Hardest Geology Test! Trivia Quiz

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Geology Quizzes & Trivia

The earth is a very interesting place in our solar system, and through geology, we get to understand some of the rocks, minerals, volcanoes, and even shifts with the earth’s rocks. Do you think you can pass what has come to be known as the hardest geology quiz? Take up it up and get to share the score you get to see if you do understand the geology.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    In order to produce a commercially viable oil deposit, there must be a source rock, a reservoir rock, a seal rock, and a ____________.
    • A. 

      Trap—a geologic configuration that forces oil to pool up and denies it passage to the surface

    • B. 

      Heater rock—an intrusive igneous rock beneath the source rock to heat the oil and give it buoyancy

    • C. 

      Large fracture connecting the reservoir rock to the surface of the Earth, so the oil can move freely toward the surface

    • D. 

      Filter rock—a rock of intermediate permeability located between the source and reservoir rocks to remove impurities

  • 2. 
    Chemically, oil and gas are both ____________
    • A. 

      Hydrocarbons

    • B. 

      Carbohydrates

    • C. 

      Pure forms of carbon

    • D. 

      Carbonate minerals

  • 3. 
    • A. 

      Gas, because it is more stable at high temperatures

    • B. 

      Oil, because it is more stable at low pressures

    • C. 

      Oil, because it is more stable at high temperatures

    • D. 

      Gas, because it is more stable at low pressures

  • 4. 
    Shale, salt, and fine-grained limestone that is not fractured are all good candidates to serve as ____________ within an oil field.
    • A. 

      Either a source or reservoir rock

    • B. 

      A seal rock

    • C. 

      A reservoir rock

    • D. 

      A source rock

  • 5. 
    The oil window (temperature range wherein organic matter is converted to petroleum without destroying it) lies between ____________.
    • A. 

      200 to 350 °C

    • B. 

      100 to 250 °C

    • C. 

      90 to 160 °C

    • D. 

      30 to 60 °C

  • 6. 
    Most coal is mined from ____________, which develop and preserve the thick sedimentary sequences necessary for deep burial.
    • A. 

      Shields

    • B. 

      domes

    • C. 

      Basins

    • D. 

      Active margins

  • 7. 
    U-235, the isotope of uranium commonly utilized in nuclear power plants, is ____________.
    • A. 

      The most common of the naturally occurring isotopes of that element

    • B. 

      Rare even in uranium oxide deposits, and thus usable reactor fuel must be enriched with respect to this isotope

    • C. 

      Heavier than the other well-known isotope of uranium

  • 8. 
    The first ores which were widely smelted by humans to produce metal were those of ____________.
    • A. 

      Bronze

    • B. 

      Copper

    • C. 

      Gold

    • D. 

      Iron

  • 9. 
    Commercial ore deposits are most likely to be found associated with ____________.
    • A. 

      Thick basinal sandstones and shales

    • B. 

      Blueschists

    • C. 

      Evaporite sequences

    • D. 

      Igneous rocks

  • 10. 
    Mineral-rich veins within plutons, deposited by hot groundwater into fractures within the rock, characterize ____________.
    • A. 

      Residual mineral deposits

    • B. 

      Hydrothermal deposits

    • C. 

      Placer deposits

    • D. 

      Sedimentary deposits

  • 11. 
    Which ore minerals are commonly found in ancient sedimentary deposits that are 2 billion years old?
    • A. 

      Aluminum oxides

    • B. 

      iron oxides

    • C. 

      Copper sulfides

    • D. 

      Copper oxides

  • 12. 
    Which mineral resources are considered renewable?
    • A. 

      Nonmetallic minerals only

    • B. 

      Iron and aluminum ores

    • C. 

      Base metals only

    • D. 

      No mineral resources are renewable

  • 13. 
    The United States has active mines within its boundaries that are sufficient to maintain a steady supply of all strategically important metals.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 14. 
    As suggested by the name “earthquake” the release of seismic energy as waves is unique to our planet and has not been found to occur in any other body of our solar system.
    • A. 

