Busy. Please wait.

show password
Forgot Password?

Don't have an account?  Sign up 

Username is available taken
show password


Make sure to remember your password. If you forget it there is no way for StudyStack to send you a reset link. You would need to create a new account.
We do not share your email address with others. It is only used to allow you to reset your password. For details read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Already a StudyStack user? Log In

Reset Password
Enter the associated with your account, and we'll email you a link to reset your password.
Don't know
remaining cards
To flip the current card, click it or press the Spacebar key.  To move the current card to one of the three colored boxes, click on the box.  You may also press the UP ARROW key to move the card to the "Know" box, the DOWN ARROW key to move the card to the "Don't know" box, or the RIGHT ARROW key to move the card to the Remaining box.  You may also click on the card displayed in any of the three boxes to bring that card back to the center.

Pass complete!

"Know" box contains:
Time elapsed:
restart all cards
Embed Code - If you would like this activity on your web page, copy the script below and paste it into your web page.

  Normal Size     Small Size show me how


All Earth Science for NYS regents

*Glossary note that items with asteric are Topic Vocabulary Terms.
*abrasion the physical action of scraping, rubbing, grinding, or wearing away of rock surfaces and sediments due to the movement of solid sediments in an erosional system such as a stream or wind
*absolute age the actual age, or date, in years when a geological event occurred or a rock was formed
absolute humidity the amount (mass) of water vapor in a unit volume of air, such as in grams/cubic meter
absolute zero theoretically, the lowest possible temperature, no heat energy can be extracted at this temperature
absorbed taken into a material
aerosol small solid or liquid particles suspended in a gas, suspended solid or liquid water are the aerosols that compose fog and clouds
*air mass a large body of air in the troposphere with similar characteristics of pressure, moisture, and temperature
*air pressure see atmospheric pressure
*air pressure gradient see pressure gradient
altitude (1) the vertical distance (elevation) between a point and sea level or Earth's surface (2) the angle of a celestial object above the horizon, usually expressed in degrees *anemometer a weather instrument used to measure wind speed
*angle of incidence the angle at which the sun's rays hit Earth's surface, also called angle of insolation
anticyclone a high-pressure mass of air within the troposphere in which air moves out from the center, rotating clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, also called a high
aphelion the point in a planet's orbit when it is farthest from the sun
apparent diameter the diameter a celestial object appears to have, depending on its distance from an observer, not the actual diameter
apparent motion a motion of an object that is not real but appears to be real, such as the daily motion of the stars in the sky caused by the real motion of Earth's rotation
apparent solar day a day of varying length determined by the time it takes for the sun to arrive at its highest point in the sky on two consecutive days at the same location, often measured by a sundial, see also mean solar day
arc a curved line that is part of a circle, the shape of the path of most celestial objects, such as the sun, in their daily motion paths through Earth's sky
arid climate a dry climate where the precipitation is less than the potential evapotranspiraton for a large part of the year, producing a deficit of moisture and a drought much of the time
*asteroid a solid, rocky and/or metallic body that independently orbits the sun, large, irregularly shaped, except for the few larger spherical ones, mostly located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter
*asthenosphere the plastic, partly solid, partly liquid layer of Earth's mantle just below the lithosphere that allows plate movements
*atmosphere the layers of gases surrounding Earth or other celestial object, Earth's atmosphere is divided into layers according to differences in chemical and physical properties
*atmospheric pressure the weight of the overlying atmosphere pushing down on a given unit of area, affected by changes in temperature, water vapor, and altitude, also called air pressure or barometric pressure
*atmospheric transparency how transparent the atmosphere is to insolation, how easily insolation can pass through the air
atom the smallest part of matter or an element which can't be separated by most chemical or physical processes atomic structure see crystal structure
*axis (of rotation) an imaginary line through Earth from the north to the south geographic poles, about which Earth rotates, all rotating celestial bodies have an axis
banding the layered arrangement of mineral crystals in some medium to coarse metamorphic rocks, a special type offoliation caused by layering and separation of minerals
*barometer an instrument used to measure air pressure
*barometric pressure see atmospheric pressure
*barrier island a long narrow island, parallel to the shore, built of sand deposited by ocean waves, ocean currents, and wind, separated from the coast by a lagoon
beach the narrow portion of the shore or coastline between the low and high tide lines, usually covered with loose sediments
*bedrock an area's mostly unweathered rock beneath vegetation, soil, other loose materials, and human-built structures, also called local rock
bench mark a permanent marker, usually metal, at a specific location on Earth's surface, that indicates an exact elevation or altitude at the time of installation
*Big Bang theory states that the present universe started as a big explosion 10 to 17 billion years ago and has been expanding ever since
*bioclastic sedimentary rock any rock made by living organisms or mostly composed of materials from life forms, also called organic sedimentary rock
blizzard a storm with winds of 35 miles an hour or greater with considerable falling or blowing snow causing low visibility
*breaking waves the result of waves dragging on the ocean bottom causing the water in the waves to fall forward as the waves bunch together, rise up, and break against the shore
*calorie a unit of heat energy defined as the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water one degree Celsius
calorimeter an instrument used in studies of heat
*capillarity the process by which water is drawn into openings due to the attractive force between water molecules and the surrounding Earth materials
capillary migration the upward movement of water, against gravity, in part of the soil, loose materials, or bedrock due to capillarity, also called capillary action
capillary water the water held in soil, loose materials, and rocks in the zone of aeration as a result of the process of capillarity
carbon-14 a radioactive isotope of carbon with a short half-life (5,700 years), used to date recent (up to 70,000-year old) remains of organic material
*carbon-14 dating the use of carbon-14 in dating rocks and organic remains of relatively recent origin
carbon dioxide a colorless, odorless gas, COa, an important greenhouse gas present in the atmosphere, given off when a fuel containing carbon is burned
*celestial object any object in the universe outside of Earth's atmosphere, including moons, comets, planets, stars, and galaxies
cementation the process by which solid sediments or clasts are "glued" together by precipitated minerals, forming a sedimentary rock
change the alteration or modification of the characteristics of a part of the environment
change of state see phase change channel (stream) see stream channel shape
*chemical sedimentary rock a rock composed of interconnected crystals of just one mineral that form by evaporation and/or precipitation of dissolved minerals, include rock salt and rock gypsum, also called an evaporite
*chemical weathering the processes by which chemicals, such as oxygen, acids, and water, break down rocks and other Earth materials, resulting in more stable new minerals (chemicals), example—rusting
*classification the grouping together of similar observations and inferences to make the study of objects and events in the environment more meaningful or easier to understand
*clastic sedimentary rock rock that is largely composed of solid sediments, such as the sand in sandstone
clasts the solid sediments, fragments, or grains in a clastic sedimentary rock such as the sand grains of sandstone
clay (1) a chemical group of minerals (2) very small solid sediments or clasts (less than 0.0004 cm in diameter) that often remain suspended in water for long periods of time
*deavage the tendency of a mineral to break along the zones of weakness and form smooth to semi-smooth parallel surfaces
*climate the overall view of a region's weather conditions over long periods of time, includes not only averages, but extremes
