MCAS Review - Earth Science: Question Preview (ID: 19184)

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The winter solstice occurs on either December 21 or 22, depending on the year. Which of the following statements best explains why the time of the year the winter solstice occurs has the least amount of daylight in Massachusetts?
a) Earth is farthest away from the Sun on the winter solstice.
b) Earth’s rotational speed on its axis is greatest on the winter solstice.
c) Earth is traveling around the Sun with the greatest speed on the winter solstice.
d) Earth’s Northern Hemisphere is tilted away from the Sun on the winter solstice.

The ocean water near the equator absorbs more heat throughout the year than ocean water near the North Pole. Which of the following best explains this difference?
a) The equator is closer to the Sun.
b) The equator has higher sea levels.
c) The equator receives more direct sunlight.
d) The equator rotates more quickly on Earth’s axis.

Heat from deep in Earth’s interior is transferred to its crust by which of the following?
a) conduction in the ocean
b) convection in the mantle
c) radiation from the solid core
d) evaporation at mid-ocean ridges

Index fossils help scientists estimate the age of a rock because index fossil species only existed for a relatively short time. What happened to the species that are now used as index fossils?
a) They became extinct.
b) They changed their diets.
c) They hid in marine sediments.
d) They migrated to new environments.

When bedrock in Massachusetts is examined, it often appears scraped and polished. Which of the following most likely caused the bedrock to appear scraped and polished?
a) crustal deformation
b) frequent earthquakes
c) glacial movement
d) volcanic eruptions

Which of the following causes a ship’s iron anchor to sink to the ocean floor when it is released overboard?
a) chemical forces
b) gravity
c) magnetism
d) nuclear forces

Which of the following statements best explains why earthquakes occur more frequently in California than in Massachusetts?
a) The rock found in California is igneous, but the rock found in Massachusetts is sedimentary.
b) California is located on the boundary of two crustal plates, but Massachusetts is not.
c) The rock under California is soft, but the rock under Massachusetts is hard.
d) California is located on a continental plate, but Massachusetts is not.

What is the primary energy source that drives all weather events, including precipitation, hurricanes, and tornados?
a) the sun
b) the moon
c) Earth's gravity
d) Earth's rotation

The presence of which of the following geological features provides the best evidence that glaciers once covered an area?
a) wide riverbeds
b) U-shaped valleys
c) underground caves
d) groundwater springs

Which of the following statements best explains why it is warmer at the equator than at the North Pole?
a) It was once below a waterfall.
b) It was once part of a riverbed.
c) It was once covered by an ocean.
d) It was once near a freshwater lake.

A researcher found shark fossils on top of a mountain. This evidence suggests which of the following about this region?
a) The equator has a larger area than the North Pole.
b) The equator is closer to the Sun than the North Pole.
c) The equator receives more direct sunlight than the North Pole.
d) The equator has more hours of daylight per year than the North Pole.

Seafloor spreading provides evidence of which of the following Earth processes?
a) erosion of coastlines
b) weathering of mountains
c) movement of crustal plates
d) formation of sedimentary rocks

Which of the following is the main reason water at the surface of the ocean is warmer than water at the bottom of the ocean?
a) Water at the bottom of the ocean contains more dissolved solids.
b) Water at the surface of the ocean absorbs more energy from the Sun.
c) Friction is created by fast moving currents at the surface of the ocean.
d) Wave action transfers heat from the bottom of the ocean to the surface.

Heat energy from the Sun is transferred to Earth primarily by which of the following processes?
a) conduction
b) convection
c) evaporation
d) radiation

Which of the following are formed when two crustal plates collide with one another?
a) hot spots
b) rift valleys
c) mountain ranges
d) mid-ocean ridges

Scientists found evidence of past glacial activity in Massachusetts. Which of the following conclusions is best supported by this evidence?
a) Sea levels were much higher in the past.
b) The climate on Earth has changed over time.
c) Total numbers of organisms on Earth have changed over time.
d) The total amount of radiation from the Sun was much higher in the past.

Which of the following provides the best evidence that Earth has evolved over geologic time?
a) coral reefs that slowly changed size
b) desert sand dunes that were shaped by winds
c) deposits of sediment found at the mouth of a river
d) rock containing fossilized seashells found on a mountaintop

Which of the following processes usually takes the longest amount of time?
a) Hot lava cools and forms new rock.
b) Water vapor condenses to form a cloud.
c) A seismic wave travels through the mantle.
d) An ocean basin forms between two continents.

Which of the following statements best describes how the four planets closest to the Sun are different from the next four planets in our solar system?
a) The four closest planets are more dense.
b) The four closest planets have more moons.
c) The four closest planets have greater diameters.
d) The four closest planets take longer to complete one orbit.

Miriam notices when she goes to the beach that sometimes the water rises as high as the pier. At other times of the day, the water barely covers the pillars under the pier. These differences in water level are due to the gravitational influence of
a) the sun
b) the moon
c) asteroids
d) comets

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