1) Rank the five terrestrial worlds in order of size from smallest to largest.

A) Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars

B) Mercury, Moon, Venus, Earth, Mars

C) Moon, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars

D) Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth

E) Mercury, Moon, Mars, Earth, Venus

D) Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth
2) What is differentiation in planetary geology?

A) the process by which gravity separates materials according to density

B) the process by which different types of minerals form a conglomerate rock

C) any process by which a planet’s surface evolves differently from another planet’s surface

D) any process by which one part of a planet’s surface evolves differently from another part of the same planet’s surface

E) any process by which a planet evolves differently from its moons

A) the process by which gravity separates materials according to density
3) Under what circumstances can differentiation occur in a planet?

A) The planet must have a rocky surface.
B) The planet must be made of both metal and rock.
C) The planet must have an atmosphere.
D) The planet must be geologically active, that is, have volcanoes, planetquakes, and erosion from weather.
E) The planet must have a molten interior.

E) The planet must have a molten interior.
4) When we say that a liquid has a high viscosity, we mean that it

A) is runny like water.
B) flows slowly like honey.
C) is very dark in color.
D) is very light in color.
E) conducts electricity.

B) flows slowly like honey.
5) The core, mantle, and crust of a planet are defined by differences in their

A) geological activity.
B) temperature.
C) strength.
D) composition.
E) color.

D) composition.
6) The lithosphere of a planet is the layer that consists of

A) material above the crust.
B) material between the crust and the mantle.
C) the rigid rocky material of the crust and uppermost portion of the mantle.
D) the softer rocky material of the mantle.
E) the lava that comes out of volcanoes.

C) the rigid rocky material of the crust and uppermost portion of the mantle.
7) What is the most important factor that determines the thickness, and therefore strength, of the lithosphere?

A) pressure
B) viscosity
C) composition
D) internal temperature
E) distance of planet from Sun

D) internal temperature
8) The terrestrial planet cores contain mostly metal because

A) the entire planets are made mostly of metal.
B) metals condensed first in the solar nebula and the rocks then accreted around them.
C) metals sank to the center during a time when the interiors were molten throughout.
D) radioactivity created metals in the core from the decay of uranium.
E) convection carried the metals to the core.

C) metals sank to the center during a time when the interiors were molten throughout.
9) Which internal energy source produces heat by converting gravitational potential energy into thermal energy?
A) accretion
B) differentiation
C) radioactivity
D) both A and B
E) all of the above
D) both A and B
10) Which internal energy source is the most important in continuing to heat the terrestrial planets today?

A) accretion
B) differentiation
C) radioactivity
D) tidal heating
E) all of the above

C) radioactivity
11) Which of the following best describes convection?

A) It is the process by which rocks sink in water.
B) It is the process in which warm material expands and rises while cool material contracts and falls.
C) It is the process in which warm material gets even warmer and cool material gets even cooler.
D) It is the process in which a liquid separates according to density, such as oil and water separating in a jar.
E) It is the process in which bubbles of gas move upward through a liquid of the same temperature.

B) It is the process in which warm material expands and rises while cool material contracts and falls.
12) What are the circumstances under which convection can occur in a substance?

A) when the substance is subjected to a strong magnetic field
B) when dense material is being added to the substance
C) when the substance is strongly shaken or disturbed by a strong wind
D) when the substance is strongly cooled from underneath
E) when the substance is strongly heated from underneath

E) when the substance is strongly heated from underneath
13) The three principal sources of internal heat of terrestrial planets are

A) conduction, differentiation, and accretion.
B) accretion, differentiation, and radioactivity.
C) accretion, differentiation, and eruption.
D) convection, differentiation, and eruption.
E) conduction, convection, and eruption.

B) accretion, differentiation, and radioactivity.
14) The main process by which heat flows upward through the lithosphere is

A) conduction.
B) convection.
C) radiation.
D) accretion.
E) differentiation.

A) conduction.
15) Heat escapes from a planet’s surface into space by thermal radiation. Planets radiate almost entirely in the wavelength range of the
A) infrared.
B) radio.
C) visible.
D) ultraviolet.
E) none of the above
A) infrared.
16) Which of the following worlds have the thinnest lithospheres?

A) Earth and the Moon
B) Venus and the Moon
C) Mercury and Venus
D) Earth and Mars
E) Earth and Venus

E) Earth and Venus
17) Which of the following best describes why the smaller terrestrial worlds have cooler interiors than the larger ones?

A) They were cooler when they formed.
B) The smaller ones are farther from the Sun.
C) They have relatively fewer radioactive elements.
D) They have relatively more surface area compared to their volumes.
E) They had more volcanic eruptions in the past, which released their internal heat.

D) They have relatively more surface area compared to their volumes.
18) Which of the terrestrial worlds has the strongest magnetic field?

