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Earth Science Regents Review Exam

June 20, 1995

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) The graph below shows the relationship between the mass and volume of a mineral.

What is the density of this mineral?

  1. 6.0 g/cm3
  2. 9.0 g/cm3
  3. 3.0 g/cm3
  4. 4.5 g/cm3

2) A centimeter is 0.01 meter. This measurement can also be expressed as

  1. 1 X 10-1 m
  2. 1 X 10-2 m
  3. 1 X 100 m
  4. 1 X 102 m

3) Nine rock samples were classified into three groups as shown in the table below.

Granite Shale Marble
Rhyolite Sandstone Schist
Gabbro Conglomerate Gneiss

This classification system was most likely based on the

  1. age of the minerals in the rock.
  2. size of the crystals in the rock.
  3. way in which the rock formed.
  4. color of the rock.

4) An insulated cup contains 200 milliliters of water at 200C. When 100 grams of ice is added to the water, heat energy will most likely flow from the

  1. water to the ice, and the temperature of the mixture will drop below 200C.
  2. water to the ice, and the temperature of the mixture will rise above 200C.
  3. ice to the water, and the temperature of the mixture will drop below 200C.
  4. Ice to the water, and the temperature of the mixture will rise above 200C.

5)The diagram below shows the altitude of the noon Sun on March 21 by observers at locations A and B.

According to the Earth Science Reference tables, an observer can use the known distance , s, and the Sun's altitude at A and B to find the Earth's

  1. density.
  2. eccentricity
  3. circumference
  4. oblateness

6) A student drew the phase of the Moon observed from one location on the Earth on each of the dates shown below.

Which diagram best shows the Moon's phase on May 24?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

7)The best evidence that the Earth has a spherical shape would be provided by

  1. the prevailing wind direction at many locations on Earth's surface.
  2. the changes in the time of sunrise and sunset at a single location during 1 year.
  3. the time the Earth takes to rotate on its axis at different times of the year.
  4. photographs of the Earth taken from space.

8) A contour map shows two locations, X and Y, 5 kilometers apart. The elevation at location X is 800 meters and the elevation at location Y is 600 meters. What is the gradient between the two locations? (Refer to the Earth Science Reference Tables.)

  1. 12 m/km
  2. 40 m/km
  3. 120 m/km
  4. 160 m/km

9) According to the Earth Science Reference Tables , if atmospheric pressure measurements were taken at regular intervals from sea level to the stratospause, the measurements would most likely show that the pressure

  1. decreases, only.
  2. increases, only.
  3. remains the same.
  4. decreases, then increases.

10) The diagram below shows a view of the Earth in space with respect to the Sun's rays. Point X is a location on the Earth surface.

Which event would occur at point X on the date represented in the diagram?

  1. the beginning of the winter season..
  2. the formation of the longest noontime shadows for the year.
  3. the lowest altitude of the Sun for the year.
  4. the greatest duration of insolation for the year.

11) The diagram below shows the noontime shadow cast by a vertical post located in New York State.

Which letter indicates a location south of the post?

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

12) Which statement best explains the apparent daily motion of the stars around Polaris?

  1. The Earth's orbit is an ellipse.
  2. The Earth has the shape of an oblate spheroid.
  3. The Earth rotates on its axis.
  4. The earth revolves around the Sun.

13) According to the Earth Science Reference Tables, which material requires the least amount of energy to change its temperature 1 Co per gram.

  1. iron
  2. ice
  3. water
  4. lead

14) During which month does the Sun rise north of due east in New York State?

  1. February
  2. July
  3. October
  4. January

15) A piece of a plant in a classroom fish tank moved upward and across the tank, away from the water heater. When the plant reached the other side of the tank, it sank before moving back toward the heater. What type of energy transfer does this movement represent?

  1. convection
  2. conduction
  3. refraction
  4. radiation

16) Which type of surface absorbs the greatest amount of electromagnetic energy from the Sun?

  1. smooth, shiny, and dark in color
  2. rough, dull, and dark in color
  3. smooth, shiny, and light in color
  4. rough, dull, and light in color

17) The curving path of planetary winds is caused by

  1. the Earth's revolution.
  2. the Earth's rotation.
  3. ocean currents.
  4. weather fronts.

