EAS 100-51: Introduction to Earth Science

Note: These essay-style questions are a supplement to (NOT a subtitute for) lecture notes, handouts, and text reading


OCEANOGRAPHY: tides, wave refraction and longshore transport

THE ATMOSPHERE: normal lapse rate, earth-sun relationships.

MOISTURE: adiabatic temperature changes, stability and instability of air

WEATHER PATTERNS AND SEVERE STORMS: life cycle of a wave cyclone

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1. Give the names for the following life zones of the oceans:

a. living in open water, free-swimming

b. on top of or within the ocean sediments

c. deep, dimly-lit water, below the lighted zone of shallow water

d. very deep, very dark, cold water

2. Describe how deep-sea creatures are adapted to their environment:

a. What size are they, in general (big or small)? Why?

b. What color are they, in general?

c. How do they adapt to the extreme pressure of deep water?

d. How do they maximize the chances of getting a meal? Name 2 types of deep-sea fish, and describe their strategies fo getting food.

3. Are there such creatures as giant squids and giant octopus, or are they merely legend, such as the Loch Ness Monster? Describe the sizes of these creatures and what ocean zones they live in.

4. What creature likes to hunt giant squid? What is his/her technique?

5. Why is ocean water near the equator less salty than in the temperate latitudes (30 N. or 30 S.)?

6. What is the association of ocean water temperature with the amount of nutrients and the abundance of life?

7. Distinguish the continental shelf from the continental slope and the abyssal plain.

8. What was the ultimate origin of the earth's water?

9. What are massive sulfide deposits? What strange sea creatures inhabit these zone?

10. What are manganese nodules?

11. How does the Coriolis affect the direction of ocean currents? How does it affect the path of airborne objects?

12. How are ocean waves generated?

13. How is weather distinguished from climate?

14. Name four "elements" of weather.

15. What 3 gases make up the majority of the Earth's atmosphere?

16. What percentage of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide? What important role does it play in the global scheme of things?

17. In what molecular form is nitrogen and oxygen? What form does nitrogen have to be in order for plants to use it as nutrients? What natural process produces these nitrogen compounds?

18. What is ozone? How is it made? What vital role does it play in the upper atmosphere?

19. What gases made up the Earth's early atmosphere? What caused it to change over to the oxygen-rich mix of today?

20. What early forms of life thrived in the early atmosphere?

21. What astronomical factors influenced the different types of atmospheres which evolved on Earth vs. the other planets?

22. Why is the surface of Venus so hot?

23. What are 2 ways to increase atmospheric pressure?

24. Why is the air thinner at higher altitudes?

25. What part of the electromagnetic spectrum are we able to detect readily?

26. Distinguish between conduction and convection.

27. What is albedo? (Hint: It isn't the white pulp under the skin of citrus fruit)

28. How does the greenhouse effect work? What if there were no carbon dioxide or other "greenhouse" gases in our atmosphere?

29. What is meant by relative humidity?

30. Fair weather is associated with descending or ascending air?

31. Contrast the differences between hurricanes and tornadoes.

32. How is lightning generated? What actually takes place between storm clouds and the ground?

33. What time of the year is the peak tornado season?

34. What man-made factors may be causing the global warming trend?

35. How are the burning of fossil fuels related to aggravation of the greenhouse effect?

36. How can automobile exhaust produce acid rain?

37. What are CFC's? How do they damage the ozone layer?

38. What other sources of carbon dioxide can cause greenhouse warming, other than the burning of fossil fuels?

39. What is the "hole" in the ozone layer?

40. What is the pH of natural rainwater? What is the pH of acid rain associated with industrial pollution?

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Copyright © 1994 by William K. Tong