Landforms + Fossils_1 Flashcards

Terms Definitions
glacier
a large, moving mass of ice
•2 main types: alpine + ice sheets
composite volcanoes
made of layers of lava, rock, and ash
•these can have steep peaks
•usually explosive when they erupt
plates
large slabs of rock into which the Earth's crust and upper mantle are broken; these move on a layer of the mantle that can flow like taffy (pp. 240-241)
amber
sticky tree sap that trapped a living insect and then hardened around it
topography
the shape of landforms in an area
(a "topo" map has raised areas for mountains, etc.)
coastal plains
a plain that slopes toward the sea along a coast
volcano
a mountain that forms as lava flows through a crack onto Earth's surface
Earth's inner core
•made mostly of iron and nickel
•almost as hot as the surface of the sun
•solid because there is so much pressure on it
fossil
the remains or traces of an organism that lived long ago
•usually formed in SEDIMENTARY rock
trace (fossil)
•doesn't show how a whole plant or animal looked, but it tells something about it (examples: footprints or animal droppings)
mold and cast (fossil)
(clam example, p. 250)
1) sediment covers clam; soft parts decay
2) shell leaves a clam-shaped hole in the rock
---this is a fossil MOLD
3) the mold fills with minerals and they form a CAST
in the shape of the clam inside the rock
landform
a natural feature on Earth's surface
(examples: mountains, canyons, plateaus)
Geologic Time Scale
1) Pre-cambrian (one-celled organisms)
2) Paleozoic (Trilobites)
3) Mesozoic (dinosaurs)
4) Cenozoic (humans; present era)
•each era is millions of years long
•this helps scientists to know what was living during each part of this history
mantle
•the rock layer below the Earth's crust
•Earth's THICKEST layer
•upper parts so hot that the rock can flow and in some places is melted to form MAGMA
Where do most earthquakes occur?
along faults (breaks in the earth's crust, where rock moves)
fossil record
the information about Earth's history that is contained in fossils
•it is the main source of clues about Earth's past life
and environment
Earth's outer core
•liquid
•hot
•surrounds inner core
dune
a landform formed in dry areas or along sandy coasts where WIND carries sand
butte
a smaller mesa (a very small plateau)
valley
lowland areas with high land around it
•they stretch between mountains and hills
•wide floor and gently sloping sides
island
a body of land surrounded by water
•some islands once linked to a mainland
•some are the tops of volcanoes
•some form from the remains of tiny sea animals
(coral islands)
•some form where waves deposit sand near the shore
(barrier islands)
delta
a landform formed by the movement of sand and sediment at the end of a RIVER
shield volcanoes
(Hawaii)
huge mountains that erupt slowly, and lava flows steadily down their gently sloping sides
cinder cone volcanoes
they shoot chunks of rock into the air and down their slopes
•small
•steep sides
earthquake
the shaking of Earth's surface caused by movement of rock in the crust
•most occur along FAULTS
mountain
area higher than the land around it, usually at least 1,600 feet tall
•can take millions of years to form
•some are volcanoes
•sometimes called "highlands"
floodplains
plains extending along rivers
the layers of the Earth
1) inner core
2) outer core
3) mantle
4) crust
What does the fossil record tell us about how Wyoming and Kansas have changed?
Scientists have found fossils of palm trees in WY, where it's too cold for them today. They infer that the climate there must have been much warmer in the past. Fossils of sea animals have been found in KS, far from any ocean. Scientists inferred that a shallow sea covered parts of Kansas long ago.
petrified wood
fossils formed when minerals fill the cells of once-living things (such as the wood of a tree that has been replaced by rock) p. 251
How are deltas and dunes alike?
Both are formed by the movement of sand and sediment.
fiords
narrow inlets of the sea between cliffs or steep slopes
•these form where the sea has flooded valleys formed
by glaciers (p. 245)
plains
large, flat landforms
•can have gently rolling surface of slight slope
•they do not have highlands or deep valleys
canyon
a valley with steep walls
mesa
a much smaller landform with the shape of a plateau
deposition
the dropping of bits of rock and soil that takes place as a river flows
•the slower a river moves, the more of this that occurs
•this builds landforms such as deltas and floodplains
plateau
a flat area which is higher than the land around it
•the edges can form steep cliffs
crust
•Earth's thinnest layer
•solid rock
•includes land that makes up the continents as well
as the land under the oceans
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