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Mountain Building

Mountains are formed when sections of the earth's crust are elevated differentially relative to the surrounding surface. They can be built by volcanism or by rock deformation.

AB
mountaina topographic elevation of more than 300 m (1000 feet)
rangea small group of similar mountains
chain, systema larger group of mountains with broad similarities
beltcontinental/global scale group of mountains
volcanismtectonic activity involving magma at the surface
ocean-ocean convergent marginplate margin between two ocean plates with compressional stress
volcanic island arcmountain range formed at an ocean/ocean convergent margin
ocean-continent convergent marginplate margin between an ocean plate and a continental plate with compressional stress
volcanic/magmatic arcmountain range formed at an ocean/continental convergent margin
oceanic divergent marginplate margin between two ocean plates with tensional stress
mid-ocean ridgemountain range formed at an ocean/ocean divergent margin
mantle plumea rising column of earth material within the mantle
hot spotcrust location over a mantle plume
deformationtectonic activity involving the folding or faulting of rocks
foldingplastic deformation of rocks, the "bending" of rocks
faultingrupture deformation of rocks, the "breaking" of rocks
thrust-block mountainsolder term for mountains formed by compressional thrust faulting
continent-continent convergent marginplate margin between two continental plates with compressional stress
fold/thrust beltmountain range formed at a continental/continental convergent margin
fault-block mountainsolder term for mountains formed by tensional stress
continental divergent marginplate margin between two continental plates with tenional stress
riftingtectonic activity (faulting) continental divergent margin
up-warped mountainsolder term for mountains formed by vertical stresses
eruptive complexigneous landscape feature composed of extrusive rocks
extrusioneruption of magma as "quiet" lava flows
ejectioneruption of magma as explosive blast of tephra into the atmosphere
tephraany type of pyroclastic material ejected into the atmosphere
tephra plumea cloud of tephra erupting from a vent
vent eruptiona volcanic eruption (extrusion or ejection) from a relatively small opening in the crust
volcanic conethe eruption feature that forms around a vent
craterconical depression at the summit of a volcano
ventthe opening the crust from which magma erupts
shield volcanovent eruption feature, volcano formed by flows
composite cone, stratovolcanovent eruption feature, volcano formed by flows and pyroclastics
cinder conevent eruption feature, volcano formed by pyroclastics
lava plug, plug dome, rhyolite plugvent eruption feature, extrusion mass filling the vent
lava domevent eruption feature, a shield-shaped volcanic feature
splatter conevent eruption feature, formed by "splatters" of magma
fumarolevent eruption feature in which volcanic gases escape into the atmosphere
mud volcano, mudpotvent eruption feature, in which heated groundwater mixes with the soil/regolith
geyservent eruption feature in which steam from heated groundwater erupts
fissure eruptionmagma eruption from a large crustal fracture
flood basalts, plateau basaltsextrusive rocks that form around a fissure eruption
lava plateauthe large, flat-topped landscape feature that forms during a fissure eruption
calderaa large basin-shaped depression that forms when a volcano collapses after a massive ejection of magma
deformationtectonic activity involving the folding or faulting of rocks
dipslip faultfaulting with vertical offsets
normal faulttensional dipslip fault with footwall up and hanging wall down
crustal lengtheningtectonic result of tensional stress
monoclinea vertical uplift feature, a single limb structure where dip increases within uniform tilted layers
hanging wallthat side of a dipslip fault the "leans" over the opposite side
footwallthat side of a dipslip fault the "porjects" under the opposite side
reverse faultcompressional dipslip fault with footwall down and hanging wall up
thrust faulta compressional dipslip fault, a low-angle reverse fault
crustal shorteningtectonic result of compressional stress
anticlinea compressional fold that is convex upward
synclinea compressional fold that is convex upward
fold limba compressional fold that is concave upward
symmetric folda fold in which both limbs have similar dip
asymmetric folda fold in which the limbs have different dip
overturned folda fold in which one of the limbs is folded past vertical
recumbent folda reclining fold in which the overturned limb is nearly horizontal
domea large, circular anticline
basina large, circular syncline
strike slip faulta shear stress fault with lateral slip
right-lateralstrike slip fault with right-handed offset
left-lateralstrike slip fault with left-handed offset


Russell J. Wernlund

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