cloud a visible mass of suspended liquid water droplets and/or ice crystals in the atmosphere
*cloud cover the fraction or percent of the total sky at a location that is covered by clouds, usually expressed in tenths
*cold front the boundary of an advancing cold air mass and a warmer air mass, where the underlying cold air pushes forward like a wedge, characterized by a steep slope, rapid changes in weather, thunderstorms, and sometimes hail and tornadoes
*comet a low density object composed of materials (ices) that easily vaporize and some other solids, independently orbits the sun or other stars usually has highly eccentric orbit, partly vaporizes forming a visible tail when near the sun
compaction the reduction in volume of sediments in the formation of sedimentary rocks, usually caused by the weight of overlying sediments and water causing a reduction of pore space and liquid water
compound a substance made of two or more elements chemically combined in a specific proportion, such as most minerals
*condensation the change in state or phase from a gas to a liquid, such as when water vapor changes to liquid water droplets as clouds form
*conduction the transfer of heat energy from atom to atom or molecule to molecule, in any state of matter, when vibrating atoms or molecules collide
*constellation a group of stars that form a pattern and are used to help people locate celestial objects
contact metamorphic zone a type of interface or transition zone between rock types caused by the baking or altering of older bedrock by contact with molten rock (lava or magma), much of the older rock is changed into metamorphic rock
*contact metamorphism process in which older rocks come in contact with the magma of an intrusion or lava of an extrusion and the heat and mineral fluids of the liquid rock alter the older rock by recrystallization
continental climate the climate of inland areas not moderated by a large body of water, characterized by hot summers and cold winters, and thus having a wide annual temperature range
*continental crust the part of Earth's crust (upper lithosphere) that makes up the continents and larger islands thicker and lower in density than the oceanic crust, and granitic rather than basaltic in composition
continental glacier very large glaciers (like those of Antarctica and Greenland), so thick that they cover all landscape features except the highest mountains, tend to create a smooth and low landscape by erosion and deposition see mountain glacier
continental arctic air mass (cA) the coldest and driest air masses that only invade the contiguous United States from Arctic regions at the coldest times of the year
continental polar air mass (cP) cold and dry air masses that invade the contiguous United States from Canada
continental tropical air mass (cT) relatively rare hot dry air masses that form in the southwestern United States or northern Mexico, that may cause very hot and dry weather for the contiguous United States in the summer
contour interval the difference in elevation indicated by two consecutive contour lines (of different value) on contour or topographic maps
*contour line an isoline on a topographic, or contour, map that connects points of equal elevation on the surface of any solid celestial body, such as Earth
contour map see topographic map
*convection the transfer of heat energy by circulatory movements in a fluid (usually liquids or gases) that results from differences in density within the fluid
convection current a circulatory motion in a fluid due to convection, also called a convection cell
convergence (1) the coming together of air currents at Earth's surface and at the top of the troposphere (2) the direct collision of lithospheric plates in the plate tectonic theory
*convergent plate boundary the boundary between two colliding plates, often associated with mountain building, ocean trenches, and volcanic island arcs
*coordinate system a grid or a system of lines for determining location of a point on a surface, such as latitude and longitude of a point on Earth
core the center part of Earth below the mantle thought to be composed of iron and nickel, inner part is a solid and outer part a liquid
*Coriolis effect the deflection of all moving particles of matter (such as winds and surface ocean currents) at Earth's surface to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere, which provides evidence for Earth's rotation
*correlation in geology the process of showing that rocks or geologic events from different places are the same or similar in age
crater see impact crater
*crust the outermost portion of Earth's solid lithosphere, separated from the uppermost mantle and lower lithosphere by the thin Moho interface
crystal (1) the individual mineral grains of many rocks (2) a solid with a definite internal structure of atoms arranged in a characteristic, regular, repeating pattern
crystalline composed of intergrown or interconnected mineral crystals, having a specific arrangement of atoms
*crystallization a type of solidification in which molten rock (magma or lava) cools to form igneous rocks composed of mineral crystals, also see solidification
*crystal shape the outward 3-D shape or geometric shape of a mineral specimen that reflects the internal atomic structure, also called crystal form
*crystal structure the pattern or arrangement of atoms that characterizes each mineral, also called atomic structure
*cyclic change an orderly change in the environment in which an event repeats itself with reference to time and space, the opposite of random change
*cyclone a low-pressure portion of the troposphere that has air moving towards its center, usually rotates counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, includes hurricanes, tornadoes, and mid-latitude cyclones, also called a low
*cyclonic storm a large type of low-pressure storm system formed in the mid-latitudes, also called mid-latitude cyclones
daily motion the apparent, usually east to west movement of celestial objects in the sky caused by Earth's west to east rotation, objects appear to move in circular or arc-shaped paths
day the amount of time it takes a planet or other celestial object to make one rotation
*deforestation the cutting down of trees and other plants of a forest
*delta the deposit of sediment at the mouth or end of a river or stream where it flows into a quiet body of water such as a lake or ocean
*density the concentration of matter in an object, the ratio of the mass of an object to its volume— the mass per each unit of volume
*deposition the process by which sediments are released, dropped, or settled from erosional systems, includes the precipitation of dissolved minerals in the formation of chemical sedimentary rocks, also called sedimentation
desert a region with an arid climate where the average yearly precipitation is much smaller than potential evapotranspiration
dew droplets of liquid water that form on Earth's solid surface by condensation, NOT a type of precipitation
*dew point the temperature at which the air becomes saturated with water vapor and the relative humidity is 100%, at temperatures below the dew point, condensation or sublimation of water vapor occurs
direct rays rays of sunlight (insolation) that strike Earth at an angle of 90°, also called vertical rays or perpendicular insolation
discharge the amount of water that passes a certain spot in a stream in a specific amount of time, such as liters per minute
distorted structure the curving and folding of the foliations (mineral layers) and grains or crystals in metamorphic rocks caused by heat and pressure
divergence (1) the spreading out of air from rising or falling currents of air in the troposphere (2) the type of plate movement in which Earth's plates spread or rift apart from each other, according to the plate tectonic theory
*divergent plate boundary the boundary between two plates that are spreading apart at a mid-ocean ridge or at a continental rift zone
*Doppler effect the apparent wavelength shifting of electromagnetic energy (such as visible light) caused by the relative motion between the energy source and the observer, also see redshift
down cutting the erosional process whereby a stream "digs" deeper into Earth's surface
down-warped ocean basin an ocean basin, at the margin of a continent, formed by the bending down of the ocean lithosphere by plate movements
drizzle liquid precipitation with drops smaller than raindrops
drought a time of abnormal dry weather with a large enough deficit of water to cause crops and local water supplies to fail
*drumlin a low, long, narrow, streamlined oval mound of unsorted sediment that is formed at the bottom of glaciers, usually continental ones
dry-bulb thermometer the thermometer of a sling psychrometer without a wick around its bulb, providing normal temperature values
dune see sand dune
duration of insolation the length of time sunlight is received at a location in a day, or the amount of time between sunrise and sunset
