Topic 9 - The lithosphere

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The attachment of a material onto a surface.
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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 solid and molten inner layers of the Earth.
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Crust
The solid surface layer of the Earth, made up of plates of the crust that form the continents or the ocean floor.
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Cut-off grade
The lowest purity of ore that can be exploited economically.
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Decomposers
Micro-organisms, including many bacteria and fungi, which break down and digest dead organic matter.
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Detritivore
Organisms that feed on dead organic matter, often in or on the soil, e.g. earthworms, millipedes and woodlice. They break down dead organic matter that can be further digested by decomposers.
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Eutrophication
The natural nutrient enrichment of a water body. It can be accelerated by human actions such as the release of sewage effluent or the use of fertilisers that are leached into water bodies.
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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 processed involving molten rock.
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In situ
In the place where it is found.
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Infiltration
The process by which surface water enters the ground between the particles of soil or rock.
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Leachate
Liquids and dissolved materials such as fertilisers 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 that is to be exploited.
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Ped
The basic unit of soil structure where particles of sand. Silt, clay and humus from aggregates.
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Placer deposit
Deposits of dense minerals 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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Reservoir
The general name for a storage location for any material, e.g. nitrogen, crude oil, water, iron etc. The 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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Resource
The name of a material or the total amount of a material that could be theoretically exploited.
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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 characteristics of a soil based on the aggregation of soil particles into peds.
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Soil texture
The characteristics 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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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Materials such as soil or weathered rock particles deposited by a river or other flowing water.

Back

Alluvial

Card 3

Front

A large underground mass of solidified molten magma.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

The solid and molten inner layers of the Earth.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

The solid surface layer of the Earth, made up of plates of the crust that form the continents or the ocean floor.

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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