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Science Midterm

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Earth Science: the study of the Earth. Its history, changes, and its place in the universe
Branches of Earth Science:
Geology: study of the solid Earth
caves, both above and below sea level (person who studies underwater caves: spelunker)
volcanologist (volcanoes), seismologist (earthquakes), paleontologist (archeologist)
Oceanography: study of the ocean
physical oceanography: studies waves, currents, and all movement of the ocean
Biological oceanography: studies plants and animals that live in the ocean.
Geological oceanography: studies seafloor
Chemical oceanography: natural chemicals, and those from pollution in the ocean
Black smokers: rock chimneys on the seafloor that allow heat and minerals from below the crust to
get into the ocean. Rock chimneys (hydrothermal vents) Hydro-water Thermal-heat
Meteorology: study of the entire atmosphere
weather forecasting
specialization in hurricane and tornado tracking (Storm Chasers)
Astronomy: study of all physical things beyond Earth
stars, asteroids, planets, comets, and black holes
also called space science
Ecology: study of ecosystem
organisms and their surroundings
Geochemistry: study of chemicals made-up of rocks, minerals and soil
Environmental Science: studies the interactions of humans and their environment
Geography & Cartography: studies surface features and maps
Lithosphere: solid Earth
Hydrosphere: liquid Earth
Atmosphere: layer of gases that surround the Earth

General Facts About Earth

The Earth is the 3rd planet from the sun.
The Earth is not a perfect sphere but an Oblate Spheroid or it is slightly bulging out at the equator.
The Earth formed 4.6 billion years ago
The circumference from the North pole to the south pole is 40,007 kilometers(km).
The circumference around the equator is 40,074 kilometer(km)
The Earth is made up of mostly rock. 71% of it is covered by the global ocean, a large mass of
water consisting of all the Oceans.
The distance between the highest mountain and lowest trench is about 20 km which is fairly small
considering the size of the planet.
Layers Of The Earth
The Earth is made up of 3 major layers which are Core, Mantle, and Crust.
The Earth can also be separated into 5 more specific layers which are the lithosphere,
asthenosphere, mesosphere, outer core, and inner core.
The Core is the innermost layer,most dense layer and makes 33% of Earths mass. It is split into 2
sections, inner and outer.
The Inner Core is solid and the Outer Core is liquid.
The core consists of mostly Iron, with some Nickel,Sulfur, and Oxygen.
The Mantle is the middle layer of Earth, made of extremely hot liquid magma, which makes up 67%
of Earths mass.The mantle is split 2 sections.

Mesosphere is the larger section of the Mantle and contains more liquid than the Asthenosphere.
The Asthenosphere is found closest to the crust and crustal plates move along the Asthenosphere.
The crust is the outermost layer of a planet.
The crust of the Earth is composed of a great variety of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary
rocks. It is less than 1% of the Earths mass.
The continental crust is mostly made of granite and the oceanic is made mostly of basalt.
The continental crust is thicker but less dense than the oceanic crust.
Tectonic plates are grouped based on how they move relative to another. A boundary or fault is the place
where 2 places meet.

Plate Tectonics (Is a theory)