*dynamic equilibrium a condition of the balancing out of opposing forces or actions, such as evaporation and condensation or erosion and deposition
*earthquake a natural, rapid shaking of the lithosphere caused when rocks are displaced due to the release of energy stored in rocks, most caused by rapid movement along faults, but also associated with other events, such as volcanic eruptions
earthquake magnitude scale a numbering system that ranks earthquakes according to the total energy they emit
*Earth*s interior the region extending from the rocky part of Earth's surface to Earth's center
Earth materials water, gases, soils, minerals, rocks, mineral resources, and other materials and energy sources that are of value to people
*eccentricity the degree of ovalness of an ellipse, or how far an ellipse is from being a circle, computed using the following formula -- distance between foci eccentricity = length of the major axis
*eclipse the complete or partial blocking of light when one celestial body moves into the shadow of another celestial body, see lunar eclipse and solar eclipse
*electromagnetic energy energy that is radiated (given off) from all objects (except at absolute zero, examples—visible light, radio waves, infrared radiation, and ultraviolet radiation, often called light or radiant energy
*electromagnetic spectrum a model, such as a chart, that shows the full range of types of electromagnetic energy, usually in order of wavelengths
element any of the different types of atoms such as oxygen, iron, and mercury, 90 naturally occurring elements exist on Earth
*elevation the vertical distance or height above or below sea level
*ellipse a closed curve around two fixed points, called foci, in which the sum of the distances between any point of the curve and the foci is a constant, example—the shape of all planetary orbits
*EI Nino a series of weather changes on Earth caused by a change from cold surface ocean water to warm surface ocean water in the eastern Pacific Ocean off western South America, occurs every two to ten years
emergency preparedness the steps or plans society, government agencies, organizations, and individuals can do to get ready to cope with disasters – planning an escape route in case of a hurricane or flooding, or storing food at home for a blizzard
*energy the ability to do work
environmental equilibrium the balance that exists among the natural parts of the environment even though all parts of the environment are constantly changing
eon the largest division of geologic time, which is divided into eras
*epicenter the place on Earth's surface lying directly above the focus, or the origin of an earthquake
epoch one of the small divisions of geologic time that are combined into periods
*equator the parallel on Earth midway between the geographic North and South poles with a latitude of 0°
equinox a time when the sun is directly overhead at noon at the equator, and there are 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness over all of Earth
era the second longest division of geologic time -- combined into eons and divided into periods
*erosion the carrying away of sediment by wind, water, ice, and other agents, the process by which sediments are obtained and transported the wearing away and lowering of Earth's land surface features
erosional-depositional system the various agents such as streams, glaciers, wind, ocean currents that pick up, transport, and deposit sediments at or near Earth's (or similar celestial object's) surface
error the amount of deviation or incorrectness in a measurement, see also percent error
*escarpment a steep slope or cliff in layered rocks -- often formed from certain rock layers that are resistant to weathering and erosion
evaporation the change in state from liquid to a gas, such as liquid water into water vapor, also called vaporization
evapotranspiration the combination of the processes of evaporation and transpiration
evaporite see chemical sedimentary rock
event the name used to describe the occurrence of a change in the environment
evolution see organic evolution
*extrusion a mass of igneous rock formed by the cooling and solidification of molten rock (lava) on Earth's surface, examples—a lava flow and a volcanic mountain
*extrusive igneous rock a rock formed by solidification of lava at or above Earth's surface, also called volcanic igneous rock
fault a crack in a mass of rock or soil along which there has been displacement, shifting, or movement of the rock or soil on each side of the crack
*faulted (rock) rock layers that are offset or displaced along a type of crack called a fault
faulting rapid movements along faults
*field any part of the universe that has some measurable value of a given quantity at every point, such as Earth's magnetic or Sun's gravitational fields
*finger lake a body of water that forms in a long, narrow U-shaped glacial valley, often partly dammed at one end by a mound of glacial moraine sediment, example—the Finger Lakes of central New York
flood condition in which so much water flows into a stream that the water pours over the stream's confining banks onto areas not normally covered with water
*flood plain a nearly level plain that borders a stream that is subject to flooding unless protected artificially, usually composed of layers of river- deposited sediment
*focus (plural foci) (1) in an ellipse, either of two fixed points located so that the sum of their distances to any point on the ellipse is constant (2) the place where an earthquake originates
fog a cloud that is on, or just above, Earth's surface
*folded (rock) the bends in layered rock due to movement in the lithosphere, a type of deformed rock
*foliation texture of metamorphic rocks caused by the layering of mineral crystals
*fossil any physical evidence of former life, either direct or indirect
fossil fuel the organic fuels found within Earth's crust, includes oil (petroleum), natural gas, and coal
*Foucault pendulum a freely swinging pendulum whose path appears to change in a predictable way, thus providing evidence for Earth's rotation
*fracture the way in which a mineral breaks producing an uneven breaking surface, types of frac- ture—earthy, splintery, and curved (conchoidal)
freezing the change in state of a liquid to a solid by the removal of heat, also see solidification
freezing rain rain that freezes as it hits Earth's surface
*front the interface, or boundary, between two air masses of different characteristics
fusion the change of state from a solid to a liquid - also called melting, also see nuclear fusion
*galaxy the large groupings of millions or billions of stars and other forms of mass held together by gravitation our galaxy is called the Milky Way
*geocentric model an early concept of celestial objects and their motions in which all celestial objects revolved around Earth, which was stationary and was the center of the universe
geographic poles the North and South poles of Earth, with a latitude of 90°, located at opposite ends of Earth's axis of rotation
*geologic time scale a chronological model of the geologic history of Earth using the divisions of eons, eras, periods, and epochs, see History of New York State in the Earth Science Reference Tables
*glacial groove a long narrow channel or furrow on bedrock formed by the gouging and sanding actions of rocks and sediments frozen to the bottom of a glacier, show the direction of former glacial movement
*glacial parallel scratches parallel cuts in bedrock formed by abrasion (gouging and sanding) of rocks and sediments frozen to the bottom of a glacier - show the direction of former glacial movement
*glacier a large mass of naturally formed ice on land that moves downhill due to gravity, also see continental glacier and mountain glacier
*global warming a recent trend towards a warming of Earth's surface and lower atmosphere (troposphere) possibly caused by human pollution
graded bedding a layering of sediment or sedimentary rock that shows a gradual change in particle size, with the largest particles on the bottom and the smallest ones on top
*gradient the rate of change from place to place within a field, also called slope - amount of change in field gradient = distance through which change occurs
*gravitation the attractive force that exists between any two objects in the universe, proportional to the product of the masses of the objects and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their centers, also called gravitational force
gravity the force that pulls objects toward the center of Earth
*greenhouse gases gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane, present in the atmosphere, which absorb long-wave infrared radiation
greenhouse effect the process by which the atmosphere transmits short-wave radiation from insolation and absorbs long-wave radiation emitted by Earth's surface, warms the atmosphere and reduces heat loss by radiation from Earth's surface
*groundwater the subsurface water found beneath the water table in the zone of saturation, sometimes used to mean all subsurface water.
