Earth Science Practice Final


  1. What is a supernova?
  2. The heavy elements in the solar system originally came from ______ .
  3. What force of nature is responsible for the formation of the solar system?
  4. What became of the solar nebula material left over from the sun's formation?
  5. About what was Theia's size?
  6. How long ago did Theia hit the Earth?
  7. What are the three results of Theia's impact on Earth?
  8. The Earth had heavy elements as did Theia. What became of those heavy elements in the Earth/ Moon system after the collision?
  9. What is the age of the Earth?


  1. What is a mineral? (Remember there are four parts to this)
  2. Describe the nine physical mineral properties. Be ready to use properties.
  3. Why isn't color a reliable identifier of mineral?
  4. What determines the hardness of a mineral?
  5. Contrast color and streak.
  6. What could cause one piece of quartz to be milky colored and another to be pink?

Rock Cycle, Igneous & Metamorphic Rocks with Volcanoes:

  1. An aggregate of two or more minerals is called a ____.
  2. Compare and contrast mineral, rock and ore.
  3. Draw and label the rock cycle.
  4. Igneous rocks are classified by their _____ and ______.
  5. Igneous rocks that cooled slowly underground have ______ crystals.
  6. The color of an igneous rock reflects its ______.
  7. Igneous rocks that have mostly dark minerals are found ______.
  8. Complete the table of volcano characteristics:
    Type Violence Products Size Internal structure Name an example
  9. If magma has a high silica and high water content then it is associated with ______ eruptive violence.
  10. Which of these sample rocks are aphanitic, phaneritic, felsic, mafic?
  11. Explain what agents (forces) cause metamorphism.
  12. Explain how "high grade" and "low grade" metamorphic rocks differ.
  13. Compare and contrast the two main types (based on location) of metamorphism.
  14. What is the value of index minerals?

Sedimentary Rock

  1. Describe the two types of sedimentary rock.
  2. Clastic rocks are made of rock and mineral fragments. List the three categories of those fragments in order from the largest to the smallest fragment sizes.
  3. What is a chemical precipitate?
  4. Describe an effect of industrialized human society that has increased chemical weathering.
  5. Describe the agents of erosion.
  6. Sediments from floods are often not well sorted. Explain why that is.
  7. List the two processes of lithification.
  8. How is lithification different from freezing?
  9. Why are sedimentary rocks overly represented on the continents?


  1. Define earthquakes.
  2. Compare and contrast earthquake intensity and earthquake magnitude (measurement units and tools).
  3. Interpret the Richter scale and indicate the numbers associated with weak to strong earthquakes.
  4. Use earthquake data and a travel time graphs to locate the epicenter of an earthquake.
  5. Use earthquake data to determine the magnitude of an earthquake.
  6. Differentiate between focus and epicenter.
  7. Differentiate between P-, S-, and surface waves.
  8. Differentiate between various types of faults.
  9. Contrast tension, compression, and shearing forces in the Earth and relate each to fault movement.
  10. Explain how awareness is the key to earthquake safety.
  11. Describe what governments and citizens should be doing to prepare for a large quake.

Earth Structure

  1. Your notes state that "Each layer of the Earth can be characterized by its distinctive composition and physical properties." Describe the physical properties.
  2. What is meant by composition properties?
  3. Which layer is capable of flow?
  4. Which layer is a solid sphere?
  5. If the inner core is hot enough to melt, why is it still a solid?
  6. What layer on the Earth is composed mostly of light elements?
  7. What is the composition of the inner core?
  8. Why did the elements of the separate into layers?

Plate Tectonics

  1. Describe the structure of the Earth.
  2. What characteristic of transverse waves assisted geophysicists in determining the Earth's internal structure?
  3. Define the lithosphere and asthenosphere.
  4. Define the crust and mantle.
  5. Why do we need these two different ways (lithosphere/ asthenosphere and crust/ mantle) to describe essentially the same part of the Earth?
  6. Describe the theory of continental drift.
  7. Describe problems Wegener had getting his ideas accepted.
  8. Describe the three categories of evidence Wegener used to support his theory of continental drift.
  9. What is a fossil?
  10. What WWII technological advance allowed the discovery of the mid-ocean ridges?
  11. Explain why the sea floor has been described as a conveyor belt.
  12. Name pieces of evidence Hess used to support his theory of sea floor spreading.