Earth Science

A:

The specific type of rock that forms when magma cools at the Earth's surface is extrusive igneous rock. Igneous rock forms when magma cools, but where the magma cools determines the type of igneous rock that forms. Igneous rock gets its name from the Greek word for fire and is so called due to the extremely hot liquid from which the rocks originate.

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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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 is a grassland ecosystem?

    Q: What is a grassland ecosystem?

    A: A grassland ecosystem is the collection of plants, animals and micro-organisms that live within an environment where grasses are the primary form of vegetation. Examples of grassland ecosystems include the prairies of western North America, the Pampas of Argentina and the Russian steppes.
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  • Why are deserts hot in the day and cold at night?

    Q: Why are deserts hot in the day and cold at night?

    A: The heat that radiates from the sun and heats up the land begins to heat up the air and then escapes into the atmosphere due to the lack of clouds and humidity. This is the main reason that deserts can be hot during the day but cold during the night.
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  • What is the average temperature of a swamp?

    Q: What is the average temperature of a swamp?

    A: The average temperature range of the world's swamps is between 15 C and 35 C. Swamps fall into two categories: swamp forests and shrub swamps. Bogs are not true swamps because they are not forested, but they are often mislabeled as such.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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 high and low tides?

    Q: What is the difference between high and low tides?

    A: A high or low tide occurs based on where the highest or lowest part of the wave hits the shore. A high tide reaches further up on the shore than a low tide. Most coastal regions experience two high tides and two low tides every 24 hours and 50 minutes.
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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 is collection in the water cycle?

    Q: What is collection in the water cycle?

    A: Collection refers to the process by which water gathers back into bodies of water such as rivers, lakes and oceans. This begins with precipitation, when water falls from the clouds in the form of rain, snow, sleet or hail. A lot of the time, precipitation falls directly into a body of water, but at other times, it soaks into the ground, where plants, people and animals end up drinking it as ground water. Most of the water will end up leaching back into bodies of water through the soil.
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  • What are the water cycle steps, in order?

    Q: What are the water cycle steps, in order?

    A: In order, the steps of the water cycle are evaporation, condensation, sublimation, precipitation, transpiration, runoff and infiltration. Together, all of the steps help regulate the Earth’s water supply and climate.
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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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  • Who discovered the chloroplast?

    Q: Who discovered the chloroplast?

    A: Russian botanist Konstantin Mereschkowsky was the first person to discover the chloroplast. His discovery was the result of his work with lichens. In 1905, he began arguing for the symbiotic origin of the chloroplast and nucleus.
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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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  • 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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