hail a round solid form of precipitation composed of concentric layers of ice and snow, only forms from cumulonimbus (thunderhead) clouds
*half-life the time required for half of the atoms in a given mass of a radioactive isotope to decay, or change, to a different isotope
*hardness the resistance a mineral offers to being scratched or dented, usually measured by comparison to the Mohs hardness scale of minerals
hazard an object, process, or situation that holds the possibility of injury or death to humans or damage to property
haze a condition of the atmosphere in which the aerosol content is so high that distant images are blurred, and a cloudless sky does not appear blue
*heat budget the result of the balance between the total amount of energy an object receives and the total energy it emits, or loses - measured as the average temperature of an object
*heat energy energy that is transferred from one body to another as a result of a difference in temperature or thermal energy of two bodies, also called heat, also see thermal energy
*heliocentric model the modem concept of celestial objects and their motions, in which a rotating Earth and other planets revolve around the sun
high tide the bulge of ocean water directly under the moon's position and on the opposite side of Earth
*hot spot major regions of volcanic activity in the interior parts of plates away from plate boundaries, may be the cause of chains of volcanic activity within moving plates, such as the Hawaiian Islands
humid climate a moist or wet climate where the precipitation is greater than potential evapotranspiration on a yearly average
*humidity the amount of water vapor (gaseous water) in the atmosphere, also see relative humidity and absolute humidity
hurricane a large, strong cyclonic storm that forms over tropical ocean waters with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or greater
*hydrologic cycle see water cycle
*hydrosphere the liquid water (mostly the oceans) that rests on much of the Earth's solid or rocky surface, included by some scientists—the subsurface water, water in the atmosphere, sea ice, glaciers, and water in life forms
*ice ages times of widespread glaciation outside of polar areas (see the Pleistocene epoch in Geologic History Of New York State At A Glance in the Earth Science Reference Tables)
*igneous rock a rock formed when natural, molten rock-forming material (magma or lava) cools and turns into a solid—above, below, or on Earth's surface
*impact crater an oval-shaped depression with a raised rim formed by a meteorite, asteroid, or comet colliding with Earth's, or any other solid celestial object's, solid surface
*impact event the colliding of comets, asteroids, and meteoroids or any other type of celestial body
*inclusion a body of older rock within an igneous rock formed when pieces of rock surrounding liquid rock fall into the magma or lava, but don't melt before the liquid rock solidifies
*index fossil a fossil used in correlation and relative dating of rocks, must have lived for a short time and have been distributed over a large geographic area
*inertia the concept that an object at rest will tend to remain at rest and that an object in motion will maintain the direction and speed of that motion unless an opposing force affects it
*inference an interpretation of an observation, a mental process that proposes causes, conclusions, or explanations for what has been observed
*infiltrate water entering or sinking into, under the influence of gravity, the upper parts of Earth's lithosphere where the water becomes subsurface water, also called seep
infrared a type of long-wave electromagnetic radiation
*innercore the innermost zone of Earth's core, which is thought to be composed of iron and nickel in a solid state
*inorganic not organic, thus not part of a life form or made by living or former life forms
*insolation (INcoming SOLar radiATION) the part of the sun's radiation that is received by Earth, also called solar energy
*instrument a device invented by people to extend the senses beyond their normal limits, thus enabling them to make observations that would otherwise be impossible or highly inaccurate
intensity of insolation the relative strength of the sun's radiation intersecting a specific area of Earth in a specific amount of time, such as calories per square meter per minute
*interface the boundary between regions with different properties, the usual place for energy exchange
interpretation see inference
intrusion a mass of igneous rock formed when molten rock (magma) squeezes or melts into preexisting rocks and crystallizes, examples—sills and dykes
*intrusive igneous rock a rock that forms by the cooling and solidification of magma beneath Earth's solid surface, examples—granite or gabbro - also called plutonic igneous rock
*island arc a curved series of volcanoes and volcanic islands that stretch hundreds of miles, form at subduction zones where plates converge and magma rises to form volcanoes, also called a volcanic island arc
*isobar an isoline used on weather and climate maps that connects points of equal air pressure
*isoline a line used on a model of a field, such as a map, which connects points of equal value of a field quantity, examples—isotherms, isobars, and contour lines
isotherm an isoline used on weather and climatic maps to connect points of equal air temperature
*isotope one of the varieties of an element, which all have the same atomic number and chemical properties, but differ in their atomic masses and physical properties, examples—carbon isotopes carbon-12 and carbon-14
*jet stream a concentrated curving band of high speed, easterly moving winds usually at the top of Earth's troposphere
joint a crack in rocks along which there has been no relative movement or displacement, such as there is with a fault
*Jovian planets planets that are far from the sun, largely gaseous, and have relatively large diameters, many moons, rings, and low densities, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
*kettle lake a lake formed when a large block of ice buried in glacial sediments melts, leaving an oval depression which becomes filled with water - very common in New York State
kinetic energy the energy of movement of any object, the greater the speed and mass of an object, the greater the kinetic energy
knots nautical miles per hour, unit of wind speed
landform individual features of Earth's (or any other solid celestial object's) surface from mountain ranges to a mud crack in a puddle
*landscape the features of Earth's surface at the interfaces between the atmosphere or the hydrosphere and the top of the lithosphere, also on all other solid celestial bodies
*landscape region a portion of Earth's surface with landscape (topographic) characteristics that distinguish it from other areas - distinguishing characteristics—rock structure, elevation, degree of slope, and stream drainage pattern
*latitude the angular distance north or south of the equator, usually expressed in units of angular measurement such as degrees - minimum latitude 0° at the equator and maximum 90° N or 90° S at the geographic poles
latitudinal climatic pattern east-west belts, or zones, of climate types on Earth caused by latitudinal changes in climate factors, such as temperature, precipitation amount, wind, and ocean currents
lava (1) liquid rock material at or above Earth's surface (2) the extrusive or volcanic igneous rock that forms from solidification of liquid lava
leveling forces forces that operate at or near Earth's surface and break down rocks, transport material from higher to lower elevations, and tend to level off and lower the land, examples—weathering, erosion, deposition, and subsidence
light see electromagnetic energy
