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TAMIU / Earth and Planetary Sciences / EPSC 201 / What is another term for volcanic dome?

What is another term for volcanic dome?

What is another term for volcanic dome?



What is another term for volcanic dome?

Terms to know:

Shield volcano- massive size, much bigger than any volcano on land

Composite cone- layers are made up of lava and pyroclastics

Caldera/Volcanic Dome- forms on top of a magma chamber, no one can truly see it are very violent

Aa- rough and irregular lava flow, cannot walk through it

Pahoehoe- nice and smooth lava, can walk through it

Concepts to know:

1. What is the relationship between lava chemistry, mineralogy, viscosity, gas content and eruptive behavior?












Type of













Volcano/ Flood



Non-ferroma g and









Behaviors Lava and


Composit e Cone



Non-ferroma g.









Volcano/ Volcanic Domes

How much gas content does andesite have?

We also discuss several other topics like How are chemical equations understood through molecular equations?

2. What type of volcanoes erupt lava versus pyroclastics?

Shield volcanoes erupt lava, gentle eruption and lava flows out onto the surface Caldera which are the more violent ones erupt pyroclastics, when the volcano erupts everything gets fragmented into billions of pieces up into the atmosphere

3. What are the three types of volcanoes and how are they connected with the three volcanic igneous rocks?

Shield Volcano- Basalt

Composite Cone Volcano- Andesite

Caldera Volcano/Volcanic Domes- Rhyolite

Solar System

Terms to know:

Terrestrial Planets- closest to the sun, high temperatures and high density Jovian Planets- Gas Giants

What refers to a body of rock and metal?

Lunar Highlands- light crust

Lunar Maria- dark crust If you want to learn more check out What are the different types of memory error?

Craters- form from impacts of different solid atmospheric rocks such as asteroids Asteroids- a small rocky body orbiting the sun

Comets- celestial object consisting of a ice and dust

Dwarf Planets- small planets such as pluto, have no existence of anything Kuiper Belt- solar system beyond neptune, consist of many comets, asteroids and other small bodies made largely of ice

Asteroid Belt- a body of rock and metal

Oort Cloud- contains a thick bubble of icy debris

Pluto- dwarf planet, it’s still a planet but it’s demoted to dwarf size

Concepts to know:

1. Be able to name the Terrestrial and Jovian Planets

Terrestrial Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars

Jovian Planets: Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Saturn

2. What basics characteristic differentiate the terrestrial and Jovian planets Terrestrial Planets: Mercury closest to the sun, Venus, Earth, and Mars

1. Relatively close to the sun therefore these are the planets that are in high temperature 2. High density, because the material is made of rock and metal. 3.9-5.5 grams per centimeter Don't forget about the age old question of Which observations led darwin and wallace to natural selection theory?

3. Small size

4. Thin or no atmosphere

5. Few or no moons.

Jovian Planets: Gas Giants

a. Low temperature

b. Low density

c. Large in diameter

d. Almost all atmosphere

e. Many moons- consist of ice and rock, there might be whole oceans of water under ice they have a lot of activity

Ganymede , a typical moon around a Jovian Planet (Jupiter)

3. In detail, describe the geology of Mercury

● Mercury Planet #1: looks very much like the moon

● Craters

● Geologically dead the inside of the planet crystalizes becomes solid, and once that happens there are no more volcanoes, the atmosphere come from the volcanoes and there is no water, but there might be some ice in the craters Don't forget about the age old question of How do bound morphemes and free morphemes differ?

● No significance atmosphere or hydrosphere (water), no surface processes

4. In detail, describe the geology and atmosphere of Venus

● Venus Planet #2: 

● Geologically active, same size as the earth, has volcanoes and mountain buildings and seismic activity.


● Updates of the atmosphere: completely covered in clouds (sulfuric acid clouds, water is sulfuric acid) that go 40-50 kilometers up in the atmosphere. If you want to learn more check out How many americans consider themselves happy most of the time?

