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UNM ENVS 101 - Exam 1 Study Guide

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ENVS 101 1st EditionExam # 1 Study Guide Lectures: 1 - 8Lecture 1 (January 13)Introduction to the Earth System and how the Earth is observed. Understanding the Earth as a closed system, and the major reservoirs that are found on the Earth.Earth System Science pertains to observations of the Earth, as well as the various systems found within the earth. This science is considered a holistic approach to Earth studies because it is the study of the entire planet as a system with various interacting parts.- System: Any portion of the universe that can be isolated from the rest of the universe for the purpose of observing and measuring changes. Observations on all scales have proven crucial to gaining understanding of the Earth andits various systems. A particularly important tool that is used to gather information and observations about the Earth, is satellite-based Remote Sensing.- Remote Sensing: The repetitive/continuous collection of information about a target (Earth itself being the target, in this case).Changes are observed/measured in two distinct ways. One is by looking at a natural system under changing conditions, ex: observing what happens to a system that normally receives water (like a swamp), during a drought. Another method is by creatingchanges on an artificial, man-made system inside of a laboratory, by creating and examining a model.- Model: A representation of something.Another key in understanding the Earth is by measuring the volumes of exchange of matter/energy between reservoirs, and how these exchanges change over time. These exchanges of matter and energy are known as a flux. - Flux: Amount of energy that is transferred.- Reservoir(s): The places where energy or matter is stored.- Residence Time: The time that energy or matter spends in a reservoir.- Sequestration: When matter or energy is isolated for very long periods.For practical purposes, the Earth is considered a closed system, in which matter is fixed and finite (limited materials, rather than an unlimited supply).- Closed System: System in which the boundary permits the exchange of energy, but not matter, with the surroundings.- The Life Zone: All life on Earth lives within a zone measuring no more than 20 km.It is in this zone where the geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere create an environment suitable for living organisms. Lecture 2 (January 15) Overview of the four reservoirs present on the Earth: - The Geosphere: Is the solid Earth, mainly composed of rock, the firm, coherent mass of solid matter that covers Earth, as well as regolith, the layer of loose, uncemented rock particles that cover the solid Earth. The surface of the geosphere.- The Hydrosphere: Is comprised of the totality of Earth’s water, which includes oceans, lakes, streams, underground water, as well as the snow and ice. The perennially frozen parts (frozen year-round) of this system are collectively known as the cryosphere. - The Atmosphere: is the mixture of gases that surrounds the Earth. The gases thatare main components of this system includes: nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapor- The Biosphere: Includes all of Earth’s organisms, as well as organic matter that has not yet decomposed. Another unique process that allows life to thrive on Earth is that of photosynthesis, which is represented by the following equation:CO2 + Energy => O2 and Organic Matter- The Anthroposphere: The “human sphere” part of a natural system that has beenmodified by humans. It comprises humans, their interests, and their overall impact on the natural Earth system.- Cycle: The constant movement of energy from one reservoir to another.- Energy: The capacity to do work, to move matter, to make things happen. Energy itself exists in a variety of different forms, including:- Potential Energy: Energy stored in a system, which can take the form of chemical,gravitational, nuclear, or elastic energy.- Kinetic Energy: Energy that is expressed in movement, (such as sound waves or wind) which can take the form of electrical energy, sound, motion of objects, andthermal energy (heat).- Radiation: Energy which can take the form of radiant energy (visible light), ultra-violet, infared, or x-rays.- Conduction: Transfer of heat by molecule contact directly from one object to another adjacent object with which it is in contact.- Convection: Movement of heat in a fluid through density currents (heated materials expand, become less dense and rise up as they are replaced by cooler, more dense fluids). Heat content is physically carried from one location to another.- Radiation: Transfer of energy from a radiating body through a surrounding gas, liquid, or vacuum, in the form of light, x-rays, electromagnetic waves, gamma, infared, or ultraviolet radiation. Lecture 3 (January 20)- Fusion: The merging of lightweight chemical elements (hydrogen in particular), to form heavier elements like carbon or helium. - Thus, fusion is a process which also takes place in extremely high temperatures, according to Einstein’s equation (in which energy = mass x the speed of light, as shown below):- E= mc2- The energy that is released by the Sun when fusion takes place is primarily gamma rays (accounting for about 98% of the energy which is released), which are very short electromagnetic waves with a high energy content.- Geothermal Gradient: The increase in temperature present within the deeperlayers of the Earth.- Radiogenic Heat: Heat produced from the Earth’s interior by the decaying of radioactive elements naturally occurring inside of the Earth. - Accretionary Heat: Internal heat which is left over from the origins of Earth and other planets of our solar system, when particles of many sizes collided with one another, and stuck together to form larger planetary bodies. - Albedo: The percentage of incoming radiation that is reflected unchanged. A high albedo means a highly reflective surface, thus, the Earth had a higher albedo during its most recent Ice Age than it currently does now. Introduction to Time and Change: In order to deal with the ages of materials within the Earth system and elsewhere in the universe, scientists use two different concepts of both time and age:- Relative Age: Refers to the order in which a sequence of past events occurred.- Numerical Age: Is the time, in years, when a specific event happened.Lecture 4 (January 22) The rate of decay is measured by: Half-life: The half-life of a radioactive (parent) is the time it takes


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