*lithosphere the whole crust and the uppermost portion of the mantle (layer of rock that forms the solid outer shell at the top of Earth's interior)
*lithospheric plate see plate
*local time time based on the rotation of Earth as reflected in motions of the sun in the sky
*longitude an angular distance east or west of the prime meridian, usually expressed in degrees - minimum longitude 0° at the prime meridian, which runs through Greenwich, England, and maximum longitude 180° E or 180° W
longshore currents ocean or lake currents that move parallel and close to shore due to the angled advance of waves from one direction - a major agent of erosion and deposition
long-wave electromagnetic energy electromagnetic energy with a wavelength longer than visible light, especially infrared energy
low see cyclone
low tide the level of low ocean water, occurring at right angles to the positions of high tide
*luminosity (of a star) measures how bright a star would be in relation to the sun if all stars were the same distance from the observer
lunar eclipse the darkening of the moon caused by Earth's shadow
*luster the way a mineral looks or shines in reflected light
*magma liquid rock material beneath Earth's solid surface
magnitude see earthquake magnitude scale
*mantle the mostly solid part of Earth between the crust and the outer core
marine ocean or sea-like
marine climate a coastal climate moderated by the effects of a large body of water (ocean, sea, or lake) - having warmer winters and colder summers than areas of similar latitude not near a large body of water
maritime polar air mass (mP) cool and humid air masses that invade the contiguous United States from the oceans to the northeast and northwest
maritime tropical air mass (mT) a very common warm and humid air mass that invades the contiguous United States from the oceans to the south, east, and west
*mass the amount of matter in an object, unlike weight, not affected by location
*mass movement any variety of erosion and deposition done directly by gravity, examples—soil creep, earthflows, mudslides, avalanches, slumping, and landslides - also called gravity erosion
mean solar day the 24-hour day established for convenience in time-keeping, derived by averaging the lengths of the apparent solar days in a year
mean solar time a type of local time divided into exactly 24 hours for the convenience of timekeeping
*meander a curve or bend in a stream or river
*measurement a means of expressing an observation with greater accuracy or precision, provides a numerical value for an aspect of the object or event being observed by comparision with a standard, example—measuring the length of this page with a ruler
*mechanical energy all the energy of an object or system not related to the individual motions of atoms and molecules, the total of the potential and kinetic energy of an object or system
melting the change in state or phase from a solid to a liquid
*meridian of longitude any north-south semicircle of constant longitude on maps and globes connecting the north and south geographic poles - also called a meridian
*metamorphic rock a rock that forms from changes in previously existing rocks (igneous, sedimentary, or other metamorphic rocks) due to heat, pressure, and/or chemical fluids (not weathering or melting)
*metamorphism the process by which heat, pressure, and/or exposure to chemical fluids can change previously existing rock into metamorphic rock
*meteor path of light from a meteoroid burning as it passes through Earth's atmosphere, also called a shooting star
meteorite a meteoroid that has landed on Earth's surface
meteoroid solid particles smaller than asteroids and comets that orbit the sun
methane the organic compound CH*, often called swamp gas, that is an important greenhouse gas - major part of the fossil fuel called natural gas
mid-latitude cyclone see cyclonic storm
*mid-ocean ridge a mountain range at the bottom of the ocean, composed mostly of volcanoes and lava flows, forms at zones of diverging plates
*Milky Way Galaxy the spiral-shaped galaxy that Earth and our solar system are part of
*mineral a naturally occurring, crystalline solid having a definite chemical composition and physical and chemical properties that vary within specified limits, has a unique crystal (atomic) structure
*mineral crystal an individual grain of a mineral
*mineral resources Earth materials that people need, including minerals, rocks, and fossils fuels
misconception an idea, notion, or concept believed to be correct, but which is NOT true or correct
*model any way of representing the properties of an object, event, or system, includes graphs, drawings, charts, mental pictures, numerical data, or scaled physical objects
*Moho the interface, or boundary zone, between Earth's crust and mantle, short for Mohorovicic discontinuity
Mohs hardness scale a scale used to measure the relative hardness of minerals, ranges from 1 to 10 with talc assigned a hardness of 1 and diamond a hardness of 10
moisture a somewhat vague term used to mean the liquid or gaseous water in the atmosphere or in the ground (soil, loose materials, or bedrock)
moisture capacity a measure of the total amount of water vapor the air can hold at a particular temperature, the maximum absolute humidity of a parcel of air at a particular temperature
*monsoons cyclic and extreme weather changes caused by the shifting wind and pressure belts - especially strong in southeast Asia where summer brings wet weather from the ocean and winter brings dry weather from the continental interior
*moon (1) the one natural satellite of Earth (2) a body that orbits a planet or an asteroid as those objects orbit the sun
*moraine a mound, ridge, or sheet of unsorted, unlayered sediment deposited directly from an edge or bottom of a glacier, types—lateral, medial, and ground
*mountain usually an area of high elevation, compared to the surrounding area or sea level, that usually has regions of steep gradient and many changes in slope, internally, mountains are characterized by distorted rock structures
mountain glacier a long narrow glacier confined to valleys in mountains, results in sharp angular landscape features, see continental glacier
*natural hazard a non-human-related object, process, or situation that has the possibility of causing loss of life, personal injury, or loss of property, examples-volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, floods
*natural resources the materials and energy sources found in the environment that humans use in their daily lives
North Pole the location on Earth's surface at the north end of the axis of rotation with a 90° N latitude, also called the geographic north pole
North Star see Polaris *nuclear decay see radioactive decay
*nuclear fusion the combining of the nuclei of smaller elements to form the nuclei of larger elements with some mass being converted into energy - example—the sun produces energy in this way
*observation the perception of some aspect of the environment by one or more human senses, with or without the aid of instruments
*occluded front the boundary of opposing wedges of cold air masses formed when a cold front overtakes a warm front, lifting the warm air mass off Earth's surface, forming mid-latitude cyclones (lows)
ocean the continuous salty water body that covers 70% of Earth's surface or any one of its major parts such as the Atlantic Ocean - the major part of the hydrosphere
ocean currents see surface ocean currents
ocean floor spreading see sea floor spreading
*oceanic crust the portion of Earth's crust that is usually below the oceans and not associated with continental areas, thinner and higher in density than continental crust and basaltic rather than granitic in composition
*ocean trench the long, steep, and narrow depression produced by the bending down of subducting plates, which warps the crust