Plate tectonics sit on top of the asthenosphere.
The current continental and oceanic plates include: the Eurasian plate, Australian-Indian plate,
Philippine plate, Pacific plate, Juan de Fuca plate, Nazca plate, Cocos plate, North American plate,
Caribbean plate, South American plate, African plate, Arabian plate, the Antarctic plate, and the Scotia plate.
These plates consist of smaller sub-plates.
Seafloor spreading is the movement of two oceanic plates away from each other (at a divergent
plate boundary), which results in the formation of new oceanic crust (from magma that comes from within
the Earth's mantle) along a mid-ocean ridge. Where the oceanic plates are moving away from each other is
called a zone of divergence.
When two plates collide (at a convergent plate boundary), some crust is destroyed in the impact
and the plates become smaller. The results differ, depending upon what types of plates are involved.
Oceanic Plate and Continental Plate - When a thin, dense oceanic plate collides with a relatively
light, thick continental plate, the oceanic plate is forced under the continental plate; this phenomenon is
called subduction.
Two Oceanic Plates - When two oceanic plates collide, one may be pushed under the other and
magma from the mantle rises, forming volcanoes in the vicinity.
Two Continental Plates - When two continental plates collide, mountain ranges are created as the
colliding crust is compressed and pushed upwards.
3 driving forces are convection currents, slab pull, and ridge push
The 3 types of boundaries are convergent- plates colliding forming mountains, divergent-plates
moving apart and transform or strike slip-plates sliding past each other.
Scientists use the GPS or Global Positioning System to measure the rate of tectonic plate
The movement of tectonic plates is based on the density of the layer.
245 million years ago:
one land mass called Pangaea
one ocean called Panthalassa
180 million years ago:
two land masses
Laurasia (Northern Piece)
Gondwana (Southern Piece)
65 million years ago:
7 land masses: North America, Eurasia, Australia, Africa, South America, India, Antarctica
Alfred Wegener and His Theory
In 1915, the German geologist and meteorologist Alfred Wegener (1880-1930) first proposed the
theory of continental drift, which states that parts of the Earth's crust slowly drift atop a liquid core. The fossil
record supports and gives credence to the theories of continental drift and plate tectonics.

Wegener hypothesized that there was an original, gigantic supercontinent 200 million years ago,
which he named Pangaea, meaning "All-earth".
Pangaea was a supercontinent consisting of all of Earth's land masses. It existed from the Permian
through Jurassic periods.
It began breaking up during the Jurassic period, forming continents Gondwanaland and Laurasia,
separated by the Tethys Sea.
The one ocean is called Panthalassa.
His theory was supported by 5 different evidence: fossils (Cynognathus, Glossopteris,
Lystrosaurus, Mesosaurus), mountain ranges(Appalachian), rock types(basalt), and glacial grooves.

Types of Boundaries
1) Convergent Boundary:
plates move together or collide
the result at the boundary is based on the type of plates colliding
continental and continental plates collide: Mountains
oceanic and oceanic plates collide: subduction zone
continental and oceanic plates collide: subduction zones
subductions zones: one plate slides under another and melts back into, magma
2) Divergent Boundary:
plates move away from each other
results in the formation of new crust (mid-ocean ridges) or volcanoes
3) Transformation Boundary:
plates slide past one another horizontally
causes earthquakes
****GPS(Global Positioning System) are used to measure plate movement.****
****Earth recycles itself with subduction zones and reusing its materials with the water cycle.****

Sea Floor Spreading:

process by which new sea floor is formed
magma rises to fill in gaps where plates move apart (divergent boundary)
the youngest crust is found at the mid-ocean ridges and get older as you move out toward the edge
of the plate.
mid-ocean ridges are underground mountain chains
Evidence of Seafloor Spreading:
magnetic reversal
Earths magnetic poles change places
the magnetic minerals in the crust always point toward magnetic north

Evidence to support the Theory of Continental Drift/Pangaea:

1) continents seem to fit together like puzzle pieces
2) fossils of the same once-living species have been found on different continents
3) same size and type of rocks found on different continents
4) mountain ranges on different continents match to form on long mountain chain
5) glacial grooves on different continents match
Ridge Push:

at the mid-ocean ridges, oceanic crust is higher than where it sinks below continental crust
this is the process by which oceanic plate pushes from the mid-ocean ridge
the process by which an oceanic plate slides down the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary
gravity is pulling the plate

the edge of an oceanic plate sinks under the continental plate and pulls the rest of the plate with it
happens because the oceanic plate is more dense than the continental plate

Slab Push:

