Earth Science Exam #1

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Earth Science
Chapters 1, 11, 12
This course includes an overview of those sciences that collectively seek to understand our dynamic Earth and its relationship to the larger universe. Includes material from the fields of geology, oceanography, meteorology and astronomy through which we examine the physical laws and natural processes that have helped to shape and change Earth and the universe around it. An introduction to astronomy will explore the universe and solar system, including basic cosmological principles, the life and death of stars, and the objects in our solar system.
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1

Which of the following energy sources is thought to drive the lateral motions of Earth's lithospheric plates?

export of heat from deep in the mantle to the top of the asthenosphere

2

During the ________ era, the westward-moving North American plate began to override the Pacific plate, eventually causing the tectonic activity that ultimately formed the mountains of western North America.

Mesozoic

3

In the late 1700s James Hutton published his important work titled ________.

Theory of the Earth

4

A worm would stand a poor chance of being fossilized because ________.

worms have no hard parts

5

________ was never proposed as evidence supporting the existence of Pangaea.

Islands of Precambrian rocks along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

6

Which period is known as the "age of fishes"?

Devonian

7

The dense core of Earth is thought to consist predominantly of ________.

iron

8

Which of the following refers to the investigative process by which geologists identify and match sedimentary strata and other rocks of the same ages in different areas?

correlation

9

About 88 percent of geologic time is represented by the time span called the ________.

Precambrian

10

The composition of the Earth's inner core is thought to be ________.

solid iron-nickel alloy

11

Early results of the Deep Sea Drilling Project clearly justified the conclusion that ________.

the ocean basins are relatively young; no seafloor with an age in excess of 180 million years was ever found

12

The former late Paleozoic supercontinent is known as ________.

Pangaea

13

The study of Earth's atmosphere is known as ________.

meteorology

14

Most of our knowledge about Earth's interior comes from ________.

seismic waves

15

The era of "ancient life" is the ________ era.

Paleozoic

16

Which one of the following represents the greatest expanse of geological time?

Precambrian

17

Mammals became the dominant land animals during the ________ era.

Cenozoic

18

The process in which plants use light energy to synthesize food sugars from carbon dioxide is called ________.

photosynthesis

19

All of the following are possible steps of scientific investigation except for ________.

assumption of conclusions without prior experimentation or observation

20

Catastrophism ________.

helped man understand the true nature of the forces that shaped the Grand Canyon

21

During the Cenozoic, plate interactions gave rise to many events of mountain building, volcanism, and earthquakes in ________ North America.

western

22

In correct order from the center outward, Earth includes which units?

inner core, outer core, mantle, crust

23

A ________ is a well-tested and widely accepted view that best explains certain scientific observations.

theory

24

What is the source of the energy that powers the Earth system?

both A and B

25

Assume that you have just examined several flat-lying sedimentary layers. After much study you determine that there is a considerable span of time for which no sedimentary rock layer exists at this site. You have just discovered a(n) ________.

disconformity

26

The ________ means "the Sun in the making."

protosun

27

Which one of the following statements about the crust is NOT true?

Oceanic crust is enriched in potassium, sodium, and silicon.

28

Visualize five horizontal sedimentary strata exposed in a cliff or canyon wall identified by consecutive numbers, 1 being the lowest bed and 5 being the highest. Which of the following statements concerning the strata are true?

Beds l and 3 are older than bed 4.

29

The ________ era is known as the "age of flowering plants."

Cenozoic

30

The average composition of the continental crust most closely approximates that of ________.

basalt

31

The ________ is the thinnest layer of the Earth.

crust

32

One group of reptiles, exemplified by the fossil Archaeopteryx, led to the evolution of ________.

birds

33

The age of Earth is about ________.

4.5 billion years

34

Which of the following gases was NOT part of Earth's original atmosphere?

both water vapor and nitrogen

35

The ________ is thought to be a liquid, metallic region in the Earth's interior.

outer core

36

In the early part of the twentieth century, ________ argued forcefully for continental drift.

Alfred Wegener

37

The major source of free oxygen in the atmosphere is from ________.

green plants

38

The first true terrestrial animals were the ________.

reptiles

39

Which era is sometimes called the "age of dinosaurs?"

Mesozoic

40

The ________ is the idea or concept that ancient life forms succeeded each other in a definite, evolutionary pattern and that the contained assemblage of fossils can determine geologic ages of strata?

principle of fossil succession

41

The most common Precambrian fossils are ________, layered mounds of calcium carbonate.

none of these

a. prokaryotes

b. trilobites

c. chert

d. eukaryotes

42

The ________ area geologically old mountain range folded and deformed during the Paleozoic.

Appalachians in the eastern United States

43

Abundant fossil evidence did not appear in the geologic record until about ________.

540 million years ago

44

The ________ explains how our solar system probably formed from a giant cloud of gases and dispersed solid particles.

nebular theory

45

The waste gas released by plants as they synthesize food sugars from carbon dioxide and water is ________.

oxygen

46

What is the age of the Earth accepted by most scientists today?

4.5 billion years

47

The lithosphere is defined as ________.

a rigid layer of crustal and mantle material

48

Who is credited with formulating the doctrine of uniformitarianism?

Hutton

49

The ________ period was a time of major extinctions, including 75 percent of amphibian families.

Permian

50

What are the basic differences between the disciplines of physical and historical geology?

Historical geology involves the study of rock strata, fossils, and geologic events, utilizing the geologic time scale as a reference; physical geology includes the study of how rocks form and of how erosion shapes the land surface.

51

The supercontinent of Pangaea began to break up during the ________ era.

Mesozoic

52

Consider the names of the eras in the geologic time scale. What is meant by "zoic"?

life; living things

53

By the close of the Paleozoic, all the continents had fused into the single super continent of ________.

Pangaea

54

The ________ refers to the sum total of all life on Earth.

biosphere

55

The subdivision of the geologic time scale that represents the longest time span is called a(n) ________.

eon