○ Carbon dioxide in venus is 97.5% (runaway greenhouse effect: where all the heat does not escape, it is completely trapped and because of it, it has a degree of 450 celsius= 900 degrees fahrenheit)

○ 90 times thicker than the earth (more pressure)

5. Give me an overview of the history of the moon

Earth Planet #3: is 4.6 billions of years, Mass = 0.11

○ The Moon’s Brief History

1. Impact hypothesis: most of the moon comes from the earth, material that got flung up into orbit from the earth. Moon rocks have a similar chemistry from earth rocks. 2. Formation of lunar highlands- 4.5 ga.

3. Era of asteroidal Bombardment 4.1 to 4.5 forms most of the moon craters. 4. Formation of the Lunar Maria, it goes on from 3.1 to 4.1 ga, made up of Basalt. 5. The moon became geological dead 3.1 ga. Mass= 0.016

■ Light crust: Lunar Highlands made by plagioclase We also discuss several other topics like What are the signs of strong acids?

■ Dark crust: Lunar Maria made of Basalt

6. In detail, describe the geology and atmosphere of Mars

● Mars Planet #4: 

1. Two Moons (small), Demons and Phobos (asteroids)

2. Thin atmosphere (1/100 thicker than earth's)

3. Co2 97.5%

4. Water on mars, form of Ice and liquid water, involves intermittent stream and groundwater. Water 3.0 ga ago had rivers, lake, oceans, there were ripple marks, cross bed and minerals

5. Volcanoes: Mons Olympus, twice as big as mount everest, it was active and slowly lost its heat

7. Discuss the possibility of life on Mars including a description of the factors that may support life

There is a possibility of life on mars due to the existence of water around 3.0 Ga. Rivers, lakes? Ocean because have found ripple marks, cross-bed and mineral that needs H2O to form

8. Describe the nature of the moons that orbit around the Jovian Planets

★ They are essentially almost all atmosphere, they have many moons going around them, there might be whole oceans of water under the ice, they have a lot of activity going on.

9. What is the difference between a comet and asteroid? The Kuiper and asteroid belts? Kuiper belt could hit the earth when flung to the sun they give us comet, is a dirty snowball, the ice in the comets melts as approaching the sun creating the tale. An asteroid is mostly rock and metal, 25 mph if it hits earth.

10. What is a dwarf planet?

● Pluto, is still a planet but because of its side it was excluded and has a moon orbiting around it called charon

Time scale of the Earth: Know in order the absolute time

Ga- Billion years

Ma- Million years

Overview of Earth’s History

Terms to know:

Differentiation- Earth has layers (core and mantle)

Impact hypothesis- planet hitting the Earth, size of mars. Formation of the moon Era of asteroid bombardment- had a tremendous of asteroids impact several planets Stromatolite- mound built up of layers of rocks

Red Bed- sediments become red in color especially sediments deposited on land Prokaryote- simple: single-celled, lack cellular nucleus, some require oxygen and had bacteria Eukaryote- complex: single or multi-cell, cellular nucleus, all require oxygen and had fungi, plants and animals

Snowball Earth- planets completely frozen even the equator

Trace Fossil- indirect evidence of life (footprints)

Continental Drift- moving continents

Pangea- formation of supercontinent were all continents merged together Permian Extinction- the BIGGEST extinction wiping out everything

K-T Extinction- impact, fire

Fossil- preserved remains of any once-living thing from past geological age Dinosaurs- fossil reptile in the Mesozoic era

Mammals- first small animals evolved from reptiles

Glacial period- sheets of ice extended for miles across Earth, colder temperatures Interglacial Period- period of warmer climate between glacial periods

Concepts to know:

1. Know all the six of the geologic eons/eras (in correct order) and know the absolute ages for each period

Time scale of the Earth: Know in order the absolute time 

Ga- Billion years

Ma- Million years

2. What geologic significant events occurred during the Hadean?

Hadean (4 t o 4.6 ga).

