Earth Science June 2008

Earth Science June 2008 Questions Answers Keys.

The University of the State of New York
Friday, June 20, 2008 — 1:15 to 4:15 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. As viewed from Earth, most stars appear to move across the sky each night because

  • (1) Earth revolves around the Sun
  • (2) Earth rotates on its axis
  • (3) stars orbit around Earth
  • (4) stars revolve around the center of the galaxy
Answer: (2) Earth rotates on its axis 

2. The star Algol is estimated to have approximately the same luminosity as the star Aldebaran and approximately the same temperature as the star Rigel. Algol is best classified as a

  • (1) main sequence star
  • (2) red giant star
  • (3) white dwarf star
  • (4) red dwarf star
Answer: (1) main sequence star 

3. The explosion associated with the Big Bang theory and the formation of the universe is inferred to have occurred how many billion years ago?

  • (1) less than 1
  • (2) 2.5
  • (3) 4.6
  • (4) over 10
Answer: (4) over 10 

4. The diagram below represents the constellation Lyra.

Which statement best explains why Lyra is visible to an observer in New York State at midnight in July but not visible at midnight in December?

  • (1) Earth spins on its axis.
  • (2) Earth orbits the Sun.
  • (3) Lyra spins on its axis.
  • (4) Lyra orbits Earth.
Answer: (2) Earth orbits the Sun. 

5. The Coriolis effect provides evidence that Earth

  • (1) rotates on its axis
  • (2) revolves around the Sun
  • (3) undergoes cyclic tidal changes
  • (4) has a slightly eccentric orbit
Answer: (1) rotates on its axis 

6. The altitude of the ozone layer near the South Pole is 20 kilometers above sea level. Which temperature zone of the atmosphere contains this ozone layer?

  • (1) troposphere
  • (2) stratosphere
  • (3) mesosphere
  • (4) thermosphere
Answer: (2) stratosphere 

7. A low-pressure system in the Northern Hemisphere has a surface air-circulation pattern that is

  • (1) clockwise and away from the center
  • (2) clockwise and toward the center
  • (3) counterclockwise and away from the center
  • (4) counterclockwise and toward the center
Answer: (4) counterclockwise and toward the center 

8. Air masses are identified on the basis of temperature and

  • (1) type of precipitation
  • (2) wind velocity
  • (3) moisture content
  • (4) atmospheric transparency
Answer: (3) moisture content 

9. During some winters in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, the lake water remains unfrozen even though the land around the lakes is frozen and covered with snow. The primary cause of this difference is that water

  • (1) gains heat during evaporation
  • (2) is at a lower elevation
  • (3) has a higher specific heat
  • (4) reflects more radiation
Answer: (3) has a higher specific heat 

10. The reaction below represents an energy-producing process.

Hydrogen + Hydrogen → Helium + Energy
(lighter element) (lighter element) (heavier element)

The reaction represents how energy is produced

  • (1) in the Sun by fusion
  • (2) when water condenses in Earth’s atmosphere
  • (3) from the movement of crustal plates
  • (4) during nuclear decay
Answer: (1) in the Sun by fusion 

11. The diagram below shows the spectral lines for an element.

Which diagram best represents the spectral lines of this element when its light is observed coming from a star that is moving away from Earth?

Answer: (2)  

12. Diagram 1 shows the Moon in its orbit at four positions labeled A, B, C, and D. Diagram 2 shows a phase of the Moon as viewed from New York State.

At which labeled Moon position would the phase of the Moon shown in diagram 2 be observed from New York State?

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

13. The diagram below shows an observer measuring the altitude of Polaris.

What is the latitude of the observer?

  • (1) 20° N
  • (2) 20° S
  • (3) 70° N
  • (4) 70° S
Answer: (1) 20° N  

14. The weather instrument shown below can be used to determine dewpoint.

Based on the values shown, the dewpoint is

  • (1) –5°C
  • (2) 2°C
  • (3) 8°C
  • (4) 33°C
Answer: (2) 2°C 

15. Which arrangement of the Sun, the Moon, and Earth results in the highest high tides, and the lowest low tides on Earth? (Diagrams are not drawn to scale.)

