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An Introduction to the World's Oceans, 10/e
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Plate Tectonics

Multiple Choice Quiz


Select the correct order of the four major layers of the Earth, from the innermost to outermost.
A)core, aesthenosphere, mantle, moho
B)inner core, outer core, mantle, crust
C)core, crust, lithosphere, mantle
D)mantle, crust, mesosphere, aesthenosphere

The inner core is thought to consist primarily of:

Which of the following statements about the study of the interior of the Earth is incorrect?
A)The earth's interior has a very uniform density.
B)The velocity of seismic waves varies with the density of the material.
C)S-waves cannot pass through the liquid outer core.
D)Data from seismic waves can be used to produce three-dimensional tomographs.

Oceanic crustal rock is best described as:
A)high in aluminum, sodium, potassium, and silica.
B)highly variable composition.
C)high in magnesium, iron, and calcium.
D)having an average thickness of about 40 km.

Which statement about the lithosphere is not correct?
A)Seismic waves travel more slowly through the aesthenosphere than the lithosphere.
B)The lithosphere consists solely of the rigid crustal rocks.
C)The Moho is the boundary between the crust and the upper mantle.
D)The lithosphere is less dense than the aethenosphere.

The principle explaining the variable bouyancy of crustal material is:

Which of the following was not an early theory about the "fit" of the continents across the Atlantic Ocean?
A)an unexplained cataclysmic event
B)loss of continental crust to form Mars
C)subsidence theory of separation
D)continental drift

Which of the following palaeogeographic relationships is not correct?
A)Pangaea, all the oceans
B)Gondwanaland, southern continents
C)Laurasia, northern continents
D)Pangaea, super continent

Which of the following does not accurately describe mid-ocean rises?
A)gently sloped compared to mid-ocean ridges
B)narrow zones of volcanic activity
C)central rift valley
D)highest elevation along central axis

Which of the following is not cited as evidence of plate motion?
A)earthquakes landward of subduction zones
B)variability of heat flow through the ocean crust
C)mirror images of polarity reversals on each side of mid-ocean ridges
D)age of sediments increases from the continents to the mid-ocean ridges

The theory of plate motion has been tested by all but which of the following methods?
A)temperature probes on the ocean floor
B)temperature of surface waters
C)radiometric dating of seafloor rocks
D)recording the magnetic polarity of minerals in the crust

Of the following statements about the Earth's plates, which is correct?
A)Oceans are not underlain by plates but by bowls.
B)Oceanic plates are comprised of much older rocks than continental rocks.
C)New lithosphere is formed at divergent plate boundaries.
D)Transform faults are where crust is subducted.

Rifting is closely associated with all but which of the following features or processes?
A)divergent zones
C)mid-ocean ridges

Which of the following features is not associated with subduction?
A)basaltic volcanism and rifting
B)andesitic volcanism
C)crumpled and fractured continental rocks
D)volcanic island arc chains

Passive continental margins are characterized by:
A)narrow continental shelves.
B)volcanic activity.
C)wide, seismically quiet coastal zones.
D)deep ocean trenches.

Which of the following statements about hot spots is not correct?
A)As oceanic crust cools, it subsides.
B)The youngest peak in a chain of seamounts is over the hot spot.
C)Guyots are islands that have subsided beneath the surface.
D)Hot spots cannot be located along spreading centers.

Select the statement below which does not correctly describe the history of the continents.
A)Scientists must look for pre-Pangaean records in the oceans.
B)Pangaea broke apart about 200 million years ago.
C)The Walvis Ridge is a chain of seamounts connecting the Mid-Atlantic ridge with Africa.
D)Through wandering, plates may show evidence of climates related to previous locales.

Remnants of small crustal fragments that are accreted to larger crusts are termed:

Which statement does not correctly describe hydrothermal vents?
A)Hydrothermal vent activity is known to occur at seafloor spreading centers.
B)Chimneys are channels where cold water seeps down into the crust.
C)Vents occur over some of the thickest portions of oceanic crust.
D)Minerals may precipitate rapidly out of super heated plumes of water.

Which of the following statements accurately describes vent communities?
A)Organisms cannot live in the super heated environments of the vents.
B)Vent organisms only exist in shallow water where sunlight provides energy for photosynthesis.
C)Organisms are sustained by the rain of organic material from the surface.
D)Vent communities rely on bacteria that thrive on minerals in the hydrothermal plumes.

Which of the following is NOT a line of indirect evidence that leads us to believe that the Earth has a layered structure?
A)The density of the Earth is greater than the density of the surface rocks on Earth.
B)The Earth's magnetic field indicates that the center must be composed of magnetic material.
C)The composition of some meteorites, which are believed to be of the same material that the planets formed from, is different than the rocks on Earth's surface.
D)Scientists have been able to drill to the top of outer core and from that knowledge have deduced the layered structure.

What does the Moho represent?
A)A physical boundary between the crust and mantle.
B)A chemical boundary between the crust and mantle.
C)A chemical boundary between the lithosphere and asthenosphere.
D)A physical boundary between the mantle and core.

What was Hess's major contribution to the theory of plate tectonics?
A)He noticed that the continents looked like they once fit together.
B)He Mapped the ocean floor and discovered the existence of underwater mountain ranges.
C)He proposed a theory whereby lithosphere could move atop the asthenosphere due to mantle convection.
D)He discovered the reversals of the Earth's magnetic field.

Where is measured heat flow greatest along the oceanic crust?
A)In the center of ocean basins nearest the mid ocean ridges.
B)At the edge of ocean basins nearest the continents.
C)It depends on the ocean basin.
D)Wherever the sediment is thickest.

Which is not true about earthquakes?
A)They are commonly associated with subduction zones.
B)Earthquakes with a deeper focus tend to occur farther inland.
C)They are used to characterize the density and composition of the interior of the Earth.
D)They tend to have the greatest magnitude at the mid ocean ridge.

Which of the following is true based on the current directions of plate motion?
A)Africa and South America are getting closer.
B)Japan and California are getting closer.
C)South America and Australia are moving farther apart.
D)New York and London are getting closer.

Which of the lithospheric plates covers the largest amount of surface area on Earth?
A)North American

Which is an example of an active continental rift?
A)The Mediterranean
B)East Africa
C)The Coast of California
D)The Caribbean

Which type of crust will subduct most rapidly?
A)Old continental crust
B)Young continental crust
C)Old oceanic crust
D)Young oceanic crust

The Philippines are the result of what type of plate boundary?
A)Oceanic-Oceanic Convergent
B)Oceanic-Continental Convergent