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Earth Science - New York Regents June 2009 Exam

This is a test of your knowledge of Earth science. Use that knowledge to answer all the question in this examination. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables. The Earth Science Reference Tables are supplied separately. Be certain you have a copy of the 2001 Edition (Revised November 2006) of these reference tables before you begin the examination.
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Part A

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (1-35): For each statement or question, identify the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
1. Evidence that the universe is expanding is best provided by the
(1) red shift in the light from distant galaxies
(2) change in the swing direction of a Foucault pendulum on Earth
(3) parallelism of Earth’s axis in orbit
(4) spiral shape of the Milky Way Galaxy
1

2. Which object forms by the contraction of a large sphere of gases causing the nuclear fusion of lighter elements into heavier elements?
(1) comet
(2) planet
(3) star
(4) moon
3

3. In New York State, summer is warmer than winter because in summer New York State has
(1) fewer hours of daylight and receives low-angle insolation
(2) fewer hours of daylight and receives high-angle insolation
(3) more hours of daylight and receives low-angle insolation
(4) more hours of daylight and receives high-angle insolation
4


4. The diagram below shows an observer on Earth viewing the star Polaris.

What is this observer's latitude?
(1) 38° N
(2) 38° S
(3) 52° N
(4) 52° S
3

5. The arrows in the diagram below represent the movement of water in the water cycle.

Which arrow represents the process of transpiration?
(1) A
(2) B
(3) C
(4) D
3

6. Which statement best describes the position of the Sun at sunrise and sunset as seen by an observer in New York State on June 21?
(1) The Sun rises north of due east and sets north of due west.
(2) The Sun rises south of due east and sets south of due west.
(3) The Sun rises north of due east and sets south of due west.
(4) The Sun rises south of due east and sets north of due west.
1

7. On a cold winter day, the air temperature is 2°C and the wet-bulb temperature is −1°C. What is the relative humidity at this location?
(1) 6%
(2) 37%
(3) 51%
(4) 83%
3

8. The bar graph below shows one planetary characteristic, identified as X, plotted for the planets of our solar system.

Which characteristic of the planets in our solar system is represented by X?
(1) mass
(2) density
(3) eccentricity of orbit
(4) period of rotation
3

9. Which graph best represents the general relationship between latitude and average surface temperature?

2

10. The diagram below shows a laboratory setup. The rubber band holds filter paper across the base of the open tube to hold the soil sample. The tube was placed in the water as shown. The upward movement of water is represented by arrows. The height of the water that moved upward within the soil was measured. Students repeated this procedure using soils with different particle sizes. Results of the experiment are shown in the data table.

Results of this experiment lead to the couclusion that
(1) capillarity is greater in soils with larger particles
(2) capillarity is greater in soils with smaller particles
(3) permeability is greater in soils with larger particles
(4) permeability is greater in soils with smaller particles
2

11. When two tectonic plates collide, oceanic crust usually subducts beneath continental crust because oceanic crust is primarily composed of igneous rock that has
(1) low density and is mafic
(2) low density and is felsic
(3) high density and is mafic
(4) high density and is felsic
3

12. New York State’s generalized landscape regions are identified primarily on the basis of elevation and
(1) bedrock structure
(2) climate zones 
(3) geologic age
(4) latitude
1

13. The data table below shows the origin depths of all large-magnitude earthquakes over a 20-year period.

According to these data, most of these earthquakes occurred within Earth’s
(1) lithosphere
(2) asthenosphere
(3) stiffer mantle
(4) outer core
1

14. What is the largest sediment that can be transported by a stream that has a velocity of 125 cm/sec?
(1) cobbles
(2) pebbles 
(3) sand
(4) clay
2

15. The photograph below shows a valley.

Which agent of erosion most likely produced this valley's shape?
(1) wave action
(2) moving ice
(3) blowing wind
(4) flowing water
2

16. Deposition within a meandering stream usually occurs on the inside of the curves because the
(1) water velocity decreases
(2) stream gradient increases
(3) water is deeper
(4) stream is narrower
1

17. The diagram below shows an outcrop of different layers of sandstone in a region receiving heavy rainfall.

Which sandstone layer appears to be the least resistant to weathering?
(1) A
(2) B
(3) C
(4) D
2

