Geology 100: vocabulary


Physical Weathering

  • Exfoliation: rock breaks apart in layers
    • Igenous rocks
    • Half Dome
    • Stone Mountain, Georgia
  • Frost Wedging
    • Shattered rocks
  • Biological
  • Abrasion: wind, ice, water

Chemical Weathering

  • mineral breakdown
  • Dissolution (dissolver in water)
  • Acid Reactions (water + CO2 carbonic acid); Water + sulfur sulfuric aside
    • H2O + CO2 + CaCO3 –> Ca+2 + 2HCO3-
  • Oxidation
  • Hydration: attachment of water to crystalline structure
  • Hydrolysis: Hydrogen and oxygen in water with rock
  • Solution: rock is dissolved in water
    • pH, temperature
    • evaporite deposits
  • Goldrich Stability series
    • Similar to Bowen’s Reaction Series but for speed to weather
    • Olivine/pyroxene + H2CO3 (acid) to clay
  • Karst landforms
    • limestone sinkhole

Erosion by Gravity

  • Rock fall
    • Talus: debris at base of a steep slope
    • Peru, 1970 Nevado Huascaran
  • Rock Slides
  • Soil Slumps
  • Mud flows
  • Lahar: 1985 Columbia: 70km!
  • Debris flow
  • Creep: leaning poles, bent trees

Erosion by water

  • Point bar: deposits from water slowing
  • Cut Bansk show erosion from fast water
  • River meanders
  • Oxbow lakes (Australian Billabong)
  • Alluvial Fans

Aswan Dam

  • 1960 – 1971
  • Formed Lake Nassar
  • Many economic tenets
  • Many ecological/economic costs

Ground Water

  • Water cycle
    • Percolation: water seeping into ground water
    • Run off to see
    • Evaporation
    • Condenstations
    • Precipitation
    • Transpiration: water from plants)


  • Movement
  • Types: Alpine, Continental

Deserts and Wind Action


Geology 100: Exam 2 review

Lecture 17: 2020-11-05

Exam 2: Tues, Nov 10

56 questions; multiple choice; 1.5hrs

Much of the material is definitions or just common sense.


  • Definition of weathering
  • Name of mineral that dissolves in carbonic acid
  • Know different types of physical and chemical weathering
    • Oxidation, hydrolisis, …
    • What is exfoliation?
  • Type of climate where chemical weathering is most effective
  • Know different agents of erosion (running water, ground water, glaciers, wind)
    • Which is most effective today
    • Which was most effect 10k ago
  • When it comes to mass wasting, what makes a slope stable (or unstable)
  • Know different types of mass wasting
    • Slide vs Slump
    • Rockfall, …
    • What is a landslide
    • What is a creep
  • What triggered landslide in Peru in 1970?

Running water (rivers)

  • What are point bars
  • What is saltation
  • How does a river carry sediments (e.g. different loads)
    • dissolved, suspended, bed load
  • What is river discharge
  • What is a delta
  • Largest river in North America
  • What is a meander stream?
  • What is oxbow lake
  • Aswan Dam
    • Where are sediments deposited
    • What may have changed?
  • What is the water table?
  • What is a stalactite vs stalagmite
  • What is porosity? Permeability?
  • What is an artesian well?
  • What is an aquifer
  • What is aquiclude
  • Why is rain water acidic?
  • What is karst topography/landscape?
  • Problems with excessive pumping of ground water


  • What portion of earth surface is covered by glaciers
  • What causes ice ages
  • What’s been happening to glaciers for past 200 years
  • Different types of glaciers
  • Where is largest glacier in world today?
  • What is a moraine? Terminal moraine? Medial moraine?
  • What kind of moraine is south fork of Long Island
  • What’s name of last ice age
  • Why drill in ice in Antarctica? What’s in the core? Climate change
  • What shape are glacial valleys
  • When was the last advance of Pleistocene
  • What happens to sea level when glaciers advance


  • Eolian is overall term from Greek god
  • Loess & dunes: wind deposits. What’s difference?
  • What is deflation surface?
  • What is desertification
  • What are barchan dunes? Parabolic dunes