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Science 11E: Lesson 1 Assignment

Part I. Outline

Textbook Section 1.1

1. Earth Science is the name for the group of sciences that deals with Earth and its neighbors in

2. List the four major disciplines of Earth science.

a. Geology

b. Oceanology

c. Meteorology

d. Astronomy

3. Earths formation is based on the ________ hypothesis. Using figure 3 on textbook page 4,
summarize this hypothesis. Be sure to mention the elements that made up the solar nebula.
Also be sure to describe the formation of the planets.

Earths formation is based on the Nebular hypothesis. It is an explanation of how the solar
system was formed, proposed by Pierre Simon de Laplace in 1796. The nebular hypothesis
proposes that our solar system evolved from an enormous rotating cloud called the solar nebula.
This cloud was made up mostly of hydrogen and helium, with a small percentage of heavier
elements. As the gas cooled down, the nebula began to shrink. It then became smaller and rotated
more rapidly. A combination of high temperatures and weak fields of gravity characterized the
inner planets. They were not able to hold on the lighter gases, which were hydrogen and helium,
of the nebular cloud so the gases were whisked away toward the heavier planets by the solar
wind. Earth, Mars, and Venus were able to retain some heavier gases including water vapor and
carbon dioxide. The materials that formed the outer planets contained high percentages of water,
carbon dioxide, ammonia, and methane. The size and frigid temperatures of the outer planets
provided the surface gravity to hold these heavier gases.

4. In Earths Place in the Universe on textbook page 6, why is it said that all life on Earth is
related to the stars?

During the life of most stars, energy was produced as protons fuses with other hydrogen nuclei to
form helium. During this process, which is called nuclear fusion, matter is converted to energy.
Stars begin to die when their nuclear fuel is used up. Massive stars often have explosive deaths.
During these events, called supernovas, nuclear fusion produces atoms such as oxygen, carbon,
and iron. From the debris scattered during the death of a massive star, our sun, and the solar
system formed. Thus, it is true to say that all life on Earth is related to the stars because the
atoms in our bodies and the atoms that make up everything on Earth, owe their origin to a
supernova event that occurred billions of years ago, trillions of kilometers away.

Textbook Section 1.2

5. Name the three major spheres of the physical environment of Earth.

a. Geosphere

b. Hydrosphere

c. Atmosphere

d. Which sphere interacts with all three of the physical spheres?


6. Name the two types of forces that affect Earths surface.

a. Destructive forces

b. Constructive forces

7. What theory explains how earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur?

The theory of plate tectonics explain how earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur.

Textbook Section 1.3

8. Advances have been made in locating points on Earth. Two coordinates, latitude and
longitude, are used to pinpoint locations. This is similar to plotting points on a graph.

9. The line of latitude around the middle of the globe, at 0 degrees, is called the equator. The
line of longitude at 0 degrees is called the prime meridian.

10. Maps are tools used to represent the three-dimensional earth. The four types of map
projections mentioned in the textbook are:

a. The Mercator map projection

b. The Robinson map projection

c. Conic map projection

d. Gnomonic projection

11. Why are topographic maps different from other maps?

Topographic maps differ from the other maps because they show elevation. Topographical maps
show elevation of Earths surface by means of contour lines.

12. Today scientists use satellites and computer to send and receive data.

Textbook Section 1.4

13. Earth is a system of interacting parts that form a complex whole. This system is powered by
the sun and Earths interior.

14. Through their actions, humans affect how the system works by the use of resources and
changes in population. Two major resource categories are renewable and nonrenewable.

Textbook Section 1.5

15. What is the difference between a hypothesis and a theory?

Once data have been collected, scientists would try to explain how or why things happened the
way it did. They do this by proposing a possible explanation called a hypothesis. When a
hypothesis has gone through testing, it may become a scientific theory. A scientific theory is well
tested and widely accepted by the scholars in the field and best explains certain observable facts.

Part II. Questions

1. What are the two main subdivisions of geology?

a. Physical geology

b. Historical geology

2. Define the following terms.

a. geology
Geology is the study of the earth's history, composition, and structure, and the associated

b. oceanography
Oceanography is the study of the ocean, its properties and its characteristics including the
marine life, coastal processes the geography of the ocean floor, the ocean temperatures, levels
and currents as well as the Earths water bodies and their chemical properties.

c. meteorology
Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere and the processes that produce weather and

d. astronomy
Astronomy is the study of the universe. It is the branch of science that studies outer space
focusing on stars, comets, planets and galaxies.

3. The hypothesis that explains the formation of Earth is the nebular hypothesis.

4. When Earth was forming, layers made up of different materials formed. Why did these layers
After Earth formed, radioactive elements started to decay combined with heat released by
colliding particles; they resulted in melting interior. This allowed the denser elements, mostly
iron and nickel, to sink to Earths center. The lighter, rocky components floated toward the
surface. As an outcome of this process, Earths interior is not made of consistent materials. It
consists of layers of materials that have different properties.

5. The liquid portion of Earth is the hydrosphere, the gaseous layer of Earth is the atmosphere,
and the solid portion of Earth is the geosphere.

6. Name the three layers of the geosphere.

a. The core

b. The mantle

c. The crust

7. What is the lithosphere?

The lithosphere is the solid and rigid outer layer of our planet. It includes the crust and part of the
upper mantle that contains rigid rocks.

8. What is the difference between destructive and constructive forces?

Destructive forces are weathering and erosion work to wear away high points and flatten out the
surface. Meanwhile Constructive forces are mountain building and volcanism build up the surface
by raising the land and depositing new material in the form of lava.

9. Give an example of how water moves through the hydrosphere.

Water evaporates from the oceans to the atmosphere, falls back to Earth as rain, and runs back to
the ocean.

10. Using the global grid in figure 8 on textbook page 11, determine the latitude and longitude of
points A, B, C, D, and E. Be sure to include N or S for latitude, and E or W for longitude. Use the
degrees symbol (), which you can copy and paste from this sentence, or you can find it under the
Symbol menu in Word, or you may write out the word degrees.

Point Latitude Longitude


11. List the characteristics and uses of the four types of map projections described in textbook
chapter 1.

a. Mercator map projection: lines of longitude are parallel, making the grid rectangular; it
showed directions accurately even though the sizes and distances were distorted; used for
navigation charts.

b. Robinson map projection: show most distances, sizes, and shapes accurately; has
distortions in areas around the edges of the map; its purpose is to create visually
appealing maps of the entire world.

c. Conic map projection: made by wrapping a cone of paper around a globe at a particular
line of latitude, various points and lines are projected onto the paper; has almost no
distortion along the line of latitude that is in contact with the cone, but there can be much
distortion in areas away from this latitude. These maps were used to make road maps and
weather maps.

d. Gnomonic map projection: made by placing a piece of paper on a globe so that it touches
a single point on the globes surface, various points and lines are projected onto the paper,
distances and directions are distorted on these maps, show great accuracy of the shortest
distances between two points; useful to sailors and navigators.
12. What is a topographic map?
Topographic map represents Earths three dimensional surface in two dimensions.

13. What is a geologic map?

Geologic map informs the type and age of the rocks that are exposed at the surface.

14. What two energy sources power Earth as a system?

a. The Sun

b. Earths interior

15. List three ways in which humans change Earth as a system.

a. Burn gasoline and coal

b. Dispose of our wastes

c. Clear land

16. What are significant threats to the environment?

Significant threats to the environment include air pollution, acid rain, ozone depletion, and global

17. The process of gathering facts through observations and formulating hypotheses and theories
is a description of the scientific method.