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Physical Setting/Earth Science

Regents Review Sample Exam 2000

Multiple Choice

This exam measures your knowledge of Earth Science. It contains only part one of the exam,which covers most of the curriculum. When you are finished filling out the test press the "Submit" button.

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1) Which mineral is an ore of iron and has a reddish brown streak?

  1. magnetite
  2. pyrite
  3. hematite
  4. olivine

2) A Student recorded the times of three successive high tides at one location as:

9:12 a.m. 9:38 p.m. 10:04 a.m.

What is the approximate time of the next high tide?

  1. 10:12 p.m.
  2. 10:30 p.m.
  3. 10:38 p.m.
  4. 11:04 p.m.

3) The diagram below shows the Earth, The Moon and the Sun's rays as viewed from space.

For observers on Earth, which phase of the Moon is represented by the diagram?

New First Quarter Full Last Quarter
1 2 3 4


4) In which list are celestial features correctly shown in order of increasing size?

  1. galaxy --> solar system --> universe --> planet
  2. solar system --> galaxy --> planet --> universe
  3. planet --> solar system --> galaxy --> universe
  4. universe --> galaxy --> solar system --> planet

5) Because Venus has greater atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) content than Earth has, the surface temperature of Venus is

  1. warmer, due to absorption of long wave (infrared) radiation by a greenhouse gas.
  2. warmer, due to absorption of short wave (ultraviolet) radiation by a greenhouse gas.
  3. cooler, due to absorption of long wave (infrared) radiation by a greenhouse gas.
  4. Cooler, due to absorption of short wave (ultraviolet) radiation by a greenhouse gas.

6) Rainfall is most likely to infiltrate in to soil that is

  1. permeable and saturated
  2. permeable and unsaturated
  3. impermeable and saturated
  4. impermeable and unsaturated

7) The diagram below shows the stump of a tree whose root grew into a small crack in bedrock and split the rock apart.

The action of the root splitting the bedrock is an example of

  1. chemical weathering
  2. deposition
  3. erosion
  4. physical weathering

8) The seismogram below shows the arrival times of an earthquake's P-wave and S-wave recorded at the seismic station in Portland, Oregon.

What was the distance from Portland to the earthquake's epicenter?

  1. 1800 km
  2. 2500 km
  3. 3200 km
  4. 4100 km

9) The cross section of the crust below represent two regions of sedimentary rock layers that have been altered.

The sedimentary bedrock in both regions originally formed as

  1. horizontal layers
  2. recrystallized layers
  3. faulted layers
  4. folded layers

10) The map below shows the present day locations of South America and Africa. Remains of Mesosaurus, an extinct freshwater reptile, have been found in similarly aged bedrock formed from lake sediments at locations X and Y.

Which statement represents the most logical conclusion to draw from this evidence?

  1. Mesosaurus migrated across the ocean from location X to location Y.
  2. Mesosaurus came into existence on several widely separated continents at different times.
  3. The continents of South America and Africa were joined when Mesosaurus lived.
  4. The present climates at locations X and Y are similar.

11) Surface bedrock of the Allegheny Plateau is most likely to contain fossils of the earliest

  1. grasses
  2. flowering plants
  3. dinosaurs
  4. amphibians

12) The air outside a classroom has a dry bulb temperature of 10 oC an a wet-bulb temperature of 4 oC. What is the relative humidity of this air?

  1. 1%
  2. 14%
  3. 33%
  4. 54%

13) The graph below is a computer-generated forecast of air temperature and dewpoint for a city during a period of 2 1/4 days

At which time during this period is the rate of evaporation expected to be highest?

  1. April 27 at 10 a.m.
  2. April 28 at 10 a.m.
  3. April 28 at 4 p.m.
  4. April 29 at 4 a.m.

14) What is the general pattern of air movement on March 21 at Earth's Equator (0o)?

  1. Upward, due to low temperature and high pressure
  2. Upward, due to high temperature and low pressure
  3. Downward, due to low temperature and high pressure
  4. Downward, due to high temperature and low pressure

Base your answers to questions 15 and 16 on the diagram of a mountain shown below.

The arrows represent the direction of airflow over the mountain.

15) As the air moves up the windward side of the mountain, the air

  1. Compresses and warms
  2. Compresses and cools
  3. Expands and warms
  4. Expands and cools

16) Compared to the temperature and humidity conditions at location A. the conditions at location B are

  1. Warmer and less humid
  2. Warmer and more humid
  3. Cooler and less humid
  4. Cooler and more humid

17) An air mass classified as mT usually forms over which type of Earth surface?

  1. Cool land
  2. Cool water
  3. Warm land
  4. Warm water

18) The diagram below shows some examples of how surface winds are deflected in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres because of Earth's rotation.

