Earth's Interdependent Systems

  1. Abiotic
    Related to factors or things that are separate and independent from living things; nonliving.
  2. Acid
    • Any compound that releases hydrogen ions when dissolved in water.
    • Also, a water solution that contains a surplus of hydrogen ions.
  3. A Layer
    • A soil horizon; the layer below the O layer is called the A layer.
    • The A layer is formed of weathered rock, referred to as topsoil and is the zone of leaching.
  4. Alkaline
    A basic substance; chemically, a substance that absorbs hydrogen ions or releases hydroxyl ions; in reference to natural water, a measure of the base content of the water.
  5. Aquifer
    • An underground layer of porous rock, sand, or other material that allows the movement of water between layers of nonporous rock or clay.
    • Aquifers are frequently tapped for wells.
  6. Arable
    Land that's fit to be cultivated.
  7. Asthenosphere
    The part of the mantle that lies just below the lithosphere.
  8. Atmosphere
    The gaseous mass or envelope surrounding a celestial body--especially the one surrounding the earth which is retained by the celestial body's gravitational field.
  9. Barrier Island
    A long, relatively narrow island running parallel to the mainland, built up by the action of waves and currents and serving to protect the coast from erosion by surf and tidal surges.
  10. Biological Weathering
    Any weathering that's caused by the activities of living organisms.
  11. Biotic
    Living or derived from living things.
  12. B Layer
    • A soil horizon; B receives the minerals and organic materials that are leached out of living organisms.
    • This is the zone of illuviation
  13. C Layer
    A soil horizon; horizon C is made up of larger pieces of rock that have not undergone much weathering.
  14. Convection Currents
    Air currents caused by the vertical movement of air due to atmospheric heating and cooling.
  15. Coriolis Effect
    The observed effect of the Coriolis force, especially the deflection of an object moving above the earth, rightward in the Northern Hemisphere, and leftward in the Southern Hemisphere.
  16. Doldrums
    A region of the ocean near the equator, chatacerized by calms, light winds, or squalls.
  17. Drip Irrigation
    A method of supplying irrigation water throuhg tubes that literally drip water onto the soil at the base of each plant.
  18. El Nino
    A climate variation that takes place in the tropical Pacific about every three to ten years, for a duration of about one year.
  19. Estuary
    The part of the wide lower course of a river where its current is met by the tides.
  20. Green Revolution
    The development and introduction of new varieties of (mainly) wheat and rice that has increased yields per acre dramatically in countries since the 1960s.
  21. Hadley Cell
    A system of vertical and horizontal air circulation predominating in tropical and subtropical regions and creating maor weather patterns.
  22. Headwaters
    The water from which a river rises; a source.
  23. Humus
    The dark, crumbly, nutrient-rich maaterial that results from the decomposition of organic material.
  24. Land Degradation
    When soil becomes water-logged and then dries out, and salt forms a layer on its surface.
  25. La Nina
    A cooling of the ocean surface off the western coast of South America, accurring periodically every 4 to 12 years and affecting Pacific and other weather patterns.
  26. Lithosphere
    The outer part of the Earth, containing the crust and upper-mantle, approximately 100 km thick.
  27. Loamy
    A soil mixture of sand, clay, silt, and organic matter.
  28. Monsoon
    A wind system that influences large climatic regions and revereses direction seasonally.
  29. O Layer
    • The uppermost horizon of soil.
    • It is primarily made up of organic material, including waste from organisms, the bodies of decomposing organisms, the bodies of decomposing organisms, and live organisms.
  30. Prior Appropriation
    When water rights are given to those who have historically used the water in a certain area.
  31. Rain Shadow
    • The law-rainfall region that exists on the leeward side of a mountain range.
    • This rain shadow is the result of the mountain range's causing precipitation on the windward side.
  32. Red Tide
    • A bloom of dinoflagellates that causees reddish discoloration of coastal ocean waters.
    • Certain dinoflagellates can produce toxins that kill fish and contaminate shellfish.
  33. R Horizon
    The bedrock, which lies below all of teh other layers of soil.
  34. Riparian Right
    The right, as to fishing or to the use of a riverbed, of one who owns riparian land (the land adjacent to a river or stream)
  35. Salinization
    • The process in which soil becomes saltier and saltier until, finally, the salt prevents the growth of plants.
    • Salinizaiton is caused by irrigation, as salts brought in with the water remain in teh soil as water evaporates.
