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ES1-Unit 8 Vocab

ES1-Unit 8: Weathering & Erosion Vocabulary

TermDefinition
Weathering Mechanical or chemical surface processes that break rock into smaller and smaller pieces
Mechanical Weathering Physical processes that break rock apart without changing its chemical makeup; can be caused by ice wedging, animals, and plant roots
Ice Wedging mechanical weathering process that occurs when water freezes in the cracks of rocks and expands, causing rock to break apart
Chemical Weathering occurs when chemical reactions dissolve the minerals in rocks or change them into different minerals
Oxidation chemical weathering process that occurs when some minerals are exposed to oxygen and water over time (ex. Iron rusting, surface of Mars)
Climate average weather pattern in an area over a long period of time; can be classified by temperature, humidity, precipitation, and vegetation (type of climate can affect weathering process)
Soil mixture of weathered rock and mineral fragments, decayed organic matter, mineral fragments, water, and air that can take thousands of years to develop
Humus dark-colored decayed organic matter that supplies nutrients to plants and is found mainly in topsoil
Horizon each layer in a soil profile - horizon A (top layer of soil), horizon B (middle layer), and horizon C (bottom layer)
Soil Profile vertical selection of soil layers, each of which is a horizon
Litter twigs, leaves, and other organic matter that help prevent erosion and hold water and may eventually be changed into humus by decomposing organisms.
Leaching removal of minerals that have been dissolved in water
No-Till Farming method for reducing soil erosion; plant stalks are left in the field after harvesting and the next year's crop is planted within the stalks without plowing
Contour farming planting along the natural contours of the land to reduce soil erosion
Terracing farming method used to reduce erosion on steep slopes
Erosion process in which surface materials are worn away and transported from one place to another by agents of gravity, wind, water, and glaciers
Deposition dropping of sediments that occurs when an agent of erosion, such as gravity, a glacier, wind, or water, loses its energy and can no longer carry its load
Mass Movement any type of erosion that occurs as gravity moves materials down slope
Slump a type of mass movement that occurs when a mass of material moves down a curved slope
Runoff any rainwater that does not soak into the ground or evaporate but flows over Earth's surface; generally flows into streams and has the ability to erode and carry sediments
Channel groove created by water moving down the same path
Sheet Erosion a type of surface water erosion caused by runoff that occurs when water flowing as sheets picks up sediments and carries them away
Drainage Basin land area from which a river or stream collects runoff
Meander broad, C-shaped curve in a river or stream, formed by erosion of its outer bank
Groundwater water that soaks into the ground and collects in pores anad empty spaces and is an important source of drinking water
Permeable describes soil and rock with connecting pores through which water can flow
Impermeable describes materials that water cannot pass through
Aquifer layer of permeable rock that allows water to flow through
Water Table upper surface of the zone of saturation; drops during a drought
Spring forms when the water table meets Earth's surface; often found on hillsides and used as a freshwater source
Geyser hot spring that erupts periodically and shoots water and steam into the air - for example, Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park
Cave underground opening that can form when acidic groundwater dissolves limestone
Zone of Depression drop in water table level surrounding a well
Karst Topography Region with many sinkholes and caves due to acidic water eroding limestone bedrock
Artesian well deeper and more narrow than a traditional well. Hydrostatic pressure (gravity pulling water from a higher elevation) keeps the water level at or near the top of the well.
Traditional well well that is dug beneath the water table, but does not go deep into the aquifer. Often goes dry or contaminated because it is closer to the surface
Sinkholes Surface layers of the earth drop due to erosion of limestone by water, may begin as a depression before a hole forms
Created by: tejneckyc