Earth Science June 2009

Earth Science June 2009 Questions Answers Keys.

The University of the State of New York
REGENTS HIGH SCHOOL EXAMINATION
PHYSICAL SETTING
EARTH SCIENCE
Wednesday, June 17, 2009 — 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. Evidence that the universe is expanding is best provided by the

  • (1) red shift in the light from distant galaxies
  • (2) change in the swing direction of a Foucault pendulum on Earth
  • (3) parallelism of Earth’s axis in orbit
  • (4) spiral shape of the Milky Way Galaxy
Answer: (1) red shift in the light from distant galaxies 

2. Which object forms by the contraction of a large sphere of gases causing the nuclear fusion of lighter elements into heavier elements?

  • (1) comet
  • (2) planet
  • (3) star
  • (4) moon
Answer: (3) star 

3. In New York State, summer is warmer than winter because in summer New York State has

  • (1) fewer hours of daylight and receives lowangle insolation
  • (2) fewer hours of daylight and receives highangle insolation
  • (3) more hours of daylight and receives low-angle insolation
  • (4) more hours of daylight and receives highangle insolation
Answer: (4) more hours of daylight and receives highangle insolation 

4. The diagram below shows an observer on Earth viewing the star Polaris.

What is this observer’s latitude?

  • (1) 38° N
  • (2) 38° S
  • (3) 52° N
  • (4) 52° S
Answer: (3) 52° N 

5. The arrows in the diagram below represent the movement of water in the water cycle.

Which arrow represents the process of trans piration?

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

6. Which statement best describes the position of the Sun at sunrise and sunset as seen by an observer in New York State on June 21?

  • (1) The Sun rises north of due east and sets north of due west.
  • (2) The Sun rises south of due east and sets south of due west.
  • (3) The Sun rises north of due east and sets south of due west.
  • (4) The Sun rises south of due east and sets north of due west.
Answer: (1) The Sun rises north of due east and sets north of due west. 

7. On a cold winter day, the air temperature is 2°C and the wet-bulb temperature is –1°C. What is the relative humidity at this location?

  • (1) 6%
  • (2) 37%
  • (3) 51%
  • (4) 83%
Answer: (3) 51% 

8. The bar graph below shows one planetary characteristic, identified as X, plotted for the planets of our solar system.

Which characteristic of the planets in our solar system is represented by X?

  • (1) mass
  • (2) density
  • (3) eccentricity of orbit
  • (4) period of rotation
Answer: (3) eccentricity of orbit 

9. Which graph best represents the general relationship between latitude and average surface temperature?

Answer: (2)  

10. The diagram below shows a laboratory setup. The rubber band holds filter paper across the base of the open tube to hold the soil sample. The tube was placed in the water as shown. The upward movement of water is represented by arrows. The height of the water that moved upward within the soil was measured. Students repeated this procedure using soils with different particle sizes. Results of the experiment are shown in the data table.

Results of this experiment lead to the conclusion that

  • (1) capillarity is greater in soils with larger particles
  • (2) capillarity is greater in soils with smaller particles
  • (3) permeability is greater in soils with larger particles
  • (4) permeability is greater in soils with smaller particles
Answer: (2) capillarity is greater in soils with smaller particles 

11. When two tectonic plates collide, oceanic crust usually subducts beneath continental crust because oceanic crust is primarily composed of igneous rock that has

  • (1) low density and is mafic
  • (2) low density and is felsic
  • (3) high density and is mafic
  • (4) high density and is felsic
Answer: (3) high density and is mafic 

12. New York State’s generalized landscape regions are identified primarily on the basis of elevation and

  • (1) bedrock structure
  • (2) climate zones
  • (3) geologic age
  • (4) latitude
Answer: (1) bedrock structure  

13. The data table below shows the origin depths of all large-magnitude earthquakes over a 20-year period.

According to these data, most of these earthquakes occurred within Earth’s

  • (1) lithosphere
  • (2) asthenosphere
  • (3) stiffer mantle
  • (4) outer core
Answer: (1) lithosphere 

14. What is the largest sediment that can be transported by a stream that has a velocity of 125 cm/sec?

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

15. The photograph below shows a valley.

Which agent of erosion most likely produced this valley’s shape?