1. Differentiated Body, the earth has layers, core and outside we have the mantle. Metal is denser, the core is made of metal and the mantle is made of Igneous rock. 2. Impact planet hitting the earth about the size of mars swiping the earth, and because of it we have the formation of the moon (impact hypothesis) 4.6 ga. 3. Era of asteroid Bombardment (4.1 to 4.5) tremendous amount of asteroids impacting all the planets, basically in the first half billion years of the solar system, there was junk and the debris fell into the earth and we think all the oceans are formed by this era. Earth has unstable crust because they are punching the crust and magma/ lava flying everywhere. No rocks on earth from this period.


*made of rock and metal (Fe, and Ni). asteroids got together to make the earth and that's why the earth has layers (differentiated).

3. What geologic significant events occurred during the Archean?

Archean (2.5 to 4 ga)

1. Stable crust, oldest rock in earth is 4 ga it defines the beginning of the archean. 2. Oceans and atmosphere, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen, there was no oxygen that is what allowed life to develop. Pebbles made of pyrite and uranium and after a century they turn into rust

a. Sandstone was dirty

b. Limestone was rare

3. Origin of life, bacterial oldest fossil was able to do photosynthesis (O2), cells that produced material of mucous, back then we didn’t have an ozone layer producing that material to protect themselves from the Uv light and formed colonies of stromatolites: sediment gets trapped in the material and over time they keep growing.

World archean: mostly water, with a few islands (blood red) because of hematite ● Biologist: Thermophilic Bacteria; that can live at temperatures close to the boiling point of water, today they are found in submarine volcanoes.

● Astronomer: the sun was about 40% less of bright, very cold and frozen ● Geologist: little limestone made of calcium, carbon, plus oxygen the more limestone there is the more coven in the rocks the less in the atmosphere, therefore the coven was not going into the rock, but atmosphere. Much higher levels of CO2 which is responsible for a stronger greenhouse effect that it does today.

4. What geologic significant events occurred during the Proterozoic?

Proterozoic (0.54 to 2.5):

1. Stable continents in the planet (2.5), first continents

a. Sandstone was clean

b. And limestone was common

 2. Accumulation of Oxygen atmosphere (2ga to 7.2), and red beds

 3. Origin of Eukaryotes:

Prokaryotes: simple, single celled, and lack cell nucleus

Eukaryotes: single or multi cell, has cell nucleus and they required O2 (oxygen), Fungi, plants, and animals.

4. Snowball earth (600ma to 700ma), -40 and -50 degrees celsius

5. Origin of animals (600ma): trace fossil indirect evidence of life such as Jellyfish, worms, sponge

5. When did the greatest pollution event in the history of the earth occur and describe this event Permian Extinction, the formation of the pangea was a superkiller were all continents merged together and created disturbance on the surface

6. What is the difference between Archean and Early Proterozoic sedimentary rocks? Archean- since there was no oxygen, the archean pebbles would be made out of pyrite/uranium Early Proterozoic- here oxygen was poison, it was to high and it caused sediment to become red

7. What geologic significant events occurred during the Paleozoic?

Paleozoic (250 to 540 ma):

1. origin of animals with durable skeleton and component easily preserved in the fossil record.

● Invertebrate: marine creatures that do not have a bone

*All the animals from before began to produce shells and actual skeleton or bits that get preserved in fossils.

● Squids, oyster organisms, coral, and trilobite which is an ancient marine cockroach 2. Continental Drift:

● Gondwana: all continents were together such as china, australia, and russia etc.  3. Origin of terrestrial life: The Late paleozoic when life first hold itself up in land (terrestrial).

● Animals

● Amphibians

● Reptiles: first group to surround they’re embryos with an egg, and no longer need water meaning they could roam in the highlands.


● Licher

● Moss

● Ferns

Carboniferous: fern forest 300 with big insects

Oxygen in the late paleozoic was 35% which allowed animals, insects to grow, but even in those swampy areas combustion was happening because of the high oxygen.

