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Definitions for everything in all your textbooks! Want a word? We got it!

aa slow-moving type of lava that hardens to form rough chunks; cooler than pahoehoe
abrasion the grinding away of rock by other rock particles carried in water, wind, or ice
absolute age the age of a rock given as the number of years since the rock formed
absolute brightness the brightness of a star if it were a standard distance from Earth
abyssal plain a smooth, nearly lat region of the ocean floor
acid rain rain that contains more acid than normal
aftershock earthquake that occurs after a larger earthquake in the same area
air mass huge body of air that has same pressure, temperature, and humidity throughout
air pressure the pressure caused by the weight of a column of air pushing down on one area
alloy a solid mixture of two or more elements, at least one of which is metal
alluvial fan wide, sloping deposit of sediment formed where a stream leaves a mountain range
altitude elevation above sea level
amphibian vertebrate that lives part of ts life on land and part of its life in water
anemometer an instrument used to measure wind speed
aneroid barometer instrument that measures changes in air pressure without using a liquid
anticline an upward fold in rock formed by compression of Earth's crust
anticyclone high pressure center of dry air
apparent brightness the brightness of a star as seen from Earth
aquaculture the farming of saltwater and freshwater organisms
aquifer underground layer of rock or sediment the holds water
artesian well well in which water rises because of pressure within the aquifer
asteroid rocky object revolving around the sun that are too small and numerous to be considered planets
asteroid belt region of the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter,where many asteroids are found
asthenosphere soft layer of mantle on which the lithosphere floats
astronomer scientist who studies the universe beyond Earth
astronomy study of the moon,the stars, and other objects in space
atmosphere envelope of gases that surrounds Earth
atoll ring-shaped coral reef that surrounds a shallow lagoon
atom smallest particle of an element
axis imaginary line that passes through Earth's center and the North and South Poles, about which Earth rotates
baometer instrument used to measure changes in air pressure
basalt dark, dense, igneous rock with a fine texture, found in oceanic crust
base-isolated building building mounted on bearings to absorb the energy of an earthquake
batholith mass of rock formed when a large body of magma cools inside the crust
beach wave-washed sediment along a coast
bedrock solid layer of rock beneath the soil
benthos organisms that live on the bottom of the ocean or other body of water
Big Bang Theory initial explosion that resulted information and expansion of the universe
binary star star system with two stars
bioluminescence production of light by living things
biomass fuel fuel made from living things
black hole object whose gravity is so strong that nothing, not even light can escape
caldera large hole at the top of a volcano formed when the roof of a volcano's magma chamber collapses
carbon film type of fossil consisting of an extremely thin coating of carbon on rock
cast fossil that is a copy of an organism's shape, formed when minerals seep into mold
cementation process by which dissolved minerals crystallize and glue particles of sediment together into one mass
chemical property any property of a substance that produces a change in the composition of matter
chemical rock sedimentary rock that forms when minerals crystallize from a sollution
chemical weathering process that breaks down rock through chemical changes
chlorofluorocarbons chlorine compounds that are the main cause of ozone depletion
chromosphere middle layer of a sun's atmosphere
cinder cone steep, cone-shaped hill or small mountain made of volcanic ash, cinders, and bombs piled up around a volcano's opening
cirrus wispy, feathery made mostly of ice crystals that form at high levels
clastic rock sedimentary rock that forms when rock fragments are squeezed together under high pressure
cleavage mineral's ability to to split easily along flat surfaces
climate average, year after year conditions of precipitation, temperature, winds, and clouds in an area
cloud seeding process of producing rain during droughts by sprinkling silver iodide crystals and dry ice into clouds from airplanes
coagulation process by which particles in a liquid clump together
coliform type of bacteria found in human and animal wastes
coma fuzzy outer layer of a comet
combustion process of burning fuel
comet loose collection of ice, dust, and small rocky particles, typically with a long, narrow orbit of the sun
compaction process by which sediments are pressed together under their own weight
composite volcano tall, cone shaped mountain in which layers of lava alternate with layers of ash and other volcanic materials
compound substance in which two or more elements are chemically joined
compression stress that squeezes rock until it folds or breaks
concentration amount of one substance in a certain volume of another substance
condensation process by which molecules of water vapor in the air become liquid water
conduction direct transfer of thermal energy from one substance to another substance that is touching
conservation practice of using less of a resource so that it will not be used up
conservation plowing soil conservation method in which the dead stalks from the previous year's crop are left in the ground to hold the soil in place
constellation imaginary pattern of stars in the sky
constructive force force that builds up mountains and landmasses on Earth's surface
continental (air mass) dry air mass that forms over land
continental climate climate of the centers of continents , with cold winters and warm or hot summers
continental drift the hypothesis that the continents slowly move across earth's surface
continental glacier glacier that covers much of a continent or a large island
continental shelf gently sloping shallow area of the ocean floor that extends outward from the edge of a continent
continental slope steep incline of the ocean floor leading down from the edge of a continental shelf
contour interval difference in elevation from one contour line to the next
contour line line on a topographic map that connects points of equal elevation
contour plowing plowing fields along the curves of a slope to prevent soil loss
control rod cadmium rod used in a nuclear reactor to absorb neutrons from fission reactions
controlled experiment experiment in which only one variable is manipulated at a time
convection transfer of thermal energy by the movement of a fluid
convection current movement of a fluid, caused by differences in temperature, that transfers heat from one part of the fluid to another
convection zone outermost layer of the Sun's interior
convergent boundary plate boundary where two plates move towards each other
convex lense piece of transparent glass that is curved so the the middle is thicker than the edges
coral reef structure of calcite skeletons built up by coral animals in warm, shallow water
core central region of the sun, where nuclear fusion takes place
