Sample Questions for GEOSC 20 Final Exam

These questions were taken from the 1996 final exam.

The University Testing Service rated all these questions as difficult and of medium effectiveness. Because of their relative difficulty these questions are not representative of an overall GEOSC 20 Final Exam. However, they may be representative of the about 20% of the most difficult questions on a GEOSC 20 Final.

Answers are given after the questions!

3.) Geologists have discovered long, generally straight chains of volcanic islands within ocean basins that get progressively younger or progressively older depending on the direction of travel along the volcanic chain. The Hawaiian Islands are an example of such a chain. What is the origin of such a volcanic chain?

a.) magma intruding along the boundary between two lithospheric plates.

b.) magma intruding from a large region of flood basalts.

c.) magma intruding within an island arc.

d.) magma intruding along a mid-ocean fracture zone.

e.) magma intruding from a hotspot within the mantle.

8.) Geologists have learned about the appearance and composition of mantle rocks from several sources. Which of the following is not a sample that is representative of mantle rocks?

a.) granite from the large quarries of New England.

b.) meteorites which, of course, come from outer space.

c.) kimberlite diamond mines which are explosive intrusions from deep within the Earth.

d.) ophiolite suites which are scraped off pieces of oceanic lithosphere when the ocean lithosphere passes beneath the trench of a subduction zone.

e.) ultramafic inclusions which are brought to the surface with basaltic magma in volcanoes such as those found in the Hawaiian Islands.

13.) Why is Jupiter's magnetic field 100 times stronger than the Earth's?

a.) Magnetic fields are proportional to the size of the planet . Jupiter is much larger than the Earth.

b.) Magnetic fields are better developed in Planets with cooler average temperatures. Jupiter is more than twice as far from the Sun as the Earth and there for in a cooler part of the Solar System.

c.) Magnetic fields are stronger in the gas giants because of the combination of methane and ammonia found in the outer layers of Jupiter.

d.) Magnetic fields are stronger in those planets that spin faster. Jupiter spins faster than the Earth.

e.) Jupiter's iron core is larger than that of the Earth.

14.) Which of the following is true about anthracite and bituminous coal?

a.) Bituminous coal has more moisture.

b.) Anthracite coal has more carbon.

c.) Bituminous coal has more volatiles.

d.) Both anthracite and bituminous coals have less moisture than lignite.

e.) All of the above are true.

26.) Which of the following is not a major lithospheric plate.

a.) The North American Plate.

b.) The Eurasian Plate.

c.) The African Plate.

d.) The Atlantic Plate.

e.) The Pacific Plate.

32.) A rock from the late Paleozoic has a magnetic inclination of 90°! In what type of climate would the rock have been deposited?

a.) Desert

b.) Tropical

c.) Polar

d.) Mild, like Pennsylvania

e.) Rainy, like Oregon or England

36.) How are geologists able to deduce the size (i.e., magnitude or force) of an earthquake which happened before the invention of the seismograph?

a.) by measuring the orientation of local faults.

b.) by studying the rate of deaths as recorded on tombstones in local cemeteries.

c.) by use of an earthquake-o-meter.

d.) from the amount of local damage reported in newspapers or other historical documents.

e.) by counting the number of local faults.

39.) Suppose that you discovered coal deposits over glacial tills in rocks at the northern tip of Greenland. How would you interpret this discovery.

a.) The earth's cool conditions once favored rapid planet growth at the latitude of northern Greenland.

b.) You conclude that you made a mistake in identifying the till because coal can not possibly be deposited on top of glacial tills.

c.) The continent of Greenland must have drifted from a polar latitude to a tropical latitude and back again.

d.) The coal was deposited by the present continental glaciers covering the Greenland ice cap.

e.) You make a note of this outcrop but you are not excited because coal and till are commonly found in the same outcrop.

46.) Recall the block diagrams of faults in your text book. What is the name of the fault which has a hanging wall moving downward relative to the foot wall?

a.) a reverse fault.

b.) a normal fault.

c.) a strike-slip fault.

d.) a transform fault.

e.) a thrust fault.

47.) If mountains are like icebergs, what is their common characteristic?

a.) They are both weathered and eroded by melting.

b.) They both "float" on denser material (the mantle and water, respectively).

c.) They both have a density greater than one gram per cc.

d.) They are both cold at their base.

e.) They have no characteristics in common.

55.) The following two locations are examples of hot spots:

a.) State College, PA and Washington D. C.

b.) Hawaii and the East Pacific Rise.

c.) Hawaii and Yellowstone.

d.) Mid Atlantic Ridge and Cascades.

e.) Sumatra and Hawaii.

64.) Which of the following geological periods is oldest?

a.) Cretaceous.

b.) Tertiary.

c.) Jurassic

d.) Cambrian.

e.) Devonian.

66.) What is the metamorphic rock composed mainly of recrystallized calcite and/or dolomite?

a.) andesite.

b.) peridotite.

c.) gneiss.

d.) marble.

e.) quartzite.

71.) The narrow region that marks the juncture of two colliding lithospheric plates with continental crust?

a.) orogeny.

b.) melange.

c.) suture.

d.) accreted terrane.

e.) monocline.

79.) Which rock is the best example of a product of extreme weathering?

a.) peridotite.

b.) schist.

c.) siltstone.

d.) granite.

e.) limestone.

97.) The immediate cause of earthquakes is through the release of what type of energy within the earth?

a.) thermal.

b.) chemical.

c.) elastic.

d.) frictional.

e.) atomic.

98.) Of the three types of seismic waves, which cause the most damage during an earthquake?

a.) compressional waves.

b.) shear waves.

c.) transverse waves.

d.) longitudinal waves.

e.) surface waves.


3 - e

8 - a

13 - d

14 - e

26 - d

32 - c

36 - d

39 - c

46 - b

47 - b

55 - c

64 - d

66 - d

71 - c

79 - c

97 - c

98 - e