Earth Science January 2012

Earth Science January 2012 Questions Answers Keys.

The University of the State of New York
REGENTS HIGH SCHOOL EXAMINATION
PHYSICAL SETTING
EARTH SCIENCE
Thursday, January 26, 2012 — 1:15 to 4:15 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. Which planet’s day (period of rotation) is longer than its year (period of revolution)?

  • (1) Mercury
  • (2) Venus
  • (3) Jupiter
  • (4) Saturn
Answer: (2) Venus 

2. Which event is cyclic and predictable?

  • (1) a volcano erupting above a subducting tectonic plate
  • (2) an earthquake occurring at the San Andreas Fault
  • (3) Jupiter’s apparent movement across the night sky
  • (4) an asteroid striking Earth’s surface
Answer: (3) Jupiter’s apparent movement across the night sky 

3. A high tide occurred at 6:00 a.m. at a beach on Long Island. The next high tide at this same beach would occur at approximately

  • (1) 12:15 p.m. on the same day
  • (2) 6:30 p.m. on the same day
  • (3) 12:45 p.m. on the following day
  • (4) 7:00 a.m. on the following day
Answer: (2) 6:30 p.m. on the same day 

4. The best evidence that Earth rotates on its axis is the changing

  • (1) phases of the Moon
  • (2) altitude of the noontime Sun from day to day
  • (3) apparent path of a Foucault pendulum
  • (4) velocity of Earth in its orbit
Answer: (3) apparent path of a Foucault pendulum 

5. The curving of the planetary winds to the right in the Northern Hemisphere is evidence of

  • (1) the Coriolis effect
  • (2) high- and low-pressure belts
  • (3) Earth’s revolution
  • (4) the tilt of Earth’s axis
Answer: (1) The Coriolis effect 

6. Which star is cooler and less luminous than the Sun?

  • (1) Proxima Centauri
  • (2) Pollux
  • (3) Rigel
  • (4) 40 Eridani B
Answer: (1) Proxima Centauri 

7. Seasonal changes on Earth are primarily caused by the

  • (1) parallelism of the Sun’s axis as the Sun revolves around Earth
  • (2) changes in distance between Earth and the Sun
  • (3) elliptical shape of Earth’s orbit around the Sun
  • (4) tilt of Earth’s axis as Earth revolves around the Sun
Answer: (4) tilt of Earth’s axis as Earth revolves around the Sun 

8. A ship is at a location of 40° S 77° W. Which type of surface ocean current and tectonic plate boundary are located beneath this ship?

  • (1) warm ocean current and a transform boundary
  • (2) warm ocean current and a convergent boundary
  • (3) cool ocean current and a transform boundary
  • (4) cool ocean current and a convergent boundary
Answer: (4) cool ocean current and a convergent boundary 

9. What best explains why, in early spring, ice remains longer on Lake Erie than on the surrounding land areas when the air temperature is above freezing?

  • (1) Water has a higher specific heat than land.
  • (2) Energy is needed for water to evaporate.
  • (3) Cool winds from the surrounding land cool the ice on the lake.
  • (4) Air temperature does not affect water temperature.
Answer: (1) Water has a higher specific heat than land. 

10. What controls the direction of movement of most surface ocean currents?

  • (1) density differences at various ocean depths
  • (2) varying salt content in the ocean
  • (3) prevailing winds
  • (4) seismic activity
Answer: (3) prevailing winds 

11. Due to radioactive decay, an igneous rock sample now contains one-fourth of the amount of potassium-40 that it originally contained. The age, in years, of this rock sample is approximately

  • (1) 0.7 109 y
  • (2) 1.3 109 y
  • (3) 2.6 109 y
  • (4) 5.2 109 y
Answer: (3) 2.6 109 y 

12. Which geologic event occured in New York State at about the same time as the extinction of dinosaurs and ammonoids?

  • (1) formation of the Queenston Delta
  • (2) deposition of the sands and clays underlying Long Island
  • (3) initial opening of the Atlantic Ocean
  • (4) advance and retreat of the last continental ice sheet
Answer: (2) deposition of the sands and clays underlying Long Island 

13. The geologic cross section below shows bedrock layers A through D. Line XY is a fault.

The fault most likely occurred after

  • (1) all bedrock layers were formed
  • (2) layer C formed, but before layer D formed
  • (3) layer A formed, but before layer B formed
  • (4) layer B formed, but before layer C formed
Answer: (4) layer B formed, but before layer C formed 

14. The Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current modify the climate of northwestern Europe by making the climate

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

15. What is the approximate density of a mineral with a mass of 262.2 grams that displaces 46 cubic centimeters of water?

