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Geology Terms 14
 

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

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Geology Terms 14

Geology Terms

Transform Boundary - the location at which plates scrape past one another alone a strike-slip fault line

* (ex: San Andreas fault of California: formed where the N.American and Pacific plates meet)

Subduction Zone- the location at which lithospheric plates sink or are thrust into the Earth's interior

Rift Zone- a zone of tension that acts to pull continental land masses or ocean basins apart

*over time, rifts become deep valleys with elevations allowing sea water to enter; rifting can form new ocean basins;

it is unknown whether or not this pattern can create a large new ocean

Quartz- one of the three minerals found in granite; made mostly of silicon and oxygen

*medium to dark grey, translucent in color

Potassium Feldspar- one of the three minerals found in granite; made mostly of potassium, silicon, aluminum, and oxygen

*its reddish color comes mainly from traces of iron in its structure

Plutons- masses of rock formed by magma that crystallizes underground

*named for Pluto, the Greek god of the underworld

Plate Tectonics- the theory that describes how lithospheric plates move

*explains how lithospheric plates "bump" into one another eventually colliding which can produce high mountains

(ex: India is colliding with Asia, forcing the Himalayan mountain chain)

Plagioclase Felspar- one of the three minerals found in granite; made mostly of sodium, calcium, silicon, aluminum, and oxygen

Mineral- a naturally formed, non living solid that has a characteristic chemical composition and crystal structure

*all minerals occur as crystals, but not all crystals occur as minerals (ex: rock candy is crystallized but not a mineral)

Magma- molten rock

*magma is usually less dense that its surroundings, and so it rises towards the Earth's surface, sometimes as quickly as 10ft per year

Lithospheric Plate - plates of rock that form the outermost shell of the Earth; today six major and numerous plates form this shell

*Stony Creek granite is part of the N.American plate; granite did not form in its present location but traveled from New England

on this drift

Lava- magma that erupts on the Earth's surface; the vent from which the lava emerges is called a volcano

Igneous Rock- rock formed by the cooling and solidification of magma or lava

Granite- igneous rock that crystalizes underground and is composed of relatively large crystals of a specific suite of minerals

Gondwanaland- composed of what we now know as Africa, South America, Australia, India, the southeastern United States, and parts of China and Europe, and names for a zone of specific rocks in India.

Gondwana- an enormous, ancient continental mass

Crystal- a solid, bounded by flat (planar) faces, composed of a regular, highly ordered, three-dimensional arrangement of atoms

*can be traced back to the Greek word krystallos, meaning "ice;" internal order creates its symmetrical appearance

Continental Drift- the movement of continents across the surface

*constant slow motion for billions of years to date

Collision Zone- the location at which one lithospheric plate collides with another

Last Updated on Friday, 24 September 2010 18:11  

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Flesh and Stone

Flesh and Stone - Stony Creek and the Age of Granite - buy at Amazon.com
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Uncirculated: Shrink wrapped in clear plastic from original Italian publisher, 1999. Ships with fresh samples of sparkling Stony Creek pink granite for historians, collectors, geologists and classrooms. Additional samples available upon request.