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Earth Systems Vocabulary
earth the third planet from the sun in the solar system
minerals a solid substance found in nature that has never been alive Examples: copper, sulfur, gold
rock cycle an ongoing process when rocks are changed from one type into another
magma molten (melted) rock below the surface of the earth; on the surface, we call it lava
igneous rock rock formed when magma/lava cools and hardens
volcano An opening in earth’s surface through which lava, gases, and ash pour out
weathering the breaking down of rocks into smaller pieces
erosion the third planet from the sun the planet where we live
sediment material that settles at the bottom of a liquid
deposition the wearing and carrying away of rocks and soil
sedimentary rock rock formed when layers of sediment are pressed together
pressure force produced by pushing or pressing on something
metamorphic rock new rock formed when a rock deep in the earth is changed by heat and pressure
water cycle ongoing movement of water between the atmosphere and earth’s surface
evaporation change from a liquid to a gas
transpiration plant leaves giving off water vapor
condensation gas changes to a liquid as it cools; Example: forming a cloud
precipitation water in the atmosphere that falls to earth Examples: rain, snow, sleet, hail
runoff water that flows over earth’s surface (does not evaporate or soak into ground)
biogeochemical cycles the cycling of matter through earth’s water, air, land, and living things
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