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Dynamic Earth

TermDefinition
Starting with the top layer, what are the layers of the Earth? Crust, mantle, outer core, and inner core
What is Continental Drift? Alfred Wegener's hypothesis that states Earth's present day continents were once a supercontinent called PANGAEA.
How do we learn about the inside of the Earth? Scientists have studied seismic waves.
Which layer is the hottest? The inner core
What are the mantles characteristics? It is solid but can flow like a liquid (like silly putty).
What is the lithosphere? The Earth's crust and solid upper portion of the mantle.
What is the asthenosphere? The putty-like portion of the mantle below the lithosphere.
*Why do the plates move?* CONVECTION CURRENTS IN THE MANTLE
What causes convection currents in the mantle? Heating and cooling of molten material within the Earth's mantle (asthenosphere). Hot material rises, cool material sinks.
When convection currents move towards each other... Plates shift towards each other and make mountains
When convection currents move away from each other... Plates shift away from each other and make trenches.
Which layer is the thinnest? The crust. It's thickest region is near the mountains and the thinest is near oceanic trenches. We live on the crust.
What are the 4 pieces of evidence that help prove Continental Drift? 1. Continents have a puzzle-like fit (Pangaea) 2. Glacial deposits on various continents match up 3. Fossils of plants and animals have been found on continents with drastically different climates 4. Rock layers are similar on coastlines of continents
What is the Theory of Plate Tectonics? The theory that Earth's lithosphere is broken up into sections called plates that move around on the asthenosphere
What is seafloor spreading? Hypothesis that molten material from the Earth's mantle is forced upward at the mid-ocean ridges (M.O.R) and cools to form a new sea floor.
Evidence of seafloor spreading: 1. Rocks near the M.O.R are very young & get older as you move outward 2. Iron in lava aligns with Earth's magnetic field, hardens to contain this record during the time period it was formed 3. Same magnetic evidence in rocks on both sides of the M.O.R
Divergent Boundary When two plates move away from each other, or separate/diverge. Magma is forced upwards in the rift valley and creates new crust and pushes the plates apart. Volcanic activity and Mid Ocean Ridges formed
Convergent Boundary When two plates move towards each other or collide/converge. This process forms mountains
Subduction Zone When one plate sinks and melts from heat or pressure. More dense crust (ocean crust) sinks under less dense crust (continental crust). Subduction zones result in the formation of deep ocean trenches and coastal volcanic activity.
Transform Fault When two plates slide past each other in opposite directions or at different speeds. Example: San Andreas Fault in California
Where do the most severe earthquakes occur? Along transform fault boundaries
Hot Spots Extremely hot areas of the mantle where magma is forced through the cracks in the lithosphere. As a plate moves over a hot spot a new volcano forms. Plates then move away from the hot spots Example: Hawaii
What are earthquakes? When rocks move below the Earth's crust, the rocks bend, but if they break due to increased force this produces faults and vibrations.
How are earthquakes produced? Plate movement puts stress and force on rocks. If this force is great enough the rocks will break (fault), then energy is released along fault lines to produce the earthquake vibrations.
Faulting Surfaces along which rocks break or move
Folding Forces in the crust squeeze rock layers causing them to bend
Weathering The BREAKING DOWN of rocks and other materials on the Earth's surface
What are the 2 types of weathering? Mechanical and Chemical
Mechanical Weathering Physical weathering, there is no change in the rocks chemical composition. Caused by temperatures (freezing and thawing) or organic activity (tree roots, etc.)
Chemical Weathering The altering of the composition of minerals within a rock that results in a reduction of size. Caused by water, acid and oxidation.
Erosion The process where Earth's surface is removed and carried away. Caused by gravity (main cause) and moving water. The MOVING of rocks
Mountains or a trench can form at what kind of plate boundary? Convergent Plate Boundary
In a mid-ocean ridge where are the oldest rocks? Younger rocks? Oldest rocks are found at the edges, farther from the ridge and youngest are near the center of the ridge.
Where is new material added to the lithosphere? At mid-ocean ridges
Which layer of Earth is the most dense? Inner Core
Where are convection currents found? In the plastic mantle
How did scientists discover the structure of Earth's interior? Studies of earthquakes
What is the hydrosphere? A thin layer of water covering the Earth's surface
How does freezing water relate to weathering? Water expands when it freezes
According to the Law of Superposition, where is the oldest rock in a series of rock layers? The bottom-most layer would be the oldest. The youngest is found at the surface. Do not confuse this with where we find the youngest rock in a mid-ocean ridge (in the center) and the oldest rock (at the edges).
Convection currents in the Earth's mantle are responsible for...? Crustal plate movements
Weathering and erosion of Earth's crust are primarily caused by...? Gravity
Created by: kosterman