Geosystems Final Quizlet!!! Flashcards

Drainage basin
Terms Definitions
the study of minerals
any naturally occurring inorganic solids that possess an orderly internal structure and a definite chemical composition
characteristics of a mineral
Must occur naturally, be inorganic, be a sold, possess an orderly internal structure, and have a definite chemical composition that may vary within specified limits
any sold mass of mineral, or mineral-like matter that occurs naturally as part of our planet
basic building blocks of minerals
the smallest particle of matter that retains the essentail characteristics of an element
parts of an atom
protons, neutrons, electrons
atomic number
number of protons in an atom's nucleus
mass number
total of its neutrons and protons in the nucleus
consists of two or more elements bounded together in definite proportions
atoms that have an electrical charge because of a gain or loss of electrons
radioactive decay
the spontaneous decay of certain unstable atomic nuclei
crystal form
external expression of a mineral's internal orderly arrangement of atoms
the appearance/quality of light reflected from the surface of a mineral
unreliable property of a mineral for ID; same mineral may have more than one, differences caused by impurities
color of a mineral in its powdered form, does not vary
tendency of a mineral to break along planes of weak bonding which produce distinctive smooth surfaces
do not cleave, produce irregular surfaces
measure of a mineral's resistance to scratching, measured with Mohs Scale of Hardness
Specific Gravity
compares the mass of a mineral to the mass of an equal volume of water
Other properties
taste, smell, tenacity, feel, magnetism, reaction to hydrochloric acid, maleability, double refraction
8 elements that compose most rock-forming minerals
Oxygen, Silicon, Aluminium, Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium
Two most abundent elements in the Earth's crust
Oxygen (46.6%) and Silicon (27.7%)
Mineral Groups
Silicates, Carbonates, Others
most common mineral group; about 3/4 of the Earth's crust, made of the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron (four O atoms surrounding a Si atom, join in many ways to rom different minerals, tend to cleave between the tetrahedron groups)
Major minerals in Silicates
Feldspars, Quartz, Mica, Hornblende, Amphiboles
most abundant mineral in crust (50%)
2nd most abundant mineral, made entirely of silicon and oxygen
Tetrahedral are arranged in thin sheets
dark colored minerals
water sphere of Earth
gaseous envelope of Earth
solid Earth
totality of life on Earth
study of the Universe
anything that surrounds and influences an organism
located beneath the mantle, innermost layer of Earth, divided into outer and inner
very thin outermost layer of Earth
Earth Science
name for all the sciences that collectively seek to understand Earth. (Geology, oceanography, meteorology, astronomy)
Earth system science
an interdisciplinary study that seeks to examine Earth as a system composed of numerous interacting parts/subsystems
science that examines Earth, its form and composition, and the changes it has undergone and is undergoing
the 2900 km thick layer of Earth located beneath the crust
scientific study of the atmosphere and atmospheric phenomenas, the study of weather and climate
nebular hypothesis
the basic idea that the Sun and planets formed from the same cloud of gas and dust in interstellar space
scientific study of the oceans
closed system
system that is self contained w/ regards to matter, no matter enters/leaves
hypothesis (model)
tentative explanation that is tested to determine if it is valid
negative feedback mechanism
a feedback mechanism that tends to maintain a system as it is
nonrenewable resource
resource that forms of accumulates over such long time spans that it must be considered as fixed in total quantity
open system
system in which both matter and energy flow into and out of the system, most are this
theory that is held w/ a very high degree of confidence and is comprehensive in scope
positive feedback mechanism
enhances or drives change
physical environment
part of the environment that is water, air, soil and rock, as well as conditions such as temp, humidity, and sunlight
renewable resouce
a resource that is virtually inexhaustible or can be replenished over relatively short time spans
any size group of interacting parts that form a complex whole
a well-tested and widely accepted view that explains certain observable facts
Mohs hardness scale
a series of 10 minerals used as a standard in determining hardness
usually a useful metallic mineral that can be mined at a profit
already identified deposits from which minerals can be extracted profitably
igneous rocks
rock formed by the crystallization of molten magma
rocks formed by the alteration of preexisting rocks deep within Earth by heat, pressure, or chemically active fluids
a body of molten rock found @ depth, including any dissolved gases and crystals
andesitic composion
a compositional group of rocks that lie beneath felsic and mafic
basaltic composition
a compositional group of igneous rocks indicating that the rock contains substantial dark silicate minerals and calcium rich plagioclase feldspar
Bowen's reaction series
a concept proposed by NL Bowen that illustrates the relationships between magma and the minerals crystallizing from it during the formation of igneous rocks
coarse grained texture
an igneous rock texture in which the crystals are roughly equal in size and large enough so that individual minerals can be identified with the unaided eye
the formation and growth of a crystalline solid from a liquid or a gas
crysal setting
during the crystallization of magma, the earlier formed minerals are denser than the liquid portion and settle to the bottom of the magma chamber
extrusive (volcanic)
igneous activity that occurs outside the crust
group of igneous rocks coposed primarily of feldspar and quartz
fine-grained texture
a texture of igneous rocks in which the crystals are too small for individual minerals to be distinguised with the unaided eye
glassy texture
used to describe the texture of certain igneous rocks, such as obsidian, that contain no crystals
granitic composition
compositional group of igneous rocks that indicate a rock is composed almost entirely of light colored silicates
intermediate composition
the compostion of igenous rocks lying between felsic and mafic
untrusive (plutonic)
igneous rock that formed below Earth's surface
magma that reaches Earth's surface
porphyritic texture
an igneous texture consisting of large crystals embedded in a matrix of much smaller crystals
the size, shape, and distributiion of the particles that collectively constitute a rock
ultramafic composition
igenous rocks composed mainly of iron and magnesium rich minerals
unconsolidated particles created by the weathering and erosion of rock, by chemical precipiation from solution in water, or from the secretions of organisms and trastported by water, wind, or glaciers
