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Earth vocabulary 1+2

lithosphere layer of earth made up of crust and the rigid part of the upper mantle
asthenosphere layer in earth’s upper mantle that is soft because it is close to melting
tectonic plate one of large moving pieces of Earth’s lithosphere (oceanic/continental)
continental drift hypothesis that Earth’s continents move on Earth’s surface
Pangaea hypothetical super continent that included all the land masses of Earth, broke apart 200 million years ago
theory of plate tectonic theory stating that Earth’s lithosphere is broken into huge plates that move and change in size over time.
rift valley deep valley formed as tectonic plates move apart, such as along a mid- ocean ridge
magnetic reversal switch in the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field so that magnetic north and south switch
hot spot area where a column of hot material rises from deep within the mantle and heats the lithosphere, causing volcanic activity
subduction when oceanic plate sinks under another plate in Earth’s mantle
fossil an object that is a trace or remains of living things from the past.
original remains Fossils that are the actual bodies or body parts of an organism (ex. Bones)
ice core a sample of earth that is taken in a tube and shows the layers that have built up over thousands of years
relative age (dating) the age of an even or object in relation to other events or objects (younger or older)
absolute age (dating) the actual age in years of an object or event
index fossil Fossils of organisms that were common, lived in many areas, and existed only during a certain time span
half-life the length of time it takes for half of the atoms of a radioactive element to change to another form
uniformitarianism the theory that Earth is an always-changing place and that the same forces of change from the past are at work today.
Geological Time Scale the scale that divides Earth’s history into intervals that are defined by major events or changes on Earth
Created by: kelleyrl