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14.6: Review and Additional Resources

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    granite dome
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Review and assess your learning. Start with the "Important Terms and Concepts" to ensure you know the terminology related to the topic of the chapter and concepts discussed. Move on to the "Review Questions" to answer critical thinking questions about concepts and processes discussed in the chapter. Finally, test your overall understanding by taking the "Self-assessment quiz".

    Important Terms and Concepts
    • compressional wave
      generate a back-and-forth motion parallel to the direction of travel
    • shear wave
      move up-and-down perpendicular to the direction of wave transmission
    • crust
      outer brittle shell of the Earth; forms the "skin" of the lithosphere. The crust is primarily composed of silicate rocks and ranging in thickness of about 5 to 70 km
    • sima
      basal zone of oceanic crust; primarily composed of a heavy, dark group of basaltic rocks
    • sial
      less dense continental crust; predominate elements are silicon and aluminum
    • lithosphere
      rigid cool layer composed of the crust and the uppermost mantle
    • asthenosphere
      the least rigid portion of the mantle. It is a soft, easily deformed layer that is susceptible to slow convection caused by pockets of increased heat from the decay of radioactive elements
    • mesosphere
      lies between the asthenosphere and core where the pressures are so great the mantle is solid
    • core
      molten outer and rigid inner layers
    • mantle
      over 2900 km thick (1801 mi) and comprises 80% of the Earth's total volume; mainly composed of a dark, dense ultramafic rock called peridotite (rich in iron and magnesium)
    • endogenic force
      forces that are are driven by the Earth's vast heat engine
    • exogenic force
      processes acting at the surface of the earth and primarily driven by solar energy
    • relief
       the difference in elevation between two points
    • first order relief feature
      the tectonic plates
    • second order relief feature
       the result of plate collision or divergence
    • third order relief feature
      created by erosion and deposition of the surface as opposed to the movement of tectonic plates. Individual landforms are considered third order relief features
    • mineral
      a naturally occurring inorganic substance with a unique crystal structure
    • silicate
      a combination of silicon, oxygen, and another element; see Table 14.4.1
    • oxide
      see Table 14.4.1
    • sulfide
      see Table 14.4.1
    • carbonate
      see Table 14.4.1
    • rock cycle
      represents the alteration of rock-forming minerals above and below the Earth's surface
    • rock
      assemblages of minerals
    • magma
       molten rock material
    • sediment
       fragments of weathered rock and the precursor for sedimentary rock
    • igneous rock
      cooled/crystallized magma or lava
    • sedimentary rock
      formed by compaction and cementation of sediments
    • metamorphic rock
      formed by the alteration of pre-existing rocks from exposure to heat and pressure while remaining in a solid form
    • clastic sedimentary rock
      form from the compaction of rock fragments
    • chemically precipitated sedimentary rock
      form by the precipitation of elements
    • country rock
      the pre-existing rock that insulates the magma that has intruded as it cools
    • sill
      feature created when magma intrudes between the layers of rock and solidifies
    • dike
      created when magma cools in near vertical fractures
    • laccolith
      created when the magma solidifies as a pocket of igneous rock that warps the overlying rock
    • batholith
      a huge intrusive igneous rock mass or pluton that when uncovered creates topographic highs in mountainous regions.
    • pluton
      rock mass in which magma has intruded and solidified
    • vesicles
      small holes; void spaces left by escaping gasses
    • stratum
      individual layer of sedimentary rock
    • bedding plane
      separation between each bed; signifies a cessation of deposition at that location for a period of time
    • lithostatic pressure
       the confining pressure created by the material that sits above a particular location; equal in all directions and compresses the volume of rock into a denser material
    • directed pressure
      flattens and lengthens the rock in the direction of greatest pressure; affects the shape and arrangement the minerals
    • burial metamorphism
      occurs in deep basins where sediments or sedimentary rocks have accumulated. At a depth of about 10 kilometers, the confining pressure of the overlying material combined with geothermal heat is great enough to metamorphose rocks.
    • contact metamorphism
      occurs at shallower levels of the crust, where the pressure is relatively low. At those shallow depths, the stresses characteristic of orogenic belts are generally small or absent thus producing metamorphic rocks that lack foliation
    • regional metamorphism
      occurs over broad areas of the crust; occurs in a linear belt in the plate overriding the subducting one due to increasing temperature and pressure as a result of compression, thrusting, folding, and intrusion of magmas from below.
    • dynamothermal metamorphism
      occurs in areas that have undergone deformation during mountain building that have since been eroded to expose the metamorphic rocks. It is caused by the differential stress resulting from plate subduction or collision along plate boundaries
    • foliated metamorphic rock
      minerals in distinct bands
    • nonfoliated metamorphic rock
      lack the banding of minerals
    Review Questions \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Compare and contrast compressional and shear waves.