orbit the path of an object revolving around another object, such as the path of Earth around the sun
orbital speed the speed of an orbiting body along its orbit at any given time similar to orbital velocity
ore a rock or mineral deposit that can supply a mineral resource that is worthwhile to mine or drill
*organic an Earth material that is composed of and/or was formed by life forms
*organic evolution (theory of) the theory stating that life forms change through time, new species of organisms arise by gradual transitional changes from existing species
organic sedimentary rocks see bioclastic sedimentary rocks
*original horizontality a concept that states that sedimentary rocks and some extrusive igneous rocks, such as lava flows, form in horizontal layers parallel to Earth's surface
orogeny (1) the process of mountain building (2) a portion of geologic time when there is much uplift and mountain building such as the Grenville Orogeny in Geologic History Of New York State, caused by plate convergence or collision
outcrop location at Earth's surface where bedrock is exposed without a cover of soil or other materials
*outer core the zone of Earth between the mantle and the inner core, thought to be a liquid because earthquake S-waves do not go through it, believed to be composed of iron and nickel
*outgassing the seeping out of gases from Earth's interior through cracks and volcanic eruptions to Earth's surface
*outwash plain the landform feature composed of sorted and layered sediments deposited in front of a glacier by running water from the melting ice - example—southern Long Island
oxidation a process where oxygen is added to other elements in chemical weathering, such as in the rusting of the black mineral magnetite to the red mineral hematite
*ozone a three-atom molecule of oxygen (compared to the more common two-atom molecule of oxygen) that is a pollutant in the troposphere, but is important in the stratosphere where it absorbs much of the ultraviolet insolation from the sun
parallels of latitude east-west circles on maps or globes that are equidistant from the equator at all points, and thus maintain the same value of latitude, also called parallels
passive margin basin a broad and long depression of the crust at the border of a continent that is not the site of a plate boundary - usually the site of much deposition of sediments
*pauses (of atmosphere) the interfaces, or boundaries, of the layers of Earth's atmosphere
*percent deviation or percent error the numerical amount, expressed as a percent, by which a measurement diners from a given standard or accepted value
perihelion the point in a planet's orbit when it is closest to the sun, occurs for Earth about January 3, when Earth is about 147,000,000 kilometers from the sun
period (1) the amount of time it takes a planet to make one orbit, or revolution, around the sun - called a year for that planet (2) in geology, a part of the geologic time scale smaller than an era but larger than an epoch
*permeability the degree to which a porous material (such as rock or soil) will allow fluids, such as water and oil, to pass through it - commonly measured in centimeters per hour
permeability rate the speed at which a certain amount of fluid, such as water or oil, can pass through a porous material, the speed at which water moves from above to below Earth's surface
perpendicular insolation see direct rays
*phase (1) one of the three main forms of matter—liquid, solid, or gas, also called state of matter (2) the varying portion of the lighted part of the moon, Venus, or Mercury visible from Earth
phase change the change of a substance from one phase or state to another, such as liquid water to gaseous water
*physical weathering the mechanical or physical breakdown of rock and other Earth materials at or near Earth's surface into smaller pieces (sediments) without a change in the mineral or chemical composition, example—frost action splitting rock
*plain a landscape of low elevation and generally level surface with little change in slope, usually characterized by horizontal rock structure
planet largest of non-star celestial objects that revolve around a star, Earth and eight other planets revolve around our sun
*planetary wind belts east-west zones on Earth where the wind blows from one direction much of the time, also see prevailing winds, example — the prevailing southwest winds that blow over the contiguous United States
*plate section of the lithosphere that moves around Earth's solid surface, also called a lithospheric plate or tectonic plate
*plateau a landscape of relatively high elevation composed of undistorted horizontal rock structure and often a more level slope or gradient than that of most mountains
*plate tectonic theory Earth's lithosphere is divided into sections called plates that can move up and down or sideways in the upper mantle--diverging, converging, and sliding past each other, creating physical features, including continent and mountain formation
plutonic igneous rocks see intrusive igneous rocks
*polar front an ever-changing boundary between the colder air masses toward the poles and the warmer air masses toward the middle latitudes - storm systems (cyclones) of the mid-latitudes are formed at the polar front
Polaris the star that is presently almost directly over the geographic North Pole of Earth, also called the North Star
pollutants substances or forms of energy that pollute the environment, they include solids, liquids, gases, life forms, and forms of energy such as heat, visible light, and sound
*pollution the occurrence in the environment of a substance or form of energy in concentrations large enough to have an adverse effect on people, their property, or plant or animal life
*porosity percentage of open space (pores and cracks) in a material compared to its total volume
potential energy the energy possessed by an object as a result of its position or location, chemical conditions, or phase (state) of matter
potential evapotranspiration the amount of water that would be lost from a portion of Earth's surface through evaporation and transpiration over a given time IF the water were available
*precipitation (1) falling liquid or solid water from clouds toward Earth's surface, (2) a type of sediment deposition in which dissolved minerals come out of solution to form solids, as in the formation of chemical sedimentary rocks such as rock salt
precipitation gauge any instrument used to measure the amount of atmospheric precipitation, such as a rain gauge
*prediction a type of inference about the conditions and behavior of the environment in the future
present is the key to the past concept that the physical, chemical, biological, and geological events today are similar to those in the past - thus we can interpret the past by understanding the present
present weather the conditions or state of the atmosphere for a short period of time at a location determined by comparison with a standard list produced by the United States Weather Service, see Weather Map Information in the Reference Tables
pressure gradient the amount of difference in air pressure over a specific distance, the greater the pressure gradient, the greater the speed of the wind, also called air pressure gradient
*prevailing winds winds that blow from a certain compass direction for a large part of a year - usually associated with the planetary wind belts
primary waves see P-waves
*prime meridian the meridian of 0° longitude, also called the Meridian of Greenwich
*probability the chance of some environmental event, such as rain or an earthquake, taking place
*profile a model, usually drawn from a topographic map, that uses upward and downward changes of a line to show changes in elevation and slope, a side view of an area's topography, or landscape
