Physical Geology Quiz: An Overview Of Sedimentary Rocks

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Physical Geology Quiz: An Overview Of Sedimentary Rocks - Quiz

How good your physical geology is? Do you know an overview of sedimentary rock? If all your answer is yes, then take up the quiz below and check how sharp your memory is. Sedimentary rocks are formed by the deposition of the mineral particles at Erath's surface. The most common form of these rocks is chalk, limestone, clay, and shale. The following quiz consists of some basic questions related to sedimentary rocks. If you know enough about these rocks, try the quiz and see for yourself.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    Sedimentary rocks are formed by…

    • A.

      Uplift, folding, and subsidence 

    • B.

      Molten rock material gluing particles together

    • C.

      Deposition, cross-cutting, inclusion, and continuity

    • D.

      Weathering, transport, deposition, and lithification

    Correct Answer
    D. Weathering, transport, deposition, and lithification
    Explanation
    Sedimentary rocks are formed through a series of processes. Weathering is the process of breaking down rocks into smaller particles. Transport involves the movement of these particles by wind, water, or ice. Deposition occurs when these particles settle and accumulate in a new location. Lithification is the process of compacting and cementing these particles together to form solid rock. Therefore, the correct answer is weathering, transport, deposition, and lithification.

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  • 2. 

    Why is quartz a more common mineral at the beach than feldspar?

    • A.

      Feldspar resists transport

    • B.

      There is more quartz produced in the mountains

    • C.

      Feldspar breaks down chemically more easily than quartz

    • D.

      Feldspar is pink and white, quartz is clear

    Correct Answer
    C. Feldspar breaks down chemically more easily than quartz
    Explanation
    Feldspar breaks down chemically more easily than quartz, which is why quartz is more common at the beach. As the waves erode the rocks in the mountains, feldspar minerals are more susceptible to chemical weathering and decomposition compared to quartz. This causes feldspar to break down and dissolve, while quartz remains intact and is transported to the beach. Therefore, over time, more quartz accumulates at the beach, making it a more common mineral there.

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  • 3. 

    What causes frost wedging?

    • A.

      Oxidation in cold climates forces cracks to widen

    • B.

      Water expands 9% when it freezes and widens cracks in rocks

    • C.

      Rocks fall into gaps and wedge apart talus 

    • D.

      Minerals expand at different rates when heated

    Correct Answer
    B. Water expands 9% when it freezes and widens cracks in rocks
    Explanation
    Water expands when it freezes because the molecules arrange themselves in a hexagonal lattice structure, which takes up more space than when the water is in its liquid state. This expansion exerts pressure on the surrounding rocks, widening existing cracks and creating new ones through a process called frost wedging. As water repeatedly freezes and thaws, the cracks continue to widen, eventually causing rocks to break apart. This process is particularly effective in cold climates where freeze-thaw cycles are common.

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  • 4. 

    What is the relationship between physical and chemical weathering?  Rapid physical weathering________

    • A.

      Tends to reduce the rate of chemical weathering

    • B.

      Does not affect the rate of chemical weathering

    • C.

      Chemical weathering and mechanical weathering are independent of each other

    • D.

      Tends to increase the rate of chemical weathering

    Correct Answer
    D. Tends to increase the rate of chemical weathering
    Explanation
    Physical weathering refers to the breakdown of rocks into smaller pieces through processes like freeze-thaw cycles, abrasion, and pressure. This creates more surface area for chemical weathering to occur. Chemical weathering, on the other hand, involves the alteration of rocks through chemical reactions, such as oxidation and dissolution. The increased surface area provided by physical weathering allows for more exposure to water and atmospheric gases, which accelerates chemical weathering. Therefore, rapid physical weathering tends to increase the rate of chemical weathering.

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  • 5. 

    How do water and carbon dioxide (CO2) dissolve limestone? 

    • A.

      They expand when frozen

    • B.

      They combine to form carbonic acid which dissolves rocks

    • C.

      They reduce the space needed for limestone crystals causing the rock to fall apart

    • D.

      They convert the limestone to marble

    Correct Answer
    B. They combine to form carbonic acid which dissolves rocks
    Explanation
    Water and carbon dioxide combine to form carbonic acid, which is capable of dissolving rocks. Limestone contains calcium carbonate, and when carbonic acid comes into contact with it, a chemical reaction occurs. The carbonic acid reacts with the calcium carbonate, breaking it down and dissolving it. This process is known as chemical weathering and is responsible for the erosion and dissolution of limestone over time.

