Regents Prep: Earth Science
Multiple-Choice Questions
Regents Prep Earth Science: Topical Multiple-Choice Question Archive
Use of Topical Archive Multiple-Choice Questions
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Feel free to copy and paste any of the multiple-choice questions below for use in creating your own Regents-style assessments.

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Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 1 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Two streams begin at the same elevation and have equal volumes. Which statement best explains why one stream could be flowing faster than the other stream?
  1. The faster stream contains more dissolved minerals.
  2. The faster stream has a much steeper gradient.
  3. The streams are flowing in different directions.
  4. The faster stream has a temperature of 10°C, and the slower stream has a temperature of 20°C.

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: The only variable out of the 4 choices that could make one stream flow fast than the other is the slope (gradient). For example, if a stream has a slope of 10° compared to 70° the steeper angle (70) would posess a faster flow rate.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 2 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

What is the age of the most abundant surface bedrock in the Finger Lakes region of New York State?
  1. Cambrian
  2. Devonian
  3. Pennsylvanian
  4. Permian

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Go to p.3 in the Earth Science Reference Tables (bedrock geology) and locate the Finger Lakes region. Then follow the pattern in the Finger Lakes and correlate the pattern in the key below. It will match up with the Devonian time period.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 3 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

The graph below shows the snow line (the elevation above which glaciers form at different latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere). At which location would a glacier most likely form?
 

  1. 0° latitude at an elevation of 6,000 m
  2. 15° N latitude at an elevation of 4,000 m
  3. 30° N latitude at an elevation of 3,000 m
  4. 45° N latitude at an elevation of 1,000 m

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: You must match the Latitude with the Elevation from the choices in the chart. If the numbers of each variable fall in the shaded region a glacier will not form. Outside of the shaded area a glacier CAN form. The only data that falls outside the dark area is 0o latitude and 6000m elevation.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 4 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

The diagram below shows a cylinder filled with clean water. At the left of the cylinder is a light source, and at the right of the cylinder is a meter that measures the intensity (brightness) of light as it passes through the water. One minute after the light is turned on, a mixture of sand, silt, and clay is poured into the cylinder.

Which graph shows the probable change in light intensity (brightness) recorded during the 6-minute period after the light is turned on?
 

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: The answer in this case will be two since the size of the particles that are deposited into the water are different. After 1 minute the particles are dropped and when they pass where the light is shining there will be a decrease in light intensity. Then gradually there will be an increase in the light as the particles settle. The gradual increase is due to the different sizes of particles, the sizes of sediment can be found on the top right of the reference tables.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 5 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

In the cartoon below, Lucy gives Linus incorrect information about pebbles.

If Lucy wanted to give Linus correct information about pebbles, which statement would be most accurate?
 

  1. Pebbles can become cemented together to form a rock called gabbro.
  2. Pebble is the name given to the smallest-size sediment.
  3. Any large rock that weathers could become a pebble.
  4. Magma is composed of pebbles.

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: Refer to p.6 of the Earth Science Reference Tables. As one can see from the Particle Size Chart in the upper right-hand corner, a large rock (boulder) will eventually weather down to become a pebble. The classification of a rock is basically due to its size as shown in the chart. The farther down in the chart one looks the smaller the size of the rock particle.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 6 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer on the diagram below. Columns A, B, C, and D are partially filled with different sediments. Within each column, the sediment is uniform in size. A fine wire mesh screen covers the bottom of each column to prevent the sediment from falling out. The lower part of each column has just been placed in a beaker of water. Sediment sizes are not drawn to scale.

Which column contains sediment with an average diameter closest to 0.1 centimeter?
 

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

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Column B is the best answer due to the size of the particles in large sand. According to the top right chart on p.6 of the Earth Science Reference Tables the largest sand particle is equal to 0.2cm which is very close to the 0.1cm size stated in the question.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 7 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer on the diagram below. Columns A, B, C, and D are partially filled with different sediments. Within each column, the sediment is uniform in size. A fine wire mesh screen covers the bottom of each column to prevent the sediment from falling out. The lower part of each column has just been placed in a beaker of water. Sediment sizes are not drawn to scale.

In which sediment will capillary action cause the water from the beaker to rise fastest in the column?
 

