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ES 10 -- The Earth
Final Exam -- Practice Version
12 March 1997

  1. What is a typical rate for seafloor spreading?
    1. 50 m/yr
    2. 5 m/yr
    3. 50 mm/yr
    4. 0 mm/yr

  2. What causes ocean tides?
    1. gravitational pull of the sun
    2. gravitational pull of the moon
    3. distribution of continents
    4. gravitational pull of the sun and moon

  3. Which of these igneous rocks has the highest silica content?
    1. diorite
    2. andesite
    3. granite
    4. basalt

  4. What is a guyot?
    1. flat-topped seamount
    2. low-lying coral-reef island
    3. type of rock
    4. small seamount

  5. What type of plate boundary is the San Andreas Fault?
    1. subduction zone
    2. spreading ridge
    3. transform fault
    4. fracture zone

  6. What is the average elevation of the continents?
    1. 8 m
    2. 80 m
    3. 800 m
    4. 8000 m

  7. What is the average thickness of the oceanic crust?
    1. 7 km
    2. 70 km
    3. 700 km
    4. 7000 km

  8. The speed of sound in sea water is 1500 m/sec. What is the round-trip time of a sound pulse when the water depth is 3000 m?
    1. 1 s
    2. 2 s
    3. 4 s
    4. 8 s

  9. Where is the largest ice cap?
    1. Iceland
    2. Greenland
    3. Antarctica
    4. Australia

  10. What are the units of mass density?
    1. m/s
    2. tree/acre
    3. w/m2
    4. kg/m3

  11. Where do the deepest earthquakes occur?
    1. San Francisco
    2. the core
    3. subduction zone
    4. transform faults

  12. Lithosphere is created at spreading ridges. Where is it destroyed?
    1. transform faults
    2. hot spots
    3. deep ocean trenches
    4. No, it is not destroyed. The earth grows in radius.

  13. Which type of plate boundary has mostly strike-slip faults?
    1. spreading ridge
    2. continental margin
    3. transform fault
    4. subduction zone

  14. Which have the greatest velocities in rock?
    1. surface waves
    2. tsunami
    3. primary waves (P-waves)
    4. secondary waves (S-waves)

  15. Which currents move sand and water parallel to the beach?
    1. reflected
    2. translational
    3. longshore
    4. ebb tide

  16. Which would prove that a coastline was emergent?
    1. many bedrock islands
    2. an elevated wave-cut terrace
    3. a barrier island
    4. an estuary

  17. What famous 19th century scientist proposed a basically correct theory of how atolls formed?
    1. Newton
    2. Hutton
    3. Darwin
    4. Lyell

  18. What is the best way to scientifically explain the hundreds of meters of coral limestone beneath most atolls?
    1. sea level has fallen thousands of feet since the reef began to grow
    2. the eroded volcano below the limestone rose thousands of feet after the limestone accumulated
    3. the eroded volcano slowly sank as sea level remained steady or rose gradually
    4. the volcano never reached the surface, allowing a very thick cap of coral limestones to accumulate

  19. On a typical seismogram, which waves will show the highest amplitudes?
    1. P waves
    2. S waves
    3. surface waves
    4. body waves

  20. The Marina District in San Francisco was heavily damaged in the 1906 and 1989 quakes. Why?
    1. the epicenters of both quakes were right under the district
    2. the area is built on consolidated rock, causing the shaking to be amplified
    3. liquefaction and other foundation failures were common
    4. shaking was not any more extensive than elsewhere in the city, but the whole district burned following each quake

  21. During the glacial period, sea level:
    1. rises
    2. falls
    3. remains at the same level

  22. The oldest basalts of the oceanic crust are approximately 160 million years old. Where would you go to drill samples of these old oceanic basalts?
    1. at the crest of the East Pacific mid-ocean ridge
    2. on the oceanic side of the Mariana deep ocean trench
    3. under Iceland
    4. off the coast of our nation's capital (Washington, D.C.)

  23. What does NOT happen as the oceanic lithosphere ages?
    1. seafloor depth increases
    2. lithospheric thickness increases
    3. magnetic anomaly increases
    4. sediments accumulate on the seafloor

  24. How do we know that the Rose Canyon Fault has ruptured during the past 10,000 years?
    1. earthquakes are common along the fault today
    2. a trench across the fault shows offsets in sedimentary layers
    3. the fault follows Interstate 5
    4. all faults in California are active

  25. How many seismic stations are needed to locate an earthquake?
    1. 1
    2. 2
    3. at least 3
    4. at least 10

  26. What is the circumference of the Earth (i.e. 2 tex2html_wrap_inline298 times the radius, where tex2html_wrap_inline298 = 3.14)?
    1. 400 km
    2. 4,000 km
    3. 40,000 km
    4. 400,000 km

