SAMPLE QUESTIONS FOR GEOLOGIC TIME AND GLACIERS

1: Of 5 undeformed horizontal beds of sedimentary rock, we can say that 
    A: the top layer is oldest. 
    B: the lowest layer is oldest. 
    C: there is no way of knowing which layer is oldest. 
2: a) Name three prominent geological features in North America that were formed or strongly influenced by glaciers. 
    b) Give at least two examples of the effects of glaciation on Pennsylvania (or your home state) 
3: In order to match rocks of similar age in different regions, geologists use 
    A: fossils. 
    B: sequence of beds. 
    C: similarity of rock type. 
    D: all of these. 
    E: only a and b. 
4: Which of the following is a product of glacial abrasion? 
    A: till 
    B: striation 
    C: esker 
    D: outwash 
    E: kame 
5: The term "drift" 
    A: refers only to deposits made by alpine glaciers. 
    B: refers only to the sediments that compose moraines. 
    C: is synonymous with the term "till". 
    D: refers to any sediments having a glacial origin. 
    E: none of these. 
6: Which of the following have been suggested as the causes of the glacial ages? 
    A: variation in the tilt of the earth's axis in relation to the sun. 
    B: changes in the gases in our atmosphere. 
    C: changes in the positions of the continents due to plate tectonics. 
    D: changes in ocean circulation patterns. 
    E: all of the above. 
7: Which of the following lists the glacial stages of the Ice Age in order from first to last (oldest to most recent)? 
    A: Nebraskan, Kansan, Illinoian, Wisconsinian 
    B: Kansan, Nebraskan,Wisconsinian, Illinoian 
    C: Illinoian, Wisconsinian, Kansan, Nebraskan 
    D: Wisconsinian, Kansan, Illinoian, Nebraskan 
    E: none of these 
8: When a beta particle is emitted during radioactive decay 
    A: the atomic number drops by 1. 
    B: the mass number drops by 4. 
    C: the atomic number increases by 1. 
    D: the mass number drops by 1 and the atomic number remains unchanged. 
    E: none of these. 
9: An alpha particle is emitted, how do the mass number and atomic number change, if at all? 
    A: mass number 4 less, atomic number 2 less 
    B: mass number 2 less, atomic number 2 less 
    C: mass number 4 less, atomic number unchanged 
    D: mass number 4 less, atomic number 2 higher 
    E: none of the above 
10: Which of the following is the most difficult to date radiometrically? 
    A: the time of crystallization of a batholith. 
    B: the time of deposition of a sedimentary rock. 
    C: the time of a strong metamorphic event. 
    D: the age of a lava flow. 
11: Crevasses 
    A: show that glaciers flow faster at the base than at the upper surface. 
    B: result from brittle behavior in the upper layers of ice. 
    C: only develop in the larger continental glaciers. 
    D: usually don't get deeper than 49 feet. 
12: Which of the following statements about carbon-14 dating is NOT true? 
    A: Carbon-14 dating is highly applicable to archeology. 
    B: Rocks dated by the carbon-14 dating method are generally in the 1-2 billion year range. 
    C: Organisms take in carbon-14 throughout their lives, but cease to take it in after death. 
    D: Carbon-14 dates are determined by measuring the ratio of carbon-14 to nitrogen-14. 
13: Which of the following lists places the divisions of geologic time in order from longest to shortest? 
    A: eon, era, period, epoch 
    B: epoch, period, era, eon 
    C: period, eon, epoch, era 
    D: epoch, era, eon, period 
    E: none of these. 
14: A _________ forms when a block of ice is buried in drift and subsequently melts, creating a pit. 
    A: tarn 
    B: pater noster lake 
    C: kame 
    D: arete 
    E: kettle 
15: If the half-life of material X is 1000 years and you found a specimen with equal amounts of material X and material Z (the daughter product), the specimen would be about 
    A: 500 years old. 
    B: 1000 years old. 
    C: 1500 years old. 
    D: 2000 years old. 
    E: it would not be possible to determine from the information given. 
16: In the process of _____, a proton captures an inner shell electron to produce a neutron. 
    A: neutron transfer. 
    B: electron capture. 
    C: alpha capture. 
    D: beta decay. 
    E: alpha emission. 
17: What do geologists call a surface of contact between rocks of different ages that signifies a major depositional break between the rocks above and below that surface? 
    A: deformity 
    B: conformity 
    C: undeformity 
    D: nondeformity 
    E: unconformity 
18: A U-shaped glacial trough that extends to the coast and fills with sea water after the glacier melts is called a/an 
    A: fjord. 
    B: tarn. 
    C: esker. 
    D: drumlin. 
    E: kame. 
19: Arguing against the asteroid hypothesis of the K-T extinction requires an alternate explanation for the K-T clay layer. Some geologists have suggested that the layer was formed from the dust and ash generated by 
    A: volcanic eruptions. 
    B: the Sun. 
    C: ordinary weathering and erosion. 
    D: the drying up of the Mediterranean Sea. 
    E: desert winds. 
20: Assume that the half-life of a particular radioactive isotope is 10,000 years. Laboratory analysis shows that the ratio of radioactive parent to stable daughter product in a sample is 1:7. What is the age of the sample? 
    A: 1428.6 years 
    B: 10,000 years 
    C: 20,000 years 
    D: 30,000 years 
    E: 70,000 years 
21: Where is the largest mass of ice on earth today located? 
    A: Greenland 
    B: west of Hudson Bay in northern Canada 
    C: Glacier National Park 
    D: Iceland 
    E: Antarctica. 
22: An unconformity is 
    A: a layer of sedimentary rock. 
    B: a gap in the rock record. 
    C: a layer of rock with very unusual fossils. 
    D: none of these.