ES 10 -- The Earth
Midterm Exam -- Practice Version
05 February 1997

This is a practice version for the midterm exam for ES 10. The real exam is similar to this one, and will also be 30 multiple choice questions.

There will be a review session on Friday, 7 February, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm in Center Hall 105. Greg will be running that session, and will be going over the practice exam then, as well as any other questions you might have related to the midterm.

This practice exam, as with all the lecture notes, handouts, and homeworks, is also available through Soft Reserves.

  1. If the escape velocity from the Earth's orbit is 11 km/sec, how many miles per hour is it?

  2. The age of the Earth is determined by:
    1. measuring of radioactive decay products
    2. counting of sedimentary cycles
    3. plotting distance against velocity of galaxies
    4. analyzing solar spectra

  3. The crust of the Earth is made up predominantly of
    1. olivine
    2. silicates
    3. iron
    4. hydrogen and helium

  4. The primary source of energy in the Earth is:
    1. the conversion of uranium to lead
    2. the fusion of hydrogen to form helium
    3. formation of glacial ice sheets
    4. burning of fossil fuels

  5. The asthenosphere can be described as:
    1. being composed of partially molten rock and supporting the lithosphere
    2. having a solid inner core
    3. being strong and riding atop the asthenosphere
    4. being composed of crust some 4.6 billion years old

  6. Covalent bonds are made by:
    1. electrostatic attraction between ions produced by the transfer of electrons between atoms from cations to anions
    2. sharing of some electrons in such a way that they orbit around both nuclei
    3. electrostatic attraction between ions that are electrically symmetrical
    4. electrostatic attraction between ions with the same electrical charge, but very different sizes

  7. An isotope of an element is an atom that contains:
    1. additional electrons that are placed in shells closest to the nucleus
    2. one more proton than the original atom of the element
    3. fewer electrons than the original atom of the element
    4. different numbers of neutrons, which change the atomic weight of the element, but retains the same number of protons, which control the chemical properties

  8. Polymorphs are different minerals that:
    1. contain very different chemical compositions from one another
    2. have the same chemical composition but have different crystal structure
    3. have different isotopes of the same elements
    4. have different chemical compositions but identical physical properties

  9. Metamorphic rocks are:
    1. sometimes called ``black smokers''
    2. formed by ``cooking'' of other kinds of rocks
    3. formed when rivers flood over their banks
    4. formed from magma

  10. The process that transforms a pile of sedimentary rock into loose fragments is:
    1. crystallization
    2. metamorphism
    3. lithification
    4. weathering

  11. The two elements in greatest abundance in the solar system are:
    1. oxygen and silicon
    2. hydrogen and helium
    3. silicon and iron
    4. iron and magnesium

  12. Chemical weathering will be most intense in which climate?
    1. warm and moist, where daily temperature variations are small
    2. cold and moist, where daily temperature variations are large and span the freezing point of water
    3. warm and dry, where daily temperature variations are small
    4. cold and dry, where daily temperature variations are large and span the freezing point of water

  13. In an syncline, the limbs dip:
    1. away from the axial trace and the youngest rocks are at the center
    2. away from the axial trace and the oldest rocks are at the center
    3. toward the axial trace and the oldest rocks are at the center
    4. toward the axial trace and the youngest rocks are at the center

  14. Rocks that are brittle tend to be associated with:
    1. lakes and streams
    2. folds
    3. synclines
    4. normal faults

  15. When the magnetic field of the Earth is reversed, the:
    1. Earth flips over in its orbit so that North is always up
    2. sense of rotation of the Earth is reversed
    3. magnetization of all existing rocks in the ocean is reversed to match the orientation of the new magnetic field
    4. magnetic polarity of the Earth is such that the north-seeking end of a magnetic compass needle would point toward the south magnetic pole

  16. The oldest rocks in the crust are about how many years old?
    1. 6,000
    2. 20,000
    3. 200 million
    4. 3.8 billion

  17. The Hawaiian Islands are the result of:
    1. a hot-spot
    2. a major transform fault like the San Andreas
    3. an ancient continent-continent collision
    4. a meteorite impact some 65 million years ago

  18. We know the Earth's core is made of iron because:
    1. the outer core does not transmit shear waves
    2. of analysis of solar spectra and meterorites
    3. there is a seismic shadow zone
    4. of satellite gravity measurements

  19. The type of fault which has steeply dipping fault surfaces, with the hanging wall overhanging the footwall is:
    1. a strike-slip fault
    2. a normal dip-slip fault
    3. an oblique fault
    4. not possible

  20. The principle that allows us to say that a rock layer in the middle of an undisturbed pile is older than those overlying it and younger than those under it is:
    1. the principle of uniformitarianism
    2. the principle of superposition
    3. the principle of original horizontality
    4. based on the number of radioactive isotopes in each of the layers

  21. If a continental area undergoes extension, such as what has occurred in eastern Africa, the resulting feature is termed a(n):
    1. overthrust
    2. transform fault
    3. rift valley
    4. plunging anticline

  22. The periods of the Tertiary Era, in chronological order begining with the earliest, were:
    1. Paleogene, Neogene, Quaternary
    2. Archean, Proterozoic, Phanerozoic
    3. Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous
    4. Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene

  23. Which of the following is not a metamorphic rock?
    1. schist
    2. hornfels
    3. gneiss
    4. tholeite

  24. If we find a rock in the field that has a crack along which relative motion has occurred, we are looking at a:
    1. fault
    2. fold
    3. syncline
    4. joint

  25. An overturned fold is one in which:
    1. both limbs dip in different directions
    2. the axial plane is vertical
    3. the axial plane is inclined
    4. the strata in one limb are horizontal

  26. The sedimentary environment that would display the most sorted group of clasts would be:
    1. alluvial fans
    2. a deep-water marine area
    3. an organic reef complex
    4. wind-deposited areas

  27. Which mineral is least resistant to weathering?
    1. amphibole
    2. pyroxene
    3. mica
    4. quartz

  28. The metamorphism of a limestone will produce which of the following rocks?
    1. schist
    2. gneiss
    3. slate
    4. marble

  29. Contact metamorphism is characterised by:
    1. low-temperature, low-pressure metamorphism
    2. low-temperature, high-pressure metamorphism
    3. high-temperature, low-pressure metamorphism
    4. high-temperature, high-pressure metamorphism

  30. The degree of roundness of clasts in a sandstone at a single outcrop can be used to infer the:
    1. velocity of the current by which it was deposited
    2. distance over which the sand had been transported
    3. number of times the sand had been reworked by successive currents
    4. grain size of the rocks from which the sand weathered

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Lisa Tauxe

Greg Anderson

Tue Feb 4 13:50:19 PST 1997