      True

    • B. 

      False

  • 15. 
    If, during an earthquake, a hanging wall slides upward relative to a footwall, the fault is termed ____________ if the fault is steep (closer to vertical than horizontal).
    • A. 

      Thrust

    • B. 

      Reverse

    • C. 

      Normal

    • D. 

      Abnormal

  • 16. 
    • A. 

      20 km beneath New Madrid

    • B. 

      20 km south of New Madrid

    • C. 

      200 km beneath New Madrid

    • D. 

      In New Madrid ("hypocenter" and "epicenter" mean precisely the same thing)

  • 17. 
    Earthquake waves which pass through the interior of Earth are termed ____________.
    • A. 

      Surface waves

    • B. 

      Interior waves

    • C. 

      R-waves

    • D. 

      Body waves

  • 18. 
    Surface waves ____________.
    • A. 

      Produce most of the damage to buildings during earthquakes

    • B. 

      Travel more rapidly than body waves

    • C. 

      Are the first waves initially produced in an earthquake

    • D. 

      Are the first waves to arrive at a seismograph station after an earthquake

  • 19. 
    Earthquakes that occur in a band called a ____________ can be used to track the motion of subducted oceanic lithosphere.
    • A. 

      Seismic gap

    • B. 

      Wadati-Benioff zone

    • C. 

      Trench

    • D. 

      Wegener belt

  • 20. 
    Long-term prediction of earthquake behavior ____________.
    • A. 

      Is based on past earthquake activity

    • B. 

      Works on the principle that zones of past seismicity will be active in the future

    • C. 

      Includes the notion of seismic gaps—places where an earthquake is “overdue”

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 21. 
    Which of the world’s major cities has suffered tremendous earthquake damage in the past not because it is located at a plate boundary (it is not), but rather because it is built atop a basin of ancient lakebed sediments that rhythmically rock back and forth when agitated by seismic waves of a characteristic frequency?
    • A. 

      New Madrid

    • B. 

      Los Angeles

    • C. 

      Tokyo

    • D. 

      Mexico City

  • 22. 
    Seismic rays follow curve paths in Earth's interior due to ____________.
    • A. 

      The influence of abrupt changes in density associated with major contrasts in rock type at depth

    • B. 

      The arcuate nature of trenches at subduction zones, where most earthquakes are generated

    • C. 

      The spheroidal nature of the Earth itself

    • D. 

      Gradual changes in density with depth beneath the surface

  • 23. 
    Seismologist know that the outer core is liquid due to the presence of ______________.
    • A. 

      a high-velocity zone for seismic waves traveling in the outer core

    • B. 

      A P-wave "shadow" zone for seismometers situated between 104° and 140° from earthquake hypocenters

    • C. 

      A low-velocity zone (LVZ) at a depth of 200 km where about 2% of the rock may be melted

    • D. 

      A S-wave "shadow" zone for seismometers situated on the far side of the Earth from earthquake hypocenters

    • E. 

      Both D and B

  • 24. 
    The word "metamorphism" literally refers to
    • A. 

      A concept in existential philosophy.

    • B. 

      Change in the chemical composition of a rock.

    • C. 

      Moving toward the middle.

    • D. 

      Change.

  • 25. 
    When rocks are metamorphosed,
    • A. 

      The original minerals are recrystallized in the solid state, and they are sometimes replaced by a new set of minerals.

    • B. 

      They always develop a strong foliation.

    • C. 

      They always melt and then recrystallize upon cooling.

    • D. 

      They always turn green, which is why they are called greenschists.

  • 26. 
    A rock with a well-developed foliation
    • A. 

      Is made up primarily of quartz.

    • B. 

      Most commonly forms in contact metamorphic environments.

    • C. 

      Has platty mineral grains (like micas) aligned parallel to each other, causing the rock to break into flat slabs.

    • D. 

      Is most likely to form in response to falling temperature and pressure.