18) Water vapor and carbon dioxide affect the warming of the Earth's atmosphere because they both

  1. have high specific heats
  2. scatter insolation
  3. absorb infrared radiation.
  4. reflect ultraviolet radiation.

19) On a July afternoon in New York State, the barometric pressure is 29.85 inches and falling. This reading most likely indicates

  1. an approaching storm.
  2. rapidly clearing skies.
  3. continuing fair weather.
  4. gradually improving conditions.

20) The data table below shows average daily air temperature, windspeed, and relative humidity for 4 days at a single location.

Air Temperature
Relative Humidity

On which day was the air closest to being saturated with water vapor?


  1. Monday
  2. Tuesday
  3. Wednesday
  4. Thursday

21) What is the approximate dewpoint temperature when the dry bulb temperature is 2oC and the wet-bulb temperature is 0oC

  1. -1oC
  2. -2oC
  3. -3oC
  4. -6oC

22) Equal quantities of water are placed in four uncovered containers with different shapes and left on a table at room temperature. From which container will the water evaporate most rapidly?

23) A weather map of New York State shows isobars that are close together, indicating a steep pressure gradient. Which weather condition is most likely present?


  1. dry air.
  2. strong winds.
  3. low temperatures.
  4. low visibility.

24) Which event usually occurs when air is cooled to its dewpoint temperature?

  1. freezing
  2. evaporation
  3. condensation
  4. transpiration

25) Through which sediment does water infiltrate most slowly? (Refer to your Earth Science Reference Tables.)

  1. sand.
  2. silt
  3. clay
  4. pebbles

26) In the middle latitudes of the southern hemisphere, the warmest month is usually

  1. February
  2. April
  3. July
  4. October


27) According to the Earth Science Reference Tables at which of these latitudes would the average annual precipitation be greatest?

  1. 0o
  2. 30o N
  3. 90o N
  4. 90o S

28) In which type of climate does the greatest amount of chemical weathering of rock occur?

  1. cold and dry
  2. cold and moist
  3. warm and dry
  4. warm and moist

29) Four different kinds of particles (A, B, C, and D) with the same shape and diameter were mixed and poured into a column of water. The mass, volume, and density of the particles are shown below.

Particle Mass (g) Volume (cm3) Density(g/cm3)



Which diagram best shows how the particle beds would be arranged in the column of water after settling?


30) Which conditions are most likely to develop over a land area next to an ocean during a hot, sunny afternoon?

  1. The air temperature over the land is lower than the air temperature over the ocean, and a breeze blows from the land.
  2. The air temperature over the land is higher than the air temperature over the ocean, and a breeze blows from the land.
  3. The air pressure over the land is higher than the air pressure over the ocean, and a breeze blows from the ocean.
  4. The air pressure over the land is lower than the air pressure over the ocean, and a breeze blows from the ocean.

31) On the Earth's surface, transported materials are more common than residual materials. This condition is mainly the result of

  1. subduction.
  2. erosion.
  3. folding.
  4. recrystallization.

32) How are dissolved materials carried in a river?

  1. in solution
  2. in suspension
  3. by precipitation
  4. by bouncing and rolling

33) A state of dynamic equilibrium exists in a stream when the

  1. rate of stream flow is gradually decreasing.
  2. rate of stream flow is gradually increasing.
  3. Rate of erosion is grater than the rate of deposition.
  4. rates of erosion and deposition are the same

34) The diagrams below represent sample of five different minerals found in the rocks of the Earth's crust

Which physical property of minerals is represented by the flat surfaces in the diagrams?

  1. magnetism
  2. hardness
  3. cleavage
  4. crystal size

Base your answers to questions 35 and 36 on the diagram below which represents the formation of a sedimentary rock. (Sediments are drawn to actual size.)

35) The formation of which sedimentary rock is shown in the diagram?

  1. conglomerate
  2. sandstone
  3. siltstone
  4. shale

36) Which two processes formed this rock?

  1. folding and faulting
  2. melting and solidification
  3. compaction and cementation
  4. heating and application of pressure

37) The geologic crass section below represents an igneous intrusion into layers of rock strata.

Which letter indicates a point where unmelted rock changed as a result of increased temperature and pressure?

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

38) Rock X and rock Y are igneous rocks with identical mineral composition. Rock X has no visible crystals and rock Y has large, visible crystals. What can be inferred about rock Y?

