Level 68
Level 69

Weathering, Soil, & Mass Movements


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Weathering
breaking down rocks
mechanical weathering
process that occurs when physical forces break rock into smaller and smaller pieces without changing the rock's mineral composition
talus
an accumulation of rock debris at the base of a cliff
unloading
process in which large masses of igneous rock is exposed through uplift and erosion of overlying rocks
central business district
The downtown or nucleus of a city where retail stores, offices, and cultural activities are concentrated; building densities are usually quite high; and transportation systems converge
chemical weathering
the transformation of rock into one or more new compounds
water
the most important agent of chemical weathering
spheroidal weathering
a chemical process in which water weathers the corners and edges of rock most rapidly, causing the rock to take on a spherical shape
Anemochores
Dispersed by wind. Common for plants. Ex, dandy lions, tumbleweed. Very light with not much metabolic reserve. Produced in great numbers. Distributed randomly, more likely to end up in inhospitable sites.
regolith
the layer of rock and mineral fragments that nearly everywhere covers Earth's surface
soil
material in the top layer of the surface of the earth in which plants can grow (especially with reference to its quality or use)
major soil components
mineral matter, humus, water, and air
humus
the decayed remains of organisms
most important factors of soil formation
parent material, time, climate, organisms, and slope
parent material
the source of the mineral matter in soil
residual soil
soil that forms on bedrock
transported soil
soil that forms on unconsolidated deposits from which its parent material was moved from another location by gravity, water, wind, or ice
legumes
plants such as peanuts, beans, and clover that have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in nodules on their roots
nitrifying bacteria
soil bacteria that produces compounds called nitrates and nitrites, which are made up of nitrogen and oxygen
soil horizon
a layer of soil that has identifiable characteristics produced by chemical weathering and other soil-forming processes
soil profile
a vertical section through all of the soil horizons
A horizon
top soil; consists mostly of organic matter
C horizon
between the B horizon and the unaltered parent material
pedalfer
soil of humid regions characterized by the accumulation of iron oxides and aluminum-rich clays in the B horizon
pedocal
soil associated with drier regions and characterized by an accumulation of calcium carbonate in the upper horizons
laterite
a red, highly leached soil type found in the tropics that is rich in oxides of iron and aluminum
sheet erosion
erosion in which thin sheets of water move soil particles
rill
tiny stream formed as a thin sheet of water and soil particles flow a short distance
mass movement
the transfer of rock and soil downslope due to gravity
oversteepened slope
slope with steepness that exceeds the stable angle
rockfall
mass movement that occurs when rock or rock fragments fall freely through the air
slide
mass movement that occurs when a block of material moves suddenly along a flat, inclined surface
rockslides
slides that include segments of bedrock
slump
the downward movement of a block of material along a curved surface
climate proxy records
Records of natural/cultural events influenced in some way by climate.
mudflows
flows that move quickly
Bacteria
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Level 70