Earth Science Midterm Exam Review 2015

1.  Which action can be performed most accurately using only the human senses?

A.  Counting 28 shells from the beach

B.  Adding 10 grams of salt to a cup of water

C.  Measuring the air pressure of a room

D.  Tearing a sheet of paper into squares whose sides measure 1 centimeter

2.  Which statement about a burning candle is most likely an inference?

a.  Carbon dioxide and water vapor are produced by the burning

b.  The wick gets shorter as the candle burns

c.  The flame is yellow

d.  The candle wax is melting

3.  Which statement made during a weather report is most likely an inference?

a.  The record low temperature for this date was set in 1957

b.  The high temperature for the day was recorded at 2 p.m.

c.  The current barometric pressure is 29.97 in.

d.  Hot and humid conditions will continue throughout the week.


If each side of the cube shown above has the same length as the measured side, what is the approximate volume of the cube?

a.  2.20 cm3

b.  4.84 cm3

c.  6.60 cm3

d.  10.65 cm3

5.  Compared to the density of liquid water, the density of an ice cube is

a. always less

b. always greater

c. always the same

d. sometimes less and sometimes greater

6.  Daily weather forecasts are based primarily on

a. seismic data

b. air mass movements

c. ocean currents

d. phases of the moon

7.  The sphere was dropped into water in a graduated cylinder as shown below.

What is the volume of the sphere?

a. 15 mL

b. 25 mL

c. 40 mL

d. 65 mL

8.  The diagram below shows a glass jar containing a clear liquid and a floating rock.

a.  The rock is less dense than the liquid

b.  The rock is more dense than the liquid

c.  The rock and the liquid have the same density

9.  Which weather conditions are most probable when the moisture content of the air increases, resulting in a lower atmospheric pressure?

a. cold and windy

b. partly cloudy, with skies becoming clear

c. cloudy, with a chance of precipitation

d. sunny and fair

10.  The map below shows high pressure and low pressure weather systems in the United States.

Which two lettered positions on the map are most likely receiving precipitation?

a. B and D

b. C and E

c. A and D

d. A and B

11.  Weather station measurements indicate that the dew point temperature and air temperature are getting farther apart and that air pressure is rising. Which type of weather is most likely arriving at the station?

a. cool, dry air

b. a warm front

c. a snowstorm

d. maritime tropical air

12.  Which weather change is most likely indicated by rapidly falling air pressure?

a. temperature is decreasing

b. a storm is approaching

c. humidity is decreasing

d. skies are clearing

13.  The diagram below shows the isolines of air pressure around a low pressure center. On which side of the low pressure center will the wind speed be greatest?

a. east

b. south

c. west

d. north

14.  As the temperature of the atmosphere at a given location increases, the air pressure will most likely

a. decrease

b. increase

c. remain the same

15.  The dew point changes most directly as a result of changes in the atmosphere’s

a. water vapor content

b. pressure

c. wind direction

d. convection currents

16.  Adjacent land and ocean surfaces have the same temperature at sunrise on a clear, calm, summer day. Then the land and water are heated by the sun for several hours. Which cross section shows the most likely direction of surface winds that will develop at this ocean shore?

17.  The surface winds in a typical Northern Hemisphere high pressure system are generally moving

a. clockwise away from the high pressure center

b. counterclockwise away from the high pressure center

c. clockwise toward the high pressure center

d. counterclockwise toward the high pressure center

18.  As warm, moist air moves into a region, barometric pressure readings in the region will generally

a. decrease

b. increase

c. remain the same

19.  Base your answer to the following question on the weather map below, which shows the location of fronts and the temperature field on a given day in the United States.

