Ch 27: CSET: Geodynamics

About This Chapter

Let instructors teaching this chapter help you understand our changing Earth. With video lessons and self-assessment quizzes, you can prepare for the CSET Science test by learning about the geological processes that have shaped our planet and are continuing today.

CSET Science: Geodynamics - Chapter Summary

The lessons in this chapter will help you prepare for the geodynamics questions on the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (CSET). You'll gain a solid understanding of how plate tectonics is responsible for many of Earth's surface features. Other lessons will explore the reshaping of the planet by factors such as weathering and depositing of sediment. The effect of heating and the water cycle will be discussed, and you'll study rocks and how they were formed. This chapter's lesson topics include:

  • Internal and external forces that shape Earth's surface
  • Plate tectonics: a unified theory for change of the Earth's surface
  • Summary of earthquake processes in terms of epicenter, focal mechanism, distance and materials and the role of various factors in the amount of damage incurred
  • Igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks
  • Methods of geological dating: numerical and relative
  • Theories of geological evolution: catastrophism vs. uniformitarianism
  • Effects of erosion and deposition on landforms
  • How a landform diagram describes the geological progression of a landscape
  • Earthquakes and volcanoes: evidence of Earth's inner layers
  • Transport as a dynamic process
  • Effects of ground and surface water on landscapes
  • Fighting soil erosion with sustainable soil use
  • Natural hazards, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, floods and their effects on habitats and environments
  • The water cycle: precipitation, condensation and evaporation
  • Daily and seasonal changes in the sky
  • Active and passive solar heating
  • Types of air masses and their effect on weather
  • Interpretation of weather maps to predict weather patterns

These topics will be explained by expert instructors who make learning about the Earth's dynamism fun. You'll get sound explanations of many of the past and ongoing changes in our planet in preparation for the CSET Science exam questions on geodynamics.

Objectives of the CSET Science: Geodynamics chapter

California requires certain teacher credentialing candidates to pass CSET examinations. The geodynamics questions on the CSET are included in the General Science: Subtest I. This science subtest contains 58 multiple-choice questions, with 15 of those on the Earth's dynamic processes. You'll also be asked to write a short response to a question on geodynamics. You can get an idea of what the CSET will be like, as well as test your knowledge, through the self-assessment quizzes that accompany each video lesson.

13 Lessons in Chapter 27: CSET: Geodynamics
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Dynamic Earth: Internal & External Forces that Shape Earth's Surface

1. The Dynamic Earth: Internal & External Forces that Shape Earth's Surface

The planet we live on is not static, or still, but dynamic, and always changing. Learn how the surface of the Earth is influenced by internal forces in its inner layers, how seismologists can map the surface based on earthquake activity, and the impact of external forces such as faults, tsunamis, volcanoes, mantle plume, weathering, erosion, and deposition.

Effect of Erosion and Deposition on Landforms

2. Effect of Erosion and Deposition on Landforms

Erosion and deposition affect landforms through the movement of broken-down rock from place to place, and the laying down of broken rock. Explore the process and differences between mechanical and chemical weathering and learn about landforms and how erosion and deposition affect landforms.

Ground and Surface Water: Effects On Landscapes

3. Ground and Surface Water: Effects On Landscapes

The two main types of water on Earth are groundwater, water below the Earth's surface, and surface water, water visible on Earth's surface in the form of rivers or streams. Learn about the effects of groundwater, both from human influence and natural features, as well as the effects of surface water on landscapes.

Formation of the Earth: Theories

4. Formation of the Earth: Theories

The planet Earth has over 4 billion years of existence and its existence derives from interstellar dust and gas. Explore the theories that explain how the planet Earth was formed, including how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.

The Changing Earth: Volcanoes, Weathering & Deposition

5. The Changing Earth: Volcanoes, Weathering & Deposition

The Earth changes its landforms through volcanic activity, weathering, and deposition. Learn more about this idea using the example of Hawaii, and explore the changing earth theory.

Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs

6. Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs

The Geologic Time Scale is a record of the planet's history told through layers in rocks, known as strata. Discover the use of strata in the concept of timeline divisions and learn about eons, eras, periods, and epochs.

What is Relative Dating? - Law of Superposition, Principles of Original Horizontality & Cross-Cutting Relationships

7. What is Relative Dating? - Law of Superposition, Principles of Original Horizontality & Cross-Cutting Relationships

Unlike its cousin numerical dating, relative dating cannot identify the actual age of a rock, but it can determine if a rock is older or younger than another rock. Explore the nuances of relative dating, and discover related concepts, such as the principle of original horizontality, the law of superposition, cross-cutting relationships, inclusions, and uniformities.

Absolute Age: Definition & Dating

8. Absolute Age: Definition & Dating

Imagine braving the desert heat for days or even weeks as you dig for dinosaur bones. You find something extraordinary and want to know as much about it as you can. In this lesson, you'll learn how scientists determine the absolute age of materials.

Principles of Radiometric Dating

9. Principles of Radiometric Dating

Radiometric dating is a process used to determine the age of the Earth's rocks and other geological materials, such as carbon. Learn about the principles of radiometric dating and understand its processes by studying radioactive decay, parent and daughter nuclides, and types of decay.

Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life

10. Radiometric Dating: Methods, Uses & the Significance of Half-Life

Scientists use a process called radiometric dating to help determine the age of rocks and other objects. This lesson explains that process, defines important terms such as half-life, and investigates some of the different methods of radiometric dating.

Factors Affecting Energy Flow in Earth's Systems

11. Factors Affecting Energy Flow in Earth's Systems

Factors that affect Earth's systems can occur naturally or through human induced changes. They can alter the energy flow or balance of the Earth. In this lesson, you will learn how factors like volcanoes and vegetation alter this flow.

Weathering: Definition, Types, Causes & Rates

12. Weathering: Definition, Types, Causes & Rates

Ever wondered how erosion could create something as dramatic as the Grand Canyon? The simple answer is weathering. This lesson describes the three major types of weathering, their causes, and how weathering rates can change.

The Distribution of Water on Earth

13. The Distribution of Water on Earth

Water covers a good amount of the surface of the Earth, and allows for the existence of life on our planet. It moves and changes forms through the water cycle, affecting weather, geographical features, temperatures, and water supplies. Investigate how water is distributed on Earth, in forms such as soil moisture and surface water.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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