  1. small pebbles
  2. large sand
  3. medium sand
  4. large silt

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: For this question the column with the smallest particles would be best for capillary action. Capillarity is the ability for particles to hold onto water (liquid). The smaller the particle is such as silt the better the "holding" power will be. (To find the sizes of the particles in the columns go to top right of the Earth Science Reference Tables page 6). The question states which particle size will cause the water to rise the fastest? In this case it will be the smallest particle (large silt), which will absorb and hold the most water from the beaker.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 8 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

oBase your answer to this question on the diagram below.

Columns A, B, C, and D are partially filled with different sediments. Within each column, the sediment is uniform in size. A fine wire mesh screen covers the bottom of each column to prevent the sediment from falling out. The lower part of each column has just been placed in a beaker of water. Sediment sizes are not drawn to scale.

In an experiment, the beakers of water were removed and replaced with empty beakers. The sediments were allowed to dry. Then water was poured into each column to compare the permeability of the sediments. The permeability rate of the medium sand sample was shown to be
 

  1. less than the silt and pebble samples
  2. less than the silt sample but more than the pebble sample
  3. greater than the silt sample but less than the pebble sample
  4. greater than the silt and pebble samples

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: The answer is found by knowing the sizes of the particles discussed in the question. Go to the top right of p.6 in the reference tables and become familiar with the different sizes of particles in this question. Permeability is the ability for water or a substance to pass through. In the question it is asked how sand’s permeability compares to other materials. After looking at p.6, sand is found in between the larger pebbles and the smaller silt particles. To correctly answer the question the permeability of the pebbles will be greater due to larger sizes in between the particles compared to the smaller permeability of the silt particles that are packed tighter together. Finally, the permeability of sand will be greater than silt but less than pebbles.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 9 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

The four particles shown in the table below are of equal volume and are dropped into a column filled with water.

Which particle would usually settle most rapidly?
 

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

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: All have the same volume (take up the same amount of space). Next, we need to look to other variables that will determine the settling rate, shape and density. The material that is the densest will sink the most rapid--choices A and C are now crossed off. From the remaining two choices look to shape. A flat particle (such as a skipping stone, has more surface area) takes longer to settle compared to a round particle. Thus the best answer is D.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 10 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

The map below shows some features along an ocean shoreline.

In which general direction is the sand being moved along this shoreline by ocean (long shore) currents?
 

  1. northeast
  2. southeast
  3. northwest
  4. southwest

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: First, look to the depositional features in the figure, they are the Sand bar and Baymouth bar. The direction they form will tell one the direction of the longshore current. In this case both depositional features point in a SE position, thus the direction of flow is SE.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 11 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Which factor has the greatest influence on the weathering rate of Earth’s surface bedrock?
  1. local air pressure
  2. angle of insolation
  3. age of the bedrock
  4. regional climate

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: Climate is the best choice. For instance, chemical weathering occurs the best in a warm and humid climate; with this known Florida's climate is best for chemical weathering to occur. Chemical weathering would not be as rapid in NYS due to the climate conditions being cooler. Location and climate are the best indicators to weathering rates.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 12 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the block diagram below, which shows some of the landscape features formed as the most recent continental glacier melted and retreated across western New York State.

During which geologic epoch did this glacier retreat from New York State?
 

  1. Pleistocene
  2. Eocene
  3. Late Pennsylvanian
  4. Early Mississippian

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: The key to answering this question properly is the term MOST RECENT GLACIER RETREAT. After knowing this one must choose the time period the last glacial stage occurred. Go to p.8/9 (Geo. History of NYS) in the reference tables and locate the most recent ice age in the Important Geologic Events in New York column (p.9). Then move across the page and locate the time period (Epoch) when this event occurred. The best choice is Pleistocene.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 13 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the block diagram below, which shows some of the landscape features formed as the most recent continental glacier melted and retreated across western New York State.