    Compressional (P) waves generate a back-and-forth motion parallel to the direction of travel. Shear (S) waves move up-and-down perpendicular to the direction of wave transmission. Shear waves do not penetrate molten masses and when they encounter a boundary between two rock types of differing densities, a portion of the wave travels along the boundary while another part returns to the surface.

    Compare and contrast the sima and sial.


    Sima refers to silica and magnesium, two important elements of the rocks forming the ocean basin like basalt. Sial refers to silica and aluminum, two important elements that comprise the rocks of the continents like granite.

    Briefly describe the layers of the mantle.


    The uppermost part of the mantle includes part of the lithosphere. Below the lithosphere is the asthenosphere, the least rigid portion of the mantle. Finally the mesosphere is the bottom most portion comprised of solid rock.

    Describe the basic structure of the Earth's core.


    The core is divided into the inner and outer cores. The inner core is made of solid iron and nickel. The outer core is thought to be molten iron.

    Compare and contrast endogenic and exogenic forces. Give examples.


    Endogenic forces are those driven by Earth's "heat engine" like volcanoes and earthquakes. Exogenic forces are driven by solar radiation like wind and water erosion.

    Compare and contrast first, second, and third order relief features. Give an example for each.


    First order relief features are the tectonic plates. Second order relief features are formed by plate interaction, e.g. mountain systems, ocean trenches. Third order relief features are produced by the erosion or deposition e.g., sand dunes, mountain peak.

    What is a mineral and how is it different from a rock?


    A mineral is an inorganic substance having a unique crystalline structure while a rock is a combination of minerals.

    What is the rock cycle?


    It is a model of the interrelationships between the three types of rocks and how they form.

    Compare and contrast the physical features of intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks.


    Extrusive igneous rock has smaller mineral grains and thus finer texture than intrusive igneous rocks.

    Briefly describe how a sill, dike, batholith, and laccolith form.


    Sill - magma intrudes between layers of host rock and solidifies. Dike - magma solidifies in a near vertical fracture. Batholith - huge subterranean mass of igneous rock. Laccolith - magma intrudes between layers of host rock, then warp the overlying layers.

    Compare and contrast the various types of sedimentary rocks. Give examples.


    Clastic sedimentary - formed from fragments, example = sandstone. Chemical (nonclastic) - formed from a precipitate. Example = limestone. Biologic sedimentary - Compaction of animal remains. Example = coal.

    Compare and contrast the various types of metamorphism.


    Contact metamorphism occurs along contact zones between pre-existing rock and a cooling pluton.

    Regional metamorphism occurs over broad areas of the crust. There are two basic kinds of regional metamorphism: dynamothermal metamorphism - deformation during mountain building. burial metamorphism - occurs in deep basins where sediments or sedimentary rocks have accumulated.

    What is the fundamental difference between foliated and nonfoliated metamorphic rocks.


    Foliated metamorphic rocks display banding of minerals, nonfoliated do not.