  1. It cooled at the Earth's surface, more slowly than rock X.
  2. It cooled beneath the Earth's surface, more slowly than rock X.
  3. It cooled at the Earth's surface, more quickly than rock X.
  4. It cooled beneath the Earth's surface, more quickly than rock X.

39) How does the oceanic crust compare to the continental crust?

  1. The oceanic crust is thinner and contains less basalt.
  2. The oceanic crust is thinner and contains more basalt.
  3. The oceanic crust is thicker and contains less basalt.
  4. The oceanic crust is thicker and contains more basalt.

40) The structure of the Earth's interior is best inferred by

  1. analyzing worldwide seismic data.
  2. measuring crustal temperature ranges.
  3. determining crustal density differences.
  4. observing rock samples from surface bedrock.

41) Which inference is supported by a study of the Earth's magnetic rock record?

  1. The Earth's magnetic field is only 2 million years old.
  2. The Earth's magnetic field is 50 times stronger now than in the past.
  3. The Earth's magnetic poles are usually located at 0o latitude.
  4. The Earth's magnetic poles appear to have changed location over time.

42) According to the Earth Science Reference Tables, during which period were North America, Africa, and South America closest?

  1. Tertiary
  2. Cretaceous
  3. Triassic
  4. Ordovician

43) The block diagram below represents a geologic cross section of a mountain range.

What action most likely formed this mountain range?

  1. contact metamorphism
  2. glacial erosion
  3. volcanic eruptions
  4. earthquake faulting

44) The diagram below represents a cross section of the Earth's crust in which no overturning has occurred.

Which numbered rock layer on the right is most likely the same age as layer A on the left?

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4

45) Geologic time is divided into specific periods and epochs based on

  1. fossil evidence of Earth organisms.
  2. inferred positions of Earth landmasses.
  3. rock types found in mountainous areas.
  4. uplift and erosion of New York State bedrock.

46) According to the Earth Science Reference Tables during which geologic time period did salt and gypsum deposits near Syracuse form?

  1. Cambrian
  2. Ordovician
  3. Silurian
  4. Devonian

47) The age of a Moon rock can be found by analyzing a sample to comp[are the relative amounts of

  1. U238 and Pb206
  2. U238 and C14
  3. C14 and Pb206
  4. U238 and Sr87

48) Theories of evolution suggest that variations between members of the same species give the species greater probability of

  1. remaining unchanged.
  2. surviving environmental changes.
  3. becoming fossilized.
  4. Becoming extinct.

49) The cartoon below represents the time of the last dinosaurs and the earliest mammals.

According to the Earth Science Reference Tables, the cartoon could represent the boundary between which two units of geologic history?

  1. Archean and Proterozoic
  2. Precambrian and Paleozoic
  3. Ordovician and Silurian.
  4. Mesozoic and Cenozoic

50) The geologic cross section below shows an unconformity between gneiss and the Cambrian-age Potsdam sandstone in northern New York State.

According to the Earth Science Reference Tables, what is the most probable age of the gneiss at this location?

  1. Precambrian
  2. Silurian
  3. Ordovician
  4. Cretaceous

51) The diagram below represents the surface topography of a mountain valley.

Which agent of erosion most likely created the shape of the valley shown in the diagram?

  1. wind
  2. galciers
  3. ocean waves
  4. running water

52) If weathering and erosion were the only geological processes taking place on the Earth, most landscapers would be characterized by

  1. low relief and gentle gradients
  2. low relief and steep gradients
  3. high relief and gentle gradients
  4. high relief and steep gradients

53) According to the Earth Science Reference Tables, which New York State landscape region has intensely metamorphosed surface bedrock?

  1. Appalachian Plateau
  2. Adirondack Mountains
  3. Atlantic Coastal Plain
  4. Erie-Ontario Plateau

Base your answers to questions 54 and 55 on the map below which shows present drainage basins in New York State.


54) In the Susquehanna-Chesapeake drainage basin, rivers flow over bedrock composed primarily of

  1. gneisses, quartzites, and marbles.
  2. shales, slates, and diabases.
  3. conglomerates, granites, and rhyolites.
  4. limestones, shales and sandstones.

55) In which drainage basin are the Finger Lakes located? (Refer to the Earth Science Reference Tables)

  1. Mohawk-Hudson
  2. Susquehanna-Chesapeake
  3. Ontario-St. Lawrence
  4. Champlain-St. Lawrence

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