Which two cities most likely have an air temperature closest to 75° F?

a. Chicago and Detroit

b. Los Angeles and Denver

c. Cincinnati and Kansas City

d. Oklahoma and Memphis

20.  Tornadoes occur when a very cold, dry air mass meets a very warm, wet air mass. Which two air masses would most likely form a tornado when they meet?

a. cP and cA

b. cP and mT

c. mP and mT

d. cT and mP

21.  The greatest atmospheric pressure occurs in the

a. stratosphere

b. mesosphere

c. troposphere

d. thermosphere

22.  Which statement most accurately describes the Earth’s atmosphere?

a. the atmosphere’s altitude is less than the depth of the ocean

b. the atmosphere is layered, with each layer possessing distinct characteristics

c. the atmosphere is a shell of gases surrounding most of the Earth

d. the atmosphere is more dense than the hydrosphere but less dense than the lithosphere

23.  Base your answer to the following question on the diagram below.

The wind direction at station A is

a. northeast
b. southeast

c. northwest

d. southwest

24.  Which pie chart best represents the volume of gases in the troposphere?

25.  Which layer of the atmosphere has the greatest density?

a. stratosphere

b. troposphere

c. thermosphere

d. mesosphere

26.  The cross section below shows a weather front. The large arrow shows the direction of the movement of the cool air mass.

Which type of weather front is shown?

a. stationary front

b. warm front

c. cold front

d. occluded front

27.  Which graph best represents the relationship between air temperature and elevation in the troposphere?

28.  Which statement best describes the stratosphere?

a. it has greater pressure at the top than at the bottom

b. it is warmer at the top than at the bottom

c. it absorbs large amounts of water vapor from the troposphere

d. it is located 75 kilometers above sea level

29.  In which atmospheric layer is most water vapor found?

a. troposphere

b. stratosphere

c. thermosphere

d. mesosphere

30.  Scientists have inferred that Earth’s original atmosphere was formed by the

a. release of gases from volcanic eruptions

b. decay of microorganisms in Earth’s oceans

c. radioactive decay of elements in Earth’s core

d. erosion of Earth’s surface

31.  Which list shows atmospheric layers in the correct order upward from the Earth’s surface?

a. thermosphere, troposphere, mesosphere, stratosphere

b. thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, troposphere

c. troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere

d. stratosphere, mesosphere, troposphere, thermosphere

32.  The primary source of most of the moisture for the Earth’s atmosphere is

a. oceans

b. melting glaciers

c. rivers and lakes

d. soil-moisture storage

33.  If the base of a cloud is located at an altitude of 2 kilometers and the top of the cloud is located at an altitude of 8 kilometers, this cloud is located in the

a. stratosphere, only

b. troposphere and stratosphere

c. stratosphere and mesosphere

d. troposphere, only

34.  The graph below shows the average concentration of ozone in Earth’s atmosphere over Arizona during 4 months of the year.

Which layer of Earth’s atmosphere contains the greatest concentration of ozone?

a. thermosphere

b. stratosphere

c. troposphere

d. mesosphere

35.  What happens to most of the sunlight that strikes a dark-colored area of the Earth’s surface?

a. it is reflected and scattered as potential energy

b. it is absorbed and reflected as light

c. it is absorbed and re-radiated as heat

d. it is reflected and diffused as ultraviolet radiation

36.  Two identical towels are hanging on a clothesline in a sunny location. One towel is wet, the other is dry. What is one reason that the wet towel feels cooler than the dry towel?

a. the dry towel has more room for the heat storage than the wet towel does

b. water in the wet towel prevents absorption of heat energy

c. water in the wet towel is evaporating

d. the dry towel receives more heat energy from the Sun than the wet towel does

37.  The diagram below shows four different chemical materials escaping from the interior of early Earth.

Which material contributed least to the early composition of the atmosphere?

a. N2

b. H2O

c. CO2

d. SiO2

38.  An observer recorded the barometric pressure while traveling up the west side of a mountain and down the other side. Which graph best represents the probable air pressure changes that were observed?

Base your answer to questions 41 and 42 on the cross section below and on your knowledge of Earth Science. The cross section shows the general movement of air within a portion of Earth’s atmosphere located between 30° N and 30° S latitude. Numbers 1 and 2 represent different locations in the atmosphere.