18. Which process led to the formation of thick salt deposits found in the bedrock at some locations in New York State?
(1) melting
(2) runoff
(3) condensation
(4) evaporation
4

19. Oxygen is the most abundant element by volume in Earth’s
(1) inner core
(2) troposphere
(3) hydrosphere
(4) crust
4

20. Most insolation striking a smooth, light-colored, solid surface is
(1) retracted
(2) transmitted
(3) reflected
(4) absorbed
3

21. Which process requires water to gain heat energy from the environment?
(1) evaporation
(2) condensation
(3) infiltration
(4) precipitation
1

22. Which graph best represents human existence on Earth, compared with Earth’s entire history?

4

23. How old is a fossil that has radioactively decayed through 4 ha1f-lives of carbon-14?
(1) 5,700 years
(2) 17,100 years
(3) 22,800 years
(4) 28,500 years
3

24. The gases in Earth’s early atmosphere are inferred to have come primarily from
(1) meteor showers
(2) melting of glacial ice
(3) volcanic eruptions
(4) evaporation of seawater
3

25. The graph below shows the extinction rate of organisms on Earth during the last 600 million years. Letters A through D represent mass extinctions.

Which letter indicates when dinosaurs became extinct?
(1) A
(2) B
(3) C
(4) D
4

26. Alternating parallel bands of normal and reversed magnetic polarity are found in the basaltic bedrock on either side of the
(1) Mid-Atlantic Ridge
(2) Yellowstone Hot Spot
(3) San Andreas Fault
(4) Peru-Chile Trench
1

27. Which characteristic would most likely remain constant when a limestone cobble is subjected to extensive abrasion?
(1) shape
(2) mass
(3) volume
(4) composition
4


Base your answers to questions 28 and 29 on the diagrams below. Diagram 1 is a drawing of a seafloor environment during the Carboniferous Period. Diagram 2 is a drawing of a Carboniferous swamp-forest environment. Two organisms are labeled A and B.

 
28. It the fish labeled A in diagram 1 are placoderms, the diagram represents conditions during which geologic epoch?
(1) Early Mississippian
(2) Late Mississippian 
(3) Early Pennsylvanian
(4) Late Pennsylvanian
1

29. In which type of rock would fossils of organisms A and B most likely be found?
(1) felsic igneous
(2) vesicular igneous 
(3) elastic sedimentary
(4) nonfoliated metamorphic
3


30. According to the fossil record, which sequence correctly represents the evolution of life on Earth?
(1) fish → amphibians → mammals → soft-bodied organisms
(2) fish → soft-bodied organisms → mammals → amphibians
(3) soft-bodied organisms → amphibians → fish → mammals
(4) soft-bodied organisms → fish → amphibians → mammals
4

31. The data table below compares the climates of two United States cities located at approximately 43° north latitude. The data are based on a 30-year period.

Which statement best explains the climate variation between these two cities?
(1) City A and city B are located at the same longitude.
(2) City A is located at a high elevation, and city B is located at sea level.
(3) City A is located far inland, and city B is located near a large body of water.
(4) City A is located on the east coast, and city B is located on the west coast.
3

32. The air above a burning candle is heated and rises. Which table correctly identifies the type of heat transfer within the rising air and the change in air density above the burning candle?

4

33. The diagram below represents geological processes that act continuously on Earth to form different rock types.

Which table correctly classifies each rock type?

2

34. The table below shows some properties of four different minerals.

The minerals listed in the table are varieties of which mineral?
(1) garnet
(2) magnetite
(3) quartz
(4) olivine
3

35. Adjacent water and landmasses are heated by the morning Sun on a clear, calm day. After a few hours, a surface wind develops. Which map best represents this winds direction?

1



Part B-1

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (36-50): For each statement or question, identify the number of the word or expression that, of those given, best completes the statement or answers the question. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
Base your answers to questions 36 through 38 on the weather map below, which shows a low-pressure system over the eastern United States. Letters A through D represent weather stations.

 
36. Which station model correctly represents the barometric pressure at station A?

2

37. Which weather instrument was used to measure wind speed at station D?
(1) barometer
(2) thermometer
(3) psychrometer
(4) anemometer
4

38. Surface winds within this low-pressure system most likely are flowing
(1) toward the center in a clockwise pattern
(2) toward the center in a counterclockwise pattern
(3) away from the center in a clockwise pattern
(4) away from the center in a counterclockwise pattern
2


Base your answers to questions 39 through 42 on the diagram below, which represents Earth in its orbit around the Sun. The position of Earth on the first day of each season is labeled A, B, C, and D.