Convection Currents occur:


exploding volcano

Causes of Plate Movement:

movement of a material due to differences in temperature, which causes differences in density
hot magma (less dense) at the crust rises to the crust while cooler magma (more dense) at the
crust sinks to the core
plates are moved by this movement of magma
the continents are carried along like packages on a conveyer belt

Magnetic Reversals And Sea-Floor Spreading

Geographic north doesnt change only magnetic north changes.
Magnetic reversals supports the idea of seafloor spreading. Sea-floor spreading is the process of plate tectonics.
New oceanic crust is created as large slabs of the Earth's crust split apart from each other and magma wells up to fill
the gap. The large slabs of rock that make up the Earths crust are called tectonic plates. As they slowly move away
from each other beneath the ocean floor, hot magma from the Earths mantle bubbles to the surface. Scientists
discovered that the rock that makes up the ocean floor lies in a pattern of magnetized stripes.
Sea-floor spreading happens at mid ocean ridges - example mid atlantic ridge
Folding And Faulting
Deformation of rock involves changes in the shape and/or volume of these substances. Changes in shape and
volume occur when stress and strain causes rock to buckle and fracture or crumple into folds. A fold can be defined
as a bend in rock that is the response to compressional forces. Folds are most visible in rocks that contain layering.
Examples of folding: anticline and syncline and monocline
Anticline is the tip of a hill
Syncline is the bottom
Monocline is a step
There are 3 types of faults: normal faults-causes the hanging wall to move down, reverse faults-causes the hanging
wall to move up, and strike slip faults-opposing forces cause rocks to break and move horizontally
Tectonic plates are responsible for creating mountains
There are 2 types of mountains: folded mountains- mountains that are squeezed together and pushed upward and
volcanic mountains- form when molten rock erupts onto the earths surface

Density: the amount of mass per unit volume

Density of a material is constant
It does not change if your change the size of the sample of the material
***the density of water is 1.0 g/ml
formula: Density=mass / volume (m/v)
tools: a triple beam balance, metric ruler, and graduated cylinder
basic unit: grams/ml or grams/cm2
******* Density is how tightly packed the molecules are in an object.*******
Weight: force of gravity on an object
****weight changes as you move from the surface of the Earth******
weight will be different at sea level, at the top of Colorado Rockies, on the Moon, and on Mars
Gravity on the moon is that on Earth, so your weight would be of your weight on Earth
tool: scale
basic unit: Newton

Mass: the amount of matter found in an object

tools: triple beam balance
basic unit: gram
***mass of an object will be the same on Earth, the Moon, and on Mars***
***mass of an object does not change with distance****
*** The gravitational attraction between 2 objects depend on mass and distance***

Volume: the amount of space an object takes up or contains

A) Regular Solid:
formula: length x width x height (Bh)
tool: meter stick\ metric ruler
unit: meter3 (in lab we use cm)
B) Liquid Volume:
tool: graduated cylinder
unit: liter (we use ml in lab)
******be sure to read the bottom of the meniscus
C) Irregular Solid: ex: rock
unit: meter3
tool: graduated cylinder
Displacement Method
1) place the liquid into the graduated cylinder (an easy amount like 50ml or 100ml) record
2) place object to be measured into the graduated cylinder and record the measurement
3) subtract the volume of the liquid from the volume of the liquid and solid (volume of object - volume
of liquid = volume of solid)

Area: measure of surface space of an object\

Formula= WxL=Area
Temperature: measure of the rate of movement of molecules in an object (how hot or cold something is).
Basic unit: Celsius (C)

freezing point of water: 0

boiling point of water 100
normal body temperature: .37

Basic unit: Kelvin (K)

freezing point of water:273 K
boiling point of water: 373 K
normal body temperature: 310 K
***********************Largest unit measurement is a light year*************************
Light year:

distance light travels in 1 year

1 light years is 9.5 trillion kilometers
***********measure of distance, not time**********
********used in reference to space*********
1 light year=236,075,151 trips around the Earth at the Equator

