Earth Science August 2012 Questions Answers Keys.
The University of the State of New York
REGENTS HIGH SCHOOL EXAMINATION
Friday, August 17, 2012 — 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., only
Directions : For each statement or question, choose the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question. Some questions may require the use of the 2011 Edition Reference Tables for Physical Setting/Earth Science. Record your answers on your separate answer sheet.
1. The direction of swing of a Foucault pendulum appears to change due to Earth’s
- (1) revolution
- (2) rotation
- (3) spherical shape
- (4) elliptical orbit
2. Great amounts of energy are released in the core of a star as lighter elements combine and form heavier elements during the process of
- (1) compaction
- (2) condensation
- (3) radioactive decay
- (4) nuclear fusion
3. Which sequence of stars is listed in order of increasing luminosity?
- (1) Spica, Rigel, Deneb, Betelgeuse
- (2) Polaris, Deneb, 40 Eridani B, Proxima Centauri
- (3) Barnard’s Star, Alpha Centauri, Rigel, Spica
- (4) Procyon B, Sun, Sirius, Betelgeuse
4. As Earth travels in its orbit, Earth’s axis
- (1) remains parallel to itself at all Earth positions
- (2) remains aligned with the Sun’s axis
- (3) is perpendicular to the Moon’s axis
- (4) is pointing toward the center of the Milky Way
5. To a nighttime observer on Earth, how many degrees do the stars appear to move around Polaris in 3 hours?
- (1) 60°
- (2) 45°
- (3) 3°
- (4) 15°
6. To an observer in New York State, the duration of daylight increases continuously from
- (1) March 1 to May 1
- (2) June 1 to August 1
- (3) September 1 to November 1
- (4) December 1 to February 1
7. The arrows in the diagram below show changes in the direction of surface winds at four lettered locations, A, B, C, and D, on Earth.
The arrow at which location correctly shows a deflection of the wind that could be due to the Coriolis effect?
- (1) A
- (2) B
- (3) C
- (4) D
8. Approximately 2.2 billion years ago, which gas was first added in large amounts to Earth’s atmosphere from life-forms that evolved in the oceans?
- (1) carbon dioxide
- (2) water vapor
- (3) oxygen
- (4) nitrogen
9. Which weather variable generally decreases when wind speed is increasing, clouds are thickening, and visibility drops?
- (1) relative humidity
- (2) dewpoint
- (3) precipitation
- (4) air pressure
10. The diagram below shows a weather instrument found at most weather stations.
The main function of this instrument is to measure which weather variable?
- (1) wind speed
- (2) wind direction
- (3) air pressure
- (4) relative humidity
11. What is the approximate percent of oxygen by volume present in Earth’s lower atmosphere?
- (1) 21%
- (2) 33%
- (3) 46%
- (4) 94%
12. Global warming is most likely occurring due to an increase in
- (1) carbon dioxide and methane gases in the atmosphere
- (2) oxygen and nitrogen gases in the atmosphere
- (3) ultraviolet radiation and x rays reflected from Earth
- (4) visible light and radio waves reflected from Earth
13. Which geologic event occurred in New York State at the end of the Triassic Period?
- (1) domelike uplift of the Adirondack region
- (2) formation of the Catskill delta
- (3) retreat of the last continental ice
- (4) intrusion of the Palisades sill
14. What is the approximate time difference between the first P-wave and the first S-wave recorded at a seismic station located 8000 kilometers from an earthquake’s epicenter?
- (1) 8 minutes 40 seconds
- (2) 9 minutes 20 seconds
- (3) 11 minutes 20 seconds
- (4) 20 minutes 40 seconds
15. In which Earth layer does the pressure reach 3.5 million atmospheres?
- (1) crust
- (2) stiffer mantle
- (3) outer core
- (4) inner core
16. Which surface feature was produced by crustal movements at a transform plate boundary?
- (1) East African Rift
- (2) Aleutian Trench
- (3) Tasman Hot Spot
- (4) San Andreas Fault
17. The block diagram below shows part of a meandering stream. Line XY shows the location of a stream cross section.
Which cross section best represents the shape of the stream channel at line XY?
18. Which type of surface bedrock is most commonly found in New York State’s Tug Hill Plateau region?
- (1) intrusive igneous rock layers
- (2) extrusive igneous rock layers
- (3) horizontal sedimentary rock layers
- (4) faulted metamorphic rock layers
19. The cross section below shows layers of sediments deposited in a region of Wisconsin that has experienced several periods of glaciation. Descriptions of the sediments in layers A through F are included.
Which two layers of sediments were probably deposited directly by glaciers?
- (1) A and D
- (2) B and F
- (3) C and E
- (4) D and E
20. A river’s current carries sediments into the ocean. Which sediment size will most likely be deposited in deeper water farthest from the shore?
- (1) pebble
- (2) sand
- (3) silt
- (4) clay
21. Which mineral would most likely become rounded at the fastest rate when tumbled along a stream bottom?
- (1) garnet
- (2) pyroxene
- (3) plagioclase feldspar
- (4) selenite gypsum
22. Mineral crystals of quartz, biotite mica, and amphibole are produced primarily by the
- (1) chemical reaction of elements in seawater
- (2) cooling and solidification of magma
- (3) deposition of sediments by a glacier
- (4) metamorphism of bituminous coal
23. Which texture best describes an igneous rock that formed deep underground?
- (1) glassy
- (2) vesicular
- (3) fine grained
- (4) coarse grained
24. A nonvesicular rock is made entirely of green 2-millimeter-diameter crystals that have a hardness of 6.5 and show fracture, but not cleavage. The rock is most likely
- (1) shale
- (2) phyllite
- (3) dunite
- (4) schist
25. The diagram below shows the Moon at one position in its orbit around Earth. Letter X indicates the location of an observer in New York State.
Which phase of the Moon will the observer see when the Moon is at the position shown in its orbit?
26. The photographs below show the same coastal location at two different times during the same day
Which statement best explains the cause for the higher water level at 6:52 p.m.?
- (1) The Moon rotates on its axis at the same rate that it revolves around Earth.
- (2) The Moon exerts a gravitational pull on a rotating Earth.
- (3) Earth’s rotation causes a deflection of surface ocean currents.
- (4) Earth’s tilted axis causes different amounts of insolation throughout the day.
27. Which bar graph best represents the equatorial diameters of the eight planets of our solar system?
28. Which diagram represents the apparent path of the Sun on March 21 for an observer at the equator?
29. The arrows in the diagram below represent processes in the water cycle.
Which processes in the water cycle are identified by the numbered arrows?
- (1) Process 1 is transpiration; process 2 is runoff.
- (2) Process 1 is precipitation; process 2 is runoff.
- (3) Process 1 is condensation; process 2 is infiltration.
- (4) Process 1 is evaporation; process 2 is infiltration.
30. The diagram below represents the setup for an experiment for studying groundwater. Tubes A, B, C, and D contain equal volumes of sediments. Within each tube, the sediments are uniform in size, shape, and packing. A test for water retention was conducted by first filling each tube with water and then draining the water into beakers.
Which graph represents the general relationship between the sediment size and the amount of water retained by the sediments after the tubes had drained?
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