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Multiple Choice Questions

1. The material that constitutes the earth’s surface plates is the

A. asthenosphere
B. mesosphere
C. thermosphere
D. lithosphere

2. The person to propose the hypothesis of continental drift in 1911 was

A. Wegener
B. Hess
C. Richter
D. Dewey

3. The supercontinent composed of all the major continents joined together in the
A. Precambrian
B. Cenozoic
C. Paleozoic
D. Mesozoic

4. The breakup of the above supercontinent occurred in the

A. Precambrian
B. Cenozoic
C. Paleozoic
D. Mesozoic

5. The zone of plastic flow in the mantle is known as the

A. asthenosphere
B. Benioff zone
C. lithosphere
D. mesosphere
E. none of the above

6. Gondwanaland and Laurasia merged to form

A. South America
B. Asia
C. North America
D. Eurasis
E. none of the above
7. Evidence for the former connection of Gondwana's fragments include
A. identical fossil reptiles and plants
B. nearly identical sequences of Gondwana succession
C. similar history of continental glaciation
D. all of the above
E. none of the above since little supports the connections

8. The earth’s outer core is

A. liquid
B. solid

9. New ocean floor is created (use two answers)

A. at convergent boundaries
B. at divergent boundaries
C. at transform faults
D. at oceanic ridges
E. in subduction zones

10. Forces at a convergent boundary are dominantly

A. tensional
B. shear
C. compressional

11. The process in which an oceanic plate slides beneath a continental plate or another oceanic plate is
known as
A. exfoliation
B. degradation
C. tectonism
D. subduction

12. The zone of earthquake foci that develops as one plate is forced beneath another
A. focal horizon
B. Benioff zone
C. hot spot
D. plume
E. none of the above

13. Divergent plate boundaries are characterized by

A. earthquakes
B. volcanism
C. creation of new ocean floor
D. all of above
E. none of the above

14. Divergent boundaries are

A. constructive
B. destructive
C. conservative
15. At transform boundaries movement between the plates is
A. towards one another
B. away from one another
C. horizontal, with plates moving past one another

16. In a chain of oceanic volcanic islands that increase in age away from the site of active volcanism, the active
volcanism is assumed to occur above
A. a subduction zone
B. a granite batholith
C. a Benioff zone
D. a plume of molten rock called a hot spot

17. A strong positive magnetic anomaly is due to

A. sedimentation
B. normal polarity during formation of ocean floor
C. reversed polarity during the formation of ocean floor
D. subduction

18. During a period of magnetic reversal, a compass needle would point towards the
A. north magnetic pole
B. south magnetic pole

19. In the embryonic stage of a Wilson cycle (use all correct answers)
A. subduction occurs
B. rifting occurs
C. mountains are elevated
D. grabens form
E. there is possible volcanism with crustal thinning

20. In the youthful stage of a Wilson cycle (use all correct answers)
A. subduction occurs
B. linear seas form
C. new ocean floor is being created
D. convergence is prominent

21. In the mature stage of a Wilson cycle (use all correct answers):
A. the ocean is widening
B. grabens form on continents
C. a new linear sea is forming
D. no volcanism is present
E. none of above

22. When two continental plates collide (use all correct answers)
A. subduction occurs
B. mountain building occurs
C. oceans are destroyed
D. earthquakes occur
E. volcanism is common
23. The San Andreas fault zone in California is an example of ________ plate boundary
A. divergent
B. transform
C. convergent
D. none of above

24. Evidence for the desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea includes

A. salt deposits
B. volcanism
C. gypsum deposits
D. A and B of above
E. A and C of above

25. Small continental masses, volcanics and sediments transported by plate movements which collide
with continental material across a plate boundary are called
A. exotic terranes
B. ventifacts
C. seamount
D. batholith
E. aligned volcanic chains

26. Chains of volcanic islands adjacent to deep sea trenches and volcanoes parallel to continental margins
or trenches are located above
A. mid-oceanic ridges
B. grabens
C. transform faults
D. subduction zones

27. Possible cause for plate movements include

A. plumes
B. hot spots
C. convection currents in the mantle
D. none of above

Multiple Choice Answers

1. D 15. C
2. A 16. D
3. C 17. B
4. D 18. B
5. A 19. B, D, E
6. E (Answer: Pangaea) 20. B, C
7. D 21. A
8. A 22. B, C, D
9. B,D 23. B
10. C 24. E
11. D 25. A
12. B 26. D
13. D 27. C
14. A
2. Arguments against continental drift were based on the lack of a mechanism for moving
solid continents through ocean basins.

3. The theory of plate tectoncis states that plates of lithosphere are move over a plastic zone in the mantle known as
the asthenosphere. These plates are being pushed by seafloor spreading, the creation of new oceanic crust at mid-
ocean ridges. Where plates collide, crustal material is is subducted and recycled back into the mantle or elevated into
mountain ranges.

There are three types of convergent boundaries: continental--continental, continental-

oceanic, oceanic-oceanic. Where two continental plates collide, mountain ranges form and
earthquakes are common. Where continental and oceanic plates collide, the oceanic plate
subducts at a trench; there are strong earthquakes and a great deal of volcanic activity.
Where two oceanic plates collide, one the denser one subducts, also resulting in earthquake
and volcanic activity.

4. In the continental drift model of Wegener, continents were thought to plow through ocean floor
materials and the seafloor remained passive. In contrast, in plate tectonics theory, the plates
of lithosphere (including crust and upper mantle) move over a plastic zone (the

5. These volcanic lineaments form over a hot spot. As the plate moves, the volcanes raft away from the source of hot
rock and become inactive. The oldest volcanoes are thus furthest from the hot spot.