  • (1) 1.8 g/cm3
  • (2) 5.7 g/cm3
  • (3) 6.1 g/cm3
  • (4) 12.2 g/cm3
Answer: (2) 5.7 g/cm3 

16. Obsidian’s glassy texture indicates that it formed

  • (1) slowly, deep below Earth’s surface
  • (2) slowly, on Earth’s surface
  • (3) quickly, deep below Earth’s surface
  • (4) quickly, on Earth’s surface
Answer: (4) quickly, on Earth’s surface 

17. What is the color and type of rock that forms oceanic crust at mid-ocean ridges?

  • (1) light colored and igneous
  • (2) light colored and sedimentary
  • (3) dark colored and igneous
  • (4) dark colored and sedimentary
Answer: (3) dark colored and igneous 

18. A plane traveling in a straight line from Watertown to Utica would fly over which landscape region?

  • (1) Tug Hill Plateau
  • (2) Adirondack Mountains
  • (3) St. Lawrence Lowlands
  • (4) Champlain Lowlands
Answer: (1) Tug Hill Plateau 

19. Which graph best represents the correct relationship between the discharge of a river and the particle size that can be transported by that river?

Answer: (2)  

20. The diagram below shows the relative positions of Earth and Mars in their orbits on a particular date during the winter of 2007.

Which diagram correctly shows the locations of Earth and Mars on the same date during the winter of 2008?

Answer: (2)  

21. A cross section of a weather front is shown below

Which symbol would be used to represent this front on a weather map?

Answer: (1)  

22. According to the Big Bang theory, which graph best represents the relationship between time and the size of the universe from the beginning of the universe to the present?

Answer: (1)  

23. Which map below shows the most likely storm track for a hurricane ( ) in the Atlantic Ocean?

Answer: (2)  

24. The weather map below shows isobars labeled in millibars. Points A, B, C, and D are locations on Earth’s surface.

Which location was probably experiencing the highest wind speed?

  • (1) A
  • (2) B
  • (3) C
  • (4) D
Answer: (2) B 

25. The map below shows two seasonal positions of the polar front jet stream over North America.

Which statement best explains why the position of the polar front jet stream varies with the seasons?

  • (1) Rising air compresses and cools in winter.
  • (2) Water heats and cools more rapidly than land in winter.
  • (3) Prevailing winds reverse direction in summer.
  • (4) The vertical rays of the Sun shift north of the equator in summer.
Answer: (4) The vertical rays of the Sun shift north of the equator in summer. 

26. The cross section below shows two cities, A and B, at different elevations.

Compared to the yearly temperature and precipitation at city B, city A most likely has

  • (1) lower temperatures and less precipitation
  • (2) lower temperatures and more precipitation
  • (3) higher temperatures and less precipitation
  • (4) higher temperatures and more precipitation
Answer: (2) lower temperatures and more precipitation 

27. The graph below shows changes in carbon dioxide concentrations in Earth’s atmosphere over a 140-year period. Carbon dioxide concentrations are shown in parts per million (ppm).

This significant change in CO2 concentration is most likely caused by

  • (1) decreased cloud cover, and is predicted to decrease average global temperatures
  • (2) decreased volcanic activity, and is predicted to increase average global temperatures
  • (3) increased use of fossil fuels, and is predicted to increase average global temperatures
  • (4) increased El Niño activity, and is predicted to decrease average global temperatures
Answer: (3) increased use of fossil fuels, and is predicted to increase average global temperatures 

28. The solar system object in the photograph below is 56 kilometers long.

The object in the photograph is most likely

  • (1) an asteroid
  • (2) Neptune
  • (3) Earth’s Moon
  • (4) Mercury
Answer: (1) an asteroid 

29. Which graph best shows the range of density in each of Earth’s layers?

Answer: (1)  

30. Which world map shows the locations where most earthquakes and volcanoes occur on Earth?

Answer: (1)  

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