    Self-Assessment Quiz \(\PageIndex{1}\)
    1. Waves of seismic energy propagated as a back-and-forth motion are called
      1. compressional waves
      2. shear waves
      3. surface waves
      4. none of the above
    2. The sima is primarily composed of
      1. granitic-type rocks
      2. basaltic-type rocks
      3. limestone-like rocks
      4. none of the above
    3. Which of the following layers are, we think, composed of solid nickel and iron?
      1. The asthenosphere
      2. The lithosphere
      3. The outer core
      4. The inner core
    4. Which of the following is created by endogenic forces?
      1. Glacial erosion
      2. Water erosion
      3. Wind erosion
      4. Faulting
    5. The Himalaya Mountains are a _____ relief feature of the Earth.
      1. first
      2. second
      3. third
      4. fourth
    6. The most abundant mineral family is the
      1. silicates
      2. oxides
      3. sulfides
      4. carbonates
    7. Metamorphic rocks form from
      1. sedimentary rocks
      2. igneous rocks
      3. other metamorphic rocks
      4. all the above
    8. An intrusive igneous rock body formed by the cooling of magma in a nearly vertical fracture is called a
      1. dike
      2. sill
      3. laccolith
      4. batholith
    9. Granite is
      1. an extrusive igneous rock
      2. a clastic sedimentary rock
      3. a nonfoliated metamorphic rock
      4. none of the above
    10. Quartzite is
      1. an extrusive igneous rock
      2. a clastic sedimentary rock
      3. a nonfoliated metamorphic rock
      4. none of the above
    1. A
    2. B
    3. D
    4. D
    5. B
    6. A
    7. D
    8. A
    9. D
    10. C

    Additional Resources

    Use these resources to further explore the world of geography

    Focus on The Physical Environment: "Earth's Core" Naked Science Video Icon

    Connections: "Evolution of Landscape Change along Clear Creek, Colorado" USGS. A look at the effects of urbanization, aggregate mining and reclamation.


    "The Chemistry of Earth" The World of Chemistry video series (Annenberg/CPB) "Silicon, a cornerstone of the high-tech industry, is one of the elements of the Earth highlighted in this program." Additional information about Earth structure and mineral formation is included. Go to the The World of Chemistry site and scroll to "The Chemistry of Earth". One-time, free registration may be required to view film.

    "Intrusive Igneous Rocks" Earth Revealed video series (Annenberg/CPB)
    Most magma does not extrude onto Earth’s surface but cools slowly deep inside Earth. This magma seeps into crevices in existing rock to form intrusive igneous rocks. Experts provide a graphic illustration of this process and explain the types and textures of rocks such as granite, obsidian, and quartz. Once again, plate tectonics is shown to be involved in the process. Go to the Earth Revealed site and scroll to "Intrusive Igneous Rocks". One-time, free registration may be required to view film.

    "Metamorphic Rocks" Earth Revealed video series (Annenberg/CPB) "The weight of a mountain creates enough pressure to recrystallize rock, thus creating metamorphic rocks. This program outlines the recrystallization process and the types of rock it can create — from claystone and slate to schist and garnet-bearing gneiss. The relationship of metamorphic rock to plate tectonics is also covered." Go to the Earth Revealed site and scroll to "Metamorphic Rocks". One-time, free registration may be required to view film.

    "Sedimentary Rocks": The Key to Past Environments Earth Revealed video series (Annenberg/CPB) This program returns to the Grand Canyon: its exposed layers of sedimentary rock allow scientists to peer into the geologic past. The movement of sediment and its deposition are covered, and the processes of lithification, compaction, and cementation that produce sedimentary rocks are explained. Organic components of rock are also discussed. Go to the Earth Revealed site and scroll to "Sedimentary Rocks: The Key to Past Environments". One-time, free registration may be required to view film.

    This page titled 14.6: Review and Additional Resources is shared under a CC BY-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Michael E. Ritter (The Physical Environment) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.

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