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  • 6. 

    Which of the common rock forming minerals listed is least resistant to chemical weathering:

    • A.

      Pyroxene

    • B.

      Quartz

    • C.

      Olivine

    • D.

      Potassium feldspar

    Correct Answer
    C. Olivine
    Explanation
    Olivine is the least resistant to chemical weathering among the common rock forming minerals listed. This is because olivine is rich in iron and magnesium, which are more susceptible to oxidation and dissolution in water compared to other minerals. As a result, olivine tends to break down more easily when exposed to chemical weathering processes, such as hydration and hydrolysis.

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  • 7. 

    Which of these rocks would you expect to weather the fastest? 

    • A.

      Rhyolite

    • B.

      Basalt

    • C.

      Andesite

    • D.

      Granite

    Correct Answer
    B. Basalt
    Explanation
    Basalt is the correct answer because it is an extrusive igneous rock that contains a high percentage of iron and magnesium minerals. These minerals are more susceptible to weathering processes such as oxidation and hydrolysis. Additionally, basalt has a higher porosity compared to other rocks listed, which allows for easier infiltration of water and chemical reactions, further accelerating its weathering.

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  • 8. 

    What are the end products of weathering granite?

    • A.

      Feldspar, biotite and ions

    • B.

      Quartz, clay and ions

    • C.

      Pedalfers, pedocals and laterites

    • D.

      Calcite, halite and iron

    Correct Answer
    B. Quartz, clay and ions
    Explanation
    Weathering is the process by which rocks are broken down and altered over time. In the case of granite, weathering can result in the formation of new minerals and the breakdown of existing ones. Quartz, which is a common mineral found in granite, can remain relatively stable during weathering. Clay minerals, on the other hand, can form from the breakdown of feldspar, another mineral present in granite. Additionally, weathering can release ions into the surrounding environment. Therefore, the end products of weathering granite are quartz, clay, and ions.

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  • 9. 

    Which soil horizon contains the most humus?

    • A.

      A horizon

    • B.

      B horizon

    • C.

      O horizon

    • D.

      C horizon

    Correct Answer
    C. O horizon
    Explanation
    The O horizon contains the most humus. The O horizon, also known as the organic horizon, is the topmost layer of soil that consists mainly of decomposed organic matter such as leaves, plant debris, and animal remains. This layer is rich in humus, which is a dark, organic material that provides essential nutrients to plants and improves soil fertility. The presence of humus in the O horizon helps to retain moisture, enhance soil structure, and support the growth of microorganisms.

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  • 10. 

    Which soil horizon is the zone of enrichment?

    • A.

      A horizon

    • B.

      C horizon

    • C.

      O horizon

    • D.

      B horizon

    Correct Answer
    D. B horizon
    Explanation
    The B horizon is the zone of enrichment in the soil. This horizon is characterized by the accumulation of minerals and nutrients that have leached down from the upper layers of the soil. It is often darker in color and contains a higher concentration of organic matter compared to the other horizons. The enrichment of minerals and nutrients in the B horizon makes it an important layer for plant growth and nutrient availability.

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  • 11. 

    What is a clastic rock?

    • A.

      A rock made of coal

    • B.

      A rock that forms from a melt

    • C.

      A rock made of particles cemented together

    • D.

      A rock that is made of elements precipitated in the ocean

    Correct Answer
    C. A rock made of particles cemented together
    Explanation
    A clastic rock is formed from particles that have been eroded and transported by wind, water, or ice. These particles are then deposited and eventually become cemented together, forming a solid rock. This process is known as lithification. Therefore, a clastic rock is made up of various sedimentary particles that have been compacted and cemented together over time.

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  • 12. 

    What does bedload consist of?

    • A.

      Particles rolling, sliding, and bouncing on the bottom

    • B.

      Dissolved material

    • C.

      Particles suspended in the water column

    • D.

