Vocabulary

Term Definition
Hypothesis A testable idea or explanation that leads to scientific investigation
Observation The process of obtaining information by using the senses (taste, touch smell, sight, and hearing
Law A descriptive statement or equation that reliably predicts events
Data Information gathered by observation or experimentation
Experiment An organized procedure to study something under controlled conditions
Independent Variable The factor in an experiment that is changed by the scientists
Dependent Variable The factor in an experiment that changes as a result of a change of an independent variable
Control A variable that does not change for the duration of an experiment; a value that remains the same
Theory A well supported explanation of nature
Inference To interpret or explain things; it's based on reasoning- not guessing; to come a a conclusion
Mass Amount of matter in an object
Geology Study of the solid earth
Oceanography Study of Earth's oceans
Meterology Study of Earth's atmosphere
Astronomy Study of universe
Environmental science Study of Earth's environment and resources
Wave Movement of energy through a body of water
Crest Highest part of a wave
Trough Lowest part of a wave
Wavelength Distance from crest to crest
Tides Daily rise and fall of Earth's water on its coastline
Current A large stream of moving water that flows through the ocean
Coriolis effect Effect of Earth's rotation on the direction of winds and currents
Sonar A system for the detection of objects under water and for measuring the waters depth by emitting sound pulses and detecting or measuring their return after being reflected
Continental shelf Gently sloping, shallow area-extends outward from continent
Continental slope Incline beyond the edge of the continental shelf
Abyssal plain Vast, flat area of the ocean
Mid-ocean ridge A series of mountain ranges on the ocean floor, extends through the North and South Atlantic, Indian Ocean and the South Pacific
Trench Deep canyon in the ocean floor
Estuaries Coastal inlets or bays where fresh water from the rivers mixes with the salty ocean water
Electromagnetic Waves A form of energy that can move through the vacuum of space; Classified according to wavelength
Radiation The direct transfer of energy by electromagnetic waves
Infrared radiation Felt as heat; wavelengths longer than red light; not visible
Unltraviolet Radiation Invisible; wavelengths shorter than violet light; can cause sunburns, skin cancer, and eye damage
Conduction Direct transfer of heat from 1 sunstance to another substance that it is touching
Convection The transfer of heat by the movement of a fluid
Crust A layer of solid rock that includes both dry land and ocean floor
Mantle A layer made up of rock this is very hot, but solid
Core Central, innermost section of the earth
Continental drift Continents slowly move over Earth's surface
Fossil Preserved remains of a once living organism

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