 
39. Which diagram correctly shows the directions of Earth’s revolution and rotation?

4

40. At which location are the Sun’s noontime rays perpendicular to Earth’s surface at the Tropic of Cancer (23.5° N)?
(1) A
(2) B
(3) C
(4) D
3

41. What is the approximate rate of Earth’s revolution around the Sun?
(1) 1° per day
(2) 1° per year
(3) 15° per day
(4) 15° per year
1

42. Which event is caused by Earth’s revolution?
(1) the apparent shift in the path of a Foucault pendulum
(2) deflection of planetary winds to the right in the Northern Hemisphere
(3) the apparent rising and setting of the Sun
(4) different constellations observed in the night sky throughout the year
4


Base your answers to questions 43 and 44 on the map below, which shows locations A and B on Earth’s surface at the same distance from the ocean, at the same elevation above sea level, and at the same latitude.

 
43. Which statement best explains why location A has a cooler climate than location B?
(1) Location A has a longer duration of insolation each day.
(2) Location A is influenced by a cold ocean current.
(3) Location B is farther from the equator.
(4) Location B has less intense insolation each day.
2

44. There is a four-hour solar time difference between locations A and B. What is the difference in longitude between locations A and B?
(1) 15°
(2) 23.5°
(3) 45°
(4) 60°
4


Base your answers to questions 45 through 48 on the diagram below. The arrows show the direction in which sediment is being transported along the shoreline. A barrier beach has formed, creating a lagoon (a shallow body of water in which sediments are being deposited). The eroded headlands are composed of diorite bedrock. A groin has recently been constructed. Groins are wall-like structures built into the water perpendicular to the shoreline to trap beach sand.

 
45. The groin structure will change the pattern of deposition along the shoreline, initially causing the beach to become
(1) wider on the western side of the groin
(2) wider on the eastern side of the groin 
(3) narrower on both sides of the groin
(4) wider on both sides of the groin
2

46. Which two minerals are most likely found in the beach sand that was eroded from the headlands?
(1) quartz and olivine
(2) plagioclase feldspar and amphibole
(3) potassium feldspar and biotite
(4) pyroxene and calcite
2

47. The sediments that have been deposited by streams flowing into the lagoon are most likely
(1) sorted and layered
(2) sorted and not layered
(3) unsorted and layered
(4) unsorted and not layered
1

48. Which event will most likely occur during a heavy rainfall?
(1) Less sediment will be carried by the streams.
(2) An increase in sea level will cause more sediments to be deposited along the shoreline.
(3) The shoreline will experience a greater range in tides.
(4) The discharge from the streams into the lagoon will increase.
4


Base your answers to questions 49 and 50 on the cross section below, which shows the paths of seismic waves traveling from an earthquake epicenter through the different layers of Earth’s interior.

 
49. No P-waves or S-waves are received in the shadow zone because
(1) P-waves are absorbed and S-waves are retracted by Earth’s outer core
(2) P-waves are retracted and S-waves are absorbed by Earth’s outer core
(3) both the P-waves and S-waves are retracted by Earth’s outer core
(4) both the P-waves and S-waves are absorbed by Earth’s outer core
2

50. The distance from Albany, New York, to the epicenter of this earthquake is 5600 km. Approximately how much longer did it take for the S-wave to arrive at Albany than the P-wave?
(1) 4 minutes and 20 seconds
(2) 7 minutes and 10 seconds 
(3) 9 minutes and 0 seconds
(4) 16 minutes and 10 seconds
2



Part B-2

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (51-65): Record your answers in the spaces provided below. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
Base your answers to questions 51 through 53 on the passage below.

Is Earth Gaining Weight?


Scientists believe that Earth may gain more than 100 tons of dust from space every day. The dust comes from thawing comets as they orbit the Sun and from pieces of asteroids that collided with other asteroids. Most asteroids orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. Each dust particle dates back to the days when our solar system was created. So in a way, each tiny speck of dust holds clues to how our solar system formed.
All the space dust produced by comets and asteroids in our solar system is drawn to the Sun by its gravitational force. However, space dust that passes within about 60 miles of Earth’s surface may be slowed enough by friction with Earth’s atmosphere to be pulled to the surface by Earth’s gravity.
51. State one reason why more space dust is attracted to the Sun than to Earth. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— The Sun has a greater gravitational attraction for particles than Earth does.
— The Sun has a larger mass than Earth.
— The more massive object has more gravity.