      Ions suspended in the water column

    Correct Answer
    A. Particles rolling, sliding, and bouncing on the bottom
    Explanation
    Bedload consists of particles that are rolling, sliding, and bouncing on the bottom. This refers to the movement of sediment or particles along the bed of a river or stream. These particles are not dissolved or suspended in the water column, but rather they are in direct contact with the riverbed and are moved by the force of the water flow.

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  • 13. 

    How large is silt?

    • A.

      1/16 – 2 mm

    • B.

      64 – 256 mm 

    • C.

      2 – 64 mm 

    • D.

      1/256 – 1/16 mm

    Correct Answer
    D. 1/256 – 1/16 mm
    Explanation
    Silt is a type of sediment that falls between the sizes of sand and clay particles. It is finer than sand but coarser than clay. The given answer range of 1/256 to 1/16 mm accurately represents the particle size of silt. This means that silt particles are very small, ranging from 1/256 mm to 1/16 mm in diameter.

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  • 14. 

    What is laminar flow?

    • A.

      Flow in which streamlines do not cross

    • B.

      Flow with extensive mixing of fluid

    • C.

      Flow in which streamlines cross

    • D.

      Flow that is chaotic

    Correct Answer
    A. Flow in which streamlines do not cross
    Explanation
    Laminar flow refers to a type of fluid flow in which the streamlines of the fluid do not cross each other. This means that the fluid moves in parallel layers without any mixing or turbulence. In laminar flow, the fluid particles follow a smooth and orderly path, maintaining their individual identities. This type of flow is characterized by its low velocity and viscosity, and is often observed in situations where the fluid is moving slowly or in small channels.

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  • 15. 

    According to the Hjulstrom’s diagram what particles require faster fluid velocities to erode?

    • A.

      Sand and silt

    • B.

      Large particles and cohesive clays

    • C.

      Sand

    • D.

      Silt

    Correct Answer
    B. Large particles and cohesive clays
    Explanation
    Large particles and cohesive clays require faster fluid velocities to erode. This is because larger particles have more mass and are therefore more resistant to being moved by the fluid. Cohesive clays have a tendency to stick together, making them more difficult to erode. The Hjulstrom's diagram shows that as fluid velocity increases, the ability of the fluid to erode particles also increases. Therefore, larger particles and cohesive clays require higher fluid velocities to overcome their resistance and be eroded.

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  • 16. 

    Dissolved load consists of…

    • A.

      Ions in solution

    • B.

      Large particles that are rolling on the bottom

    • C.

      Larger particles that bounce along the bottom

    • D.

      Fine particles that are dispersed in the flow

    Correct Answer
    A. Ions in solution
    Explanation
    Dissolved load refers to the particles that are carried in a solution, such as water. In this case, the correct answer is "Ions in solution" because dissolved load consists of ions that are dispersed and carried within the flow of the solution. These ions are not visible to the naked eye and do not settle at the bottom like large particles. They remain suspended in the solution and contribute to its overall composition.

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  • 17. 

    What is roundness?

    • A.

      The degree to which sediment grains resemble spheres

    • B.

      A measure of the sharpness of a particle's edges and corners

    • C.

      The largest grain size in a sample

    • D.

      The range in grain sizes

    Correct Answer
    B. A measure of the sharpness of a particle's edges and corners
    Explanation
    Roundness refers to the measure of the sharpness of a particle's edges and corners. It indicates how smooth or angular the sediment grains are. This characteristic is important in geology and sedimentology as it provides information about the transport history and the processes that have shaped the grains. A high roundness value suggests that the grains have undergone more abrasion and have smoother edges, while a low roundness value indicates more angular grains with sharper edges and corners.

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  • 18. 

    A chemically mature sediment?

    • A.

      Contains abundant olivine

    • B.

      Has little or no quartz

    • C.

      Probably had not been transported far

    • D.

      Contains mostly quartz grains

    Correct Answer
    D. Contains mostly quartz grains
    Explanation
    A chemically mature sediment that contains mostly quartz grains suggests that the sediment has undergone significant weathering and erosion. Quartz is a very durable mineral and is resistant to chemical weathering. Therefore, in a chemically mature sediment, other less resistant minerals would have been weathered and eroded away, leaving mostly quartz grains behind. This indicates that the sediment has not been transported far, as the less durable minerals would have been more likely to be carried away by water or wind over long distances.

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  • 19. 

    An arkose is?

    • A.

      Chemically immature

    • B.

