Plate Tectonic Review Questions

VOCABULARY: topography, geomorphology, geologic time scale; era; period, epoch, PreCambrian; Paleozoic; Mesozoic; Cenozoic; Quaternary; Pleistocene; Holocene (Recent); fossil; fossil record; revolution; orogeny; relative dating; absolute dating; radioactive isotope; half life; uniformitarianism; catastrophism; lithospheric plates; continental shelf; submarine canyon; continental slope; continental rise; abyssal plain; mid-oceanic ridge; seamount; guyot; coral reef; atoll; ocean trench; plate tectonics; continental drift; sea-floor spreading; Pangaea; Laurasia; Gondwanaland; Sea of Tethys; isostacy; boundaries: convergent, divergent, transform; rift, rift valley; subduction zone; trench; arc system; island arc; volcanoes; continental shield; Ring of Fire; paleomagnetism; polar wandering; normal polarity; reverse polarity; seamounts; hot spot

What is the study of landforms?
What is the configuration of the land?
What is the calendar of earth history?
What is any evidence of past life?
What is the evidence of life preserved in rocks?
What two terms are used for mountain building episodes?
What are the divisions of the geologic time scale?
What are the eras of the geologic time scale?
What type of dating dates one event in relationship to another event?
What type of dating puts a date on an event in years ± an error factor?
What decays at an absolutely constant rate?
What is the time it takes for half of a radioactive isotope to decay?
What radioactive isotope has a half-life of 4,510 million years?
What radioactive isotope has a half-life of 5,730 years?
What is the doctrine that the processes observed today have occurred in a similar manner during the geologic past?
What is the doctrine that processes happen as giant catastrophes such as Noah's Flood depositing hugh masses of sediments on the bottom of the sea floor which became rocks?
What is the field which studies the movement of the earth materials over the asthenosphere?
What is the term for a portion of crust which moves over the asthenosphere?
Describe the topographic features across a typical ocean basin.
What is the smooth gently sloping area peripheral (fringing) the continent?
What feature has been cut into the continental shelf by stream flow?
What is the more steeply inclined ocean floor and actual edge of continents?
What is the gently sloping surface at the base of the continental slope and often considered part of it?
What is the extensive, level area of deep ocean floor?
Approximately how much of the ocean floor is abyssal plain?
What are the mountain chains that run through the center of some of the oceans?
What are the deep linear features that sometimes border continents?
Differentiate between seamounts and guyots.
Differentiate between an ordinary coral reef and an atoll.
How are the terms plate tectonics, continental drift, and sea-floor spreading related?
Who is noted as first proposing continental drift?
What is Pangaea and when did it exist?
What are the three main types of plate boundaries?
Describe the movement of divergent boundaries and the characteristic features.
Give an example of a location of early divergence, later divergence, and late divergence.
Describe the movement of transform boundaries and the characteristic features.
Give two examples of locations of transform boundaries.
Describe the movement of convergent boundaries.
Describe the characteristic features of oceanic-oceanic convergence and give one example of a location.
Describe the characteristic features of oceanic-continental convergence and give one example of a location.
Describe the characteristic features of continental-continental convergence and give one example of a location.
Describe how the plate boundaries have been located.
Describe how plate tectonics or sea-floor spreading affects the age of the sea floor and the depth of sediments deposited on it.
How do magnetic reversals support plate tectonic theory?
How do hot spots support plate tectonic theory?
How have the Hawaiian islands formed?
How do atolls form?
What are the ancient, stable crystalline rock areas of the earth?
What is the balancing of the earth's crust?
What are the four factors are involved in the differentiation of landforms?

Some interesting reference material for further information about Plate Tectonics can be found in Smithsonian Magazine January 1975 and February; and Wilson, Continents Adrift and Continents Aground reprints from Scientific American

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