52. In which temperature zone of Earth’s atmosphere is space dust first slowed enough by friction to be pulled to Earth’s surface? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for thermosphere.


53. Approximately how many million kilometers from the Sun are most asteroids located? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for any response between 227.9 and 778.3 million kilometers.



Base your answers to questions 54 through 57 on the data table below The data table shows the latitude of several cities in the Northern Hemisphere and the duration of daylight on a particular day.

 
54. On the grid below, plot with an X the duration of daylight for each city shown in the data table. Connect your Xs with a smooth, curved line.

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if the center of all Xs are plotted within the circles shown and are correctly connected with a smooth, curved line that passes through the circles.
Note: It is recommended that an overlay be used to ensure uniformity in scoring.


55. Based on the data table, state the relationship between latitude and the duration of daylight. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— As latitude increases, the duration of daylight decreases.
— Higher latitudes have shorter daylight periods. Lower latitudes have longer daylight periods.
— It is an inverse relationship.


56. Use your graph to determine the latitude at which the Sun sets 7 hours after it rises. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for a correct answer ± 1° based on the student-drawn graph. For example, on the graph shown, the answer should be 56° ± 1° N.


57. The data were recorded for the first day of a certain season in the Northern Hemisphere. State the name of this season. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for winter.



Base your answers to questions 58 through 60 on the cross sections below, which show widely separated outcrops labeled I, II, and III. Index fossils are found in some of the rock layers in the three outcrops. In outcrop III, layers A, B, C, and D are labeled. Line XY represents an unconformity. Line GH represents a fault.

 
58. Describe one characteristic necessary for a fossil to be classified as an index fossil. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— wide geographic distribution
— existed for a short period of geologic time


59. On outcrop II below, place the wave symbol for an unconformity between the two rock layers where the Silurian-age bedrock has been removed by erosion. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW



60. List in order, from oldest to youngest, the relative age of the four rock layers, A, B, C, and D, fault GH, and unconformity XY shown in outcrop III. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW



Base your answers to questions 61 through 63 on the diagram below, which shows the Moon at positions A through H in its orbit around Earth.

 
61. Which letters represent the two positions of the Moon when the least difference between the levels of high and low ocean tides occur on Earth? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for C and G.


62. How many days does it take for the Moon to complete one cycle of phases as viewed from Earth? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for any value from 29 to 30 days.


63. At which Moon position could a lunar eclipse occur? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for E or full Moon.



Base your answers to questions 64 and 65 on the Luminosity and Temperature of Stars graph in the Earth Science Reference Tables.

64. Describe the relationship between temperature and luminosity of main sequence stars. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— As temperature increases, luminosity increases.
— This is a direct relationship.


65. In which group of stars would a star with a temperature of 5000°C and a luminosity of approximately 100 times that of the Sun be classified? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for red giants or giants.




Part C

Answer all questions in this part.


Directions (66-85): Record your answers in the spaces provided below. Some questions may require the use of the Earth Science Reference Tables.
Base your answers to questions 66 through 68 on the diagram below, which shows air masses, clouds, and rain associated with two fronts that are influencing weather conditions in New York State. Letters A, B, and C represent three air masses. The arrows show the direction of air and front movements.

 
66. Identify the most likely geographic source region for air mass B. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Gulf of Mexico
— a warm ocean surface


67. Identify the type of front shown between air mass B and air mass C. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for warm front.


68. Identify one process that causes clouds to form in the air rising along the frontal surface between air mass A and air mass B. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— condensation
— expansion
— cooling
— deposition/sublimation



Base your answers to questions 69 through 72 on the topographic map below, which shows a small island in an ocean. Points A, B, C , and D represent surface locations on the island. The triangular symbol represents an elevation on the hilltop. Elevations are measured in feet and distances are measured in miles.

 
69. On the grid below, construct a profile along line AB by plotting an X for the elevation of each contour line that crosses line AB. Connect the Xs with a smooth, curved line to complete the profile. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if the centers of ten to twelve Xs are within the circles shown below and are correctly connected with a smooth, curved line that passes through the circles and extends above 120 feet but below 140 feet.
Note: It is recommended that an overlay be used to ensure uniformity in scoring.