4. Formation of Pangea ( 250 to 300ma): the moment pangea forms out it wants to break up, and within the break up there were alot of volcanoes and dumped high amounts of sulfur dioxide, acids, and alter the atmosphere causing global warming, cooling, and rain with acid all of this cause all life to be extinct knows as Permian Extinction.

5. Permian Extinction (250 ma) all the species of the Paleozoic go wiped out

8. Are continents fixed or do they move with geologic time? Explain

Continents move with geologic time this occurs because of continental drift which holds the theory of the plate tectonics

9. What geologic significant events occurred during the Mesozoic?

Mesozoic (66 to 250 ma):

1. Break up from pangea, is the formation of a small little ocean called the atlantic ocean where they broke up

2. Age of the dinosaurs: have been for millions of years ago

3. The origin of two groups which are not common during this period

a. Birds and Mammals: small, live in the ground, only came up at night 4. K-T Extinction: tsunami, fires etc.

10. What caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

Asteroid or crater impact caused:

1. Ocean disturbance/ Tsunamis

2. Created fires

3. Magnetic changes/ Earthquakes

4. Volcanoes, material strung up unto the sky and rained back down to the Earth this incinerated the air

5. Nuclear winter, sun got blocked out and all plant died so did the animals

11. What geologic significant events occurred during the Cenozoic?

Cenozoic (present to 66 ma):

1. Continents to disperse, except the Himalayas formed about 50 million years ago, India collided with Asia creating these mountains and when this happens you get big mountain range.

2. Mediterranean: the whole sea evaporated, and dried up dozens of times from 6 to 7 ma ago, miles of salt under the mediterranean

3. Age of mammals, flowering plants and the most significant is grass: but once grass evolved it help feed the cows and other animals

12. Be able to describe the climate history of earth during the last 100 ma? Look at your drawing


Terms to know:

Focus- point within the Earth where the earthquake originates

Epicenter- point on the Earth’s surface that is directly above the focus Fault- earthquakes movement along large fractures

Mantle- ultramatic Igneous rock (2900 km)

Seismograph- device that identifies earthquakes (older device)

Body Waves- travel through the body of the Earth

P-Waves- primary wave

S-Waves- secondary wave

Surface Waves- waves produced by an earthquakes

Crust- two types: continental and oceanic crust (7 to 70 km)

Intraplate Earthquakes- middle of continents

Inner Core- solid on iron, metal and nickel (6300 km)

Outer Core- liquid on iron, nickel and metal (5100 km)

S-P Interval- time difference between when P-wave gets there followed by the S-wave Ring of Fire- formation of volcanoes

Offset- amount of movement during an earthquake

Oceanic Ridge System- between oceans

Elastic Rebound Theory- explains frequency and magnitude of an earthquakes over the years

Concepts to know:

1. Basic terminology overview

a. Focus: Point within the earth where the earthquake originates

b. Epicenter: Point on the earth surface that is directly above the focus

c. Fault: earthquakes movement along large fractures

d. Offset: amount of movement during an earthquake.

e. Seismic Waves: are measured by Seismograph

f. Elastic rebound: one to 200 years is can absorb the bending, ultimately the earth will snap (earthquake) it takes up to 30 seconds and 4 minutes and stress builds up throughout another 200 years.

2. Discuss of different types of seismic waves

Three different types of body waves:

1. P (primary) waves: efficient way to transmit energy, they go through all material such as solid, gas, and liquid.

2. S (secondary)waves: less efficient because energy is going up and down, travels more slowly. They only go through solids.

3. Surface wave: it travels along the earth's surface, complex





Type of











ONLY solids

Surface wave




3. Know how seismic waves are used to determine the internal structure of the earth Layers of the earth:

Simple layer


1. Continental crust: granite, 30 to 70 km

2. Oceanic- Basalt 5 to 7 km

Mantle: is denser than the crust, ultramafic igneous rock made up of rock Cores: is made up of ion, nickel, and metal.

