Environmental Studies Unit 2 Definitions

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Albedo
the proportion of the incident light that is reflected by a surface
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Anthropogenic
pollutants originating in human activity
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CFC (Chloroflurocarbons)
chemicals which are greenhouse gases and contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer
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Dynamic Equilibrium
a state of balance between continuing processes
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El Nino
a climatic cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns- warm currents
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Electromagnetic Radiation
a kind of radiation in which electric and magnetic fields vary simultaneously
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Electromagnetic Spectrum
when radiation is classified by wavelength and frequency
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Enhanced Greenhouse Effect
caused by human activities that are adding greenhouse gases to the earth's atmosphere
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Global Climate Change
rise in global annual temperature
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Greenhouse Effect
process by which radiation from a planet's atmosphere warms up the planet's surface
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Infiltration
the process by which water on the ground surface enters the soil
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Infrared Radiation
invisible radiant energy which is absorbed by greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming
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Kyoto Protocol 1997
international treaty to reduce CO2 emissions
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La Nina
periods of below- average sea surface temperatures in Pacific Ocean
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LEDC (Less Economically Developed Country)
poor country
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MEDC (More Economically Developed Country)
rich country
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Montreal Protocol 1987
international treaty to protect ozone layer
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Nuclear Fusion
a reaction in which 2 or more atomic nuclei form different atomic nuclei- to create energy
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Ozone
region of the Earth's stratosphere that absorbs most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation
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Stratosphere
area of the atmosphere that contains the ozone layer
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Troposphere
are of the atmosphere nearest to the Earth's surface
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Ultraviolet Light
invisible radiant energy, which damages living tissue and is absorbed by the ozone layer
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Abstraction
using water where it comes from
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Aerobic
uses oxygen
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Anaerobic
doesn't use oxygen
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Anomalous Expansion
property of water, it expands instead of contracting when temperature goes from 4 degrees centigrade to 0 degrees centigrade and becomes less dense
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Aquifer
rocks that store water underground e.g. Limestone, Sandstone, Chalk, Gravel
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Catchment Area
an area of land where water is collected from
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Coliform Count
test of water contamination in which the number of the colonies of coliform- bacteria (E-coli) is counted
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Evaporation
the change of water from liquid to gas by heat
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Groundwater
the water found in the pore spaces and fissures in rocks
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Groundwater Flow
movement of water through the pore spaces in rock
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Hydrogen Bond
the weak, electrostatic bond formed between water molecules which gives water a high boiling point
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Interception
precipitation that does not reach the ground because it lands on vegetation
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Irrigation
artificial watering of plants, especially crops, biggest single agricultural use of water
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Osmosis
the diffusion of water through a partially permeable membrane from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration
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Pathogen
an organism that causes disease, killed in water by chlorine, ozone and ultraviolet radiation in steralization process
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Percolation
the movement of water between the particles of soil or rock
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Permeability
a measure of the rate at which a fluid, such as water, can flow through rock
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Porosity
a measure of the percentage of the volume of a rock that is space
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Potable
safe to drink; drinkable
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Precipitation
condensation of atmospheric water vapour that reaches the earth's surface in any solid or liquid form
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Reservoir
general name for a storage location for any material, term is also used for the stored water retained by a dam
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Residence Time
the average length of time that a molecule remains in a reservoir
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River Channel Discharge
the volume of water flowing past a particular point on a river and is a product of cross- sectional area and mean water velocity
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Subsidence
the collapse of a ground surface caused by a reduction in aquifer rock volume following over- abstraction of water
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Through- flow
the sideways movement of water in the ground
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Topography
the 3D shape of the landscape, useful when considering reservoir location
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Transfer Rate
the volume of material moved from one reservoir to another
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Transpiration
the process by which plants lose water vapour, mainly from the stomata of their leaves
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TSS (Total Suspended Solids)
the total amount of organic and inorganic material suspended in a volume of water
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Alluvial
materials such as soil or weathered rock particles deposited by a river or other flowing water
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Batholith
a large underground mass of solidified molten magma
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Core
the centre of the Earth, of high temperature and pressure
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Crust
the solid surface layer of the Earth, made up of plates that form the continents or ocean floor
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Decomposers
microorganisms which break down and digest dead organic matter
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Detritivore
organisms that feed on organic matter, often in or on the soil
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Eutrophication
the natural nutrient enrichment of a water body, can be accelerated by human actions such as, sewage + fertilisers
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Gaia Hypothesis
a theory that considers the Earth to be a single, self- regulating system
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Homeostasis
the combined processes that maintain balance in a living organism or the environment
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Hydrothermal
processes or deposits associated with hot water
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Igneous
rocks or processes involving molten rock
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In situ
in the place where it is found
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Leachate
liquids or dissolved materials washed through the ground, usually downwards
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Mantle
the molten and semi- molten layer of the Earth between the core and the crust
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Metamorphic
rocks changed by intense heat and pressure, but without fully melting
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Ore
a body of rock that contains minerals that can be exploited
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Overburden
the unwanted material on top of the mineral deposit to be exploited
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Ped
the basic unit of soil structure where particles of sand, silt, clay and humus form aggregates
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Placer Deposit
deposits of dense materials carried by water e.g. tin and gold
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Regolith
the solid rock particles left after weathering
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Reserve
the proportion of a resource that can be economically exploited with existing technology
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Resource
all the material that is theoretically available for exploitation
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Sedimentary
materials or processes that involve material being carried by air or water then deposited
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Soil Structure
the charecteristics of a soil based on the aggregation of soil particles into peds
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Soil Texture
the charecteristics of a soil based on the proportions of the mineral particles that are sand, silt and clay
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Solute
a dissolved substance
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Turbidity
a measure of the cloudiness of water caused by suspended solid particles
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DAFOR scale
used when recording how abundant an organism is- Dominant, Abundant, Frequent, Occasional, Rare
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Dependent Variable
a variable which tells you what is measured in an experiment
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Hypothesis
a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation
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Independent Variable
a variable which tells you what you are changing in an experiment
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Lincoln Index
used to estimate population size
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Null Hypothesis
the hypothesis that there is no significant difference between specified populations, any observed difference being due to sampling or experimental error
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Pitfall Trap
a trapping pit for small animals such as insects, amphibians and reptiles, animals that enter the pitfall trap are unable to escape
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Pooter
a bottle for collecting small insects and other invertebrates, having one tube which they are sucked into the bottle and another, protected by muslin or gauze, which is sucked
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Quadrat
a square or rectangular plot of land marked off for the study of plants and animals, uses random sampling
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Secchi Disc
20 cm disc with alternating black + white quadrats, it is lowered into the water of a lake and it can be no longer seen by the observer, used to measure turbidity
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Surber Sampler
a net and frame used in streams to collect organisms such as fish
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Transect
a line across a habitat or part of a habitat, uses a piece of string and a tape measure
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Tullgren Funnel
a funnel used for collecting organisms from soil or leaf litter, uses light to attract invertebrates
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

pollutants originating in human activity

Back

Anthropogenic

Card 3

Front

chemicals which are greenhouse gases and contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

a state of balance between continuing processes

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

a climatic cycle in the Pacific Ocean with a global impact on weather patterns- warm currents

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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