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Physical Geology
Study Guide for Test 1

Chapter 1:   The Earth in Context

  1. What percentage of CSUF geology graduates have gotten jobs in the industry?

  2. When might you need to consult a geologist?
Buying a house

  3. How does science work?
Go out and explain nature. Develop a hypothesis. Becomes a theory.

  4. What is the difference between catastrophism and uniformitarianism?
Uniformitarianism is that things change very slow and catastrophism is catastrophes.

  5. What is the difference between relative dating and absolute dating?   Give an example of each.
Relative dating – Rocks are placed in sequence/order of their age in years.
Absolute dating – Radiometric dating to place an age on rocks or events (tree rings)

  6. What are the 2 sources of energy on the Earth?
      Sunlight and earth’s internal heat.

Chapter 3:   Minerals

  1. What is the definition of a rock?
  The combination of one or more minerals.

  2. What is the definition of a mineral?   Be prepared to answer if a particular example is, or is not a mineral.
Naturally occurring, inorganic, organized internal structure (become crystal), definite chemical composition (pyrite/quartz). Cubic zirconium is not. Coal is not.

  3. How is the mass number of an element calculated?   What is an isotope?
Number of protons and neutrons added. Isotope: Number of neutrons vary.

  4. Discuss each of the following physical properties of minerals:   crystal form, color, streak, luster, hardness, cleavage, fracture, and specific gravity.   What is responsible for the physical properties of minerals?
      Crystal form – Shape is determined by internal structure of mineral & most aren’t perfect b/c they don’t have enough space to form properly.
      Color- Least reliable.
      Streak- Color of a mineral in powdered form. More reliable than color alone.
      Luster- How light reflects off mineral. Metallic/Non-metallic

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