Geology Exam


1) Geology uses the scientific method to explain natural aspects of the Earth. TRUE

2) Differentiation of the Earth is the primary reason for global climate change. TRUE

3) Nebulae is another word for the Big Bang. FALSE

4) Earth’s lithosphere is made up of the crust and asthenosphere. TRUE

5) Nearly all biological and chemical systems on Earth are disconnected and are

best studied in mutual isolation. FALSE

6) The primary control of glacial inter-glacial episodes during the last few million

years seems to be variation in the Earth’s orbit and inclination to the sun.

7) Sea level is not influenced by the growth or melting of ice sheets. TRUE

8) The unsorted and un-layered rock debris carried or deposited by glaciers is called

9) The compacted mass of granular snow, transitional between snow and ice, is

  1. till. TRUE

called firn. TRUE

10) The only three places on Earth that now have continental ice sheets are

11) Air bubbles preserved in glacial ice can provide the AGE of the ice. TRUE

  1. Greenland, the North Pole, and Antarctica. FALSE

12) in the Greenhouse effect, gas molecules in the atmosphere radiate heat towards the

Earth’s surface, making the Earth’s surface warmer than it would be without

the presence of an Atmosphere. TRUE

13) Ocean currents are a primary control on Earth’s climate at many locations (for

example, northern Europe). TRUE

14) Methane, carbon dioxide, and several trace gases (including water) are all

greenhouse gases that cause the atmosphere to cool by reflecting large amounts

of solar energy back into space. FALSE

15) Proxy data provides an indirect measure of past temperatures. TRUE

16) The factors that affect Earth’s longSterm climate (>10,000,000 years) are

different from those that affect climate on shorter time scales (<1,000,000

years). TRUE

17) In our current understanding of the big bang, ____________.


A. Earth is much older than the rest of the Universe

B. the Universe is considerably older than Earth

C. Earth and the Universe formed at about the same time

D. there is no way of knowing how old the Universe might be

18) By far the most common elements in the Universe and in our Solar System are


A. nitrogen and oxygen

C. hydrogen and helium

B. iron and manganese

D. hydrogen and oxygen

19) Presently, Earth’s atmosphere is dominated by which two gases?

A. hydrogen and oxygen

B. carbon dioxide and methane

C. nitrogen and oxygen

D. nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide

20) What is the definition of a hypothesis?

A. An explanation for a natural phenomenon.

B. The end result of the scientific method.

C. Data discovered by scientists.

D. A theory developed through years of experience.

21) Boundaries between Earth’s layers….

A. are unreachable to humans, so they must be studied by indirect methods.

B. Are defined by abrupt changes in earthquakeSwave velocities.

C. Are places where there’s abrupt change in the density of rock.

D. Divide the Earth into three major layers (crust, mantle, and core) and several


E. All the possible answers are correct.

22) It is generally believed that humans began to significantly modify the environment about how long ago? Select one:

A. 8,000 years ago, near the start of agricultural-based societies

B. 4000S5000 years ago, near the “dawn of civilization”

C. 2000 years ago, at the birth of Christ

D. ~250 years ago, during the Age of Industrialization

23) Earth is round because

A. erosion over time has worn down the jagged edges of its planetesimals.

B. its interior rock is warm enough to flow slowly in response to gravity.

C. solar wind has shaped it.

D. the gravitational tug of the Moon has worn down the jagged edges.

E. the gravitational tug of the Sun has worn down the jagged edges.

24) The metal alloy that makes up the core of Earth is ____________ as compared to the

rocky mantle.

a) Less dense

b) Denser

c) Very similar in chemistry and density

d) Distinct in chemistry but of very similar density

25) A hypothesis that passes repeated tests ultimately becomes_____.

A. concept

B. hypothesis

C. theory

D. scenario

E. belief

26) A (n) ______ accumulates at the toe of a glacier. The sediment comprising it

___________ .

A. kame / fell from mountain ridges onto the side of the glacier

B. lateral moraine / was deposited in under-ice tunnels

C. end moraine / was carried by the ice in conveyor-belt fashion

D. lateral moraine / was pushed into place by the bulldozer effect of moving ice

27) What processes happen in a glacier’s zone of ablation? Choose one answer.

A. The rate of snow accumulation is balanced by the rate of snow sublimation.

B. Glacial ice follows a flow trajectory that takes it down to greater depths.

C. Snow accumulates.

D. Ice gradually is lost, due to a combination of melting, sublimation, and calving.

28) Valleys carved by glaciers tend to be shaped like the letter ____________, whereas

valleys carved by rivers tend to shaped like the letter ____________.

A. “V”; “U”

B. “V”; “C”

C. “U”; “V”

D. “V”; “I”

29) Cirques and horns are features associated with ____________.

A. mountain glaciation

B. glacial outwash deposits

C. continental glaciation

D. loess deposits

30) Glacial debris deposited along the margins (ie. sides) of a glacier forms what


A. lateral moraine

B. terminal moraine

C. ground moraine

D. esker

31) Why was sea level lower during the last glacial maximum?

A. Ice sheets on land locked up much of the water that was in the oceans,

causing sea level to drop.

B. Wind caused more evaporation from the ocean and caused sea level to drop.

C. The drier climate during the last glacial maximum produced less rainfall

causing sea level to drop

D. Sea level wasn’t lower, it was higher during the last glacial maximum.

MATCH each Milankovitch cycle below (left) with its appropriate frequency (in years on

right). Use only 3 of the 4 choices given.

32) Precession (A) A) ~20,000 yrs

33) Obliquity (B) B) ~40,000 yrs

34) Eccentricity (C) C) ~100,000 yrs

D) ~1,000,000 yrs

35) Santa Monica Mountains C

36) Verdugo Hills D

37) Santa Susana Mountains B

38) Simi Hills A

39) San Gabriel MountainsE


The figure to the right displays a cross-section through the Earth to 200 km depth.

Match letters A, B & C with their appropriate term.

40) asthenosphere B

41) lithosphereA

42) mantle C

43) A reasonable hypothesis for this graph is that “an increase in CO2 and CH4 are causing an increase in global temperature.” TRUE

44) A reasonable hypothesis for this graph is “an increase in temperature causes a decrease n CO2 and CH4” TRUE

45) The graphs above show the effects of Earth’s orbital changes on climate at

20,000, 40,000, and 100,000 year cycles. FALSE

46) Based on the patterns observed in the graph above, and NOT considering the effects of humans, over the next 100,000 years the earth’s climate should:

A. continue to warm

B. stay about the same

C. gradually cool into another ice age

D. impossible to tell

47) Zone of ablation B

48) Zone of accumulation A

49) Which of the following datasets did Dr. Michael Mann NOT use for his

development of the “Hockey Stick Graph” above?

A. historical temperature data (thermometer)

B. glacier moraines

C. corals

D. tree-rings

E. ice-cores

50) Which of the following statements about the graph above is FALSE?

A. There has been no change in global temperature over the past 1000 years.

B. Average global temperature has been rising over the last 100 years

C. Present-day average global temperature is higher than at any time in the

last 1000 years.

D. The graph shows how average global temperature has changed over time.

E. The graph was developed by using proxy and historical datasets.

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