Earth Science June 2011

Earth Science June 2011 Questions Answers Keys.

The University of the State of New York
REGENTS HIGH SCHOOL EXAMINATION
PHYSICAL SETTING
EARTH SCIENCE
Friday, June 17, 2011 — 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 2010 Edition Reference Tables for Physical Setting/Earth Science. Record your answers on your separate answer sheet.

1. Why do the planets in our solar system have a layered internal structure?

  • (1) All planets cooled rapidly after they formed.
  • (2) The Sun exerts a gravitational force on the planets.
  • (3) Each planet is composed of materials of different densities.
  • (4) Cosmic dust settled in layers on the planets’ surfaces.
Answer: (3) Each planet is composed of materials of different densities. 

2. The diagram below shows a large pendulum in motion over an 8-hour period.

What is the main reason the pendulum appears to change its direction of swing over time?

  • (1) tilt of Earth on its axis
  • (2) rotation of Earth on its axis
  • (3) revolution of Earth in its orbit
  • (4) speed of Earth in its orbit
Answer: (2) rotation of Earth on its axis 

3. On which day of the year does the Sun reach the greatest altitude at solar noon in New York City?

  • (1) June 21
  • (2) July 21
  • (3) August 21
  • (4) September 21
Answer: (1) June 21 

4. Cosmic background radiation provides direct evidence for the origin of

  • (1) the universe
  • (2) our solar system
  • (3) Earth’s ozone layer
  • (4) Earth’s earliest atmosphere
Answer: (1) the universe 

5. Planetary winds and ocean currents are deflected to the right in the Northern Hemisphere and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere due to

  • (1) seasonal changes
  • (2) plate tectonics
  • (3) the Doppler effect
  • (4) the Coriolis effect
Answer: (4) the Coriolis effect 

6. What is the approximate altitude of Polaris at Syracuse, New York?

  • (1) 43°
  • (2) 47°
  • (3) 76°
  • (4) 90°
Answer: (1) 43° 

7. Most rocks that form from fragmental rock particles are classified as

  • (1) extrusive igneous
  • (2) intrusive igneous
  • (3) clastic sedimentary
  • (4) chemical sedimentary
Answer: (3) clastic sedimentary 

8. Which group of organisms has the shortest record of life on Earth?

  • (1) eurypterids
  • (2) graptolites
  • (3) birds
  • (4) placoderm fish
Answer: (4) placoderm fish 

9. What is inferred to be the main source of the free oxygen that first entered Earth’s atmosphere?

  • (1) meteorite impacts releasing oxygen
  • (2) oxygen-producing organisms
  • (3) melting of glacial ice into hydrogen and oxygen
  • (4) radioactive decay of rocks containing oxygen
Answer: (2) oxygen-producing organisms 

10. The drill-core samples below were taken from two locations 1000 kilometers apart. Rock layers 1 through 8 have been labeled. Some index fossils are shown in the layers.

Which numbered layers most likely formed at the same time?

  • (1) 1 and 6
  • (2) 2 and 8
  • (3) 3 and 5
  • (4) 4 and 7
Answer: (3) 3 and 5 

11. A tree in New York State casts a shadow as shown in the diagram below.

What time of day and season are represented by the diagram?

  • (1) early morning in winter
  • (2) early morning in summer
  • (3) late afternoon in winter
  • (4) late afternoon in summer
Answer: (3) late afternoon in winter 

12. Near which two latitudes are most of Earth’s major deserts located?

  • (1) 0° and 90° N
  • (2) 30° S and 60° S
  • (3) 30° N and 30° S
  • (4) 60° S and 60° N
Answer: (3) 30° N and 30° S 

13. How much of an 800-gram sample of potassium-40 will remain after 3.9 × 109 years of radioactive decay?

  • (1) 50 grams
  • (2) 100 grams
  • (3) 200 grams
  • (4) 400 grams
Answer: (2) 100 grams 

14. Thin layers of volcanic ash act as excellent time markers in the correlation of bedrock because volcanic ash

  • (1) is easily eroded and lasts only a short time on Earth’s surface
  • (2) stays in the atmosphere for millions of years
  • (3) is deposited over millions of years
  • (4) falls to Earth over a large area in a short period of time
Answer: (4) falls to Earth over a large area in a short period of time 

15. Evidence indicates that 251 million years ago a mass extinction of many life-forms occurred on Earth. Which form of life became extinct at this time?