      Angular

    • C.

      A type of bedding

    • D.

      A siliciclastic rock that only contains silt

    Correct Answer
    A. Chemically immature
    Explanation
    An arkose is a type of sedimentary rock that is characterized by being chemically immature. This means that it has not undergone extensive chemical weathering and still retains a high proportion of its original minerals and composition. Arkose is typically composed of angular grains, which are fragments of rocks that have not been rounded by erosion and transportation. It is not a type of bedding, as bedding refers to the layering or stratification within a rock. Additionally, arkose is not limited to only containing silt, as it can also contain sand and gravel-sized particles.

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  • 20. 

    Compaction can effectively cement which sediment?

    • A.

      Sand

    • B.

      Pebbles

    • C.

      Clay

    • D.

      Gravel

    Correct Answer
    C. Clay
    Explanation
    Clay sediment can effectively be cemented through compaction. Compaction is a process in which sediments are compressed and the spaces between particles are reduced, resulting in the sediment becoming more solid and cohesive. Clay particles are very fine and have a high plasticity, allowing them to easily bind together when compressed. This compaction process can lead to the formation of claystone or shale, which are types of sedimentary rocks composed mainly of clay minerals.

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  • 21. 

    What is bedding?

    • A.

      Wavy ridges in sediments

    • B.

      Flat layers in sedimentary rocks

    • C.

      Units that are coarser at the top and finer at bottom

    • D.

      Layers tilted with respect to the main layer

    Correct Answer
    B. Flat layers in sedimentary rocks
    Explanation
    Bedding refers to the flat layers that are commonly found in sedimentary rocks. These layers are formed over time as sediments settle and accumulate, and they can vary in thickness and composition. The flat nature of the layers is due to the horizontal deposition of sediments, which creates distinct boundaries between each layer. This characteristic feature of bedding is important in studying the history and processes involved in the formation of sedimentary rocks.

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  • 22. 

    What do mudcracks tell us about the environment of deposition?

    • A.

      There was a water current

    • B.

      Deposition was very fast

    • C.

      It periodically dried out

    • D.

      It was at the bottom of a lake

    Correct Answer
    C. It periodically dried out
    Explanation
    Mudcracks are formed when wet mud or sediment dries out and contracts, causing cracks to form on the surface. The presence of mudcracks indicates that the environment of deposition experienced periodic drying out. This suggests that the area had alternating wet and dry conditions, which could be indicative of a fluctuating water level or a seasonal climate. The presence of mudcracks does not necessarily provide information about the speed of deposition or the location within a lake.

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  • 23. 

    What is a chemical sedimentary rock

    • A.

      A rock made of particles, mostly quartz and clay

    • B.

      A rock made from ions that were concentrated and precipitated

    • C.

      A type of quartz

    • D.

      A rock made of clay

    Correct Answer
    B. A rock made from ions that were concentrated and precipitated
    Explanation
    A chemical sedimentary rock is formed from ions that were concentrated and precipitated. This means that dissolved ions in water become concentrated and then solidify or crystallize to form a rock. This process typically occurs in bodies of water such as lakes or oceans, where the ions can accumulate and eventually form sedimentary rocks. Examples of chemical sedimentary rocks include limestone, which is formed from the precipitation of calcium carbonate ions, and rock salt, which is formed from the precipitation of sodium chloride ions.

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  • 24. 

    What is the most abundant chemical sedimentary rock?

    • A.

      Limestone

    • B.

      Chert

    • C.

      Rock salt

    • D.

      Coal

    Correct Answer
    A. Limestone
    Explanation
    Limestone is the most abundant chemical sedimentary rock because it is primarily composed of the mineral calcite, which is abundant in Earth's crust. It forms from the accumulation of shells and skeletal fragments of marine organisms, as well as from the precipitation of calcium carbonate from water. Limestone is found in many different environments, including reefs, shallow marine areas, and caves. Its abundance can be attributed to the widespread occurrence of marine organisms and the continuous process of sedimentation and lithification.

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  • 25. 

    Where do reefs form?

    • A.

      In warm water far from a clastic source

    • B.

      Near mountains that provide food

    • C.

      In cold shallow water with a strong undertow

    • D.