A) Mars
B) Earth
C) the Moon
D) Venus
E) Mercury

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

A) It is the only one that has a metallic core.
B) It rotates much faster than any other terrestrial world.
C) It is the only one that has both a partially molten metallic core and reasonably rapid rotation.
D) It is by far the largest terrestrial world.
E) It is the most volcanically active world.

C) It is the only one that has both a partially molten metallic core and reasonably rapid rotation.
20) Which of the following most likely explains why Venus does not have a strong magnetic field?

A) It does not have a metallic core.
B) Its rotation is too slow.
C) It is too close to the Sun.
D) It is too large.
E) It has too thick an atmosphere.

B) Its rotation is too slow.
21) What are the conditions necessary for a terrestrial planet to have a strong magnetic field?

A) a molten metallic core only
B) fast rotation only
C) a rocky mantle only
D) both a molten metallic core and reasonably fast rotation
E) both a metal core and a rocky mantle

D) both a molten metallic core and reasonably fast rotation
22) Which of the following has virtually no effect on the structure of a planet?

A) its composition
B) its size
C) its magnetic field
D) its mass

C) its magnetic field
23) Which two properties are most important in determining the surface temperature of a planet?

A) composition and distance from the Sun
B) size and chemical composition
C) size and atmosphere
D) internal temperature and atmosphere
E) distance from the Sun and atmosphere

E) distance from the Sun and atmosphere
24) Which of the following does not have a major effect in shaping planetary surfaces?

A) impact cratering
B) volcanism
C) tectonics
D) erosion
E) magnetism

E) magnetism
25) How large is an impact crater compared to the size of the impactor?

A) the same size
B) 10-20 percent larger
C) 10 times larger
D) 100 times larger
E) 1,000 times larger

C) 10 times larger
26) The relatively few craters that we see within the lunar maria

A) were formed by impacts that occurred before those that formed most of the craters in the lunar highlands.
B) were formed by impacts that occurred after those that formed most of the craters in the lunar highlands.
C) were created by the same large impactor that led to the formation of the maria.
D) are volcanic in origin, rather than from impacts.
E) are sinkholes that formed when sections of the maria collapsed.

B) were formed by impacts that occurred after those that formed most of the craters in the lunar highlands.
27) When we see a region of a planet that is not as heavily cratered as other regions, we conclude that

A) there is little volcanic activity to create craters.
B) the planet is rotating very slowly and only one side was hit by impactors.
C) the planet formed after the age of bombardment and missed out on getting hit by leftover planetesimals.
D) the surface in the region is older than the surface in more heavily cratered regions.
E) the surface in the region is younger than the surface in more heavily cratered regions.

E) the surface in the region is younger than the surface in more heavily cratered regions.
28) Volcanism is more likely on a planet that

A) is closer to the Sun.
B) is struck often by meteors and solar system debris.
C) has high internal temperatures.
D) doesn’t have an atmosphere or oceans.

C) has high internal temperatures.
29) Shallow-sloped shield volcanoes are made from lava that

A) is as runny as liquid water.
B) has a medium viscosity.
C) has a high viscosity.
D) can have any viscosity.

B) has a medium viscosity.
30) Steep-sided stratovolcanoes are made from lava that

A) is as runny as liquid water.
B) has a medium viscosity.
C) has a high viscosity.
D) can have any viscosity.

C) has a high viscosity.
31) What type of stresses broke Earth’s lithosphere into plates?

A) impacts of asteroids and planetesimals
B) internal temperature changes that caused the crust to expand and stretch
C) the circulation of convection cells in the mantle, which dragged against the lithosphere
D) cooling and contracting of the planet’s interior, which caused the mantle and lithosphere to be compressed
E) volcanism, which produced heavy volcanoes that bent and cracked the lithosphere

C) the circulation of convection cells in the mantle, which dragged against the lithosphere
32) Which of the following describes tectonics?

A) the excavation of bowl-shaped depressions by asteroids or comets striking a planet’s surface
B) the eruption of molten rock from a planet’s interior to its surface
C) the disruption of a planet’s surface by internal stresses
D) the wearing down or building up of geological features by wind, water, ice, and other phenomena of planetary weather

C) the disruption of a planet’s surface by internal stresses
33) Which of the following describes erosion?

A) the excavation of bowl-shaped depressions by asteroids or comets striking a planet’s surface
B) the eruption of molten rock from a planet’s interior to its surface
C) the disruption of a planet’s surface by internal stresses
D) the wearing down or building up of geological features by wind, water, ice, and other phenomena of planetary weather

D) the wearing down or building up of geological
34) Which of the following describes volcanism?

