Earth Science August 2006

Earth Science August 2006 Questions Answers Keys.

The University of the State of New York
Wednesday, August 16, 2006 — 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., only

Directions : For each statement or question, write on your separate answer sheet the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

1. A Foucault pendulum appears to change its direction of swing over a period of several hours because of Earth’s

  • (1) rotation
  • (2) revolution
  • (3) tilted axis
  • (4) gravity
Answer: (1) rotation  

2. The same side of the Moon always faces Earth because the

  • (1) Moon’s period of rotation is longer than its period of revolution around Earth
  • (2) Moon’s period of rotation is shorter than its period of revolution around Earth
  • (3) Moon rotates once as it completes one revolution around Earth
  • (4) Moon does not rotate as it completes one revolution around Earth
Answer: (3) Moon rotates once as it completes one revolution around Earth 

3. The diagram below shows the elliptical orbit of a planet revolving around a star. The star and F2 are the foci of this ellipse.

What is the approximate eccentricity of this ellipse?

  • (1) 0.22
  • (2) 0.47
  • (3) 0.68
  • (4) 1.47
Answer: (3) 0.68 

4. The diagrams below represent Earth’s ocean tides at four different positions of the Moon. Which diagram shows the Moon position that will produce the highest high tides and the lowest low tides? (The diagrams are not drawn to scale.)

Answer: (1)  

5. From which New York State location would Polaris be observed to have an altitude closest to 43° above the northern horizon?

  • (1) Binghamton
  • (2) Utica
  • (3) Watertown
  • (4) New York City
Answer: (2) Utica 

6. In October, observers in New York State looking due south at the night sky would see a different group of constellations than they had seen in March. What is the best explanation for this change in the night sky?

  • (1) Constellations revolve around Earth.
  • (2) Constellations revolve around the Sun.
  • (3) The Sun revolves around the center of our galaxy.
  • (4) Earth revolves around the Sun.
Answer: (4) Earth revolves around the Sun. 

7. Which surface soil type has the slowest permeability rate and is most likely to produce flooding?

  • (1) pebbles
  • (2) sand
  • (3) silt
  • (4) clay
Answer: (4) clay 

8. Which map best represents the surface wind pattern around a Northern Hemisphere highpressure center?

Answer: (3)  

9. What is the relative humidity when the air temperature is 29°C and the wet-bulb temperature is 23°C?

  • (1) 6%
  • (2) 20%
  • (3) 54%
  • (4) 60%
Answer: (4) 60% 

10. The diagram below represents an aneroid barometer that shows the air pressure, in inches of mercury.

When converted to millibars, this air pressure is equal to

  • (1) 1009.0 mb
  • (2) 1012.5 mb
  • (3) 1015.5 mb
  • (4) 1029.9 mb
Answer: (2) 1012.5 mb 

11. Great volcanic eruptions send dust and ash into the stratosphere. Weeks after such great eruptions, air temperatures are often

  • (1) cooler than normal because the atmosphere is less transparent
  • (2) cooler than normal because the atmosphere is more transparent
  • (3) warmer than normal because the atmosphere is less transparent
  • (4) warmer than normal because the atmosphere is more transparent
Answer: (1) cooler than normal because the atmosphere is less transparent 

12. A P-wave takes 8 minutes and 20 seconds to travel from the epicenter of an earthquake to a seismic station. Approximately how long will an S-wave take to travel from the epicenter of the same earthquake to this seismic station?

  • (1) 6 min 40 sec
  • (2) 9 min 40 sec
  • (3) 15 min 00 sec
  • (4) 19 min 00 sec
Answer: (3) 15 min 00 sec 

Base your answers to questions 13 and 14 on the weather map below, which shows a low-pressure system centered near Poughkeepsie, New York. Isobars shown are measured in millibars.

13. Which city is most likely experiencing winds of the greatest velocity?

  • (1) New York City
  • (2) Binghamton
  • (3) Poughkeepsie
  • (4) Scranton
Answer: (3) Poughkeepsie 

14. Surface winds are most likely blowing from

  • (1) Danbury toward New York City
  • (2) Poughkeepsie toward Scranton
  • (3) Binghamton toward Danbury
  • (4) Port Jervis toward Binghamton
Answer: (3) Binghamton toward Danbury 

15. Scientists have inferred the structure of Earth’s interior mainly by analyzing

  • (1) the Moon’s interior
  • (2) the Moon’s composition
  • (3) Earth’s surface features
  • (4) Earth’s seismic data
Answer: (4) Earth’s seismic data 

16. hich process transfers energy primarily by electromagnetic waves?