      Near the mouths of major rivers

    Correct Answer
    A. In warm water far from a clastic source
    Explanation
    Reefs form in warm water far from a clastic source because the warm water provides the ideal conditions for the growth of coral reefs. Clastic sources refer to areas where sediment is constantly being deposited, such as near the mouths of major rivers. In such areas, the sediment can smother and inhibit the growth of coral reefs. Therefore, reefs thrive in warm water that is free from excessive sedimentation, allowing the corals to flourish and build their structures.

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  • 26. 

    What are ooids?

    • A.

      Very well rounded quartz grains

    • B.

      A type of siliceous nodules

    • C.

      Sand-sized grains with concentric layers of carbonate carbonate

    • D.

      Very fine-grained feldspar grains found on a beach that avoided chemical weathering

    Correct Answer
    C. Sand-sized grains with concentric layers of carbonate carbonate
    Explanation
    Ooids are sand-sized grains that have concentric layers of carbonate. This means that they have a spherical shape and are composed of layers of carbonate material. The presence of these concentric layers distinguishes ooids from other types of grains. Ooids are commonly found in marine environments and can be composed of various materials, such as calcium carbonate or iron oxide.

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  • 27. 

    What is chalk?

    • A.

      A type of limestone

    • B.

      A form of coal

    • C.

      An evaporite

    • D.

      A type of chert

    Correct Answer
    A. A type of limestone
    Explanation
    Chalk is a type of limestone. Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of calcium carbonate. Chalk is a soft, white, porous form of limestone that is often used for writing or drawing on blackboards. It is formed from the remains of marine organisms such as plankton that have accumulated over millions of years. Chalk is commonly found in areas where there were once shallow seas, and it is often associated with other types of limestone formations.

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  • 28. 

    What is chert?

    • A.

      A mineral that forms in coal

    • B.

      A rock with abundant feldspar making it abrasive

    • C.

      A rock containing microcrystals of calcite visible only by a microscope

    • D.

      A rock containing microcrystals of silica visible only by a microscope

    Correct Answer
    C. A rock containing microcrystals of calcite visible only by a microscope
    Explanation
    Chert is a type of rock that contains microcrystals of calcite, which can only be seen under a microscope. This means that the calcite crystals are too small to be visible to the naked eye. Chert is often found in sedimentary rocks and is known for its hardness and smooth texture. It is commonly used in the production of tools and as a building material.

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  • 29. 

    Which of the minerals listed below are evaporites

    • A.

      Quartz and halite

    • B.

      Feldspar and amphibole

    • C.

      Quartz and calcite

    • D.

      Halite and gypsum

    Correct Answer
    D. Halite and gypsum
    Explanation
    Halite and gypsum are evaporites because they are formed by the evaporation of water containing dissolved minerals. When water evaporates, it leaves behind the minerals that were dissolved in it, resulting in the formation of halite (common salt) and gypsum. Quartz and calcite, on the other hand, are not evaporites as they are formed through other processes such as crystallization from magma or precipitation from water. Feldspar and amphibole are also not evaporites as they are minerals commonly found in igneous and metamorphic rocks.

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  • 30. 

    Where does coal form?

    • A.

      In ocean water far from a clastic source

    • B.

      In swamps and bogs

    • C.

      In areas where there are high rates of evaporation

    • D.

      In any well oxygenated deposit

    Correct Answer
    B. In swamps and bogs
    Explanation
    Coal forms in swamps and bogs. These environments provide the necessary conditions for the accumulation of plant material, which undergoes a process called peatification. Over time, the accumulated plant material is buried under sediment, undergoes compaction, and undergoes a transformation into coal due to high pressure and temperature. Therefore, swamps and bogs are the primary locations where coal formation occurs.

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  • 31. 

    Why are rocks an imperfect record of the history of the planet? 

    • A.

      Earth is dynamic and the record erodes

    • B.

      Rocks are inherently untrustworthy rock

    • C.

      All rocks are the same age

    • D.

      It is impossible to know the age of a rock

    Correct Answer
    A. Earth is dynamic and the record erodes
    Explanation
    Rocks are an imperfect record of the history of the planet because the Earth is dynamic and the record erodes over time. Due to various geological processes such as weathering, erosion, and tectonic activity, the original rock formations can be altered or destroyed. This means that the information contained within the rocks may be lost or distorted, making it difficult to accurately reconstruct the complete history of the planet.