  27. These tides create the largest daily tidal range.
    1. spring tides
    2. solar tides
    3. neap tides
    4. lunar tides

  28. Which of the following is a depositional feature?
    1. wave-cut cliffs
    2. sea stack
    3. spit
    4. sea arch

  29. _______ is a deposit which formed by the downslope movement of dense, sediment-laden water. It exhibits graded bedding and is found in submarine canyons.
    1. turbidite
    2. conglomerate
    3. ophiolite
    4. terrigenous sediment

  30. What was Pangaea? When did it form and when did it break apart?
    1. a supersize ocean basin that opened in the Triassic and closed in the Palaeocene
    2. a supersize Precambrian shield area of Africa and South America that broke apart early in the Proterozic
    3. the huge mountain range formed when Africa pushes northward into Europe in Eocene time
    4. the supercontinent that formed in the late Palaeozoic and broke apart in Triassic time

  31. Where is the continental rise?
    1. at the top of the continental slope
    2. at the seaward edge of a deep ocean trench
    3. between the edge of the abyssal plain and the continental slope
    4. at the top of a mid-ocean ridge

  32. What term denotes the vast, deep, flat, sediment-covered parts of the ocean basin? (Hint: They make up the majority of the ocean basins.)
    1. continental margins
    2. abyssal plains
    3. submarine canyons
    4. trenches

  33. Which best describes the boundary between northern India and Eurasia?
    1. two continental plates are converging
    2. two continental plates are diverging
    3. an oceanic plate is diverging from a continental plate
    4. two continental plates are sliding past each other along the northern India transform fault

  34. Volcanic island arcs are associated with which plate boundary?
    1. convergent, passive trailing margins of two continental plates
    2. divergent, two oceanic plates
    3. transform, an oceanic plate and a continental plate
    4. convergent, two oceanic plates

  35. The concept that rocks of the crust and upper mantle are floating in gravitational balance is known as:
    1. elastic rebound
    2. isotropy
    3. uniformitarianism
    4. isostasy

  36. Which one describes a normal fault?
    1. the hanging wall block below an inclined fault plane moves downward relative to the other block
    2. the footwall block below an inclined fault plate moves downward relative to the other block
    3. the hanging wall block above an inclined fault plane moves downward relative to the other block
    4. the footwall block above an inclined fault plane moves upward relative to the other block

  37. Which area and type of terrain result from active or recently-active normal faulting?
    1. the Basin and Range, eastern USA
    2. the Valley and Ridge, western USA
    3. the Valley and Ridge, eastern USA
    4. the Basin and Range, western USA

  38. Which one is not a very long-lived radioactive isotope?
    1. 238U
    2. 40K
    3. 87Rb
    4. 14C

  39. What is an unconformity?
    1. a buried fault or fracture with older rocks above and younger rocks below
    2. a buried surface of erosion separating younger strata above from older strata below
    3. a buried fault or fracture with younger strata above and older strata below
    4. the contact between a cross-cutting pluton and sedimentary rocks

  40. For nos 40-43, refer to Figure 1. Match the following lithospheric plates (indicated by a number) with the corresponding letter choice.
    1. African Plate
    2. Nazca Plate
    3. Pacific Plate
    4. Eurasian Plate
    5. Antarctic Plate

  1. Of the original starting amount of radioactive parent isotope, 25% remains and 75% has decayed. How many half-lives have passed?
    1. 0.5
    2. 1.5
    3. 2
    4. 3

  2. Which one is not a process of radioactive decay?
    1. electron capture
    2. alpha emission
    3. delta capture
    4. beta emission

  3. Which statement applies to an anticline?
    1. a fault in which strata dip away from the axis
    2. erosion exposes the oldest strata along the axial part of the fold
    3. a bowl-shaped depression
    4. a fold in which the strata dip toward the axis

  4. According to geologists, the continental crust is best described as:
    1. 10 km thick, granitic composition
    2. 20-60 km thick, basaltic composition
    3. 20-60 km thick, granitic composition
    4. 10 km thick, basaltic composition

  5. The most common detrital sedimentary rock is?
    1. sandstone
    2. slate
    3. siltstone
    4. shale

  6. Today, we are living in the _______ Era.
    1. Cenozoic
    2. Proterozoic
    3. Mesozoic
    4. Palaeozoic

  7. The most aboundant element in Earth's atmosphere is:
    1. argon
    2. carbon dioxide
    3. oxygen
    4. nitrogen



Figure 1. World Plate Map

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David Sandwell

Greg Anderson
Thu Mar 13 12:18:38 PST 1997