detrital sedimentary rocks
rocks formed from the accumulation of material that originated and was transported in the form of solid particles derived from both chemical and mechanical weathering
chemical sedimentary rocks
sedimentary rock consisting of material that was precipitaed by water by inorganic/organic means
the proces of generally cementation/compaction, converting sediments into rock
parallel layers of sedimentary rock
the remains or traces of organisms preserved from the geologic past
contact metamorphism
changes in rock caused by the heat from a nearby magma body
disseminated deposit
Any economic mineral deposit in which the desired mineral recurs as scattered particles in the rock but in sufficient quantity to make the deposit an ore
foliated texture
gives the rock a layered appearance
hydrothermal structure
the hot, watery solution that escapes from a mass of magma during the later stages of crystallization. May alter the surrounding country rock and are frequently the source of significant ore deposits
the changes in mineral composition and texture of a rock subjected to high temp and pressure within the Earth
regional metamorphism
metamophism associated with large-scale mountain-building processes
bodythermal metamorphism
changes in rock caused by the heat from a nearby magma body
vein deposit
a mineral filling a fracture or fault in a host rock. Such deposits have a sheetlike, or tabular form
external processes
process such as weathering, mass wasting, or erosion that is powered by the Sun and transforms sold rock into sediment
internal processes
energy from Earth's interior
mechanical weathering
physical forces that break rock into smaller and smaller pieces w/o changing the rock's mineral composition
chemical weathering
involves a chemical transformation of rock into one or more new compounds
frost wedging
the mechanical breakup of rock caused by the expanison of freezing water in cracks and crevices
talus slopes
an accumulation of rock debris at the base of the cliff
a mechanical weathering process characterized by the splitting off of slablike sheets of rock
exfoliating domes
large, dome-shaped structure, usually composed of granite, formed by sheeting
spheroidal weathering
any weathering process that tends to produce a spherical shape from an initally blocky shape
differential weathering
the variation in the rate and degree of weathering caused by such factors as mineral makeup, degree of jointing, and climate
mass wasing
the transfer of rock and soil downslope under the influence of gravity
the physical removal of material by mobile agents such as water, wind, or ice
physical breakdown and chemical alteration (disintegration and decomposition) of rocks at or near Earth's surface
unconsolidated sediment deposited in a stream
a poorly drained area on a floodplain that results when natural levees are present
base level
the level below which a stream cannot ride
bed load
sediment that is carried by a stream along the bottom of its channel
the total amount of sediment a stream is able to transport
a measure of the largest particle a stream can transport; a factor dependent on velocity
an accumulation of sediment formed where a stream enters a lake/ocean
the quantity of water in a stream that passes a given point in a period of time
dissolved load
that portion of a stream's load carried in solution
a section of a stream that leaves the main flow
the slope of a stream; generally measured in ft/mile
hydrologic cycle
unending circulation of Earth's water supply
the movement of surface water into rock or soil through cracks and pore spaces
natural levee
the elevated land-forms that parallel some streams and act to confine their waters, except during flood stage
water that flows over the land rather than infiltrating into the ground
the process by which solid particles of various sizes are separated by moving water or wind. Also, the degree of similarity in particle size in sediment or sedimentary rock
suspended load
the fine sediment carried within the body of flowing water
the relase of water vapor to the atmosphere by plants
yazoo tributary
a tributary that flows parallel to the main stream because a natural levee is present
layer of rock and mineral fragments produced by weathering
a combination of mineral and organic matter, water, and air- portion of regolith that supports the growth of plants
soil texture
the relative proportions of clay, silt, and sand in a soil. Texture strongly influences the soil's ability to retain and transmit watter and air
parent material
the source of the weathered mineral matter from which soils develop
zones/layers that have identifible characteristics by chemical weathering and other
soil profiles
a vertical section through a soil showing its succession of horizons and the underlying parent material
the washing out of the soil components from the horizon by downward-percolating water
the depletion of soluble materials from the upper soil by downward-percolating water
the O, A, and B horizons in a soil profile, living roots and other plant and animal life are largely confined to this zone
soil of humid regions characterized by the accumulation of iron oxides and aluminum rich clays in the B horizon
soil associated with drier regions and characterized by an accumulation of calcium carbonate in the upper horizons
a red, highly leached soil type found in the tropics that is rich in oxides of iron and aluminum
a short channel segment created when a river erodes through the narrow neck of land between meanders
a stream system that resembles the pattern of a branching tree
drainage basin of one stream if separated from the drainage basin of another by an imaginary line
drainage basin
the land area that contributes water to a stream
the flat, low-lying portion of a stream valley subject to periodic inudation
when discharge of a stream becomes so great that it exceeds the capacity of its channel and overflows
water in the zone of saturation
a looplike bend in the course of a stream
oxbow lake
a curved lake produced when a stream cuts off a meander
radial pattern
a system of streams running in all directions away from a central elevated structure, such as a volcano
rectangular pattern
a drainage pattern characterized by numerous right-angle bends that develops on jointed or fractured bedrock
trellis pattern
a system of streams in which nearly parallel tributaries occupy valleys cut in folded strata
water table
the upper level of saturated zone of groundwater
zone of aeration
area above the water table where openings in soil, sediment, and rock are not saturated, but mainly filled with air
zone of saturation
area where all open spaces in sediment and rock are completely filled with water
a system of streams running in all directions away from a central elevated structure, such as a volcano
the volume of open spaces in rock or soil
a measure of material's ability to transmit water
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