*psychrometer an instrument that is used to indirectly measure the amount of water vapor in air, such as a sling psychrometer, with the use of data tables, temperature readings from a psychrometer can be used to determine relative humidity and dew point
*P-waves the waves in earthquakes that travel through Earth's interior and cause particles through which they travel to vibrate in the direction the waves are moving, the fastest-moving of all earthquake waves, also called primary waves
*radar (RAdio Detection And Ranging instrument) an instrument that uses radio/microwave electromagnetic radiation to observe many weather features such as precipitation, tornadoes, and hurricanes, wind speeds calculated using Doppler radar have greatly aided tornado predictions
radiation (1) the emission or giving off of energy in the form of electromagnetic energy, (2) the method by which electromagnetic energy moves from place to place by way of transverse waves
radioactive dating the use of radioactive isotopes ) determine the absolute age of rocks and geologic events
radioactive decay the natural spontaneous breakdown of the nucleus of unstable atoms into more table atoms of the same or different elements releasing energy and/or small subatomic particles, $o called nuclear decay
radioactive material any rock or mineral that condradioactive atoms
rain liquid precipitation larger than drizzle or 0.5mm
rain gauge a type of precipitation gauge that measures liquid precipitation
rain shower brief, rapidly forming, and rapidly ending liquid precipitation, often heavy rain associated with thunderstorm-type clouds
*rate of change how much a measurable aspect of the environment, called a field, is altered over a given time—years, hours, or seconds
recrystallization a process in the formation of metamorphic rocks by which mineral crystals grow in size at the expense of older crystals or sediments without true melting
*red shift the type of Doppler effect caused by an increase in distance between the observer and the source of the electromagnetic radiation - a displacement towards longer wavelengths of electromagnetic energy, used as evidence for the Big Bang theory
reflected turned back electromagnetic energy or other type of waves, waves bounced off a material
reflection a change in direction of waves when the waves strike the surface of a material, in which the waves leave the surface at the same angle at which they arrived
refracted waves bent during passage through materials of varying density so that the direction is changed, example—light waves refracted by water
refraction a change in direction and velocity of waves when they pass from one type of material into another with a different density
*regional metamorphism process of formation of metamorphic rock over large areas due to an increase in temperature and pressure, usually as the result of mountain building associated with plate collision or convergence
relative dating the determination of the age of a rock or event in relation to the age of other rocks or events
shore, or shoreline the interface between land and a water body such as a lake or ocean, the narrow strip of land at the coast between high and low tide
sink in an energy system a region that has a lower energy concentration than its surroundings
sleet precipitation composed of transparent ice pellets, less than 5 mm in size, forms by freezing of falling rain
slope see gradient
smog a haze or fog, usually brownish, which is highly polluted
snow precipitation that is composed of one or more solid six-sided ice crystals that form in the clouds directly by sublimation of water vapor to ice
snow shower a brief, heavy snowfall
soil the part of the ground that will support rooted plants, the product of weathering of rock and the actions of living organisms
solar eclipse an eclipse caused by Earth's moon blocking out part or all of the sun from view, and the moon's shadow passing over part of the day- time side of Earth
solar energy see insolation
solar day the time it takes for Earth to rotate from solar noon to solar noon on two successive days at any fixed location on Earth
solar noon the time at which the sun reaches its highest point in the sky at any fixed location
*solar system (1) the sun and all objects that orbit the sun under its gravitational influence (in this book) (2) any star or a small group of orbiting stars and all the other objects that revolve around the star (s)
solar time the local time based on the actual motions of the sun in the sky, sundial time
*solidification the processes by which a liquid changes to a solid, such as when molten rock (lava and magma) changes into igneous rock - also see crystallization
solstices the two times of the year when the vertical rays of the sun fall the farthest from the equator, see summer solstice and winter solstice
*sorted a condition in which all the particles in a material are the same or similar in size
*sorted sediments a deposit of sediments that are similar in size (or shape, or density), the greater the similarity of particles the more sorted the sediments
source in an energy system a region that has a higher energy concentration than its surroundings, energy flows from the source
source region the area of Earth's surface over which an air mass forms and acquires its characteristics
space the portion of the universe above Earth's atmosphere, also called outer space
*species a group of organisms which are similar enough to be able to interbreed and produce fertile young
*specific heat the quantity of heat, in calories, needed to raise the temperature of one gram of a substance one degree Celsius - the degree of difficulty a material offers to heating up or cooling off
speed how much distance is covered in a specific amount of time, such as kilometers per second
standard time a worldwide system of 24 north- south zones, that are 15 degrees of longitude wide, which keep the same local time
stages of landscape development stages (including youth, maturity, and old age) in the evolution of a landscape feature or region - stages characterized by certain features, including types of dominant forces, the amount of slope, elevation, and the amount of change in slope
*star usually a large ball of gas held together by gravity that produces tremendous amounts of energy and shines, also called a sun
state of matter see phase
*stationary front a weather condition in which the boundary between two air masses remains in the same position
*station model cities and other weather station sites on weather maps represented by circles, with symbols in and around each circle that indicate the many weather variables
storm a violent disturbance in the atmosphere that usually creates dangerous, destructive, and/or unpleasant conditions at Earth's surface
strata the layers or beds of sedimentary rock and extrusive igneous rock
*streak the color of the powder of a mineral which is usually more consistent than normal mineral color
*stream water flowing through a channel on land - examples—a large river or a narrow creek
*stream abrasion the rounding, smoothing, and size reduction of sediments resulting from the rolling, sliding, or bouncing of solid sediments along a stream bottom, also the erosion (lowering) of the stream bed by impact of solid sediments
stream bed the bottom or floor of a stream
*stream channel shape the shape of the body of rock or loose materials that confine the stream
*stream discharge see discharge
*stream drainage pattern the shape of the stream courses in an area as viewed from the sky
structure see rock structure
*subduction the plate tectonic process in which one of the plates at a convergent boundary sinks under the other plate and eventually melts into the asthenosphere
