physical_processes notes

Name _________________________________ Period _____ Date ________________
Physical and Ecological Processes
1. Plate Tectonics
The surface of the earth is constantly changing due to ________________________ and
___________________ and ________________________ .
The surface of the earth looks like one continuous piece but it is actually broken into
several large pieces that fit together like a ______________________ . Each piece is
called a ________________ and when two ____________ come into contact it is called a
_________________________________ .
2. Plate Tectonics
Plates touch each other in four basic ways:
3. Divergent Boundaries
Divergent boundaries are often located at deep-sea trenches such as the Mid-Atlantic
Trench. The plates pull apart and as they pull apart ___________________________
4. Convergent Subduction
Convergent subduction is when two plates crash together and one plate is forced under
the other one. This happens most often when _______________ plates collide with
______________________________ plates.
5. Transform
A transform boundary is when two plates slide past each other causing a fault or fracture
in the crust. One example of a transform boundary is the _________________________
______________________________________________ .
6. Volcanoes
Earthquakes and volcanoes can occur anywhere on the surface of the earth, including
underwater, but they are more common at ____________________________________
7. Sometimes volcanoes occur far from plate boundaries. These areas are called
_____________________ . A good example of a _______________ is the formation of
the ____________________ Islands in the middle of the Pacific. Magma burned through
the crust under the ocean and formed a group of islands.
8. There is an area around the Pacific Ocean where many plates come together known as
the ________________________________ . This area has many active and dormant
volcanoes and volcanic eruptions are frequent.
9. Scientists cannot predict when volcanoes will erupt. Unfortunately, people usually
live near volcanoes because ______________________________________________
10. Earthquakes
Earthquakes are more common at __________________________________________
The center of an earthquake on the surface of the earth is called the ______________
A _______________________ is a device that detects if an earthquake has occurred.
The ____________________________ is a scale used for measuring the intensity of an
11. ___________________ are giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic
explosions. Usually, tsunamis come in series of waves and they can travel hundreds of
miles an hour.
Tsunamis can be detected with an _________________________________ but not all
countries have the money to install them.
12. Humans and Earthquakes
Humans can't predict earthquakes but they can __________________________________
Humans can also build _______________________________ that will detect tsunamis
and warn people farther away from the epicenter of the wave.
13. Erosion and Weathering
The surface of the earth is also being formed by ________________ and
Weathering ________________________________________________
Erosion ___________________________________________________
14. Weathering
There are two types of weathering: _________________________________________
____________________ weathering is caused by ___________ and _______________ .
When water freezes in cracks of rocks it will slowly break the rock apart. The roots of
trees and plants will slowly break apart rocks also.
____________________ weathering is a chemical reaction between water and certain
types of rock such as __________________ that usually makes caves.
15. Erosion
After rocks have been broken into smaller pieces the debris is moved by erosion. The
agents of erosion are:
16. Erosion has _________________ causes and human causes.
People can take steps to prevent erosion by using _________ , covering exposed earth
with ___________ , and replanting ____________________________
17. Floods
Floods happen when there is too much rain and rivers overflow their banks. Floods are
natural but as human population grows there are more people that live in areas that are
frequently flooded.
People can try to prevent floods by building ______________________ or
_____________________ .
18. Typically, areas that are low in elevation and near rivers or the mouth of rivers
experience floods. A few areas that have floods are: