Tamu Geol 101 Final Study Guide

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Geology 101 Final Study Guide

CHAPTER 1 (why study earth)

• Earth = 4.5 billion years old

• Earth System- composed of geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere

• Hypothesis- an explanation of the problem that accounts for existing data and predicts additional phenomena that should exist if the hypothesis is correct

• Principles/Laws- synonymous terms referring to statements or mathematical formulas that always succeed in describing what is observed to happen

• Theory- a widely applicable/ generally accepted explanation for natural phenomena that explains all of the existing data

• Principle of uniformitarianism- states that observations of both a process and its result can apply to the interpretation of other similar results where the process was not observed

• Plate tectonics- explains a vast array of geologic processes and features as being the result of the motion of the separate plates that make up the outermost 100 kilometers of earth

• Earth layers- core, mantle, and crust – differ in composition/physical properties

o Lithosphere- crust and uppermost mantle, down to 100 km (broken into plates)

o Asthenosphere- remaining upper mantle (less-rigid/squishier/ mostly solid)

• Tectonics- interactions between plates at boundaries that cause deformation of the lithosphere

• Plate Boundaries (3 types)

o Divergent - plates move away from one another (seafloor spreading at mid ocean ridges)

o Convergent- plates collide (mountain range formation)

▪ Subduction- process where one plate plunges under another into the deeper mantle

o Transform- plates slide past one another

• Hot spots- locations where molten material rises form deep in the mantle below the moving lithosphere as a result of processes not explained by plate tectonics

• Work = distance something moves X force required to move it

• Energy- the measure of the ability to do work (heat from sun= most...