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Lithosphere Vocab.

Unit 3 Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Aftershock a small earthquake that follows the main earthquake
Asthenosphere a weak plastic layer of the mantle situated below the lithosphere; the rock within this zone is easity deformed
Caldera a large depression typically caused by collapse or ejection of the summit area of a volcano
Chemical Weathering the process by which the internal structure of a mineral is altered by the removal and/or addition of elements
Continental Drift a hypothesis that originally proposed that the continents had once been joined to form a single supercontinent; the supercontinent broke into pieces, which drifted into their present day positions
Convergent Boundary a boundary in which two plates move together
Crater the depression at the summit of a volcano or that which is produced by a meteorite impact
Crust the thin, rocky outher layer of Earth
Deformation general term for the processes of folding, faulting, shearing, compression, or extension of rocks as the result of various natural forces
Deposition the process by which an agent of erosion loses energy and drops the sediment it is carrying
Divergent Boundary a region where the rigid plates are moving apart, typified by the oceanic ridges
Earthquake the vibration of Earth produced by the rapid release of energy
Epicenter the location on Earth's surface directly above the focus, or origin, of an earthquake
Erosion the incorporation and transportation of materal by a mobile agent, such as water, wind, or ice
Fault a fracture in Earth along which movement has occured
Focus the point within Earth where an earthquake originates
Frost Wedging the mechanical breakup of rock caused by the expansion of freezing water in cracks and crevices
Geology the science that examines Earth, its form and composition, and the changes it has undergone and is undergoing
Geothermal Energy energy that can be extracted from Earth's internal heat, for example, natural steam used for power generation
Hot Spot a concentration of heat in the mantle capable or producing magma, which rises to Earth's surface; The Pacific plate moves over a hot spot, producing the Hawaiian Islands
Igneous Rock a rock formed by the crystallization of molten magma
Laurasia the continental mass that formed the northern portion of Pangaea, consisting of present day North America and Eurasia
Lava magma that reaches Earth's suface
Lithosphere the rigid outer layer of Earth, including the crust and upper mantle
Magma a body of molten rock fount at depth, including any dissolved gases and crystals
Mantle the 2890 km thick later of Earth located below the crust
Mechanical Weathering the physical disintegration of rock, resulting in smaller fragments
Metamorphic Rock rock formed by the alteration of preexisting rock deep within Earth (but still in the solid state) by heat, pressure, and/or chemically active fluids
Mineral a naturally occuring, inorganic crystalline materal with a unique chemical composition
Mudflow quickly moving downhill flow of soil and rock fragments containing a large amount of water (lahar)
Ocean Ridge a continuous elevated zone on the floor of all the major ocean basins and varying in width from 1000-4000 km; the rifts at the crest of ridges represent divergent plate boundaries
P Wave earthquake wave that pushes and pulls rocks in the direction of the wave; also known as a compression wave
Paleomagnetism the natural remnant magnetisim in rock bodies: the permanent magnetization acquired by rock that can be sued to determine the location of the magnetic poles at the time it became magnetized
Pangaea the proposed supercontinent that 200 million years ago began to break apart and form the present landmasses
Plate one of the numerous ridgid sections of the lithosphere that moves as a unit over the material of the asthenosphere
Regolith the layer of rock and mineral fragments that nearly everywhere covers the Earth's surface
Rockslide occurs when a mass of rock slides rapidly downslope along planes of weakness
Rock Cycle a model that illustrates the origin of the three basic rock types and the interrelatedness of Earth materials and processes
Rift Valley deep faulted structure found along the axes of divergen plate boundaries; rift valleys can develop on the seafloor or on land
Runoff water that flows over the land surface rather than seeping into the ground
Seafloor Spreading the process by which plate tectonics produces new oceanic lithosphere at ocean ridges
S Wave a seismic wave that shakes particles perpendicular to the direction the wave is traveling
Sediment loose particles created by the weathering and erosion of rock, by chemical precipitation from solution in water, or from the secretions of organisms and transported by water, wind, or glaciers
Sedimentary Rock rock formed from the weathered products of preexisting rocks that have been transported, deposited, compacted, and cemented
Seismograph an instrument that records earthquake waves
Soil a combination of mineral and organic matter, water, and air; that portion of the regolith that supports plant growth
Soil Profile a vertical section through a soil showing its succession of horizons and the underlying parent material
Soil Horizon a layer of soil that has identifiable characteristics produced by chemical weathering and other soil-forming processes
Stalactite an icicle-like structure that hands from the ceiling of a cavern
Stalagmite a columnlike form that grows upward from the floor of a cavern
Strike Slip Fault a fault along which the movement is horizontal and parallel to the trend of the fault
Subduction Zone a destructive plate margin where oceanic crust is being pushed down into the mantle beneath a second plate
Surface Wave a seismic wave that travels along the surface of Earth
Transform Fault Boundary a boundary in which two plates slide past each other without creating or destroying lithosphere
Trench a surface feature in the seafloor produced by the descending plate during subduction
Vent an opening in the surface of Earth through which molten rock and gases are released
Volcano a mountain formed of lava and/or pyroclastic material
Weathering the disintegration and decomposition of rock at or near Earth's surface
Created by: sydneybyerly