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Mr. Vaughan's Unit 3

Unit 3 - Earth's Surface

TermDefinition
Earth System all of the nonliving things, living things, and processes that make up the planet Earth, including the solid Earth, the hydrosphere, the atmosphere, and biosphere
geosphere the mostly solid, rocky part of Earth; extends from the center of the core to the surface of the crust
hydrosphere the portion of the Earth that is water
cryosophere those portions of Earth's surface where water occurs in a solid form
atmosphere a mixture of gases that surrounds a planet or moon
biosphere the part of the Earth where life exists; includes all of the living organisms on Earth
energy budget the new flow of energy into and out of a system
weathering the natural processes by which atmospheric and environmental agents, such as wind, rain, and temperature changes, disintegrate and decompose rocks
physical weathering the mechanical breakdown of rocks into smaller pieces that is caused by natural processes and that does not change the chemical composition of the rock material
abrasion the process by which rock is reduced in size by the scraping action of other rocks driven by water, wind, and gravity
chemical weathering the chemical breakdown and decomposition of rocks by natural processes in the environment
oxidation a chemical reaction in which a material combines with oxygen to form new material; in geology, oxidation is a form of chemical weathering
acid precipitation rain, sleet, or snow that contains a high concentration of acids
erosion the process by which wind, water, ice, or gravity transports soil and sediment from one location to another
deposition the process in which material is laid down
floodplain an area along a river that forms from sediments deposited when the river overflows its banks
delta a mass of material deposited in a triangular or fan shape at the mouth of a river or stream
alluvial fan a fan-shaped mass of material deposited by a stream when the slope of the land decreases sharply
groundwater the water that is beneath Earth's surface
shoreline the boundary between land and a body of water
beach an area of the shoreline that is made up of deposited sediment
sandbar a low ridge of sand deposited along the shore of a lake or sea
barrier island a long ridge of sand or narrow island that lies parallel to the shore
dune a mound of wind-deposited sand that moves as a result of the action of wind
loess fine-grained sediments of quartz, feldspar, hornblende, mica, and clay deposited by the wind
glacier a large mass of ice that exists year-round and moves over land
glacial drift the rock material carried and deposited by glaciers
creep the slow downhill movement of weathered rock material
rockfall the rapid mass movement of rock down a steep slope or cliff
landslide the sudden movement or rock and soil down a slope
mudflow the flow of a mass of mud or rock and soil mixed with a large amount of water
soil a loose mixture of rock fragments, organic material, water, and air that can support the growth of vegetation
humus dark, organic material formed in soil from the decayed remains of plants and animals
soil profile a vertical section of soil that shows the layers, or horizons
soil horizon each layer of soil within a soil profile
Created by: dougteach65