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Chapter 4 Vocabulary

core Earth's center , where pressures and temperatures are very high
mantle The section of Earth's interior that lies above the outer core and has the most mass
magma Liquid rock within Earth
plate tectonics The theory that Earth's crust is divided into rigid plates that slowly move across the upper mantle
continental drift the process by whick Earth
rift valleys places on Earth's surface where the crust stretches until it breaks
abyssal plains Areas of the ocean floor where rocks gradually sink beacuse they have no supporting heat below them : the world's flattest and smoothest regions.
continental shelves areas where continentals surfaces extend under the shallow ocean water around the continents
trench a deep valley marking a collision of plates , where one plate slides under another
folds places where rocks have been compressed into bends by colliding plates
faults places where rock masses have been broken apart and are moving away from each other
weathering the process by which rocks breaks and dacay over time
sediment smaller particles of weatherered rock
erosion movement of surface material from one location to another by water , wind , and ice
glaciers Thick masses of ice , including great ice sheets and bodies of ice that flow down mountains like slow rivers
plateau an elevated flatland that rises sharply above nearby land on at least one side
alluvial fan fan-shaped deposit of mud and gravel often found along the bases of mountains
delta accumulation of sediment at the mouth of a river
desalinization process of removing salt from ocean water
hydrolic cycle movement of water through the hydrosphere
headwaters first and smallest streams formed from the runoff of a mountain , eventually forming rivers
tributary any smalller stream or river that flows into a larger stream or river
watershed the entire region drained by a river and its tributaries
drainage basin a region drained by a river and its tributaries
estuaries semi-enclosed bodies of water , seawater , and freshwater formed where a river meets an inlet of the sea
wetlands landscapes that is covered with water for at least part of the year
groundwater Water found below ground
water table the groundwater level at which all the cracks and spaces in rock are filled with water
humus broken-down plant and animal matter in soil
leaching downward movement of minerals and humus in soils
contour plowing plowing fields across a hill , rather than up and down the hill
soil exhaustion a condition in which soil has lost nutrients and becomes nearly useless for farming
crop rotation the practice of planting different crops in a field in alternating years
irrigation a process in which water is artificially supplied to the land
soil salinization salt buildup in the soil
deforestation destruction or loss of forests
reforestation the replanting of a forest
acid rain polluted rain than can damage trees and kill fish in lakes
aqueducts artificial channels for transporting water
aquifers rock layers where groundwater is plentiful
fossil water groundwater that is not replenished by rain
ore mineral-bearing rock
fossil fuels energy resources - formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals - includind coal , natural gas , and petroleum
petrochemicals certain products made from oil
hydroelectric power electricity produced by moving water
geothermal energy Heat of Earth's interior
Created by: karamilton