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  • 32. 

    Determining how old rocks are in relation to one another is?

    • A.

      Cross dating

    • B.

      Time dating

    • C.

      Absolute dating

    • D.

      Relative dating

    Correct Answer
    D. Relative dating
    Explanation
    Relative dating is the process of determining the age of rocks by comparing them to other rocks or geological features in the same area. It relies on the principle of superposition, which states that in undisturbed layers of rock, the oldest rocks are at the bottom and the youngest rocks are at the top. By examining the order and position of different rock layers, scientists can establish a relative timeline of events and determine the relative ages of rocks. This method does not provide an exact age but allows for the comparison of rocks in relation to one another.

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  • 33. 

    Which of these is NOT one of Steno’s laws?

    • A.

      Principle of lateral continuity

    • B.

      Principle of faunal succession

    • C.

      Principle of original horizontality

    • D.

      Principle of superposition

    Correct Answer
    B. Principle of faunal succession
    Explanation
    The principle of faunal succession is not one of Steno's laws. Steno's laws include the principle of original horizontality, which states that sedimentary rocks are deposited in horizontal layers; the principle of superposition, which states that in an undisturbed sequence of sedimentary rocks, the youngest rocks are on top and the oldest are on the bottom; and the principle of lateral continuity, which states that sedimentary rocks extend laterally in all directions until they thin out or reach a barrier. The principle of faunal succession, on the other hand, is a principle of biostratigraphy that states that fossil organisms succeed one another in a definite and determinable order.

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  • 34. 

    The principal of original horizontality states that…

    • A.

      Each sedimentary layer must be younger than the one below

    • B.

      Layers of sediment form fairly continuous sheets over a region

    • C.

      Layers of sediment, when originally deposited, are fairly horizontal

    • D.

      A rock body that cuts through another rock is younger than the rocks it cuts

    Correct Answer
    C. Layers of sediment, when originally deposited, are fairly horizontal
    Explanation
    The principal of original horizontality states that layers of sediment, when originally deposited, are fairly horizontal. This means that sedimentary layers are initially laid down in a horizontal or nearly horizontal position. This principle is based on the observation that sedimentary rocks often exhibit horizontal layering or bedding. Any deviation from this horizontal orientation would suggest that some geological event, such as tilting or folding, has occurred after the deposition of the sedimentary layers. Therefore, the correct answer is that layers of sediment, when originally deposited, are fairly horizontal.

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  • 35. 

    What is correlation?

    • A.

      Establishing equivalency between rock units

    • B.

      Figuring out where you want to eat dinner

    • C.

      Studying fossils

    • D.

      Determining roundness

    Correct Answer
    A. Establishing equivalency between rock units
    Explanation
    Correlation refers to the process of establishing equivalency between rock units. This involves comparing the characteristics of different rock layers, such as their composition, age, and fossil content, in order to determine if they are the same or similar. By correlating rock units, geologists can create a timeline of Earth's history and understand the relationships between different geological formations.

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  • 36. 

    What is an unconformity? 

    • A.

      An interval of time not represented at a surface

    • B.

      A type of correlation

    • C.

      A fossil

    • D.

      A surface of erosion or nondeposition

    Correct Answer
    D. A surface of erosion or nondeposition
    Explanation
    An unconformity refers to a surface of erosion or nondeposition. It represents a gap in the geological record where there is a discontinuity in the deposition of rock layers. This surface can be formed due to various processes such as erosion, uplift, or nondeposition of sediments. Unconformities are important in understanding the geological history of an area as they indicate periods of erosion or nondeposition that have occurred in the past.

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  • 37. 

    A hiatus is: 

    • A.

      The thickness of rocks eroded at an unconformity

    • B.

      The time represented by rocks that are present

    • C.

      The thickness of rocks not present at an unconformity

    • D.

      The amount of time not represented at an unconformity

    Correct Answer
    D. The amount of time not represented at an unconformity
    Explanation
    A hiatus refers to the amount of time that is not represented at an unconformity. It represents a gap in the geological record where there is a discontinuity in the deposition of rocks. This can occur due to erosion or non-deposition of sediments, resulting in a missing portion of the geological timeline. The term "hiatus" is used to describe this time gap, indicating the period of time for which there is no geological evidence or rock formation present.

