geol 101

geol 101

1.a) +2 What is the property of clay particles which requires a greater velocity of the water to erode clay as compared to sand? [think about the properties of “CLAY”]
1b.) +2 In the Kanawha River near Charleston, on the river bottom down river from where coal is off-loaded from barges, the pieces of coal on the river bottom are bigger than the pieces of local sandstone. Explain this observation. [this one is “tricky” yet common sense will prevail!]
1c.) +2 After a flood, along some stretches of the Mississippi River, a natural levee may form. Explain this observation.
2.) +4 There are great volumes of sand and gravel along the valley walls of the Ohio River in the northern pan-handle of WV. For decades these deposits have been a source of aggregate [sand and gravel]. a.)How and b.) when (geologic event) were these deposits formed?
3.) +3 On a recent float trip down the Colorado River below the Glen Canyon Dam, it was noticed that the water in the main channel was cold, and clear. Most pictures of white water rafting on the Colorado River shows the water to be brown! Explain why Colorado River water below the Glen Canyon Dam is clear and cold..
4.) +3 Explain why the drainage pattern of the Valley and Ridge province in WV has created a trellis drainage pattern.
5.) Identify the Federal Agency which has authority over flood control on the navigable rivers in the United States. +1 Along the Ohio River at Parkersburg, WV, there is a flood wall which protects downtown Parkersburg. There is NOT a corresponding flood wall on the Ohio side of the river directly across the river. Explain the possible effects of that situation with respect to flooding on the Ohio side of the river. +2
6.) When flood waters overtop the levees along the Mississippi River, why does it take many, many weeks (sometimes months!) before the floodplain dries out +2. Which federal agency is responsible for building and maintaining the flood walls along the Mississippi River? +1
7.) +3 Before dams were created on the Colorado River, the water was very, very warm and there was a great deal of suspended sediment. How have dams changed the nature of water in the river as it is released from the Glen Canyon Dam at Page, AZ? a.) warm and clear b.) cold and clear c.) warm but not as warm, with a substantial suspended sediment load d.) much, much warmer than it was with a substantial suspended sediment load

1a.) +2 A mountain glacier in Glacier National Park, MT is examined and the equilibrium line for that glacier is at an elevation above the glacier surface. What does this mean about the current conditions of the glacier?
1b.) +2 During glacial retreat, does the glacier actually stop and reverse direction? Explain
1c.) +2 The evidence is clear: continental ice moved up and over Mt. Washington in NH. What caused the glacier to flow up and over such a high peak?
2.) Examine the map showing the outline of Pleistocene glaciers in the Midwest.
2a.) There was an ice-free area in west-central WI. The Superior lobe of ice was north and west and the Green Bay and Michigan lobe was east. Why was this area ice-free even at the time of maximum extent of glaciation during the Pleistocene? +2
2b.) Did Pleistocene glaciers ever enter West Virginia? What evidence is required as proof? +2
3.) +3 If you examine and survey the levels of Glacial Lake Agassiz along the ND/MN border north into Canada, you will find that the level of any one lake stand rises to the north! Why is this? [this is a challenging question. Why would there be uplift of the northern shore line?]
4.) +3 What is the relationship between glaciers and the formation of the “channeled scabland” region in Washington state?
5.) A glacial lake once existed between Buffalo, NY and Rochester, NY. Its name was Glacial Lake Tonowanda. Eventually, this lake drained over the Niagara Escarpment at Lockport, NY. What blocked this drainage for some time? +2 If you were to buy property in North Tonawanda today and you planned to build a house on the land, why would I warn you about the problem of a wet basement at this building site? +1
6.) +3 There is a great deal of evidence to demonstrate that at times during the Pleistocene, there were floods which covered what is now Portland, OR with water to a depth of 400 feet!
Explain how this catastrophic event(s) happened.
7.) +3 As the climate warms, what quite possibly be a greater problem for companies drilling for oil and gas in the North Atlantic waters? a.) the water is much warmer causing expansion of drill pipe b.) higher sea level could cause storm waves to destroy the rigs c.) a higher sea level could cause the floating drill platforms to rise and pull apart the pipe at depth from the well to create a leak such as now present in the Gulf of Mexico d.) companies may have prepare for many, many more ice bergs being released from the collapsing ice shelves

1.) +6
1a.) +2 Over the years, the U.S. Forest Service has followed a pattern of containing, then putting out wiild fires in the American West. How has this practice, over many decades, in fact caused greater potential for wild fires?
1b.) +2 Why has the current long-term drought in Texas caused such enormous financial agricultural losses? Hasn’t the climate in Texas always been dry?
1c.) +2 What insects are responsible for: lodgepole pines devastated in the west and ash tree devastation in WI and MI and elsewhere in the northeast?

