Ch. 9 Quiz

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Rank the five terrestrial worlds in order of size from smallest to largest:

Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth

What is differentiation in planetary geology?

the process by which gravity separates materials according to density

Under what circumstances can differentiation occur in a planet?

the planet must have a molten interior

The core, mantle, and crust of a planet are defined by differences in their


The terrestrial planet cores contain mostly metal because

metals sank to the center during a time when the interiors were molten throughout

Which internal energy source is the most important in continuing to heat the terrestrial planets today?


The three principal sources of internal heat of terrestrial planets are

accretion, differentiation, and radioactivity

Heat escapes from a planet’s surface into space by thermal radiation. Planets radiate almost entirely in the wavelength range of the


Which of the following best describes why the smaller terrestrial worlds have cooler interiors than the larger ones?

they have relatively more surface area compared to their volumes

Why does Earth have the strongest magnetic field among the terrestrial worlds?

it is the only one that has both a partially molten metallic core and reasonably rapid rotation

Which of the following most likely explains why Venus does not have a strong magnetic field?

its rotation is too slow

Which two properties are most important in determining the surface temperature of a planet?

distance from the Sun and atmosphere

Which of the following does not have a major effect in shaping planetary surfaces?


The relatively few craters that we see within the lunar maria

were formed by impacts that occurred after those that formed most of the craters in the lunar highlands

When we see a region of a planet that is not as heavily cratered as other regions, we conclude that

the surface in the region is younger than the surface in more heavily cratered regions

Volcanism is more likely on a planet that

has high internal temperatures

Shallow-sloped shield volcanoes are made from lava that

has a medium viscosity

Steep-sided stratovolcanoes are made from lava that

has a high viscosity

Which of the following describes tectonics?

the disruption of a planet’s surface by internal stresses

Which of the following describes erosion?

the wearing down or building up of geological features by wind, water, ice, and other phenomena of planetary weather

Which of the following describes volcanism?

the eruption of molten rock from a planet’s interior to its surface

Which of the following describes impact cratering?

the excavation of bowl-shaped depressions by asteroids or comets striking a planet’s surface

How did the lunar maria form?

large impacts fractured the Moon’s lithosphere, allowing lava to fill the impact basins

A planet is most likely to have tectonic activity if it has

high internal temperature

The Caloris Basin on Mercury covers a large region of the planet, but few smaller craters have formed on top of it. From this we conclude that

the Caloris Basin formed toward the end of the solar system’s period of heavy bombardment

Why do we think Mercury has so many tremendous cliffs?

they were probably formed by tectonic stresses when the entire planet shrank as its core cooled

Which of the following show evidence of ancient river beds?


What drives motion of the tectonic plates on Earth?

convection cells in the mantle

Olympus Mons is a

shield volcano on Mars

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