70. Calculate the gradient of Mud Creek between points C and D and label your answer with the correct units. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for any value from 18 to 22 with the correct units. Acceptable units include, but are not limited to:
— ft/mi
— feet/mile


71. State the compass direction toward which Mud Creek flows. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— southeast
— SE
— northwest to southeast


72. Explain how the contour lines on the map indicate that the north side of the island has the steepest slope. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— The contour lines are closer together.
— More closely spaced contour lines indicate a steeper gradient.



Base your answers to questions 73 through 76 on the diagram below, which shows the heliocentric model of a part of our solar system. The planets closest to the Sun are shown. Point B is a location on Earth’s equator.

 
73. State the name of planet A. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for Jupiter.


74. Explain why location B experiences both day and night in a 24-hour period. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— Earth’s rotation causes day and night.
— The daily change from day to night results from Earth’s spin on its axis.


75. On the graph below, draw a line to show the general relationship between a planet’s distance from the Sun and the planet’s period of revolution.

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for a line graph which shows a direct relationship.


76. Identify one feature of the geocentric model of our solar system that differs from the heliocentric model shown. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— The geocentric model has Earth in the center.
— In a geocentric model Earth does not rotate.
— Planets revolve around Earth instead of the Sun.



Base your answers to questions 77 through 79 on the map below, which is an enlargement of a portion of the Tectonic Plates map from the Earth Science Reference Tables. Points A and B are locations on different boundaries of the Arabian Plate.

 
77. Identify the type of tectonic plate boundary located at point A. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— transform boundary
— transform fault


78. On the map shown, a valley is located south of point B and a mountain range north of point B. State the tectonic process that is creating these two land features. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— subduction of Arabian Plate
— convergence


79. The block diagram below represents Earth’s surface and interior along the East African Rift. Draw two arrows, one through point X and one through point K to indicate the relative motion of each of these sections of the continental crust. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit if both arrows show correct directions, even if the arrows do not pass through the points.



Base your answers to questions 80 and 81 on the United States map below, which shows recorded temperatures in degrees Fahrenheit for October 2, 2004. The 60°F isotherm has been drawn on the map.

80. On the map below, draw the 70°F isotherm. Extend the isotherm to the edges of the continent. [1]

MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for a correctly drawn 70°F isotherm. The isotherm must extend to the edges of the continent. It additional isotherms are drawn, all isotherms must be correct to receive credit.


81. Identify the two-letter weather map symbol for the dry, cold air mass over North Dakota. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for cP or cA. Allow credit for either uppercase or lowercase letters.
Note: Do not allow credit if the letters are reversed, such as, Pc.



Base your answers to questions 82 through 85 on the passage below.

Asbestos


Asbestos is a general name given to the fibrous varieties of six naturally occurring minerals used in commercial products. Most asbestos minerals are no longer mined due to the discovery during the 1970s that long-term exposure to high concentrations of their long, stiff fibers leads to health problems. Workers who produce or handle asbestos products are most at risk, since inhaling high concentrations of airborne fibers allows the asbestos particles to become trapped in the workers’ lungs. Chrysotile is a variety of asbestos that is still mined because it has short, soft, flexible fibers that do not pose the same health threat.
82. State one reason for the decline in global asbestos use after 1980. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— The dangers of asbestos fibers were realized.
— Concern over the health risk of asbestos resulted in less use.
— Exposure to high concentrations of asbestos leads to health problems.


83. Chrysotile is found with other minerals in New York State mines located near 44° 30' N, 74° W. In which New York State landscape region are these mines located? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for Adirondacks or Adirondack Mountains or Grenville Province.


84. What determines the physical properties of minerals, such as the long, stiff fibers of some varieties of asbestos? [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit. Acceptable responses include, but are not limited to:
— the internal arrangement of atoms
— chemical composition
— the environment in which they form
— chains of silicate tetrahedra


85. The chemical formula for chrysotile is Mg3Si2O5(OH)4. State the name of the mineral found on the Earth Science Reference Tables that is most similar in chemical composition. [1]
MODEL ANSWER GIVEN BELOW
[1] Allow 1 credit for talc.



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