Answer: (3)  

16. Which station model correctly represents the weather conditions in an area that is experiencing winds from the northeast at 25 knots and has had a steady drop in barometric pressure of 2.7 millibars during the last three hours?

Answer: (2)  

17. The diagram below shows weather instruments A and B.

Which table correctly indicates the name of the weather instrument and the weather variable that it measures?

Answer: (4)  

18. Which ocean current carries cool water toward Earth’s equator?

  • (1) Alaska Current
  • (2) East Australia Current
  • (3) Peru Current
  • (4) North Atlantic Current
Answer: (3) Peru Current 

19. Equal areas of which surface would most likely absorb the most insolation?

  • (1) smooth, white surface
  • (2) rough, white surface
  • (3) smooth, black surface
  • (4) rough, black surface
Answer: (4) rough, black surface 

20. On the map below, the darkened areas represent locations where living corals currently exist. The arrow points to a location where coral fossils have been found in Devonian-age bedrock in New York State.

Devonian-age coral fossils found in some New York State bedrock are not located in the same general region that present-day corals are living because during the Devonian Period

  • (1) corals migrated to New York State
  • (2) corals lived everywhere on Earth
  • (3) New York State was closer to the equator
  • (4) New York State had a colder climate
Answer: (3) New York State was closer to the equator 

21. Which index fossil may be found in the surface bedrock near Ithaca, New York?

Answer: (3)  

22. The cross sections below represent three widely separated outcrops of exposed bedrock. Letters A, B, C, and D represent fossils found in the rock layers.

Which fossil appears to have the best characteristics of an index fossil?

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

23. Active volcanoes are most abundant along the

  • (1) edges of tectonic plates
  • (2) eastern coastline of continents
  • (3) 23.5° N and 23.5° S parallels of latitude
  • (4) equatorial ocean floor
Answer: (1) edges of tectonic plates 

24. Which part of Earth’s interior is inferred to have convection currents that cause tectonic plates to move?

  • (1) rigid mantle
  • (2) asthenosphere
  • (3) outer core
  • (4) inner core
Answer: (2) asthenosphere 

25. Compared to the continental crust, the oceanic crust is

  • (1) less dense and less felsic
  • (2) less dense and less mafic
  • (3) more dense and more felsic
  • (4) more dense and more mafic
Answer: (4) more dense and more mafic 

26. The pie graph below shows the elements comprising Earth’s crust in percent by mass.

Which element is represented by the letter X?

  • (1) silicon
  • (2) lead
  • (3) nitrogen
  • (4) hydrogen
Answer: (1) silicon  

27. The block diagrams below show two landscape regions labeled A and B.

What is the most probable cause of the difference in surface features between A and B?

  • (1) A is the result of a humid climate, while B is the result of a dry climate.
  • (2) A is at a high elevation, while B is located at sea level.
  • (3) A is a plateau region, while B is a mountainous region.
  • (4) A is composed of igneous bedrock, while B is composed of sedimentary bedrock.
Answer: (1) A is the result of a humid climate, while B is the result of a dry climate. 

28. The block diagram below shows a region that has undergone faulting.

Which map shows the stream drainage pattern that would most likely develop on the surface of this region?

Answer: (3)  

29. The map below shows the bend of a large meandering stream. The arrows show the direction of stream flow. Letters A, B, and C are positions on the streambed where erosion and deposition data were collected.

Which table best represents the locations where erosion and deposition are dominant and where an equilibrium exists between the two processes? [A check mark (✓) represents the dominant process for each lettered location.]

Answer: (4)  

30. Which graph best represents the relationship between the discharge of a stream and the velocity of stream flow?

Answer: (2)  

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