Earth Science June 2012

Earth Science June 2012 Questions Answers Keys.

The University of the State of New York
Friday, June 15, 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. A Foucault pendulum appears to change its direction of swing because Earth

  • (1) is tilted on its axis
  • (2) is spinning on its axis
  • (3) has a curved surface
  • (4) has a density of 5.5 g/cm3
Answer: (2) is spinning on its axis 

2. The modern heliocentric model of planetary motion states that the planets travel around

  • (1) the Sun in slightly elliptical orbits
  • (2) the Sun in circular orbits
  • (3) Earth in slightly elliptical orbits
  • (4) Earth in circular orbits
Answer: (1) The Sun in slightly elliptical orbits 

3. To an observer on Earth, the Sun appears brighter than the star Rigel because the Sun is

  • (1) hotter than Rigel
  • (2) more luminous than Rigel
  • (3) closer than Rigel
  • (4) larger than Rigel
Answer: (3) closer than Rigel 

4. The cross section below represents four locations on a mountain. The arrow indicates the prevailing wind direction.

Which location has the warmest and most arid climate?

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

5. The map below shows an eastern portion of North America. Points A and B represent locations on the eastern shoreline.

Which factor is primarily responsible for location A having a lower average yearly temperature than location B?

  • (1) nearness to a large body of water
  • (2) elevation
  • (3) latitude
  • (4) prevailing winds
Answer: (3) latitude 

6. El Cuy is a South American city located at 40° south latitude. The first day of winter at this location occurs on June 21. During which month would the coldest day of the year most likely occur at this location?

  • (1) May
  • (2) July
  • (3) November
  • (4) January
Answer: (2) July 

7. The map below shows a typical position and average velocity of the polar front jet stream during two different seasons.

For the eastern United States, the change of the polar front jet stream from this summer position to this winter position causes

  • (1) warmer temperatures farther north and causes storms to move more slowly
  • (2) warmer temperatures farther north and causes storms to move more rapidly
  • (3) cooler temperatures farther south and causes storms to move more slowly
  • (4) cooler temperatures farther south and causes storms to move more rapidly
Answer: (4) cooler temperatures farther south and causes storms to move more rapidly 

8. Which soil characteristic allows greater amounts of water retention?

  • (1) large-size particles
  • (2) small-size particles
  • (3) high-density particles
  • (4) low-density particles
Answer: (2) small-size particles 

9. A paved blacktop parking lot was built on what was once a soil-covered field. This area will now experience increased runoff when rain occurs because the paved parking lot has

  • (1) less capillarity
  • (2) less permeability
  • (3) greater infiltration
  • (4) greater porosity
Answer: (2) less permeability 

10. Which processes of the water cycle return water vapor directly to the atmosphere?

  • (1) evaporation and transpiration
  • (2) infiltration and capillarity
  • (3) freezing and precipitation
  • (4) water retention and runoff
Answer: (1) evaporation and transpiration 

11. Evidence supports the idea that increases in carbon dioxide and methane in Earth’s atmosphere are major contributors to global warming. This is based primarily on the fact that carbon dioxide and methane are excellent absorbers of

  • (1) gamma rays
  • (2) microwaves
  • (3) visible light
  • (4) infrared radiation
Answer: (4) infrared radiation 

12. The bedrock of the Adirondack Mountains was formed mainly by the

  • (1) cementation of clastic sediments and precipitates from seawater
  • (2) compaction and recrystallization of volcanic material
  • (3) regional metamorphism of sedimentary and igneous rocks
  • (4) contact metamorphism of unconsolidated gravels
Answer: (3) regional metamorphism of sedimentary and igneous rocks 

13. Which element, found in both biotite mica and muscovite mica, makes up the greatest percent by volume of Earth’s crust?