Earth's rotation causes winds to be deflected to the

  1. Right in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
  2. Right in the Northern Hemisphere and left in the Southern Hemisphere.
  3. Left in the Northern Hemisphere and right in the Southern Hemisphere.
  4. Left in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

19) What is the average velocity of an earthquake's S-wave in its first 4 minutes of travel?

  1. 1 km/min
  2. 250 km/min
  3. 500 km/min
  4. 4 km/min

20) At the Aleutian Trench and the Peru-Chile Trench, tectonic plates are generally

  1. Moving along a transform boundary.
  2. Moving over a mantle hot spot.
  3. Diverging
  4. Converging

21) The diagrams below represent two different geologic cross sections in which an igneous formation is found in sedimentary bedrock layers. The layers have not been overturned.

Which statement best describes the relative age of each igneous formation compared to the overlying sandstone bedrock?

  1. In A, the igneous rock is younger than the sandstone and in B, the igneous rock is older than the sandstone.
  2. In A, the igneous rock is older than the sandstone and in B, the igneous rock is younger than the sandstone.
  3. In both A and B, the igneous rock is younger than the sandstone.
  4. In both A and B, the igneous rock is older than the sandstone.

Base your answers to questions 22 and 23 on the diagram below, which shows a cutaway view of Earth in which the interior layers are visible.

The paths of earthquake waves generated at point X are shown. A, B, C, and D are locations of seismic stations on Earth's surface, and point E is located in Earth's Interior.

22) Both P-waves and S-waves were received at seismic stations A and B, but only P-waves were received at seismic stations C and D. Which statement best explains why this occurred?

  1. S-waves are much weaker than P-waves
  2. S-waves travel faster than P-waves
  3. The liquid outer core prevents S-waves from traveling to seismic stations C and D.
  4. The solid outer core prevents S-waves from traveling to seismic stations C and D.

23) The actual rock temperature at point E is inferred to be approximately

  1. 1,500 oC.
  2. 2,900 oC.
  3. 5,000 oC.
  4. 6,200 oC.

Based your answers to questions 24 through 26 on the map below, which shows a portion of a drumlin field near Palmyra New York.

Elevations are in feet.

24) What is the contour interval of this map?

  1. 5 ft.
  2. 10 ft.
  3. 20 ft.
  4. 25 ft.

25) At this location, the glacial ice generally advanced from the

  1. north
  2. south
  3. east
  4. west

26) These drumlins are composed of sediments transported and deposited directly by glacial ice. These sediments are likely to be

  1. well rounded, sand sized particles
  2. well sorted in horizontal layers
  3. unsorted and not in layers
  4. found underwater, mixed with organic materials

27) In which New York state landscape region is surface bedrock generally composed of metamorphic rock?

  1. Tug Hill Plateau
  2. Adirondack Mountains
  3. Newark Lowlands
  4. The Catskills

28) The map below shows Rockaway Peninsula, part of Long Island's south shore, and the location of several stone barriers, A, B, C, and D, that were built to trap sand being transported along the coast by wave action.

On which map do the arrows best show the direction of wave movement that created the beaches in this area?

1 3
2 4


-------wave crest

29) The table below provides information about the mineral composition of a sample of beach sand from Hawaii.

Composition (%)
Pyroxene 50
Plagioclase feldspar 40
Olivine 3
Amphibole 5
Unidentified minerals 2

If the sand deposited on this beach recently weathered from only one type of igneous rock, the rock was most likely

  1. granite
  2. peridotite
  3. diorite
  4. basalt

30) Warm water from tropical oceans is carried to northern Europe by the Gulf Stream and the

  1. Alaska Current
  2. Canaries Current
  3. North Atlantic Current
  4. Brazil Current

31) The profile below shows four regions of the ocean bottom.

In which list are these regions arranged in order of gradient from least steep to most steep?

  1. rise --> abbyssal plain --> shelf --> slope
  2. slope --> rise --> shelf --> abbyssal plain
  3. abbyssal plain --> shelf --> rise --> slope
  4. shelf --> abbyssal plain --> rise --> slope

32) Which statement best explains why climates at continental shorelines generally have a smaller temperature range than inland climates at the same latitude?

  1. Land is a poor absorber and a poor conductor of heat energy.
  2. Land changes temperature rapidly, due to high specific heat and lack of transparency of land.
  3. Ocean water is a good absorber and a good conductor of heat energy.
  4. Ocean water changes temperature slowly, due to high specific heat and transparency of water.

33) The diagram below shows four identical columns containing the same amount of water. Four different sized spherical particles, made of the same uniform material, are dropped into the columns and settle to the bottom.

Which graph best shows the relative settling times of the four particles?

Particle Size

Particle Size

1 3

Particle Size

Particle Size

2 4

34) The picture shows the igneous rock obsidian

The obsidian's glassy texture indicates that it formed from magma that cooled

  1. slowly, deep below Earth's surface
  2. slowly, on Earth's surface
  3. quickly, deep below Earth's surface
  4. quickly, on Earth's surface

35) Which pair of index fossils can be found in Ordovician bedrock?