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  • 38. 

    A disconformity is ___________ . 

    • A.

      An erosional surface between different rock type A

    • B.

      An erosional surface between horizontal sedimentary rocks

    • C.

      A rock unit that does not contain fossils

    • D.

      An erosional surface between igneous and metamorphic rocks

    Correct Answer
    B. An erosional surface between horizontal sedimentary rocks
    Explanation
    A disconformity is an erosional surface between horizontal sedimentary rocks. This means that the rocks above and below the disconformity are parallel and have been eroded, resulting in a noticeable break or gap in the rock layers. This type of unconformity indicates a period of erosion or non-deposition, followed by the deposition of new sedimentary layers on top.

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  • 39. 

    A surface of erosion between strata that meet at an angle is called a(n):

    • A.

      Hiatus

    • B.

      Angular unconformity

    • C.

      Disconformity

    • D.

      Nonconformity

    Correct Answer
    B. Angular unconformity
    Explanation
    An angular unconformity is a surface of erosion that separates two sets of rock layers that are not parallel to each other. It occurs when the older layers of rock are tilted or folded and then eroded before the deposition of younger layers. This creates an angular discordance between the two sets of strata.

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  • 40. 

    What is William Smith remembered for? 

    • A.

      He used fossils to correlate rocks in England

    • B.

      He dated the Earth by assuming it was originally molten

    • C.

      He described the Cambrian period

    • D.

      He described the Silurian period

    Correct Answer
    A. He used fossils to correlate rocks in England
    Explanation
    William Smith is remembered for his pioneering work in using fossils to correlate rocks in England. By studying the different types of fossils found in different rock layers, Smith was able to establish a system of stratigraphy, which allowed for the relative dating of rocks. This was a groundbreaking contribution to the field of geology, as it provided a method for determining the age of rocks based on the fossils they contained. Smith's work laid the foundation for modern geological mapping and the understanding of Earth's history.

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  • 41. 

    Organize the following geological eras from less recent (oldest) to most recent (youngest).

    • A.

      Mesozoic, Cenozoic, Paleozoic

    • B.

      Paleozoic, Cenozoic, Mesozoic

    • C.

      Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic

    • D.

      Cenozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic

    Correct Answer
    C. Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic. The Paleozoic era is the oldest of the three, followed by the Mesozoic era, and finally the Cenozoic era, which is the most recent.

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  • 42. 

    When did organisms with hard skeletons evolve?

    • A.

      At the end of the Cretaceous

    • B.

      At the beginning of the Cenozoic

    • C.

      At the base of the Cambrian

    • D.

      At the end of the Paleozoic

    Correct Answer
    C. At the base of the Cambrian
    Explanation
    Organisms with hard skeletons evolved at the base of the Cambrian. This is supported by fossil evidence that shows the presence of various organisms with hard shells and skeletons during this time period. The Cambrian period, which occurred around 541 million years ago, is known as the "Cambrian Explosion" because it marked a significant diversification of life forms, including the emergence of organisms with hard skeletons. This evolutionary development played a crucial role in shaping the subsequent evolution of life on Earth.

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  • 43. 

    Which time period is known as the age of fishes?

    • A.

      Eocene

    • B.

      Cambrian

    • C.

      Triassic

    • D.

      Devonian

    Correct Answer
    D. Devonian
    Explanation
    The Devonian period is known as the age of fishes because it is a time in Earth's history when fish species experienced a significant diversification and expansion. During the Devonian period, which occurred approximately 419 to 359 million years ago, fish evolved various adaptations that allowed them to thrive in different aquatic environments. This period saw the emergence of jawed fishes, including the first sharks and bony fish, as well as the development of various fish body forms. The Devonian period is considered crucial in the evolutionary history of fishes and marked a major milestone in the colonization of aquatic ecosystems by vertebrates.

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  • 44. 

    What is an alpha particle?

    • A.

      An excited neutron that collides with a nitrogen atom

    • B.

      A sand-sized grain

    • C.

      A particle with two protons and two neutrons

    • D.

      Two atoms with the same number of protons but different numbers of neutrons

    Correct Answer
    C. A particle with two protons and two neutrons
    Explanation
    An alpha particle is a particle with two protons and two neutrons. It is commonly emitted during radioactive decay and is equivalent to the nucleus of a helium atom. This particle has a positive charge and is relatively large compared to other subatomic particles.