39.  Which temperature zone layer of Earth’s atmosphere is shown in the cross section?

a. thermosphere

b. troposphere

c. stratosphere

d. mesosphere

40.  What is the approximate percentage by volume of oxygen present in Earth’s atmosphere at location 2?

a. 10%

b. 21%

c. 33%

d. 46

41.  When a person leaves the ocean after swimming on a windy day, the person usually feels cold because

a. water evaporates from the skin

b. water condenses on the skin

c. radiation is absorbed through the skin

d. salt is absorbed through the skin

42.  Which process is primarily responsible for the transfer of energy by air currents within the Earth’s atmosphere?

a. absorption

b. radiation

c. conduction

d. convection

43.  The diagram below shows a solid iron bar that is being heated in a flame.

The primary method of heat transfer in the solid iron bar is

a. conduction

b. convection

c. absorption

d. advection

44.  Earth’s early atmosphere formed during the early Archean Era. Which gas was generally absent from the atmosphere at that time?

a. water vapor

b. oxygen

c. nitrogen

d. carbon dioxide

45.  The diagram below shows the pattern of air movement within a closed room.

Which type of energy transfer is indicated by the arrows in the diagram?

a. conduction

b. convection

c. radiation

d. insolation

46.  Why are some scientists concerned about an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?

a. an increase would cause an overall heating up of the Earth’s atmosphere

b. an increase would cause energy to flow from energy sinks to energy sources

c. an increase would change the decay rate of C14

d. an increase would cause more ultraviolet energy to strike the Earth’s out atmosphere

d. carbon dioxide

47.  Based on the data collected, which graph best represents the relationship between elevation above sea level and air pressure?

48.  A high pressure center is generally characterized by

a. warm, wet weather

b. cool, dry weather

c. warm, dry weather

d. cool, wet weather

49.  Which method of energy transfer is primarily responsible for energy being lost from Earth into space?

a. conduction

b. radiation

c. solidification

d. convection

50.  Air pressure is usually highest when the air is

a. warm and dry

b. cold and humid

c. cold and dry

d. warm and humid

51.  Which map best represents the surface wind pattern around a Northern Hemisphere high-pressure center?

52.  Which action can be performed most accurately using only the human senses?

a. tearing a sheet of paper into squares whose sides measure 1 centimeter

b. adding 10 grams of salt to a cup of water

c. measuring the air pressure of a room

d. counting 28 shells from a beach

53.  Most of the Earth’s surface ocean currents are caused by

a. stream flow from continents

b. differences in ocean water density

c. the revolution of the Earth

d. the prevailing winds

54.  Waste produced by people in Delaware has been dumped into the Atlantic Ocean, where it is distributed by surface ocean currents. Which coastal area is most likely to become polluted by this waste?

a. western coast of Europe

b. southern coast of South America

c. western coast of Mexico

d. eastern coast of Africa

55.  Base your answer to the following question on the map below. Letters A through F are locations on Earth’s surface.

Ocean currents at location A move clockwise, and ocean currents at location B move counter-clockwise. These currents curve due to Earth’s

a. internal structure

b. rotation

c. magnetic field

d. revolution

56.  Base your answer to the following question on the diagram below of a weather instrument.

Which weather variable is the instrument designed to measure?

a. air pressure

b. relative humidity

c. visibility

d. dew point temperature

57.  Base your answer to the following question on the map below.

Under normal climate conditions, what are the characteristics of the surface ocean current that flows along most of the west coast of South America?

a. cool water moving toward the equator

b. cool water moving away from the equator

c. warm water moving toward the equator

d. warm water moving away from the equator

58.  An ice cube is placed in a glass of water at room temperature. Which heat exchange occurs between the ice and the water within the first minute?

a. the ice cube loses heat and the water gains heat

b. both the ice cube and the water gain heat