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Flashcards in Mid Term Deck (104)
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1

Earth science

The scientific study of all aspects of Earth

2

scientific method

The way a scientist approaches a problem; steps include observing, formulating a hypothesis, testing, and evaluating results

3

hypothesis

A plausible, but yet to be proved, explanation for how something happens.

4

theory

A hypothesis that has been tested and is strongly supported by experimentation, observation, and scientific evidence.

5

system

A portion of the universe that can be separated from the rest of the universe for the purpose of observing changes that happen in it.

6

feedback mechanisms

Reactions that enhance (positive) or retard (negative) change in an open system.

7

Earth system science

The study of Earth as a closed system composed of interacting open systems and how the open systems may be changed as a result of human activities.

8

core

Earth's innermost compositional layer, where the magnetic field is generated and much geothermal energy resides

9

mantle

The middle compositional layer of Earth, between the crust and the core.

10

crust

The outermost compositional layer of the solid Earth: part of the lithosphere.

11

lithosphere

Earth's outermost rocky layer, comprising the crust and the uppermost part of the mantle.

12

asthenosphere

A layer of weak, ductile rock in the mantle that is close to melting but not actually molten.

13

plate tectonics

The movement and interactions of large fragments of Earth's lithosphere, called plates.

14

oceanic crust

The thinner, denser, and younger part of Earth's crust, underlying the ocean basins.

15

continental crust

The older, thicker, and less dense part of Earth's crust; the bulk of Earth's land masses.

16

natural resources

Useful materials obtained from the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, or biosphere

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renewable resource

A resource that can be replenished or regenerated on the scale of a human lifetime.

18

nonrenewable resource

A resource that cannot be replenished or regenerated on the scale of a human lifetime.

19

hydrologic cycle

A model that describes the movement of water through the reservoirs of the Earth system; the water cycle.

20

evaporation

The process by which water changes from a liquid to a vapor.

21

transpiration

The process by which water taken up by plants passes directly into the atmosphere.

22

condensation

The process by which water changes from vapor into a liquid.

23

deposition

The process by which water changes from a vapor into a solid.

24

precipitation

The process by which water that has condensed in the atmosphere falls back to the surface as rain, snow, or hail.

25

surface runoff

Precipitation that drains over the land or in stream channels.

26

infiltration

The process by which water works its way into the ground through small openings in the soil.

27

stream

A body of water that flows downslope along a clearly defined natural pathway.

28

channel

The clearly defined natural passageway through which a stream flows.

29

gradient

The steepness of a stream channel.

30

discharge (1)

The amount of water passing by a point on the channel's bank during a unit of time.