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CliffsQuickReview Earth Science

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Your effective tutorial for mastering Earth Science

Why CliffsQuickReview Guides?

Go with the name you know and trust

Get the information you need—fast!

Written by teachers and educational specialists

About the contents:

The Earth's Structure
* Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes
* Oceans and features of the ocean floor
* Earth's layers
* Plate tectonics, hot spots and pole
* Landscape formationreversal patterns
* Rocks and minerals; rock and fossil dating

* Atmosphere, storms, and forecasting
* Water and climate
* Insolation and the seasons
* Weathering and agents of erosion

Environmental Concerns
* Conservation
* Pollution

* Comets, asteroids, and meteoroids
* Motions of the earth, moon, and sun
* Kepler's laws of planetary motion
* Origin of the universe

Review and Resources
* Chapter-end quizzes
* Comprehensive end-of-book quiz
* Glossary of key terms
* Appendix of topic-related resources and websites

We take great notes—and make learning a snap

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780471789376
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/15/2006
  • Series: Cliffs Quick Review Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 473,201
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Ryan teaches earth science at Ardsley Middle School in Ardsley, New York.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Earth Science.

Observations and Measurement Methods.

Basic Units of Measurement.

Derived Units.

Scientific Notation.

Percent Error.


Types of Graphs.

Natural Resources and Conservation.


Types of Pollution.

Chapter 2: Measurements and Models of the Earth.

Size, Shape, and Roundness of the Earth.

The Size of the Earth.

The Shape of the Earth.

The Smoothness of the Earth.

The Structure of the Earth’s Layers.

Types of Models.

Chapter 3: Mapping the Earth.

Latitude and Longitude Measurements.



Great Circles.

Field Maps.

Topographic Maps.

Contour Lines.

Reading Topographic Maps.

Updating Maps.

Chapter 4: Minerals.

Crystal Structure.

Mineral Identification.

Mineral Families.

Chapter 5: Rocks.

Igneous Rocks .



Sedimentary Rocks.

Metamorphic Rocks.

The Rock .

Chapter 6: Weathering and Erosion.

Types of Weathering.

Rates of Weathering.


Soil Horizons.

Soil Types/Climate.

Soil Conservation.

Agents of Erosion.

Running Water.

Velocity of a Stream.

The Life of a Stream.


Types of Glaciers.

Glacier Formation.

Glacial Movement.

Erosion by Glaciers.


Features of Waves.



Erosion by Waves.


Mass Movements.

Chapter 7: Deposition.

Factors Affecting Deposition.

Running Water and Wind.



Ocean Waves.


Mass Movements.

Chapter 8: Landscape Formation.

Landscape Characteristics.

Stream Patterns.


Landscape Regions.




Factors of Development.

Rock Types.


Human Interactions.

Drainage Patterns.


Chapter 9: Water in the Ground.

Water in the World.

Water Budget.

Water in the Ground.

Ability of Rocks to Hold Water.

Transmission of Water.

Water Table and Wells.

Groundwater Characteristics.



Chapter 10: Plate Tectonics.

Layers of the Earth.

Evidence of Crustal Movement.

Plate Tectonic Theory.

Plate Boundaries.

Diverging Boundaries.

Sliding Boundaries.

Converging Boundaries.

Collision between Plates.

Subducting Plates.

Hot Spots.

Pole Reversal Patterns.

Chapter 11: Earthquakes.

Areas of Frequent Crustal Movement.

Earthquake Waves.




Shadow Zone.

Epicenter Location.

Origin Time.


Tsunami Formation.

Predicting and Preparing for Earthquakes.

Chapter 12: Volcanoes.





Volcanic Debris.

Types of Eruptions.

Famous Eruptions.

Other Effects from Volcanoes.

Chapter 13: Mountain Building.

Types of Crustal Movement.

Plate Collisions and Mountain Types.

Fault Types and Mountain Features.

Other Features of the Mountain-Building Process.

Correlation of Mountains and Plate Boundaries.

Growth of Continents.

Chapter 14: Energy and the Earth.

Transfer of Energy.





Absorption of Energy.

Types of Energy.

Temperature and Heat.

Change in State of Water and Matter.

Conversions between States.

Energy Required for Change of State.

Energy of the Earth.

Chapter 15: Insolation and Seasons on Earth.

Solar Radiation.

Changes in Insolation.

Greenhouse Effect.


Chapter 16: Weather.

Composition of the Atmosphere.

Temperature in the Atmosphere.

The Ionosphere.

Moisture in the Atmosphere.

Measurement of Water in the Air.

Finding Relative Humidity.

Dew Point.


Cloud Development.


Pressure in the Atmosphere.



Circulation of Air on Earth.

Sea Breeze/Land Breeze.

Wind Shifts.

Air Masses.

Fronts and Mid-latitude Cyclogenesis.

Storms and Severe Weather.







Winter Storms.

Synoptic Weather Maps.

Station Models.




Chapter 17: The Oceans.


Layers of the Ocean.

Surface Currents.

Life in the Ocean.

Ocean Floor Features.

Fracture Zones.

Hydrothermal Vents.

Chapter 18: Water and Climate.

The Water Cycle.


Factors Affecting Climate.

Factors Controlling Temperature.

Factors Controlling Precipitation.


Unequal Heating Rates of Water and Land.


Long-Term Climate Change.

Chapter 19: The Universe.

Origin of the Universe: The Big-Bang Hypothesis.

Galaxies and Stars.


Electromagnetic Spectrum.

Doppler Shift.


Distances to Stars.

Star Properties.

Life Cycle of Stars.

The Sun.

Structure of the Sun.



Inner Planets.

Outer Planets.

The Moon .

Properties of the Moon.

History of the Moon.

Comets, Asteroids, and Meteoroids.

Chapter 20: Motions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun.

Motion of the Earth and Its Relation to Other Bodies.

Apparent Motions in the Sky.

Locating the Position of an Object in the Sky.

Geocentric and Heliocentric Models.

Actual Motions of the Earth.

Apparent Diameters of Celestial Objects.

Evidence for Rotation.

Evidence for Revolution.

Time Measurements.

Movements and Effects of the Moon.

Actual Motions of the Moon.

Phases of the Moon.



Lunar Eclipses.

Solar Eclipses.

Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion.


Space Travel.

Chapter 21: Dating of Rocks.

Uniform Processes.

Relative Dating of Rocks and Events.

Correlation of Rock Layers and Events.

Index Fossils.

Absolute Dating and Radioactive Decay.

Tree Rings.


Radioactive Elements.


Radioactive Dating.

Chapter 22: Evolution of Life on Earth.

Geologic Time Scale.

Precambrian Eon: 4.6 bya–570 mya.

Archeozoic Era: 4.6 bya–2.5 bya.

Proterozoic Era: 2.5 bya–570 mya.

Phanerozoic Eon: 570 mya–present.

Paleozoic Era: 570 mya–230 mya.

Mesozoic Era: 230 mya–65 mya.

Cenozoic Era: 65 mya–present, the Age of Mammals.

Evolution of the Earth and Its Atmosphere.

Development of the Atmosphere.

Major Geologic Events.

Evolution of Life on Earth.

Theory of Evolution.


CQR Review.

CQR Resource Center.



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