Outer core: is liquid of ion, nickel, and metal

Inner core: is solid of ion, nickel, and metal

S Wave shadow zone: they get blocked

4. Know how scientists locate the epicenter of an earthquake

Locating Earthquake Epicenter: 

● 3 seismographs, and 3 S-P interval: the time difference between when p wave gets there first and then minutes later the s wave arrives. (time you can measure distance from epicenter)

How to determine the Epicenter location: 

Take S-P interval and convert it to distance from the epicenter, plot 3 circles on map, only have one point where the epicenter connects

5. Where do most earthquakes occur?

Where do earthquakes occur: 

● Ring of fire

● Oceanic ridge

● Intraplate

Plate Tectonics

Terms to know:

Lithosphere- consist of crust and uppermost mantle

Lithospheric Plate- crust and upper mantle that are fractured into plates Asthenosphere- second layer, consist of plastic solid and has significant amount of magma Divergent- plates are colliding towards each other

Convergent- plates are moving away from each other

Transform- plates are sliding amongst each other

Subduction Zone- one plate moves under another and is forced to sink due to gravity into the mantle

Volcanic Arc- chain of volcanoes formed above a subduction plate

Ocean Trench- long, narrow, deep depression in the ocean floor

Mid-Oceanic Ridge- underwater mountain system formed by plate tectonics Subduction- crust gets sucked down to the mantle

Underplating- oceanic plate will subduct merge into each other such as continent-continent collision

Concepts to now:

1. Definition of a lithospheric plate

Look at your drawing

2. Three types of plate boundary interactions

Convergent- plates are colliding towards each other

Divergent- plates are moving away from each other

Transform- plates are sliding amongst each other

3. What are the characteristics of a divergent plate boundary?

● Divergent plate boundary: the plates are moving away from each other. ■ We find these boundaries in the middle of the ocean ex. South america is away from africa (pangea is breaking up until this day) mid atlantic ridge underwater mountain range and pops up in iceland

■ Earthquakes: All shallow focus, all happening within the lithosphere

■ Volcanic activity: made up of Basalt, lava erupts onto the surface

■ Process: upwelling of mantle magma.

■ Main feature: undersea mountain range (Oceanic Ridge)

4. What are the characteristics of a convergent plate boundary?

● Convergent: the plates are colliding with each other.

○ Oceanic collision (crust): ex. The philippines and Andes mountain most of the ring of fire would be an example.

■ Earthquakes: shallow and deep focus

■ Volcanic activity: will vary between basalt and andesite

■ Process: Subduction, crust getting sucked down into the mantle and

because it is not going easily it begins to melt producing magma that will rise back up into the surface that gives volcanoes.

■ Features: Treach, Volcanic Arcs, and subduction zone

○ Continent: continent collision

■ Ex. The Himalayas

■ Earthquakes: mostly shallow focus

■ Volcanic: limited-granite

■ Process: underplanting is a continent and ocean crust two plates, then they come together (oceanic crust) will merge towards each other and making it really thick 70 km

■ Feature: Mountain range, suture (two continents get welded together into one)

5. What are the characteristics of a transform plate boundary?

● Transform boundary: plates are sliding past each other opposites way. Volcanoes, mountains, geological activity is concentrated.

● Earthquakes: Shallow Focus

● Volcanic activity: limited

● Feature: Fault scarp, rip in the landscape

Comprehensive Section

Terms to Know:

Oceans- body of water that composes much of a planet’s hydrosphere

Groundwater- the water present beneath the Earth’s surface

Glaciers- a body of dense ice

Precipitation- transfer of water from the atmosphere to the Earth’s surface Evaporation- transfer of surface water to the atmosphere

Runoff- transfer of water from the land surface to the ocean

Running Water- water supplied by pipes

Wind- Wind is a powerful force that changes Earth’s surface through weathering, erosion, and deposition these three processes can create beautiful landscapes and interesting shapes in rock. Oxygen- major gas, 21%