subduction zone the portion of a plate that sinks down into Earth's interior (asthenosphere) where converging plates cause subduction to take place
sublimation the change of state from a solid directly to a gas or from a gas to a solid with no intermediate liquid state, example—the forming of frost by sublimation of water vapor into ice
subsidence the sinking or depression of part of Earth's surface
subsurface water all liquid water found in soil, sediment, and bedrock beneath Earth's surface - see also groundwater
summer solstice on about June 21, the vertical rays of the sun fall on 23 -?° N latitude and the duration and angle of incidence are greatest for most of the Northern Hemisphere and least in the Southern Hemisphere, see winter solstice
sun (1) star at the center of our solar system (2) another name for any star
sundial an ancient time-keeping device that uses the position of the sun to determine apparent solar, local, or sundial time
*sunspot a darker region of the sun's visible surface, increased numbers of sunspots are associated with increased electromagnetic energy emitted from the sun
sun's vertical rays see direct waves
superposition relative dating of layered sedimentary and some extrusive igneous lava flow rocks in which the youngest rock layer is found on top and that rock age increases with depth, exceptions—in deformed rocks, and where there are igneous intrusions,
surface ocean currents a continuous horizontal flow of water at or near the ocean's surface driven by the prevailing winds, also called ocean currents
synoptic method a method of weather prediction that uses a synopsis or summary of the total weather picture (often using a weather map) to predict future weather
*S-waves earthquake waves that move through Earth's interior and cause the particles through which they travel to vibrate at right angles to the direction of the wave motion, only through solids, not through liquids or gases, also called secondary waves
technology the use of scientific information to serve human needs, the means by which a society provides objects required for human subsistence, comfort, and pleasure
tectonic forces the forces that create the largescale structural features of Earth's lithosphere, such as mountains and continents, caused by lithospheric movements, energy comes from Earth's interior
*tectonic plate see plate
*temperature a measure of the average kinetic energy of the particles in a body of matter, a measure of how hot or cold a substance is
*terrestrial planets the planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) that are Earth-like in being relatively close to the sun, mostly solid, and having relatively small diameters and high densities
*texture (1) the roughness or smoothness of a surface, (2) the size, shape and arrangement of the mineral crystals, sediments, clasts, and glass that make up a rock
thermal energy the energy of motion of atoms and molecules, see heat energy
thermometer an instrument used to measure temperature that usually consists of a confined fluid (alcohol or mercury) that expands and contracts with temperature changes
thunderstorm a local, short-lived storm from cumulonimbus (thunderhead) clouds that always has lightning and thunder, often associated with heavy rain, high winds, hail, and less commonly, tornadoes and flooding
*tides the cyclic rise and fall of ocean water on Earth caused by the gravitational attraction of the moon and to a lesser degree the sun
tilted strata a type of deformed rock in which the strata, or layers, have been forced out of a horizontal position by tectonic movement
time the sense of things happening one after another or the duration of an event
time zone One of the 24 north-south trending zones, that are 15 degrees of longitude wide, that keep time based upon its relative angular distance from Greenwich Mean Time which has a longitude of Zero degrees
*topographic map a model of the elevation field of a solid celestial object, such as Earth, using contour lines and other symbols, also called a contour map
topography see landscape
tornado a narrow cyclonic storm with very high wind speeds characterized by a very low air pressure and a twisting funnel that touches the ground, formation often associated with cumulonimbus (thunderhead) clouds
track the path of movement of an air mass, front, or storm, weather tracks are often predictable, which helps in forecasting
trade-off an outcome that results when choices are made, example—the choice to build a dam for a local water supply as compared to using the land that will be flooded by building the dam for farming and homes
*transform plate boundary a boundary at which plates slide by each other, such as the San Andreas fault that separates the North American and Pacific Plates, also called a lateral fault plate boundary
*transpiration the process by which plants release water vapor into the atmosphere as part of their life functions
transported sediment weathered or eroded rock and organic materials that have been moved by an erosional system from their place of origin
transported soil soil that has been moved from its place of original formation, examples—glacial soils common in the northern United States and the river-deposited soils found in flood plains and deltas
transverse wave a wave that vibrates at right angles to its direction of motion, examples—electromagnetic energy and earthquake S-waves
*tributary small stream or river that flow into a larger stream or river
*troposphere the part of the atmosphere immediately above Earth's surface, where most weather changes occur
*tsunami very fast large wavelength ocean wave or waves produced by disturbances of the ocean floor caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, or landslides, Tsunami can become very high and cause much wave damage near ocean shores
ultraviolet radiation a form of electromagnetic radiation of shorter wavelength than visible light - mostly absorbed by gases of the atmosphere, especially ozone in the stratosphere, before reaching Earth's surface
*unconformity a buried eroded surface causing a break, or gap, in the rock record
*universe the totality of all things that exist—all matter, time, energy, and space
*unsorted a condition in which the particles in a material are of mixed sizes (or shape, or density)
*unsorted sediments a deposit of sediments that are mixed in size (or shape, or density), the greater the difference in the size of the particles the more unsorted the sediments
*uplifted raised up, as in mountain building
wind direction the compass direction wind is blowing from, often indicated by a wind vane
wind erosion an erosional and depositional agent that is most common in desert and shoreline areas which lack much vegetation
wind speed how fast the wind is, see wind velocity
wind vane an instrument that spins in the wind and points to the direction the wind is blowing from, which is the wind direction name
wind velocity wind speed with a directional aspect
winter solstice on about December 21 the vertical rays of the sun fall on 23° S latitude and the duration, insolation, and angle of incidence are greatest for most of the Southern Hemisphere and least in the Northern Hemisphere
year the time it takes for a planet to make one revolution around the sun, also see period
*young mountains mountains that are presently rising because they are at the location of converging plates or at the site of a hot spot
zone of aeration the soil, loose materials, or bedrock from Earth's surface down to the water table, where the pores are only partly filled with liquid water, air fills the rest of the pores
zone of saturation the portion of the soil, loose materials, or bedrock that is below the water table, where the pores are filled with ground water
Created by: globalscience