  • (1) wave action
  • (2) moving ice
  • (3) blowing wind
  • (4) flowing water
Answer: (2) moving ice 

16. Deposition within a meandering stream usually occurs on the inside of the curves because the

  • (1) water velocity decreases
  • (2) stream gradient increases
  • (3) water is deeper
  • (4) stream is narrower
Answer: (1) water velocity decreases 

17. The diagram below shows an outcrop of different layers of sandstone in a region receiving heavy rainfall.

Which sandstone layer appears to be the least resistant to weathering?

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

18. Which process led to the formation of thick salt deposits found in the bedrock at some locations in New York State?

  • (1) melting
  • (2) runoff
  • (3) condensation
  • (4) evaporation
Answer: (4) evaporation 

19. Oxygen is the most abundant element by volume in Earth’s

  • (1) inner core
  • (2) troposphere
  • (3) hydrosphere
  • (4) crust
Answer: (4) crust 

20. Most insolation striking a smooth, light-colored, solid surface is

  • (1) refracted
  • (2) transmitted
  • (3) reflected
  • (4) absorbed
Answer: (3) reflected 

21. Which process requires water to gain heat energy from the environment?

  • (1) evaporation
  • (2) condensation
  • (3) infiltration
  • (4) precipitation
Answer: (1) evaporation 

22. Which graph best represents human existence on Earth, compared with Earth’s entire history?

Answer: (4)  

23. How old is a fossil that has radioactively decayed through 4 half-lives of carbon-14?

  • (1) 5,700 years
  • (2) 17,100 years
  • (3) 22,800 years
  • (4) 28,500 years
Answer: (3) 22,800 years 

24. The gases in Earth’s early atmosphere are inferred to have come primarily from

  • (1) meteor showers
  • (2) melting of glacial ice
  • (3) volcanic eruptions
  • (4) evaporation of seawater
Answer: (3) volcanic eruptions 

25. The graph below shows the extinction rate of organisms on Earth during the last 600 million years. Letters A through D represent mass extinctions.

Which letter indicates when dinosaurs became extinct?

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

26. Alternating parallel bands of normal and reversed magnetic polarity are found in the basaltic bedrock on either side of the

  • (1) Mid-Atlantic Ridge
  • (2) Yellowstone Hot Spot
  • (3) San Andreas Fault
  • (4) Peru-Chile Trench
Answer: (1) Mid-Atlantic Ridge 

27. Which characteristic would most likely remain constant when a limestone cobble is subjected to extensive abrasion?

  • (1) shape
  • (2) mass
  • (3) volume
  • (4) composition
Answer: (4) composition 

Base your answers to questions 28 and 29 on the diagrams below. Diagram 1 is a drawing of a seafloor environment during the Carboniferous Period. Diagram 2 is a drawing of a Carboniferous swamp-forest environment. Two organisms are labeled A and B.

28. If the fish labeled A in diagram 1 are placoderms, the diagram represents conditions during which geologic epoch?

  • (1) Early Mississippian
  • (2) Late Mississippian
  • (3) Early Pennsylvanian
  • (4) Late Pennsylvanian
Answer: (1) Early Mississippian 

29. In which type of rock would fossils of organisms A and B most likely be found?

  • (1) felsic igneous
  • (2) vesicular igneous
  • (3) clastic sedimentary
  • (4) nonfoliated metamorphic
Answer: (3) clastic sedimentary 

30. According to the fossil record, which sequence correctly represents the evolution of life on Earth?

  • (1) fish → amphibians → mammals → soft-bodied organisms
  • (2) fish → soft-bodied organisms → mammals → amphibians
  • (3) soft-bodied organisms → amphibians → fish → mammals
  • (4) soft-bodied organisms → fish → amphibians → mammals
Answer: (4) soft-bodied organisms → fish → amphibians → mammals 

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