Minerals and rocks

Quiz questions:

(1) Minerals are defined as naturally-occurring, inorganic solids that have definite ______________________ and _______________________.

(2) The tendency for some minerals to break along smooth, flat surfaces is called what?

(3) Color is often an unreliable indicator of what mineral you are looking at. What more reliable indicator is based on color?

(4) The relatively cool and rigid outer layer of the earth, as defined by physical properties, is called what?

(5) The breakage of minerals without regard to weaknesses in the crystal structure is called what?

(6) A mineral’s weight relative to an equal volume of water is called what?

(7) The silicon ion at the center of a silicate tetrahedron is surrounded by what? (State number of atoms of which element.)

(8) All silicate minerals contain which two elements?

True or false?

(9) The rock cycle tells us that rocks may undergo a variety of changes, but an sedimentary rock can never become a metamorphic rock.

(10) Igneous rocks with phaneritic texture have large, visible mineral grains while those with aphanitic texture have small, invisible grains.

(11) Basalt and granite, the two most common igneous rocks, are both intrusive rocks with aphanitic texture.

(12) Granite and rhyolite have the same textures, but different mineralogy.

(13) The mafic minerals (those high in Mg and Fe) are often associated with ocean crust while the felsic minerals are more common in continental crust.

Study Guide for EXAM 1

Plate tectonics

(1) Cite two types of evidence Wegener used to support his theory of continental drift.

(2) What kind of plate boundary is associated with mid-ocean ridges?

(3) What underwater feature is formed at ocean-continent convergent plate boundaries?

(4) Island arcs, like the Japanese islands and the Aleutian islands, are associated with what kind of plate boundary?

(5) Cite two plate tectonic settings in which ocean islands are found.

(6) What is the name of the mechanism (or process) that drives the movement of the lithospheric plates?

(7) What kind of plate boundary is associated with deep earthquakes?

(8) The plastic, partly melted layer of the earth on which the plates move is called what?

(9) At what kind of plate boundaries are “spreading centers” or “rift valleys” found?

(10) Which is denser, ocean crust or continental crust?

Topographic maps/lab
Topographic Help
Study Guide for Exam 2

Weathering, soils, and mass wasting

Quiz questions:

(1) Name one type of mechanical (or “physical”) weathering.

(2) Cite one common example of chemical weathering.

(3) Which weathering process--chemical or mechanical--is dominant in most environments, including southern Pennsylvania?

(4) In soils the “zone of leaching” refers to which horizon?

(5) In soils the “zone of accumulation” refers to which horizon?

(6) On average, how long does it take for rocks to weather sufficiently to provide the mineral material necessary for well-developed soils?

100s of years
1,000s of years
10,000 years or more


Quiz questions:

(1) Which type of stream channel is most likely to form in deserts?

(2) What form of sediment transport is typical for clays and silts?

(3) Most stream channels in Pennsylvania are of which type?

(4) In what type of landscape would you expect to find braided stream channels?

(5) Sediment that has been transported and deposited by streams is called what?

(6) A landform deposited where a stream flows out of steep mountains onto flatter plains and drops much of its sediment load is called what?

Study Guide for Exam 3

Groundwater characteristics and use, karst landscapes

Quiz questions:

(1) The top of the saturated zone underground is called what?

(2) Groundwater often has the capability of dissolving limestone. Name one feature that is formed through this process.

(3) The percentage of open spaces (voids) in rock is called: (A) porosity, or (B) permeability?

(4) In Pennsylvania, the movement of water is usually: (A) from groundwater to streams, or (B) from streams to groundwater?


Quiz questions:

(1) Small glaciers in mountainous areas are referred to as “alpine glaciers.” What are larger glaciers that cover hundreds of square miles called?

(2) A bowl-shaped depression in bedrock from which glacial ice flows is called what?

(3) Abrasion is one type of glacial erosion. Name the other main form of glacial erosion.

(4) Name the two main mechanisms through which glacial ice flows.

Study Guide for Final Exam

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