ESCI 111 Quiz 1 flashcards |

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What are the basic differences between the disciplines of physical and historical geology?

Historical geology involves the study of rock strata, fossils, and geologic events, utilizing the geologic time scale as a reference; physical geology includes the study of how rocks form and of how erosion shapes the land surface.

________ was the highly influential, ancient Greek philosopher noted for his writings and teachings on natural philosophy and on the workings of Earth.

Aristotle

Compared to the age of Earth accepted as correct today, how did 17th and 18th century proponents of catastrophism envision the Earth's age?

They believed Earth to be much younger than current estimates.

________ was an important 18th-century English geologist and proponent of uniformitarianism.

James Ussher

The currently accepted age of Earth is ________ years.

4.6 billion

Which of the following best describes the fundamental concept of superposition?

Any sedimentary deposit accumulates on top of older rock or sediment layers.

The ________ forms the relatively cool, brittle plates of plate tectonics.

lithosphere

A ________ is a well-tested and widely accepted view that best explains certain scientific observations.

law

________ rocks form by crystallization and consolidation of molten magma.

Igneous

________ rocks always originate at the surface of the solid Earth.

Sedimentary

In correct order from the center outward, Earth includes which units?

inner core, outer core, mantle, crust

The ________ refers to the sum total of all life on Earth.

biosphere

________ is often paraphrased as "the present is the key to the past."

Uniformitarianism

________, a popular natural philosophy of the 17th and early 18th centuries, was based on a firm belief in a very short geologic history for Earth.

Catastrophism

The ________ proposes that the bodies of our solar system formed at essentially the same time from a rotating cloud of gases and dust.

Nebular Theory

________ is the process by which rocks breakdown in place to produce soils and sediments.

Lithification

The composition of the core of Earth is thought to be ________.

solid iron-nickel alloy

The continental shelf is located ________.

landward of the continental slope

The most prominent features on the ocean floor are the ________.

oceanic ridges

In sedimentary rocks, lithification includes ________.

compaction and cementation

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