Processes That Shape the Earth


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Erosion and Weathering: Earth Time Lapse

But the forces of erosion begin to modify the shape of a volcanic landform almost immediately and continue indefinitely. Thus, at no time can its shape be regarded as purely constructional or purely destructional, for its shape is necessarily a consequence of the interplay of these two major classes of processes.

Investigating the processes that influence landforms is an important aspect of geomorphology. These processes include the weathering caused by the action of solutions of atmospheric carbon dioxide and oxygen in water on exposed rocks; the activity of streams and lakes; the transport and deposition of dust and sand by wind; the movement of material through downhill creep of soil and rock and by landslides and mudflows; and shoreline processes that involve the mechanics and effects of waves and currents.


  1. The physical processes that shape the patterns of Earth's surface;
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  3. Study of surface features and processes.
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Study of these different types of processes forms subdisciplines that exist more or less in their own right. Glacial geology can be regarded as a branch of geomorphology, though it is such a large area of research that it stands as a distinct subdiscipline within the geologic sciences. Glacial geology is concerned with the properties of glaciers themselves as well as with the effects of glaciers as agents of both erosion and deposition. Glaciers are accumulations of snow transformed into solid ice. Important questions of glacial geology concern the climatic controls that influence the occurrence of glaciers, the processes by which snow is transformed into ice, and the mechanism of the flow of ice within glaciers.

Other important questions involve the manner in which glaciers serve as erosive agents, not only in mountainous regions but also over large regions where great continental glaciers now extend or once existed. Much of the topography of the northern part of North America and Eurasia, for example, has been strongly influenced by glaciers. In places, bedrock has been scoured of most surficial debris.

Elsewhere, deposits of glacial till mantle much of the area. Other extensive deposits include unconsolidated sediments deposited in former lakes that existed temporarily as a result of dams created by glacial ice or by glacial deposits.

Earth Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth - Next Generation Science Standards

Many presently existing lakes are of glacial origin as, for example, the Great Lakes. Research in glacial geology is conducted with a variety of tools. Investigators use, for example, radar techniques to determine the thickness of glaciers. In order to calculate the progressive advance or retreat of glacial masses, they ascertain the age of organic materials associated with glacial moraines by means of isotopic analyses.

Comprehension Skill for Each Earth’s Systems Standard

Other branches of the geologic sciences are closely linked with glacial geology. Skip to content Donate Account. Photograph by D.


  • Lithosphere and Surface Processes | The Department of Geology & Geophysics;
  • Open-and-go lessons that inspire kids to love science..
  • What You Do:;
  • There are four components of Earth's physical systems the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere Therefore, the student is able to: A. Identify attributes of Earth's different physical systems, as exemplified by being able to Identify different attributes of physical systems in photographs e.

    Processes that shape The Earth

    Identify examples of water features on Earth's surface that comprise the hydrosphere e. Identify examples of landforms on Earth's surface e. Earth-Sun Relationships 2. Earth-Sun relationships affect conditions on Earth Therefore, the student is able to: A. Describe the differences in seasons based on latitude e.

    Processes that Shape the Earth – Earth’s Systems Unit

    Physical Processes 3. Identify the components and relationships in the water cycle. Identify the components and relationships in the erosion cycle e. Describe how freeze—thaw processes erode rock e. Identify and describe the patterns that result from the connections between climate and vegetation e.

    Rock Cycle & Earth's Processes

    Identify and describe the patterns of physical features that result from erosion and deposition e. Analyze the pattern of glacial features as a result of glacial retreat e. Analyze and explain factors influencing precipitation patterns and predict where the patterns will occur e. Earth-Sun relationships drives physical processes that follow an annual cycle and create patterns on Earth Therefore, the student is able to: A. Explain why the hours of visible sunlight changes with seasons e. Explain the effects of erosion processes on landscape features over time e.

    The interactions of Earth's physical systems the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere vary across space and time Therefore, the student is able to: A. Explain how the effects of physical processes vary across regions of the world and over time, as exemplified by being able to Explain the changing relationships among climate, vegetation, and landforms e. Analyze and explain the relationships between physical processes and the location of land features e.

    Processes That Shape the Earth Processes That Shape the Earth
    Processes That Shape the Earth Processes That Shape the Earth
    Processes That Shape the Earth Processes That Shape the Earth
    Processes That Shape the Earth Processes That Shape the Earth
    Processes That Shape the Earth Processes That Shape the Earth
    Processes That Shape the Earth Processes That Shape the Earth

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