A) the excavation of bowl-shaped depressions by asteroids or comets striking a planet’s surface
B) the eruption of molten rock from a planet’s interior to its surface
C) the disruption of a planet’s surface by internal stresses
D) the wearing down or building up of geological features by wind, water, ice, and other phenomena of planetary weather

B) the eruption of molten rock from a planet’s interior to its surface
35) Which of the following describes impact cratering?

A) the excavation of bowl-shaped depressions by asteroids or comets striking a planet’s surface
B) the eruption of molten rock from a planet’s interior to its surface
C) the disruption of a planet’s surface by internal stresses
D) the wearing down or building up of geological features by wind, water, ice, and other phenomena of planetary weather

A) the excavation of bowl-shaped depressions by asteroids or comets striking a planet’s surface
36) A planet is most likely to have tectonic activity if it has

A) low surface gravity.
B) high surface gravity.
C) low internal temperature.
D) high internal temperature.
E) a dense atmosphere.

D) high internal temperature.
37) What kind of surface features may result from tectonics?

A) mountains
B) valleys
C) volcanos
D) cliffs
E) all of the above

E) all of the above
38) What is basalt?

A) any substance that evaporates easily and is a gas, liquid, or ice on Earth
B) a type of rock that makes relatively low-viscosity lava
C) a type of metal that tends to create stratovolcanoes when eruptions occur
D) a type of mineral that is the main ingredient of sea salt
E) another name for lava

B) a type of rock that makes relatively low-viscosity lava
39) How did the lunar maria form?

A) Large impacts fractured the Moon’s lithosphere, allowing lava to fill the impact basins.
B) The early bombardment created heat that melted the lunar surface in the regions of the maria.
C) Volatiles escaping from the Moon’s interior heated and eroded the surface in the regions of the maria.
D) The giant impact that created the Moon left smooth areas that we call the maria.
E) The maria are the result of gradual erosion by micrometeorites striking the Moon

A) Large impacts fractured the Moon’s lithosphere, allowing lava to fill the impact basins.
40) Why does the Moon have a layer of powdery “soil” on its surface?

A) Large impacts shattered lunar rock to make this soil.
B) The soil exists because the Moon accreted from powdery material after a giant impact blasted Earth.
C) Volatiles escaping from the Moon’s interior bubble upward and make the soil.
D) The soil is the result of the same processes that make powdery sand on Earth.
E) It’s the result of gradual erosion by micrometeorites striking the Moon

E) It’s the result of gradual erosion by micrometeorites striking the Moon
41) 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

A) erosion destroyed the smaller craters that formed on the basin.
B) Mercury’s atmosphere prevented smaller objects from hitting the surface.
C) only very large impactors hit Mercury’s surface in the past.
D) the Caloris Basin formed toward the end of the solar system’s period of heavy bombardment.
E) the Caloris Basin was formed by a volcano

D) the Caloris Basin formed toward the end of the solar system’s period of heavy bombardment.
42) Why do we think Mercury has so many tremendous cliffs?

A) They were probably carved in Mercury’s early history by running water.
B) They were probably formed by tectonic stresses when the entire planet shrank as its core cooled.
C) They probably formed when a series of large impacts hit Mercury one after the other.
D) They are almost certainly volcanic in origin, carved by flowing lava.
E) They represent one of the greatest mysteries in the solar system, as no one has suggested a reasonable hypothesis for their formation.

B) They were probably formed by tectonic stresses when the entire planet shrank as its core cooled.
43) Olympus Mons is a

A) shield volcano on Mars.
B) stratovolcano on Mercury.
C) large lava plain on the Moon.
D) shield volcano on Venus.
E) stratovolcano on the Moon

A) shield volcano on Mars.
44) Valles Marineris is a

A) large valley on the Moon.
B) vast plain on Mars.
C) huge series of cliffs on Mercury.
D) large canyon on Mars.
E) large canyon on Venus.

D) large canyon on Mars
45) Which of the following does not provide evidence that Mars once had flowing water?

A) the presence of what looks like dried-up riverbeds
B) the presence of impact craters that appear to have formed in mud
C) the presence of vast canals discovered in the late 1800s by Giovanni Schiaparelli and mapped by Percival Lowell
D) rocks of many different types jumbled together, as would occur if there had once been a great flood in the region, found by the Mars Pathfinder
E) some very old craters that appear to have been eroded by rain

C) the presence of vast canals discovered in the late 1800s by Giovanni Schiaparelli and mapped by Percival Lowell
46) The polar caps on Mars are composed of
A) pure solid carbon dioxide.

B) pure water ice.
C) mostly solid carbon dioxide and some water ice.
D) mostly water ice and some solid carbon dioxide.
E) There are no polar caps on Mars

C) mostly solid carbon dioxide and some water ice.
47) How have we been able to construct detailed maps of surface features on Venus?

