Environmental Studies, The Blue Planet, Chapter 3

Abiotic
A non-living, non-biological compound.
Aerosol
A colloid that consists of micro-particles suspended in a gas.
Aqueous
A water-based liquid.
Asthenosphere
Within the upper mantle, means weak sphere with a balance between temp and pressure such that rocks have little strength
Atom
Smallest individual particle that retains the distinctive properties of an element.
Biopolymer
A polymer that consists of organic compounds.
Biotic
A living or once-living biological compound.
Bond
It’s a bond. Duh. Ionic or covalent.
Carbohydrate
Chemical compounds that are a basis of food. A type of biopolymer.
Chemical Element
Te most fundamental substances into which matter can be separated by chemical means.
Chemical Sediment
Dissolved material that is transported in the form of a chemical solution.
Sediment
The unconsolidated loose rock and minerals that constitute the regolith.
Clastic Sediment
Bits of broken rock and minerals moved as solid particles.
Colloid
Extremely fine particles dispersed in a continuous medium, usually a liquid. Like a gel.
Compound
Formed when one or more kinds of anion combine chemically with one or more kinds of cation in a specific ratio.
Continental Crust
The crust layer that covers a solid land mass. Much more variable, less dense.
Core
The center ‘layer’ of the Earth. Iron-nickel solid inner core, magma outer core.
Crust
The thinnest and outermost layer, consists of rocky matter, less dense than the mantle.
Crystal
Any solid mineral body that grows with planar surfaces.
Density
Mass per unit volume.
Gas
It’s gas. One of the three states of matter. Sometimes smelly.
Gene
Regions of DNA coded for specific proteins.
Glass
A non-crystalline solid with a wide range of compositions.
Hydrocarbons
A organic carbon compound containing hydrogen.
Igneous Rock
One of the three families of rocks. Formed by the cooling and hardening of magma. Also rock music by the band Igneous.
Inner Core
The solid center of the tootsie pop known as Earth.
Outer Core
The molten outer layer of the Earth surrounding the delicious inner core. Same composition as the inner core. Also a good name for a sci-fi TV series.
Inorganic
Not organic. Or living (presumably).
Ion
AN atom with an excess charge caused by electron transfer.
Isotope
An atom with the same atomic number and chemical properties, but different mass.
Lava
Molten rock.
Lipid
A group of compounds, no polymers, diverse, do not dissolve in water.
Liquid
It’s … liquid. Sloshes, drips, does liquidy stuff.
Lithosphere
The uppermost mantle and the entire crust. The outermost layer of the Earth. Weaker than the Asthenosphere.
Magma
Liquid, molten rock.
Mantle
The thick shell of dense rocky matter surrounding the core. Not a mantel, or a mantelpiece.
Matter
Stuff. Physical stuff. Has mass. And weight. And it takes up way too much space in your garage. Heavy stuff, bro.
Mesosphere
Region of high temperature and high strength within the mantle from the core mantle boundary to about 350km. Middle sphere.
Metamorphic Rock
Igneous or metamorphic rock changed by high temperatures or pressures.
Mineral
The building blocks of which the geosphere is made. Must be naturally formed, inorganic, solid, have a specific chemical composition, and have a crystal structure.
Mineral Assemblage
The kinds and amounts of minerals present in a rock.
Molecule
The smallest unit that maintains the properties of a compound.
Nucleic Acid
Giant organic polymers build from nucleotides, each of which contains a sugar group, phosphate group, and a nitrogenous base.
Oceanic Crust
The crust covering the ocean floors.
Phase
Solid, Liquid, or Gas.
Plasma
The most common state of matter in the universe. An ionized gas with unique properties and characteristics.
Plutonic Rock
A rock band from Pluto. Also a type of igneous rock that crystallized from magma underground.
Polymer
A long organic chain of organic compounds. Somehow different from biopolymers.
Protein
A chain of amino acids, and the building blocks of any organic being.
Radioactive
An isotope emitting radiation. Transforms spontaneously to another isotope.
Regolith
A layer of broken rock matter.
Rock
A natural, non-living, hard thing. Part of a planet.
Sediment
Sediment-shaped sediment. Constitutes the regolith.
Sedimentary Rock
A rock formed by precipitation of sediment material.
Soil
A type of regolith, organic matter mixed with mineral stuff. Can support rooted plants.
Solid
Hard stuff. Used to whack people. And things.
State
A physical form of matter. Solid, liquid, and gas.
Texture
How it looks and feels.
Vapor
See: Gas.
Volcanic Rock
Rocks that crystallize from magma that emerged from a volcano.