry the organic matter to protect it from air or oxygen. As burial continues organic matter starts to change. Temperatures and pressures increase causing chemical reactions over a period of time creating smaller simple hydrocarbons eventually turning into a useable energy source.
small input and large output
pool or stock is reduced (use of fossil fuels)
what is a P-wave?
. A P-wave is a longitudinal wave or a compression wave with the force applied in the direction that the wave is traveling. (resembles the action of a slinky) (can travel through liquids)
J. Tuzo's theory of plate tectonics
The theory is that all plates move to form new land, and his theory is that they move my different forces. That the earth is always re-newing its crust.
A horizon
Mercalli Magnitude
measures damage caused
physical or chemical breakdown
compresses and becomes like soil
natural gas
Gaseous hydrocarbons, especially methane
residence time in groundwater
150 years
pores are full of water
The point beneath Earth's surface where rock breaks under stress and causes an earthquake; point of rupture below the ground - area of biggest impact
Fault Scarp
surface rupture with vertical component - linear steep slope 3ft high
Population of the Earth
6.8 billion people
High viscosity lavas are __________(difficult/easy) for dissolved gases to escape.
relatively difficult
underlies coastal plain and looks strong but dissolves easily (sinkholes); main sinkhole areas in NC - brunswick, pender, new hanover, onslow, jones, lenoir, craven, beaufort
hard (compacted or cemented) soil horizon. some people refer to a clay layer that is found around here as this. these layers are nearly impermeable and can restrict downward flow of water.
Natural Catastrophe
hazard with a large, long-term impact
Tar Sands
Sedimentary rocks containing a very thick, semisolid, tarlike petroleum.
Magnitude vs. Frequency
Inverse relationship between the magnitude and its frequency, the larger the flood the less frequently such a flood occurs
continental crust
remains at surface and never subducted
metamorphic rocks
formed from preexisting rock subjected to heat and pressure (rock is still solid, but minerals break down, form, change shape)
In the USCS the difference between silts and clays is that clays have the property known as?
Which event often happens before major volcanic eruptions?
An extreme variety of pedalfer soil that is highly leached; commoon in tropical climates.
igneous rocks
formed by the cooling and crystallization of molten material (magma and lava)
soil taxonomy
useful for agricultural and related land-use purposes and is criticised for being too complex and lacking sufficient engineering information for site evaluation
A scientific method begins as a _______.
area of land that contributes water to a particular stream or river
Methane Hydrates
Crystalline solids of gas and water molecules. They have been found abundantly in artic regions and in marine sediments.
Plate Tectonics
the branch of geology studying the folding and faulting of the earth's crust
A bend in river shaped like a "U"
Multiple barrier concept
surrounding solid waste with several different types of materials to create multiple obstructions to waste leakage or invasion by ground water.
Continental drift
the gradual movement and formation of continents (as described by plate tectonics)
Clay mineral held together with a big Potassium ion?
hydraulic head
Potential energy of water above a given point reflected in the height of the water surface above ground, water table in an unconfined aquifer or potentiometric surface in a confined aquifer.
What is Divergent
Plates Moving away from each other
soil strength
ability of a soil to resist deformation; is a function of cohesion (ability of soil particles to stick together) and friction (most significant in coarse-grained soils)
sixfold heirarchy composed of
orders, suborders, great groups, subgroups, families, and series
Grainsize is? (igneous)
Controlled by the rate of cooling.

*formed when magma cools at the earths surface

*extrusive rocks (meaning out)

SLOW COOLING ROCKS = course grained min. (visable, big enough to see)

*formed when magma cools inside the earths surface.

*intrusive rocks
Hyrdraulic Fracturing
creates cracks that allow the gas to flow through the shale.
Divergerent boundaries
occurs when plates move away from each other
L Waves
slowest waves that move side to side or a circular motion around earth's surface and goes through nothing
Mafic rock that makes up much of the ocean floor
continental arc
an arc shaped row of active volcanoes produced by subduction that occurs along convergent plate boundaries
what is dissolution?
A type of chemical weathering reaction in which minerals completely dissolve in the water leaving behind only individual ions.
saltwater intrusion
a process by which salt water replaces fresh ground water when the fresh water is being used more rapidly than it is being recharged; especially common in coastal areas.
windblown deposits
fall into 2 groups, based on sediment size: sand deposits (dunes) *world's biggest sand dune "Big Daddy" in Africa (1100')*, loess (windblown silt, which is smaller than sand) *the great wall of china built on and with loess and iowa has loess hills (world's highest loess deposits except china) 200'*
A channel within a river that is the highest velocity water.
easy of exacavation
easily to blow out, soils are easily excavated=floodplain
streak color
the color of the powdered form of the material
San Juaquin Valley, CA
12 cm rain/yr; poor drainage, ORV, overgrazing, wind, becoming saline, soil and groundwater, impedes vegetation growth
When did Pangaea start to break up?
200 million years ago
Earthquake or (Seismic Slip)
When the stress at last exceeds the rupture strength of the rock (or the friction along a preexisting fault), a sudden movement occurs to release the stress.
soil surveys and land use planning
this information can help decide whether land is most suitable for housing, light industry, roads, agriculture, forestry, septic tank systems
What air pollution problems are associated particularly with coal, relative to other fossil fuel?
the pollution that comes with its mining and use, by production of carbon dioxide which contribute to global warming and sulfur oxide which can create acid rain killing wildlife and plants.
Where to find a submarine trench?
At the convergence of two tectonic plates
concept 8 of the fundamental concepts of environmental science
our obligation to the future (future generations have the right to the same opportunities as us)
How are seismic waves used to locate the epicenter of an earthquake?
We use the difference in the arrival time of P waves (fast) and S waves (slower). The farther you are from the earthquake, the bigger the difference in their arrival time.
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