Earth Science

A:

According to SanAndreasFault.org, the San Andreas Fault is a commonly known fault partly because of the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The site explains that it also passes through California, which is often in the news because of earthquakes that occur along this fault.

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  • What are some interesting facts about icebergs?

    Q: What are some interesting facts about icebergs?

    A: Fresh water is turned into an iceberg by the splitting or calving of glaciers. Bergs also vary wildly in shape and can be steep or irregular with rounded or flat tops. Because wind and water erode them, they constantly shift shape.
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  • What is the difference between local winds and global winds?

    Q: What is the difference between local winds and global winds?

    A: The term global winds refers to the six major wind belts that encircle the globe. Local winds, however, are the winds, or breezes, that are stirred up by the temperatures and topographical features of a small region or area. This is especially true of coastal areas.
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  • How are striations formed?

    Q: How are striations formed?

    A: Striations are a common feature of rocks that have once been overlain by a moving glacier. The scratches on the rock face are generally straight and all are oriented in the same direction, matching the downhill flow of the ice.
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  • Can we stop the polar ice caps from melting?

    Q: Can we stop the polar ice caps from melting?

    A: Whether or not humankind can keep the polar ice caps from melting is a subject of great debate in which both side cite scientific studies that support their positions. The bulk of scientific and environmental organizations, however, believe that humans can slow or even halt the melting of polar ice caps and global warming by reducing the use of fossil fuels and other man-made chemicals.
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  • What are types of natural calamities?

    Q: What are types of natural calamities?

    A: Types of natural calamities include hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. Often, these calamities are connected such that one sets off another, as with earthquakes and tsunamis. Natural calamities are differentiated from human-made calamities, such as industrial accidents.
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  • Why is the Mississippi River important?

    Q: Why is the Mississippi River important?

    A: The Mississippi River is important due to its necessity in American commerce. Cities such as New Orleans, St. Louis and Minneapolis all get water from the river.
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  • What are the parts of a wave?

    Q: What are the parts of a wave?

    A: Transverse waves have two parts: a crest, which is the highest point of the wave, and the trough, which is the lowest part of the wave. Longitudinal waves also have two parts: compression, which are areas of high molecular density, and rarefactions, which are areas of low molecular density.
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  • What are the two main types of glaciers?

    Q: What are the two main types of glaciers?

    A: The two main types of glaciers are continental glaciers and alpine glaciers. Continental glaciers are also known as ice sheets because their form and flow are not significantly affected by underlying geographic formations. Alpine glaciers form on mountains and flow down mountain valleys.
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  • What is the Earth's revolution?

    Q: What is the Earth's revolution?

    A: The Earth's revolution occurs in two different ways. The Earth revolves around the sun, and it also revolves, or rotates, on its own axis.
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  • What is the frost line depth in New York City?

    Q: What is the frost line depth in New York City?

    A: The average frost line depth in New York City is 36 inches. The frost line is the average depth in which the ground water in soil usually freezes. This is also referred to as "frost depth" or "freezing depth."
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  • Why does a compass always point north?

    Q: Why does a compass always point north?

    A: The earth's magnetic field causes a compass to point north, as compasses are powered by magnets. The magnets inside compasses are drawn to the magnetic North Pole, which is about 1,000 miles south of the actual North Pole. Therefore, even though a compass always points north, it does not always point toward the true north.
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  • What technologies are used to explore deserts?

    Q: What technologies are used to explore deserts?

    A: Technologies used to explore deserts include robotic rovers, satellites, online mapping software and image-processing programs. NASA scientists use robotic rovers to explore deserts to prepare for the desert-like terrain located on Mars and the moon.
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  • What are the characteristics of metamorphic rocks?

    Q: What are the characteristics of metamorphic rocks?

    A: The characteristics of metamorphic rock are that some contain layers and streaks of different colors and textures caused by different minerals. Other metamorphic rocks are more uniform in color and texture and have minerals arranged in parallel layers.
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  • What is the hardest metal on Earth?

    Q: What is the hardest metal on Earth?

    A: Maraging steel is the hardest metal on Earth. This steel is an alloy of nickel, cobalt and molybdenum. Most of the hardest metals are not naturally occurring; instead, they are man-made alloys.
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  • What causes a monsoon?

    Q: What causes a monsoon?

    A: A monsoon is caused when a low-pressure area built up over a hot landmass reacts with a high-pressure zone over a cool ocean, sending moisture-laden wind toward the low-pressure zone. Once over the landmass, the ocean air rises and forms rain clouds. Dense cloud formation and heavy rains are especially likely to occur if there are higher elevations like with inland mountains.
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  • How are rift valleys formed?

    Q: How are rift valleys formed?

    A: Rift valleys form when tectonic forces deep underground exert a pulling force on the terrain. In areas where this occurs, the land splits into a steep-walled valley with a flat floor. Rift valleys can be very narrow, especially early in their formation.
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  • How does altitude affect temperature?

    Q: How does altitude affect temperature?

    A: Air temperature decreases as altitude increases. Air is a mixture of gases, and at higher altitudes, air pressure decreases, which cools any gas. Air pressure on Earth is estimated to be about 14.7 pounds per square inch at sea level.
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  • What does the term "environmental factors" mean?

    Q: What does the term "environmental factors" mean?

    A: Environmental factors refer to any element that might bring change to an existing environment. This include human factors such as litter that does not biodegrade, as well as such natural forces as the weather. One thing that is always true about the environment is that it is always in the state of change. Some of these shifts are easy to see, like an avalanche that happens on the side of a mountain as the result of traffic construction activity, while others are less obvious, such as sand finally becoming sandstone.
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  • How do humans affect the ecosystem?

    Q: How do humans affect the ecosystem?

    A: Human activity affects ecosystems in a wide variety of ways, but it primarily does so through agriculture, habitat destruction, water use and fishing. Whenever humans enter a habitat, they tend to reshape it to fit their own needs, destroying the resources that other animals use, which drives them out. The overuse of water drains natural aquifers and alters the local water table, and pollution can negatively affect wildlife populations.
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  • What are some examples of ductile metals?

    Q: What are some examples of ductile metals?

    A: Gold and platinum are the most ductile metals on the periodic table of elements. Metals like copper, iron, nickel, manganese, silver, iridium, osmium, tungsten, tantalum, hafnium, rhenium, tin and zirconium can be drawn into very long wires. An ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire 50 miles long.
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  • What is a natural system?

    Q: What is a natural system?

    A: In the field of ecology, a natural system is one that exists in nature, independent of any human involvement. The natural system consists of all the physical and biological materials and their intertwined processes
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