The moraines pictured in the block diagram were deposited directly by the glacier. The sediments within these moraines are most likely
 

  1. sorted by size and layered
  2. sorted by size and unlayered
  3. unsorted by size and layered
  4. unsorted by size and unlayered

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: Glaciers are similar to a bulldozer. When a glacier scraps along the ground it will pick up and destroy anything in its path. A deposit such as a moraine is formed by the accumulation of sediment (till) collected by a glacier and later deposited. If the moraine is dissected it will be found that the deposits from which the moraine formed are unsorted and unlayered.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 14 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the block diagram below, which shows some of the landscape features formed as the most recent continental glacier melted and retreated across western New York State.

The shape of elongated hills labeled drumlins is most useful in determining the
 

  1. age of the glacier
  2. direction of glacial movement
  3. thickness of the glacial ice
  4. rate of glacial movement

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Drumlins are low hills made of unsorted material (till) and are a feature left behind by a retreating glacier. These features are oriented in a North/South direction due to the positioning of the retreating glacier. Since the continental glacier that once covered NYS retreated to the north all drumlins will have a N/S orientation as shown in the diagram above.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 15 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Which graph best represents the general relationship between soil particle size and the permeability rate of infiltrating rainwater?

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Permeability is the ability for a liquid to flow through. The larger the size of the particles underground the higher the porosity and permeability. For example, water would filter through marble size rocks much faster than particles the size of sand: the larger the particle the higher the permeability. As far as graphing purposes are concerned this is a direct relationship (as one variable increases so does the other variable).


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 16 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

The diagram below shows the bedrock structure beneath a series of hills.

Which process was primarily responsible for forming the hills?
 

  1. folding
  2. faulting
  3. deposition
  4. vulcanism

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Faulting has caused the hill like feature in the picture above. A fault is a break (crack) in the Earth's interior that causes one side of the crust to be displaced to the other. A fault as seen in the picture above has displacement meaning one side is moved up compared to the other side. Faults are also the origination of earthquakes.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 17 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

The table below describes the characteristics of three landscape regions, A, B, and C, found in the United States.

Which list best identifies landscapes A, B, and C?
 

  1. A—mountain, B—plain, C—plateau
  2. A—plain, B—plateau, C—mountain
  3. A—plateau, B—mountain, C—plain
  4. A—plain, B—mountain, C—plateau

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: To find the correct answer for this question look to the Elevation/Slopes column. High elevation (A) = mountain, Low elevation (B) = plain, Medium elevation (C) = plateau. This sequence matches choice #1.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 18 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the map below, which shows most of New York State. Isolines indicate the depth of the Precambrian bedrock surface below present-day sea level. Depths are in feet.

According to the map, in which two present-day New York State landscape regions is the most Precambian bedrock likely to be exposed on the land surface?
 

  1. Erie-Ontario Lowlands and Tug Hill Plateau
  2. Allegheny Plateau and Catskills
  3. Adirondack Mountains and Hudson Highlands
  4. Hudson-Mohawk Lowlands and Champlain Lowlands

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: To find the areas exposed one needs to find the areas that the Precambrian surface is above present-day sea level (the lightly shaded areas). Then go to the reference tables (p.2) and locate the areas where the lightly shaded areas would cover. One area that matches with the above chart is the Adirondack Mountains and the other area is the Hudson Highlands.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 19 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer this question on the map below, which shows a portion of a stream in New York State that flows southward. Letters A through E represent locations in the stream. Line XY is the location of a cross section.

At which two locations in this stream is deposition normally dominant over erosion?
 

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

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: Deposition can be found on the inner banks of meandering streams due to the large amounts of potential energy. Potential energy is energy that is stored or very slow motion. This would mean that as particles travel down the stream they would accumulate (deposit) on the inner banks. Inner banks = deposition = PE The inner banks are marked with letters C and E.


Weathering, Erosion, Deposition and Landforms: Question 20 of 20
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer this question on the map below, which shows a portion of a stream in New York State that flows southward. Letters A through E represent locations in the stream. Line XY is the location of a cross section.

Where this stream’s velocity decreases from 300 to 200 centimeters per second, which size sediment will be deposited?
 

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

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: According to the Particle Size to Water Velocity chart on p.6 of the reference tables cobbles will be deposited in a stream that travels slower that about 200cm/sec. If a stream's water velocity is faster than 200cm/sec, it will carry a cobble down a stream. If a stream travels at a rate of 200cm/sec the particles that will be carried by the stream are pebbles, sand, silt, and clay.




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