  • 27. 
    If a basalt is metamorphosed, the following rock types could develop in this order in response to increasing temperature:
    • A. 

      Amphibolite : greenschist : blueschist

    • B. 

      Marble : greenschist : quartzite

    • C. 

      Granite : gabbro : phyllite

    • D. 

      Greenschist : amphibolite

  • 28. 
    If a shale is metamorphosed, the following rock types develop in this order in response to increasing temperature:
    • A. 

      Blueschist : greenschist : amphibolite cooler → hotter

    • B. 

      Slate : phyllite : schist : gneiss cooler → hotter

    • C. 

      Gneiss : schist : phyllite : slate cooler → hotter

    • D. 

      Lapilli : lahar :tuff : ignimbrite cooler → hotter

  • 29. 
    You have discovered an outcrop of mica schist, and you know that this is a metamorphic rock. Which of the following rocks could have been metamorphosed to form this mica schist?
    • A. 

      Limestone

    • B. 

      Ignimbrite

    • C. 

      Basalt

    • D. 

      Shale

  • 30. 
    Contact metamorphism would occur when
    • A. 

      Sediments on a subducting slab are heated and deformed.

    • B. 

      Basalt is erupted under seawater.

    • C. 

      Magma is emplaced adjacent to relatively cool sedimentary rocks.

    • D. 

      Magma is emplaced into very deeply buried and already-hot igneous rocks.

  • 31. 
    The best plate-tectonic environment for making blueschists (high pressure, lower temperature) metamorphic rocks is
    • A. 

      Hot spots.

    • B. 

      Himalayan-type orogens.

    • C. 

      Subduction zones.

    • D. 

      Mid-ocean ridges.

  • 32. 
    One of the main differences between a gneiss and a schist is that
    • A. 

      Gneisses have more feldspar and less mica than schists.

    • B. 

      Gneisses form from sedimentary rocks and schists form from igneous rocks.

    • C. 

      Gneisses are generally older than schists.

    • D. 

      Gneisses form in subduction zones and schists form in batholiths.

  • 33. 
    Seafloor metamorphism
    • A. 

      Occurs when seawater reacts with hot seafloor rocks.

    • B. 

      Generates metamorphic rocks that usually lack foliation.

    • C. 

      occurs mainly at or near mid-ocean ridges and transform faults.

    • D. 

      All of the above.

  • 34. 
    The breakdown of exposed rock into small fragments and dissolved ions is termed
    • A. 

      Deposition

    • B. 

      Erosion

    • C. 

      Weathering

    • D. 

      Sedimentation

  • 35. 
    Frost wedging, root wedging, and salt wedging are all examples of ____________.
    • A. 

      Deposition

    • B. 

      Physical weathering

    • C. 

      Chemical weathering

    • D. 

      Erosion

  • 36. 
    Hydrolysis, oxidation, and hydration are all examples of ____________.
    • A. 

      Chemical weathering

    • B. 

      Physical weathering

    • C. 

      Erosion

    • D. 

      Deposition

  • 37. 
    Spheroidal weathering occurs when ____________.
    • A. 

      Physical weathering breaks boulders directly into spherical cobbles and pebbles

    • B. 

      Chemical weathering attacks corners and edges of rock more rapidly than its interior

    • C. 

      Physical weathering predominates and there is little chemical weathering

    • D. 

      Chemical weathering works at a uniform rate throughout the rock

  • 38. 
    Caliche is most commonly found in which type of environments?
    • A. 

      Temperate forests

    • B. 

      Deserts

    • C. 

      Grasslands

    • D. 

      Tropical rain forests

  • 39. 
    Laterite soils are most commonly found in which type of environments?
    • A. 

      Deserts

    • B. 

      Grasslands

    • C. 

      Temperate forests

    • D. 

      Tropical rain forests

  • 40. 
    Because the velocity of sediment settling (deposition) is positively related to grain size for waterborne sediments, fluvial deposits are more likely than glacial deposits to ____________.
    • A. 