Theory: an idea that is supported by faces and testing, but is not 100% proven
Law: is a theory or idea that has been proven through testing
***Both theory and law change as new information is gathered***


the factor that you are testing is called a variable

only test one variable at a time

Independent Variable:
the variable that your are testing or changing
your control the independent variable
this causes the change you have in an experiment
Dependent Variable:
what changes as a result of changing the independent variable
what you are measuring
Control: the experimental set-up without any variable
Constant: something that stays the same throughout the whole experiment

The Metric System is used in science. It is based on the number 10, and each prefix added to the base unit
represents 10 to a positive power or to a negative power.
Kilo- 1000
Hecto- 100
Deka, or Deca- 10
[unit: meter, gram, Liter]- 1
Deci- .1, or 1/10
Centi- .01, or 1/100
Milli- .001, or 1/1000

Another name for this is the International System of Units, or SI Units.

The reason for the SI Units is to ensure the data shared between scientists are understandable and the units
used are known to every scientist.
Conversions in the metric system are very common. The sentence King Henry doesnt usually drink
chocolate milk or King
Henry died making dark
chocolate milkcan be
used to remember and

King (Kilo-)
Henry (Hecto-)
Doesnt (Deka-/Deca-)
Usually ([unit])
Drink (Deci-)
Chocolate (Centi-)
Milk (Milli-)

If you are
-Converting a smaller unit to a larger unit of measure, move the decimal as many
places as
needed to the left. (eg: 7.7 mm to _____ m, you would move the
decimal to the left 3 times, since
the amount of spaces needed to move the
7.7 mm to _____ m is 3 places, and 7.7 mm = .0077 m)
-Converting a larger unit to a smaller unit of measure, move the decimal as many
places as needed
to the right. (eg 7.7 Km to _____ dm, you would move the
decimal to the right 4 times, since the
amount of spaces needed to move the
7.7 Km to _____ dm is 4 places, and 7.7 Km = 77000 dm )

Reading Topographic Maps

Contour Lines- On a map, contour lines show elevation. Contour lines are lines that connect points of equal elevation
Contour Intervals- The difference in elevation between one contour line and the next is called a contour interval.
A mapmaker chooses a contour interval based on the areas relief.
Relief is the difference in elevation between the highest and lowest points of the area being mapped.
Important things to remember about contour lines
Contour lines never cross. All points along a contour line represents a single elevation.
The spacing of contour lines depends on slope characteristics. Closely spaced contour lines represent a steep slope
Widely spaced contour lines represent a gentle slope.
Contour line that cross a valley or stream are V-shaped. The V points toward the area of higher elevation. If a stream
or river flows through the stream, the V points upstream.

Contour lines form closed circles around the tops of hills, mountains, and depressions. One way to tell hills and
depressions apart is that depressions are marked with short, straight lines inside the circle, pointing downslope
toward the center of the depression.

The Scientific Method: series of steps that scientists use to answer questions and solve problems
the steps usually follow an order, but not always
some need to be repeated or skipped entirely
1) Ask a question
2) Gather information and research
3) Form a hypothesis (Must be testable)
4) Test hypothesis (design and conduct an experiment; controlled experiments test only one
variable\factor at a time)
5) Organize and analyze data (create charts, graphs, tables)
6) Draw conclusion (did the results support the hypothesis?)
7) Repeat work
8) Communicate results

Science Skills:
1) Observing the five senses to gather information
2) Measuring: you can compare an unknown value to a known value making observations more exact
3) Classifying: you group objects based on similarities
4) Organizing: you put things in order and work in an orderly fashioned manner
5) Predicting: you state what will happen ahead of time based on what you already know and
6) Hypothesizing: an educated guess. suggested solutions, or an answer to a question
7) Inferring: you form a conclusion based on facts without making any observations
8) Modeling: use a copy of what you are studying to help explain it
-maps, 3-D
models, charts, graphs, diagrams, and computer simulations
9) Analyzing: you study information carefully.