  36. Southern Oscillation
    The atmospheric pressure conditions corresponding to the periodic warming of El Nino and cooling of La Nina
  37. Thermocline
    A layer in a large body of water, such as a lake, that sharply separates regions differing in temperature, so that the temperature gradient across the layer is abrupt.
  38. Thermosphere
    The outermost shell of the atmosphere, between the mesosphere and outer space, where temperatures steadily increase with attitude.
  39. Topsoil
    The A layer of soil.
  40. Trade Winds
    The more or less constant winds blowing in horizontal directions over the earth's surface, as part of Hadley Cells.
  41. Upwelling
    A process in which cold, often nutrient-rich, waters from the ocean depths rise to the surface.
  42. Watershed
    The region draining into a river system or other body of water.
  43. Water-Scarce
    Countries that have a renewable annual water supply of less than 1000 m3 per person.
  44. Water-Stressed
    Countries that have a renewable annual water supply of about 1,000-2,000 m3 per person.
  45. Richter Scale
    • Measures the amplitude of the highest S-wave.
    • Each increase in Richter number correspnds to an increase of approximately 33 times the energy of the precious number.
  46. Soil Water and Conservation Act
    • 1977
    • Soil and water conservation programs to aid landowners and users.
    • Sets up conditions to continue evaluating the condition of U.S. soil, water, and related resources.
  47. Food Security Act
    • 1985
    • Nicknamed the Swampbuster, this act discouraged the conversion of wetlands to nonwetlands.
    • Federal legislation denied federal farm supplements to those who converted wetlands to agriculture, and provided restoration of benefits to those who unknowingly converted lands to wetlands.
  48. Tropopause
    • A layer that acts as a buffer between the troposphere and next layer up.
    • Hotter with altitude/
  49. The Rock Cycle
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  50. The Coriolis Effect
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  51. The Convection Cell
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  52. The Hadley Cell
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  53. Winds Around the World
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  54. The Rainshadow
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  55. The El Nino
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  56. Epilimnion
    Upper layer of freshwater bodies and this the most oxygen-abundant.
  57. Hypolimnion
    The lower, colder, and denser layer of freshwater bodes.
  58. Thermocline
    The demarcation line between the epilimnion and hypolimnion.
  59. Freshwater Zones
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  60. Ocean Zones
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  61. Ocean Circulation
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  62. Inner Core
    • Composed of Nickel and Iron
    • Mostly solid due to tremendous pressures
  63. Mantle
    • Made of solid rock
    • asthenoshphere is slowly moving rock
  64. Earthquakes
    Occur as transform boundaries slide past each other.
  65. Soil pH Range
    • 4-8 (neutral to slightly acidic)
    • Determines Solubility of nutrient absorption by plant roots.
    • When pH of soil gets more acidic, ions of heavy metals such as mercury and aluminum can leach into the groundwater.
  66. Nutrients of Soil
    nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, humus (organic)
  67. Green Revolution
    • Increased use of pesticides
    • Mechanization of farming
    • last 50 years
    • development of genetically engineered plants.
    • massive increase of irrigation causes salinization.
  68. Methods of Soil Conservation
    • Use manure to increase organic matter
    • Modify tillage practices to reduce breakup of soil and to reduce the amount of erosion. (contour plaowing, strip planting)
    • Use Trees and other wind barriers to reduce wind force.
  69. Troposphere
    • Contains majority of atmospheric water vapor and clouds.
    • Colder with altitude.
  70. Stratosphere
    • Gases not well mixed
    • hotter with altitude
    • ozone layer
  71. Mesosphere
    where meteors burn up
  72. Thermosphere
    • thinnest gas layer.
    • where ionization occurs.
    • reflects radio waves
  73. Jet Stream
    • High-speeed currents of wind that occur in the upper troposphere
    • Have a large influence on local weather patterns.
  74. Doldrum
    • Air at the equator
    • No wind because air is constantly rising, due to receiving the most heat.
  75. Barrier Islands
    • created by the buildup of deposited sediments
    • boundaries constantly shifted by moving water around it.
    • important buffers to storms.
  76. Water Use throughout the World
    • 73% for crop irrigation
    • 21% for industry use
    • 6 % for domestic use.
  77. Interbasin Transfer
    Water is transported very long distances from its source through aqueducts and pipelines.
Card Set
Earth's Interdependent Systems
Princeton Review