  • (1) nitrogen
  • (2) oxygen
  • (3) potassium
  • (4) silicon
Answer: (2) oxygen 

14. The inferred temperature and pressure of Earth’s interior at a depth of 3,000 kilometers are approximately

  • (1) 1000°C and 0.5 million atmospheres
  • (2) 1000°C and 1.0 million atmospheres
  • (3) 5000°C and 1.5 million atmospheres
  • (4) 5000°C and 3.0 million atmospheres
Answer: (3) 5000°C and 1.5 million atmospheres 

15. Which agent of erosion most likely formed the drumlins and finger lakes in New York State?

  • (1) running water
  • (2) moving ice
  • (3) wave action
  • (4) mass movement
Answer: (2) moving ice 

16. The longest portion of the Genesee River in New York State flows through which landscape region?

  • (1) Erie-Ontario Lowlands
  • (2) Tug Hill Plateau
  • (3) Allegheny Plateau
  • (4) St. Lawrence Lowlands
Answer: (3) Allegheny Plateau 

17. A model of Earth’s internal structure is shown below.

Analysis of which type of data led to the development of this model?

  • (1) seismic waves
  • (2) depth of Earth’s oceans
  • (3) electromagnetic radiation
  • (4) isobar gradients
Answer: (1) seismic waves 

18. What caused the interior of Earth to separate into layers?

  • (1) a decrease in the rate of rotation of Earth
  • (2) the gravitational pull on materials of varying densities
  • (3) variations in heating by the Sun due to Earth’s tilt
  • (4) collisions with meteors and comets
Answer: (2) the gravitational pull on materials of varying densities 

19. Which plate tectonic events occurred as the Iapetus Ocean closed?

  • (1) Taconian orogeny and Grenville orogeny
  • (2) Taconian orogeny and Acadian orogeny
  • (3) Alleghenian orogeny and Acadian orogeny
  • (4) Alleghenian orogeny and Grenville orogeny
Answer: (2) Taconian orogeny and Acadian orogeny 

20. Which mineral will scratch fluorite, galena, and pyroxene?

  • (1) graphite
  • (2) calcite
  • (3) olivine
  • (4) dolomite
Answer: (3) olivine 

21. Which radioactive isotope is most often used when determining the age of fossil bones found in sediments deposited during the Holocene Epoch?

  • (1) carbon-14
  • (2) potassium-40
  • (3) uranium-238
  • (4) rubidium-87
Answer: (1) carbon-14 

22. The photograph below shows index fossil shells found in bedrock in New York State.

These index fossil shells were most likely found in the surface bedrock of which landscape region?

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

Base your answers to questions 23 and 24 on the weather map below, which represents a low-pressure system over New York State. The L on the map represents the center of the low-pressure system. Two fronts extend from the center of the low, and are labeled front 1 and front 2. Cloud cover has been omitted from the station models.

23. The arrows on which map best represent the surface wind pattern around this low-pressure center?

Answer: (3)  

24. Which map best represents the type of fronts and direction of movement of these fronts in relation to the low-pressure center?

Answer: (1)  

25. A timeline from the origin of Earth until the present is shown below

At which letter on the timeline did the Ediacaran fauna exist?

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

26. The diagram below represents three identical beakers filled to the same level with spherical beads.

If the packing of the beads within each beaker is the same, which graph best represents the porosity within each beaker?

Answer: (4)  

27. Which diagram correctly represents the curving of Earth’s ocean currents and prevailing winds due to the Coriolis effect?

Answer: (4)  

28. A topographic map and an incorrectly constructed profile from point A to point H on the map are shown below.

What mistake was made in the construction of this profile?

  • (1) using a contour interval of 10 feet
  • (2) plotting points A through H the same distance apart horizontally
  • (3) drawing a curved line instead of a straight line from point B to point C
  • (4) increasing the elevation from point F to point H
Answer: (2) plotting points A through H the same distance apart horizontally  

Base your answers to questions 29 and 30 on the map of the night sky below, which represents the apparent locations of some of the constellations that are visible to an observer at approximately 40° N latitude at 9 p.m. in April. The point directly above the observer is labeled zenith.

29. Which map best illustrates the apparent path of Virgo during the next 4 hours?

Answer: (3)  

30. Which motion causes the constellation Leo to no longer be visible to an observer at 40° N in October?

  • (1) spin of the constellation on its axis
  • (2) revolution of the constellation around the Sun
  • (3) spin of Earth on its axis
  • (4) revolution of Earth around the Sun
Answer: (4) revolution of Earth around the Sun 

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