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  • 45. 

    In which type of radioactive decay does a neutron lose an electron and become a proton?

    • A.

      Electron capture

    • B.

      Dendrochronology

    • C.

      Half-life

    • D.

      Beta decay

    Correct Answer
    D. Beta decay
    Explanation
    Beta decay is the correct answer because it involves the transformation of a neutron into a proton. In beta decay, a neutron within the nucleus of an atom emits a high-energy electron, known as a beta particle, and is converted into a proton. This process occurs in radioactive isotopes that have an excess of neutrons, allowing them to achieve a more stable configuration by converting a neutron into a proton.

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  • 46. 

    The time required for one half of the parent atoms to decay to daughter atoms is?

    • A.

      Hiatus

    • B.

      Coquina

    • C.

      Varve

    • D.

      Half-life

    Correct Answer
    D. Half-life
    Explanation
    The half-life is the time required for half of the parent atoms to decay into daughter atoms. It is a measure of the rate of decay of a radioactive substance.

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  • 47. 

    Radiometric dating is least useful for ___________ rocks.

    • A.

      Basaltic

    • B.

      Sedimentary

    • C.

      Granitic

    • D.

      Metamorphic

    Correct Answer
    B. Sedimentary
    Explanation
    Radiometric dating is least useful for sedimentary rocks because these rocks are formed from the accumulation of sediments, which can contain a mixture of minerals from different sources. This makes it difficult to determine the age of the rock using radiometric dating, as the minerals may have different ages. In contrast, igneous rocks such as basaltic, granitic, and metamorphic rocks have a crystalline structure and can be dated more accurately using radiometric methods.

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  • 48. 

    A measured radiometric age for a mineral crystal within an igneous rock gives the amount of time that has passed since the___________:

    • A.

      Atoms within the crystal were part of a body of molten magma

    • B.

      Time when the sediments lithified

    • C.

      Temperature of the crystal cooled below the blocking temperature

    • D.

      Crystal solidified

    Correct Answer
    A. Atoms within the crystal were part of a body of molten magma
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Atoms within the crystal were part of a body of molten magma." This is because radiometric dating is used to determine the age of rocks and minerals by measuring the decay of radioactive isotopes within them. In the case of a mineral crystal within an igneous rock, the radiometric age would give the amount of time that has passed since the atoms within the crystal were part of a body of molten magma, which is when the crystal formed.

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  • 49. 

    A rock is found to have 60 parent atoms and 180 daughter atoms.  Assuming there was no daughter atoms in the rock originally and a half-life of 1.3 billion years, what is the age of the rock?

    • A.

      1.3 billion years

    • B.

      1.95 billion years

    • C.

      2.6 billion years

    • D.

      3.9 billion years

    Correct Answer
    C. 2.6 billion years
    Explanation
    The ratio of parent atoms to daughter atoms in a rock can be used to determine its age using the concept of radioactive decay. In this case, the rock has 60 parent atoms and 180 daughter atoms. Since each parent atom decays into one daughter atom, the ratio of parent to daughter atoms is 1:3. This means that three half-lives have passed, since the number of parent atoms is halved with each half-life. Given that the half-life is 1.3 billion years, multiplying it by the number of half-lives (3) gives an age of 3.9 billion years. Therefore, the correct answer is 2.6 billion years.

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  • 50. 

    Which of the following radioactive isotopes has the shortest half-life?

    • A.

      Uranium-238

    • B.

      Rubidium-87

    • C.

      Potassium-40

    • D.

      Carbon-14

    Correct Answer
    D. Carbon-14
    Explanation
    Carbon-14 has the shortest half-life among the given radioactive isotopes. It undergoes radioactive decay at a relatively faster rate compared to the other isotopes. This means that it takes a shorter amount of time for half of the Carbon-14 atoms in a sample to decay into stable elements.

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Quiz Review Timeline +

Our quizzes are rigorously reviewed, monitored and continuously updated by our expert board to maintain accuracy, relevance, and timeliness.

  • Current Version
  • Mar 30, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Mar 15, 2022
    Quiz Created by
    Catherine Halcomb
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