Nitrogen- major gas, makes up the atmosphere, 78%

Carbon Dioxide- minor gas, 410 ppm

Troposphere- layer we live on, near surface

Stratosphere- second layer, ozone layer

Igneous- forms from cooling and crystallization of molten rock

Metamorphic- forms from either under intense heat and pressure or by intense heat and volatiles escaping from an ascending magma body

Sedimentary- forms from either pieces of preexisting rocks or hard parts of once living plants and animals

Minerals- naturally occurring, solid, inorganic, crystalline structure and definite chemistry Hardness- minerals resistance to being scratched

Cleavage- break along smooth parallel surfaces

Tropopause- located in the stratosphere

Deposition- material gets deposited into a place

Erosion- process of eroded rocks by wind, water

Ionosphere- third layer of the atmosphere

Fracture- break along non-smooth rough surfaces

Equinox- the sun crosses the celestial equator

- Spring Equinox: equal day and night, March 22

- Fall Equinox: equal day and night, September 22

Solstice- the sun reaches its highest or lowest point in the sky at noon

- Summer Solstice: longest day, June 22

- Winter Solstice: shortest day, December 22

Relative Humidity- measure of water vapor in the atmosphere

Dew Point- temperature that you need to cool air down so that RH becomes 100% (water vapor becomes liquid)

Concepts to Know:

1. What is the hydrologic cycle? Know the main reservoirs and fluxes. Hydrologic cycle- water cycle, describes movements of water on, above and below the Earth


Oceans- 97%

Glaciers- 2%

Groundwater- 0.6%

Surface water- 0.02%

Atmosphere- 0.001%






2. What are the layers of the atmosphere?

First layer- Troposphere, the layer in which we live on

Second layer- Stratosphere

Third layer- Ionosphere

3. What gasses presently make up Earth’s atmosphere?

a. Major gasses

Nitrogen- 78%

Oxygen- 21%

Argon- 1%

 b. Minor Gasses

Carbon Dioxide- 410 ppm

Methane- 2 ppm

Ozone- < 1 ppm

 c. Variable Gas

Water Vapor- 0 to 4%

4. Know the outer loop of the rock cycle.

5. What is the difference between erosion and deposition?

Erosion- process of rocks being eroded by wind, water

Deposition- material gets deposited into a place

6. Know in order all of the minerals on Mohr’s hardness scale. 10. Diamond

9. Corundum

8. Topaz HARD

7. Quartz

6. Orthoclase

5. Apatite

4. Fluorite STEEL NAIL= 5.5 3. Calcite MEDIUM

2. Gypsum FINGERNAIL= 2.5 1. Tale SOFT

7. What is the difference between cleavage and fracture? Cleavage- ability to break along smooth parallel surfaces Fracture- ability to break in non-smooth rough surfaces

8. Know what processes control salinity at 0, 30, and 60 degrees latitude

Hydrologic Cycle




E < P+Q

Evapo is less


Low pressure

(Stormy climate)

32% - low

E > P+Q

Evapo is greater


High pressure

(Dry climate)

37%- high

E = P+Q



Low pressure

(Unsettled weather)

35%- average

9. In detail, be able to explain the greenhouse effect.

1. Sunlight reaches Earth

2. Earth’s surface absorbs the sunlight, this warms up the Earth’s surface 3. Surface emits IR back up to the atmosphere

4. IR is absorbed in the atmosphere by green gasses (C02, Methane and Ozone) 5. Greenhouse gasses will get highly energized (lots of kinetic energy)

6. Molecules start bumping into each other in the atmosphere producing friction which produces heat which warms up the Earth’s surface

10. What causes the seasons?

The tilting of the Earth’s axis (23.5), it revolves around the sun a year long

11, In detail, discuss the difference between a low and high-pressure system Low pressure system:

- Is a cyclone, has stormy unsettled weather

- Upper air divergence

- Surface convergent

- Rising air

High pressure system:

- Is a anticyclone, you have fair weather

- Upper air convergence

- Surface divergence

- Sinking air

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