Base your answer to questions 36 and 37 on the "Luminosity and Temperature of Stars" graph in the Earth Science Reference Tables. The graph shows the relative brightness of many stars observed from Earth.

36) According to the graph, the Sun is classified as a

  1. Main sequence star with a temperature of approximately 4,000 oC. and a luminosity of 100
  2. Main sequence star with a temperature of approximately 6,000 oC. And a luminosity of 1
  3. White dwarf star with a temperature of approximately 10,000 oC. And a luminosity of 0.01
  4. Blue supergiant star with a temperature of approximately 20,000 oC. And a luminosity of 700,000

37) Stars are believed to undergo evolutionary changes over millions of years. The flowchart below shows stages of predicted changes in the Sun.

Stage 1 Sun
Stage 2 Red Giant
Stage 3 White Dwarf

According to this flowchart, the Sun will become

  1. hotter and brighter in stage 2, then cooler and dimmer in stage 3
  2. cooler and dimmer in stage 2, then hotter and brighter in stage 3
  3. hotter and dimmer in stage 2, then cooler and brighter in stage 3
  4. cooler and brighter in stage 2, then hotter and dimmer in stage 3

38) The diagram below shows Earth as viewed from above the North Pole (NP). Points A and B are locations on Earth's surface.

At location A, the time is 12 noon. What is the time at location B?

  1. 6 a.m.
  2. 6 p.m.
  3. 3 p.m.
  4. 12 midnight

39) Which diagram most correctly shows the position of Earth that is illuminated by sunlight and the portion that is shadow on the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere?

Base your answers to questions 40 and 41 on the map below.

Dots on the map show the distribution of major earthquake epicenters. The shaded circle labeled A represents a location on earth's surface

40) Which conclusion can best be inferred from the data shown on this map?

  1. Earthquakes generally are evenly distributed over the surface of Earth.
  2. Most earthquakes occur west of the Prime Meridian and north of the Equator.
  3. Most earthquakes are concentrated in zones along plate boundaries.
  4. Most earthquakes occur on continents.

41) Location A is best described as an area that is

  1. within a rift valley at a mid-ocean ridge.
  2. at the boundary between two diverging plates
  3. within a deep sea trench between two converging plates.
  4. above a mantle hot spot near the center of a crustal plate.

42) The map below shows the intensity values (Earth-shaking effects observed by people) during an earthquake that occurred in New York State. The numbered areas on the map were determined from the Modified Mercali Scale shown below the picture. The scale is used to group locations according to the observed effects of an earthquake.

Intensity Value Observed Effects Intensity Value Observed Effects
I Usually detected only by instruments V Felt by nearly all; sleepers awakened; liquids disturbed; unstable objects overturned;some dishes and windows broken
II Felt by a few persons at rest, especially on upper floors VI Felt by all; many frightened and run outdoors; some heavy furniture moved; glassware broken; books fall off shelves; damage slight
III Hanging objects swing; vibrations like a passing truck; noticeable indoors VII Difficult to stand; noticed in moving cars; damage to some masonry; weak chimneys broken at roofline
IV Felt indoors by many, outdoors by a few; a sensation like a heavy truck striking a building; parked cars rock VIII Partial collapse of masonry: chimneys factory stacks, columns fall; heavy furniture overturned; frame houses moved on foundations

At which location in New York state could everyone feel the vibrations caused by this earthquake?

  1. 43o 30' N -- 75o 30' W
  2. 43o 00' N -- 78o 30' W
  3. 41o 00' N -- 74o 00' W
  4. 42o 45 ' N -- 74o 00' W

Base your answers to questions 43 and 44 on the map and the cross sections below.
The map shows measured changes in the position of Niagara Falls since 1678.

The Cross sections show the two parts of Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls and American Falls. Letters A through D represent the same rock layers at both locations



43) Which statement best explains why Horseshoe Falls has eroded back more than American Falls since 1842?

  1. Dolostone is the top rock layer at Horseshoe Falls.
  2. Dolostone is the top rock layer at American Falls.
  3. More water flows over Horseshoe Falls.
  4. More water flows over American Falls.

44) Which rock layer shows the most resistance to weathering and erosion at Horseshoe Fall?

  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D

Base your answers to questions 45 and 46 on the climate graphs below. Each graph represents data for a different city in North America.

The line graphs connect the average monthly temperature in degrees Celsius. The bar graphs indicate the average monthly precipitation in millimeters.

45) For which cities is the winter precipitation most likely to be snow?

  1. A and B
  2. A and C
  3. B and C
  4. B and D

46) In which sequence are the cities listed in order of decreasing average yearly precipitation?

  1. A, B, C, D
  2. B, D, A, C
  3. C, A, D, B
  4. D, C, B, A

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