Regents Prep: Earth Science
Multiple-Choice Questions
Regents Prep Earth Science: Topical Multiple-Choice Question Archive
Use of Topical Archive Multiple-Choice Questions
Teachers:

Feel free to copy and paste any of the multiple-choice questions below for use in creating your own Regents-style assessments.

Graphics are easily downloaded by right-clicking on the desired image and selecting either Save Picture As... (Internet Explorer) or Save Image As... (Netscape).


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 1 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Approximately how long does an earthquake P-wave take to travel the first 6500 kilometers after the earthquake occurs?
  1. 6.5 min
  2. 8.0 min
  3. 10.0 min
  4. 18.5 min

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: To find the answer go to p. 11 of the Earth Science Reference Tables. Locate the P-wave line. Then locate 6500km on the x-axis of the P and S-wave chart. Follow the 6500 line up to the P line, when it intersects follow the line to the left and locate travel time.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 2 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to the question below on the geologic cross section below, which shows a view of rock layers at Earth’s surface. The dashed lines connect points of the same age. Major fossils contained within each rock layer are shown. The valleys are labeled X, Y, and Z.

In this region, valley X is more deeply eroded than either valley Y or valley Z. The most likely explanation for this occurrence is that the metamorphic rock near X has been
 

  1. weakened by faulting
  2. folded by pressure
  3. intruded by melted rock
  4. covered by sedimentary rocks

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Valley X has the most severe erosion due to the fault located in the area. A fault will cause the bedrock on both sides to move opposite to one another causing an earthquake. The earthquake could also cause a weakening of the bedrock in the area due to the shaking of the ground.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 3 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the map below. The map shows the locations of deep-sea core drilling sites numbered 1 through 4. The approximate location of the East Pacific Ridge is shown by a dashed line. Point A is located on the East Pacific Ridge.

At point A, the East Pacific Ridge is the boundary between the
 

  1. Cocos Plate and the North American Plate
  2. South American Plate and the Nazca Plate
  3. Pacific Plate and the South American Plate
  4. Pacific Plate and the Nazca Plate

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: You must go to p.5 of the reference tables to answer this question. Locate point A on p.5 of the tables. One should find that point A is found between the Pacific Plate and the Nazca Plate.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 4 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the map below. The map shows the locations of deep-sea core drilling sites numbered 1 through 4. The approximate location of the East Pacific Ridge is shown by a dashed line. Point A is located on the East Pacific Ridge.

At which drilling site would the oldest igneous bedrock most likely be found?
 

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

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: A ridge is associated with a divergent plate boundary that will move tectonic plates apart. Along the E. Pacific Ridge there most likely will be volcanic activity which produces new oceanic crust, and the further from the ridge one travels the older the age of the bedrock (oceanic crust). With this being said the point furthest from the ridge will be the oldest in age. Since #1 is the furthest away it is the oldest in age.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 5 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the map below. The map shows the locations of deep-sea core drilling sites numbered 1 through 4. The approximate location of the East Pacific Ridge is shown by a dashed line. Point A is located on the East Pacific Ridge.

Compared to the thickness and density of the continental crust of South America, the oceanic crust of the Pacific floor is
 

  1. thinner and less dense
  2. thinner and more dense
  3. thicker and less dense
  4. thicker and more dense

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: Oceanic crust is found beneath the water of the oceans. Continental crust found above the level of the oceans, this supports that oceanic crust is thinner. Since the ocean crust is below continental crust it is considered to be denser. Also, at a subduction zone, ocean crust will sink below continental crust which builds volcanoes, this also proves the ocean crust is more dense. The density numbers of the Earth’s crust can be found on p.10 of the reference tables.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 6 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answers to this question on the map below. Seismic stations are located at the four cities shown on the map. Letter X represents the epicenter of an earthquake determined from seismic waves recorded at all four cities.

At which city is there a difference of approximately 3 minutes and 20 seconds between the arrival times of the P-waves and the S-waves?
 

  1. New Orleans
  2. Louisville
  3. Pittsburgh
  4. New York City

Correct Answer Number: 1

Explanation: Go to p.11 of Reference tables. Take a piece of scrap paper and lay it along the Y-axis of the P and S-wave Travel Time chart. Mark where 00:00:00 and 00:03:20 are on that piece of paper then keep the 0 time on the P-wave follow it up as if you were climbing a hill. Make sure the paper is straight and continue to follow the P-wave up until the 00:03:20 touches the S-wave line. The two marks should now be directly between the P and S-wave lines. Follow the paper line straight down and read the distance. The answer should be 2200km. Now go to the diagram for the question and measure 2200 km from point X. The answer to the question is New Orleans.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 7 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answers to this question on the map below. Seismic stations are located at the four cities shown on the map. Letter X represents the epicenter of an earthquake determined from seismic waves recorded at all four cities.

Which map correctly shows how the location of the epicenter was determined?
 

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: In order to find where the epicenter is located 3 seismic stations are needed in order to pinpoint the epicenter (triangulate, make a triangle). The only choice where all three seismic stations meet where point X is located is choice 4.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 8 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

The block diagram below shows the bedrock age as measured by radioactive dating and the present location of part of the Hawaiian Island chain. These volcanic islands may have formed as the Pacific Plate moved over a mantle hot spot.

This diagram provides evidence that the Pacific Crustal Plate was moving toward the
 

  1. south
  2. east
  3. southwest
  4. northwest

Correct Answer Number: 4

Explanation: Look to the Hawaiian Islands at the bottom of the diagram. Locate the big island of Hawaii; this is where the hot spot (weak areas in the middle of lithospheric plates) is located. Then locate Kauai, this will show the general direction the plate has moved of the past 5 million years. Take your mouse and make an arrow from Hawaii to Kauai, the direction the arrow points is northwest (NW), thus choice #4.


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 9 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the diagram below, which shows a portion of Earth’s interior. Point A is a location on the interface between layers.

The arrows shown in the asthenosphere represent the inferred slow circulation of the plastic mantle by a process called
 

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

Correct Answer Number: 2

Explanation: In the asthenosphere (plastic mantle), found on p.10 of the reference tables, the convection current is found. This convection current is the driving force for plate movement (plate tectonics). The different densities found within this layer cause the convection current’s movement in the asthenosphere. If density is motioned such as the heating of room, convection is the form of heat transfer. Heat transfer by conduction is caused by motion through solids, and radiation is transferred through electromagnetic energy (UV rays).


Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics: Question 10 of 10
This question may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.

Base your answer to this question on the diagram below, which shows a portion of Earth’s interior. Point A is a location on the interface between layers.

The temperature of rock at location A is approximately
 

  1. 600°C
  2. 1,000°C
  3. 2,600°C
  4. 3,000°C

Correct Answer Number: 3

Explanation: To find this answer go to p.10 of the reference tables (Inferred Properties of the Earth's Interior). Locate point A in the reference tables’ chart. Point A can be found on the border of the asthenosphere (plastic mantle) and the stiffer mantle. This line is the second vertical dotted line found on the graphs below the chart. Going to the bottom graph on p.10, Point A has a depth of 600km. Now, using the actual temperature curve follow 600km up until in comes in contact with the curve. Follow the point to the left where temperature can be found. The best answer is 2600oC.




Copyright © 1999-2011 Oswego City School District Regents Exam Prep Center
RegentsPrep and StudyZone are FREE educational resources.