Earth Science

A:

Possible parent rocks of gneiss are granite, shale, gabbro or diorite. Some rocks metamorphose, or change, from one particular kind of rock, but gneiss forms from one of several types. Another name for the parent rock is the protolith.

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  • How does distance from the sea affect temperature?

    Q: How does distance from the sea affect temperature?

    A: Large bodies of water take longer to warm or cool than the land does, so coastal regions generally see lower temperatures during the summer and warmer temperatures during the winter than areas that are further inland. When warm air from the inland areas meets the cool sea air, moisture and water droplets form fog, which is far less common further from the sea.
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  • What is the smallest volcano in the world?

    Q: What is the smallest volcano in the world?

    A: Cuexcomate is considered the world's smallest volcano, with a diameter of 75 feet. Cuexcomate is located in a suburb of the city of Puebla, N.M. It is considered an inactive volcano.
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  • How do glaciers cause erosion?

    Q: How do glaciers cause erosion?

    A: Glaciers erode the land in three primary ways: plucking, abrasion and freeze-thaw. All three manners of erosion combine to make glaciers one of the world’s most powerful agents of erosion.
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  • How are quartz crystals grown?

    Q: How are quartz crystals grown?

    A: Quartz crystals are grown and manufactured using an autoclave. The process creates hydrothermal quartz, which are also known as cultured or synthetic quartz.
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  • What is the composition of air?

    Q: What is the composition of air?

    A: Air is a gaseous substance that is composed primarily of nitrogen, oxygen and argon. The air in the atmosphere that surrounds the Earth is approximately 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent argon, with the remainder made up of various other gases including neon, helium and hydrogen.
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  • Why is rain important?

    Q: Why is rain important?

    A: Many forms of land-based life depend on fresh water, which comes from rain. Humans depend on rain to fill aquifers. Rain also plays a role in shaping the landscape and bringing nutrients to the ocean.
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  • What are the main causes of flooding?

    Q: What are the main causes of flooding?

    A: Heavy, consistent and prolonged rainfall coupled with the overflowing of rivers and other water channels is one of the main causes of flooding. As rainwater reaches and fills the river channels, the water spreads on the floodplain or the land next to the river and causes flooding.
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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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  • How does weathering change the Earth's surface?

    Q: How does weathering change the Earth's surface?

    A: Weathering constantly changes the earth's surface by wearing away exposed surfaces, smoothing rough areas of rocks and causing rock materials to break down in time. Weathering creates soil and happens due to ice, wind, water, salt, acids and changes in temperature.
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  • What are man-made resources?

    Q: What are man-made resources?

    A: Man-made resources are items or substances that have value to human lives that do not occur in the natural world. Examples of man-made resources include plastic, paper, soda, sheet metal, rubber and brass. These contrast with natural resources, such as water, crops, sunlight, crude oil, wood and gold.
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  • What is deforestation?

    Q: What is deforestation?

    A: Deforestation is clearing away woodlands to use the cleared land for other uses. Deforestation happens to all types of woodland, including jungle and rain forest. The land is often used for farming or urban development.
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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 causes global winds?

    Q: What causes global winds?

    A: Global winds refer to the pattern of air movement all around the globe, and they result from the fact that the Earth receives unequal heating from the sun. Not only does the tilt of the Earth's axis mean that different parts of the planet receive disparate amounts of sunlight, but the oceans and lands also heat at different rates. The imbalance in temperature makes heat move toward the poles, both in the wind and in ocean currents. When horizontal variances in air pressure take place as a result, wind occurs.
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  • What causes day and night?

    Q: What causes day and night?

    A: The Earth is constantly spinning on its axis, allowing sunlight to shine on different areas of the Earth at different times of the day, creating daytime when the Sun hits a specific area. When the Sun is not shining on a specific area of the Earth, it is nighttime. Since the Sun does not hit all of the Earth at the same time, it is daytime in some parts of the world, while it is nighttime in others.
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  • What would happen if there were no trees on earth?

    Q: What would happen if there were no trees on earth?

    A: Life could not exist on Earth without trees because they produce most of the oxygen that humans and wildlife breathe. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen using the process of photosynthesis. There would also be no rain without trees, since trees absorb water from the soil and release it through evapotranspiration. Water vapor released through evapotranspiration is the major mechanism by which air is remoistened.
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  • How many volcanoes does Hawai'i have?

    Q: How many volcanoes does Hawai'i have?

    A: Hawai'i has seven primary volcanoes, out of which three are currently active. The eight primary islands that make up the state of Hawai'i are part of a series of volcanoes.
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  • What is an ice cap?

    Q: What is an ice cap?

    A: An ice cap is a glacier that covers less than 19,000 square miles. These miniature ice sheets form in polar and subpolar regions that are high in elevation and possess a relatively flat surface. Glacial ice that covers an area greater than 19,000 miles is known as an ice sheet.
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  • What are the four biogeochemical cycles?

    Q: What are the four biogeochemical cycles?

    A: The four biogeochemical cycles include the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the phosphorous cycle and the nitrogen cycle. These four cycles involve biology, chemistry and geology and describe the flow of nutrients and waste products on Earth.
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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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  • How does the sun affect the Earth?

    Q: How does the sun affect the Earth?

    A: The sun provides the Earth with energy in the form of heat, which it uses to warm the Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere. The heat energy found in the atmosphere is one of the major components of the Earth's climate and climate change, according to Windows to the Universe.
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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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