2.) +4 I love the drive from Phoenix to Flagstaff, AZ [except for the traffic on weekends!!] The very, very prominent saguaro cacti of Phoenix are present on the hillsides until you reach an elevation of just over 3000 feet above sea level. There, a very, very abrupt and apparent change occurs: the saguaro are no longer present! Explain their disappearance in the ecosystem above this elevation!

3.) +3 You would certainly not think of Michigan as being either arid or semi-arid. Yet, there is a massive sand-dune area, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore on the Lake Michigan side. Why are these dunes present here?

4.) +3 Pictures on the weather channel this week are classic views of what has been termed a Haboob in the Phoenix area. The word seems strange, but the conditions are all to frequent! Explain what is happening in this semi-arid region.

5.) +2 Devastating wild fires have already occurred in the west this summer. The loss of 19 fire-fighters in Arizona recently demonstrates how unpredictable these winds can be. What is generally the situation of both wind speed and relative humidity out west which makes wildfires become so difficult to control? After the Civil War, timbering in West Virginia led to fires in the Davis/Thomas/Canaan Valley region which resulted in the burning of the soil where forests once stood! Why was there a rich organic component present to burn? +1

6.) What is present as a thin veneer on top of pediments cut into the bedrock in the American West? a.) Great volumes of sand dunes b.) sand and gravel c.) loess d.) till

7.) Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is located in the valley between the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and peaks of the Rocky Mtns. Where in the valley are the dunes? a.) across the entire width b.) on the Rocky Mtn. side of the valley c.) up against the Sangre De Cristo range d.) at the southern end of the valley due to prevailing winds from the north

1.) +6
1a.) +2 How was the Chesapeake Bay formed as a result of a specific geologic event millions of years ago?
1b.) +2 How were submarine canyons formed off the east coast of the US in the Atlantic Ocean?
1c.) +2 The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a great vacation spot! What specific geologic term defines the “Outer Banks” +1. The dunes along the Outer Banks were built during the 1930’s by the Army Corps of Engineers. What is the geologic reason for their construction? +1

2.) +4
2a.) +2 Why does an ocean basin become deeper the older it is as sea floor spreading continues?
2b.) +2 How are guyots formed [the specific origin, and also the specific topographic expression]

3.) +3 In the very deep ocean, there is radiolarian ooze [silica shells] but no foraminifera ooze [carbonate shells]. Yet both planktonic forms are present in the waters above these great depths. Explain what happens to the foraminifera shells.

4.) +2 Why do rip currents form along some of the beaches in the Atlantic Ocean off of the Delmarva Peninsula and the Outer Banks of the Carolina coasts? +1 Along popular beaches, fixed-wing aircraft fly over the beaches to warn swimmers of their presence. From the air, what is the form of rip current conditions due to turbid water created by suspended sand grains?

5.) +3 What causes the climate in England to be rather mild during winter months in spite of this region lying at such a high latitude north of the equator [it is at the same latitude as Hudson Bay!]?

6.) +3 How are the deepest parts of the oceans related to plate tectonics? a.) they occur around hot spots b.) they occur at spreading centers c.) they occur at subduction zones
d.) they occur in deep valleys [called submarine canyons ]on the continental shelf where massive rivers empty into the ocean [such as the Amazon River or the Hudson River]

7.) +3 Coast lines of the adjacent 48 states can be characterized by the plate tectonic setting in a general way. What is the best term to apply to the Atlantic Coast from Florida north to Cape Cod? a.) a neutral coast such as the Gulf of Mexico b.) the trailing edge of a continent c.) a leading edge of a continent: specifically a transform fault boundary d.) a leading edge of a continent


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