A) by studying Venus from Earth with powerful telescopes
B) by studying Venus with powerful optical telescopes on spacecraft that were sent to orbit Venus
C) by making computer models of geological processes on Venus
D) by using radar from spacecraft that were sent to orbit Venus
E) by landing spacecraft on the surface for close-up study

D) by using radar from spacecraft that were sent to orbit Venus
48) Which two geological processes appear to have been most important in shaping the present surface of Venus?

A) impacts and volcanoes
B) impacts and tectonics
C) tectonics and erosion
D) volcanoes and tectonics
E) volcanoes and erosion

D) volcanoes and tectonics
49) Which of the following show evidence of ancient river beds?

A) the Moon
B) Mercury
C) Venus
D) Mars
E) all of the above

D) Mars
50) Spacecraft have landed on all the terrestrial worlds except

A) Mercury.
B) Venus.
C) Moon.
D) Mars

A) Mercury
51) What process has shaped Earth’s surface more than any other?

A) impact cratering
B) volcanism
C) plate tectonics
D) erosion
E) acid rain

C) plate tectonics
52) Why are there fewer large craters on the seafloor than on the continents?

A) The seafloor crust is younger than the continental crust.
B) The oceans slow large impactors and prevent them from making craters.
C) The oceans erode away craters faster than erosion processes on land.
D) Large impactors primarily strike land masses.
E) Large impactors aim for life-forms such as dinosaurs

A) The seafloor crust is younger than the continental crust.
53) How does seafloor crust differ from continental crust?

A) Seafloor crust is thicker, older, and higher in density.
B) Seafloor crust is thinner, younger, and higher in density.
C) Seafloor crust is thinner, older, and lower in density.
D) Seafloor crust is thicker, older, and lower in density.
E) Seafloor crust is thicker, younger, and lower in density.

B) Seafloor crust is thinner, younger, and higher in density.
54) Why is continental crust lower in density than seafloor crust?

A) Continental crust is made from remelted seafloor crust and therefore only the lower-density material rises to form it.
B) Continental crust is made from volcanic rock called basalt, which is lower in density than what the seafloor crust is made from.
C) Continental crust is made of rock, while seafloor crust has more metals.
D) Seafloor crust is more compact due to the weight of the oceans, but it is made of the same material as the continental crust.
E) Continental crust is actually denser than seafloor crust

A) Continental crust is made from remelted seafloor crust and therefore only the lower-density material rises to form it.
55) Which of the following is not evidence for plate tectonics on Earth?

A) some continental boundaries fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle
B) similar rocks and fossils are found in different continents
C) high ocean ridges between the continents
D) existence of volcanoes
E) earthquakes

D) existence of volcanoes
56) How fast do plates move on Earth?

A) a few centimeters per year
B) a few millimeters per century
C) a few kilometers per century
D) quite fast, but only during earthquakes
E) about 1 mile per hour

A) a few centimeters per year
57) How long, approximately, do geologists estimate it takes for the entire seafloor to be replaced due to plate tectonics?

A) 2 million years
B) 20 million years
C) 200 million years
D) 2 billion years
E) longer than the age of the solar system

C) 200 million years
58) What drives the motion of the tectonic plates on Earth?

A) convection cells in the mantle
B) lava flows in trenches along the sea floor
C) the Coriolis force
D) Earth’s magnetic field
E) tidal forces

A) convection cells in the mantle
59) Ridges in the middle of the ocean are places where

A) one plate slides under another, returning older crust to the mantle.
B) hot mantle material rises upward, creating volcanic islands.
C) hot mantle material rises upward and spreads sideways, pushing the plates apart.
D) plates push together, creating ocean mountain chains.
E) plates slip sideways relative to one another

C) hot mantle material rises upward and spreads sideways, pushing the plates apart.
60) Deep trenches in the ocean mark places where

A) one plate slides under another, returning older crust to the mantle.
B) plates pull apart, leaving great rifts in the crust.
C) hot mantle material rises upward and spreads sideways, pushing the plates apart.
D) plates push together, creating ocean mountain chains.
E) plates slip sideways relative to one another

A) one plate slides under another, returning older crust to the mantle
61) Some of the oldest continental crust on Earth lies in

A) Hawaii.
B) California.
C) the Great Plains.
D) the deep South.
E) Northeastern Canada.

E) Northeastern Canada.
62) Which of the following regions was the result of plumes of hot mantle rising in a hot spot within a plate?

A) Alaska’s Aleutian Islands
B) Japan and the Philippines
C) the islands of Hawaii
D) the volcano Mount St. Helens
E) all of the above

C) the islands of Hawaii
63) The geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park result from

A) thin continental crust separating and creating a rift valley.
B) plumes of hot mantle rising in a hot spot within a plate.
C) plates that have slipped sideways relative to each other, creating a fault.
D) a plate that has run up against an existing continental plate.
E) a fault.

B) plumes of hot mantle rising in a hot spot within a plate.
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