Marine Geology, Review Questions for Final Exam. Part I

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1 Marine Geology, 2015 Review Questions for Final Exam Part I Note: Part I covers topics from Origin of the Earth, Ocean, and Atmosphere to Features on Ocean Floor & Continental Margins Tectonic Perspective The list below is to help you in studying and reviewing for the exam. The questions are not intended to be a comprehensive list of all the material covered in the class and for which you are responsible. Origin of the Earth, Ocean, and Atmosphere Explain the nebular hypothesis for the formation of the solar system. Discuss hypotheses for the origin of the Earth and its moon. Describe density stratification in Earth and the resultant chemical structure Discuss the origin of the Earth s atmosphere. Discuss the origin of the Earth s Ocean and the origin of the salts in ocean water. Timing of events for the formation of the earth s crust, atmosphere, & ocean. Compare the atmospheric composition of the early to the present day Earth. Ocean & Features of the Ocean Floor Review general geographic features of the Earth s oceans. Methods of studies for features in the ocean floor. Review seafloor features such as mid-ocean ridges, fracture zones, abyssal plains, passive & active continental margins, continental shelf, continental slope, continental 1

2 rises, ocean trenches, island arcs, continental magmatic arcs, submarine canyons, abyssal fans, islands, seamounts, guyot, and reefs. What is turbidite? How & where does it form? Earth Materials-Minerals What is the definition of minerals? Review basic chemistry: element, atom, atomic structure, isotopes, and chemical bonds. Review common characteristics of minerals useful for mineral identification. Describe most common types of minerals. What is the most abundant type of minerals on Earth? What is the building block of this type of minerals? Earth Materials-Rocks Describe the general characteristic and formations of the 3 types of rocks. Which texture(s) apply to igneous rocks? Sedimentary rocks? Metamorphic rocks? Review the classification of sedimentary rocks. Review the classification of igneous rocks. Review the classification of metamorphic rocks form? Geologic Time and Age of the Earth What is the Principle of Uniformitarianism? What s the difference between relative age and absolute age? Discuss the following stratigraphic principles: Principles of Original Horizontality, Principles of Superposition, Principles of Cross-Cutting Relations, and Principles of Fossil Succession. 2

3 What is an unconformity? What are the differences in and possible causes for disconformity, angular unconformity, and nonconformity? Discuss useful criteria for geological correlation. Review the Standard Geological Time Scale. Describe radiometric dating. Define: half-life. What is the age of Earth? How is it determined? Geological Cycles and Sources of Energy Describe the following common geologic cycles in earth system: hydrologic cycle, chemical cycle, rock cycle, and tectonic cycle. Describe the following major sources of energy that drive the dynamic Earth: solar energy, energy from meteorite impacts, gravity, primordial heat, radiogenic heating. Whole Earth Structure Describe the major layers of the Earth based on chemical composition. What type of material represents the general composition of each of the layers? Distinguish between continental crust and oceanic crust. Explain the concept of isostacy. Describe the major layers of the Earth based on physical properties. What are some differences between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere? Compare physical states of outer core vs. inner core. How are the sizes of outer core and inner core determined? 3

4 Geological Structure Define: compressive stress, tensional stress, and shear stress. Compare: elastic strain, plastic strain, and brittle strain. Describe the following geological structures: anticline, syncline, monocline, dome, basin, joint, normal fault, reverse fault, thrust fault, strike slip fault. Continental drift, seafloor spreading and Plate tectonics What is Wegener's hypothesis of continental drift? What observations did Wegener use to justify his hypothesis? Why did geologists of Wegener s time reject his continental drift hypothesis? How can paleomagnetism studies tell us where ancient rocks formed? What is meant by a "magnetic reversal" of the Earth's magnetic field? Explain the apparent polar wondering. What is the hypothesis of "Sea-Floor Spreading"? What are "magnetic anomalies of ocean rocks" and how do they form? What is the relationship between age of ocean rock and distance from the oceanic ridge? What is a tectonic plate? Review the three types of plate boundaries (convergent, divergent, transform) and the forces, geological structures, geological activities, and rock types associate with each type of plate boundary. Give several examples of each type of plate boundary. About how fast do plates move? Features on Ocean Floor & Continental Margins Tectonic Perspective Discuss the forces, geologic structures, and geological processes (e.g., focal depths of earthquakes, types of volcanic eruptions, if any, etc.) associated with mid-ocean ridges, fracture zones, ocean-continent & ocean-ocean convergent plate boundaries. 4

5 Discuss the control of spreading rate on mid-ocean ridge morphology. Discuss passive continental margins from tectonic perspective. Why are some plates getting smaller and some getting bigger? Explain the working model of Wilson cycles and how it can be used to explain stages and evolution of ocean basins. Study and analyze physiographic and structural features of present-day major continental rift valleys, major oceans and seas, and determine their current stages in the Wilson cycles and their possible future development. 5

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