Coriolis effect effect of Earth's rotation on the direction of winds and currents
corona outer layer of the sun's atmosphere
cosmic background radiation electromagnetic radiation left over from the big bang
crater bowl-shaped area that forms around a volcano's central opening
crop rotation planting of different crops each year to maintain the soil's fertility
crust outer layer of rock that forms Earth's surface
crystal solid in which the atoms are arranged in a pattern that repeats again and again
crystallization process by which atoms are arranged to form a material with a crystal structure
cumulus fluffy white clouds usually with flat bottoms that look like rounded piles of cotton
current large stream of moving water that flows through the oceans
cyclone swirling center of low air pressure
dark energy mysterious force that seems to be causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate
dark matter matter that does not give off electromagnetic radiation but appears to be quite abundant in the universe
data facts, figures, and other devices gathered through observation
decomposer soil organism that breaks down the remains of organisms and digests them
deep-ocean trench deep valley along the ocean floor beneath which oceanic crust slowly sinks toward the mantle
deflation wind erosion that removes surface materials
degree unit used to measure distances around a circle, one degree equals 1/360 of a full circle
delta landform made of sediment that is deposited where a river flows into an ocean or lake
density amount of mass of a substance in a given volume; mass per unit volume
deposition process in which sediment is deposited in new locations
desert arid region that on average receives less than 25 centimeters per year
destructive force force that slowly wears away mountains and other features on the surface of the Earth
dew point temperature in which condensation begins
digitizing converting information to numbers for use by a computer
dike slab of volcanic rock formed when magma forces itself across rock layers
divergent boundary plate boundary where two plates move away from each other
divide ridge of land that separates one watershed from another
dormant volcano that is not currently active, but may become active in the future
drought long period of low precipitaion
Dust Bowl area of the Great Plains where wind erosion caused soil loss during the 1930s
Earth science science that focuses on planet Earth and its place in the universe
earthquake shaking that results from the movement of rock under earth's surface
eclipse partial or total blocking of one object in space by another
eclipsing binary binary star system in which one star periodically blocks the light from another
effeciency percentage of energy used to perform work
El Nino climate event that occurs every two to seven years in the Pacific Ocean during which winds shift and push warm water toward the coast of South America
electromagnetic radiation energy that travels through space in the form of waves
electromagnetic wave waves that can transfer electric and magnetic energy through the vacuum of space
element substance in which all the atoms are the same and cannot be broken down into other substances
elevation height above sea level
era one of three long units of geologic time between the Precambrian and the present
ellipse oval shape which may be elongated or nearly circular
elliptical galaxy galaxy shaped like a round or flattened ball, generally ball, generally containing old stars
energy ability to do work or cause change
energy conservation practice of reducing energy use
energy transformation change from one form of energy to another
engineer person who is trained to use both technological and scientific knowledge to solve practical problems
environmental scientist scientist who studies the effects of human activities on Earth's land, air, water, and living things and also tries to solve problems relating to the use of resources
epicenter point on Earth's surface directly above the focus
equator imaginary line the circles Earth halfway between the North and South Poles
equinox two days of the year in which neither hemisphere is titled towards or away from the sun
era one of the three long units of geologic time between the Precambrian and the present
erosion process by which water, ice, wind, or gravity move rock or soil
escape velocity velocity a rocket must reach to fly beyond a planet's or moon's gravitational pull
estuary coastal inlet or bay where fresh water from rivers mixes with salty ocean water
evacuate to move away from an area temporarily to avoid hurricane and other weather conditions
evaporation process by which water molecules in liquid water escape into the air as water vapor
evolution process by which all the different kinds of living things have changed over time
exosphere outer layer of the thermosphere
extinct volcano that is no longer active and s unlikely to erupt again; describes a type of organism that no longer exists anywhere on Earth
extraterrestrial life life that exists other than that on Earth
extrusion igneous rock layer formed when lava flows onto Earth's surface and hardens
extrusive rock igneous rock that forms from lava on Earth's surface
fault break or crack in Earth's lithosphere along which rocks move
fertility measure of how well soil supports plant growth
filtration process of passing water through a series of screens that allow the water through, but not larger solid particles
flood plain wide valley through which a river flows
focus point beneath Earth's surface where rock breaks under stress and causes an earthquake
foliated term used to describe metamorphic rocks that have grains arranged in parallel layers or bands
food web feeding relationships in a habitat
footwall block of rock that forms on lower half of fault
force push or pull exerted on an object
fossil trace of an ancient organism that has been preserved in rock
fossil fuel energy rich substance(such as coal, oil, or natural gas) formed from the remains of organisms
fracture the way a mineral looks when it is broken in an irregular way
frequency number of waves that pass a specific point in a given amount of time
friction force that opposes the motion of one surface as it moves across another
front boundary line where air masses meet but do not mix with each other
fuel substance that provides energy as the result of a chemical change
fuel rod uranium rod that undergoes fission in a nuclear reactor
galaxy huge group of single stars, star systems, star clusters, dust,and gas bound together by gravity
gas giant name often given to the first four outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
gasohol mixture of gasoline and alcohol
gemstone hard colorful mineral that has brilliant or glassy luster and is valued for its appearance
geocentric model of the universe in which Earth is at the center of the revolving planets
geode hollow rock in which mineral crystals have formed
geologic time scale record of geologic events and life forms in Earth's history
geologist scientist who studies the forces that make and shape planet Earth
geothermal activity heating of underground water by lava
geothermal energy heat from Earth's interior
Created by: as0806