  • (1) radiation
  • (2) evaporation
  • (3) conduction
  • (4) convection
Answer: (1) radiation  

17. The cross section below shows the direction of movement of an oceanic plate over a mantle hot spot, resulting in the formation of a chain of volcanoes labeled A, B, C, and D. The geologic age of volcano C is shown.

What are the most likely geologic ages of volcanoes B and D?

  • (1) B is 5 million years old and D is 12 million years old.
  • (2) B is 2 million years old and D is 6 million years old.
  • (3) B is 9 million years old and D is 9 million years old.
  • (4) B is 10 million years old and D is 4 million years old.
Answer: (1) B is 5 million years old and D is 12 million years old.

18. New York State landscape regions are identified and classified primarily by their

  • (1) surface topography and bedrock structure
  • (2) existing vegetation and type of weather
  • (3) latitude and longitude
  • (4) chemical weathering rate and nearness to large bodies of water
Answer: (1) surface topography and bedrock structure 

19. A stream flowing at a velocity of 75 centimeters per second can transport

  • (1) clay, only
  • (2) pebbles, only
  • (3) pebbles, sand, silt, and clay, only
  • (4) boulders, cobbles, pebbles, sand, silt, and clay
Answer: (3) pebbles, sand, silt, and clay, only 

20. The cross sections below show a three-stage sequence in the development of a glacial feature.

Which glacial feature has formed by the end of stage 3?

  • (1) kettle lake
  • (2) finger lake
  • (3) drumlin
  • (4) parallel scratches
Answer: (1) kettle lake 

21. Which diagram best shows the Sun’s apparent path, as seen by an observer on July 21 in New York State?

Answer: (1)  

22. The map below shows barrier islands in the ocean along the coast of Texas.

Which agent of erosion most likely formed these barrier islands?

  • (1) mass movement
  • (2) wave action
  • (3) streams
  • (4) glaciers
Answer: (2) wave action 

23. What will be the most probable arrangement of rock particles deposited directly by a glacier?

  • (1) sorted and layered
  • (2) sorted and not layered
  • (3) unsorted and layered
  • (4) unsorted and not layered
Answer: (4) unsorted and not layered 

24. Which two gases have been added to Earth’s atmosphere in large amounts and are believed to have increased global warming by absorbing infrared radiation?

  • (1) neon and argon
  • (2) chlorine and nitrogen
  • (3) hydrogen and helium
  • (4) methane and carbon dioxide
Answer: (4) methane and carbon dioxide 

25. The cross section below shows soil layer X, which was formed from underlying bedrock.

Which change would most likely cause soil layer X to increase in thickness?

  • (1) a decrease in slope
  • (2) a decrease in rainfall
  • (3) an increase in biologic activity
  • (4) an increase in air pressure
Answer: (3) an increase in biologic activity 

26. The diagram below shows wind flowing over a mountain range.

As the wind flows down the leeward side of the mountain range, the air becomes

  • (1) cooler and drier
  • (2) cooler and wetter
  • (3) warmer and drier
  • (4) warmer and wetter
Answer: (3) warmer and drier 

27. The cross section of a house is shown below. Open stairways allow air to move from one floor to another. The ridge vent is an opening in the roof that allows air to move in or out of the attic.

During a windless summer day, the air inside this house is warmed by the Sun. In which cross section do the arrows show the most likely air movement when the windows are opened?

Answer: (1)  

28. The ozone layer helps life on Earth because ozone

  • (1) modifies the normal El Niño weather pattern
  • (2) reflects insolation from the Sun
  • (3) absorbs damaging ultraviolet radiation from the Sun
  • (4) deflects winds from a straight line to a curved path
Answer: (3) absorbs damaging ultraviolet radiation from the Sun 

29. Under identical conditions, which surface will reflect the greatest amount of insolation?

  • (1) a basaltic sand beach
  • (2) a pine tree forest
  • (3) a glacial ice sheet
  • (4) a blacktop parking lot
Answer: (3) a glacial ice sheet 

30. The diagram below shows Earth on a particular day in its orbit around the Sun. The dashed line represents Earth’s axis.

Which date is represented by the diagram?

  • (1) March 21
  • (2) June 21
  • (3) September 23
  • (4) December 21
Answer: (4) December 21 

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