      Be well sorted

    • B. 

      Have angular grains

    • C. 

      Include coarse grains, such as cobbles

    • D. 

      Include fine grains, such as clay

  • 41. 
    It is unusual for ____________ to carry grains larger than sand.
    • A. 

      Water

    • B. 

      Wind

    • C. 

      ice

  • 42. 
    If water is the transport medium of sediment, the grain size of sedimentary deposits most closely indicates the ____________.
    • A. 

      Velocity of the water at the moment the sediment settled to the bottom

    • B. 

      Geographic extent of the weathering source rock at outcrop

    • C. 

      average velocity of the water from the time of erosion until deposition

  • 43. 
    The difference between breccia and conglomerate is that conglomerate ____________.
    • A. 

      Possesses more angular grains than breccia

    • B. 

      Is finer grained than breccia

    • C. 

      Possesses more rounded grains than breccia

    • D. 

      Is coarser grained than breccia

  • 44. 
    Ash, cinders, and blocks are all types of _________.
    • A. 

      Volcanoclastic debris

    • B. 

      Lava flows

    • C. 

      Volcanoes

    • D. 

      Pele's hair

  • 45. 
    Volcanic Bombs are ________.
    • A. 

      Pyroclastic blocks that acquire aerodynamic shapes during flight out of the volcanic vent

    • B. 

      Explosive bodies of lava with high volatile content

    • C. 

      Cinders that explode upon impact with the ground

    • D. 

      Used in highly hazardous volcanoes to mitigate volcanic hazards via small controlled eruptions

  • 46. 
    Used in highly hazardous volcanoes to mitigate volcanic hazards via small controlled eruptions
    • A. 

      Normal mid-ocean ridge activity

    • B. 

      A submarine hot-spot located along a mid-ocean ridge

    • C. 

      A submarine hot-spot located within the interior of a plate

    • D. 

      Subduction of an oceanic plate underneath the continental Eurasian Plate

  • 47. 
    Which national park is home to a large volcanic caldera formed through a very large explosive eruption 640,000 years ago?
    • A. 

      Great Smoky Mountains

    • B. 

      Carlsbad Caverns

    • C. 

      Acadia

    • D. 

      Yellowstone

  • 48. 
    Olympus Mons, the largest known volcano in the Universe, is found on ____________, and is an example of a ____________.
    • A. 

      Mars / shield

    • B. 

      Io (a moon of Jupiter) / shield

    • C. 

      Mars / cinder cone

    • D. 

      Venus / stratovolcano

    • E. 

      Earth / shield

  • 49. 
    Whether an eruption will primarily produce lava flows or pyroclastic debris is influenced by __________.
    • A. 

      The viscosity of the lava

    • B. 

      The composition of the lava

    • C. 

      The proportion of volatiles within the lava

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 50. 
    Explosive or voluminous eruptions may cause the volcano to collapse on the floor of the (now empty) magma chamber, producing a broad depression termed a ____________.
    • A. 

      Fissure

    • B. 

      Lahar

    • C. 

      Crater

    • D. 

      Caldera

  • 51. 
    Gases that are abundantly emitted by volcanoes include ____________.
    • A. 

      Carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and oxygen

    • B. 

      Oxygen, hydrogen, and neon

    • C. 

      Oxygen, ozone, and water vapor

    • D. 

      Water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide

  • 52. 
    The characteristic “rotten egg” smell of many active volcanoes is derived from ____________.
    • A. 

      Stale water within the magma chamber

    • B. 

      Hydrogen sulfide gas

    • C. 

      Iron and magnesium within lava

    • D. 

      Carbon dioxide gas

  • 53. 
    Of the three primary forms of subaerial volcanoes, ____________ have the most gently sloping sides, due to the low viscosity of the basaltic lavas which form them.
    • A. 

      Stratovolcanoes

    • B. 

      Shield volcanoes

    • C. 

      Cinder cones