  • (1) trilobites
  • (2) dinosaurs
  • (3) mammoths
  • (4) eurypterids
Answer: (1) trilobites 

16. What is the dewpoint when the air temperature is 26°C and the relative humidity is 77%?

  • (1) 3°C
  • (2) 20°C
  • (3) 22°C
  • (4) 23°C
Answer: (3) 22°C 

17. On the map below, dark-gray areas represent regions of lake-effect snow on a December day.

Which list correctly identifies the type of landscapes represented by letters A, B, and C?

  • (1) A = plain, B = plateau, C = mountain
  • (2) A = mountain, B = plateau, C = plain
  • (3) A = mountain, B = plain, C = plateau
  • (4) A = plateau, B = plain, C = mountain
Answer: (2) A = mountain, B = plateau, C = plain 

18. The cross section below shows the general bedrock structure of an area containing three different landscape regions, A, B, and C.

Which list correctly identifies the type of landscapes represented by letters A, B, and C?

  • (1) A = plain, B = plateau, C = mountain
  • (2) A = mountain, B = plateau, C = plain
  • (3) A = mountain, B = plain, C = plateau
  • (4) A = plateau, B = plain, C = mountain
Answer: (4) A = plateau, B = plain, C = mountain 

19. In New York State, the surface bedrock of the Catskills consists mainly of

  • (1) weakly consolidated gravels and sands
  • (2) quartzites, dolostones, marbles, and schists
  • (3) conglomerates, red sandstones, basalt, and diabase
  • (4) limestones, shales, sandstones, and conglomerates
Answer: (4) limestones, shales, sandstones, and conglomerates 

20. The topographic map below shows a stream crossing several contour lines and passing through points X and Y. Elevations are measured in feet.

What is the approximate gradient between point X and point Y?

  • (1) 10 ft/mi
  • (2) 20 ft/mi
  • (3) 40 ft/mi
  • (4) 80 ft/mi
Answer: (3) 40 ft/mi 

21. The map below shows an overhead view of sediments that have accumulated at the bottom of a lake. Points A through D represent locations on the shoreline of the lake.

A river most likely flows into the lake nearest to location

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

22. An increase in which gas in Earth’s atmosphere will most significantly increase global temperatures?

  • (1) methane
  • (2) oxygen
  • (3) nitrogen
  • (4) hydrogen
Answer: (1) methane 

23. The topographic map below shows two hills located in upstate New York.

Which agent of erosion is most responsible for the shape of these hills?

  • (1) wind
  • (2) gravity
  • (3) waves
  • (4) glaciers
Answer: (4) glaciers 

24. During an El Niño event, surface water temperatures increase along the west coast of South America. Which weather changes are likely to occur in this region?

  • (1) decreased air temperature and decreased precipitation
  • (2) decreased air temperature and increased precipitation
  • (3) increased air temperature and increased precipitation
  • (4) increased air temperature and decreased precipitation
Answer: (3) increased air temperature and increased precipitation 

25. The diagram below shows air movement over a mountain.

Compared to the climate on the windward side of the mountain, the climate on the leeward side of the mountain is

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

26. Which factor has the greatest influence on the number of daylight hours that a particular Earth surface location receives?

  • (1) longitude
  • (2) latitude
  • (3) diameter of Earth
  • (4) distance from the Sun
Answer: (2) latitude 

27. Energy is transferred from Barnard’s Star to Earth mainly by

  • (1) red shifts
  • (2) density currents
  • (3) conduction
  • (4) electromagnetic waves
Answer: (4) electromagnetic waves 

28. A stream’s velocity decreases from 100 cm/s to 5 cm/s. Which size sediment particles will still be transported by the stream?

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

29. Which diagram most accurately represents the relative diameters of Earth and Mercury?

Answer: (1)  

30. Which diagram represents the tilt of Earth’s axis relative to the Sun’s rays on December 15?

Answer: (4)  

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