Ch 3: 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.

21 Lessons in Chapter 3: 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

There are many geologic processes that shape the surface of the Earth. Not only do they build and destroy a variety of landscapes, but they also give us clues to the interior of the Earth and the forces that exist there.

Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

2. Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

After many years of trying to solve the mystery of the moving continents, enough data and evidence was collected to develop a unifying theory of how the surface of the earth changes. It's called plate tectonics.

Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

3. Causes of Tectonic Plate Movement

In this lesson, we explore the causes of plate movement, including thermal convection, ridge push and slab pull. Students will learn how these processes complement each other and form a theory for tectonic plate movement.

Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

4. Ocean Drilling as Evidence for Plate Tectonics

The Deep Sea Drilling Project extracted samples of the ocean floor that provided evidence to support the hypothesis of seafloor spreading and the theory of plate tectonics. Learn how these samples provided proof.

Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

5. Plate Boundaries: Convergent, Divergent, and Transform Boundaries

In the theory of plate tectonics, the earth's crust is broken into plates that move around relative to each other. As a result of this movement, three types of plate boundaries are formed: divergent, convergent, and transform boundaries.

How Plate Movement Affects Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Volcanic Eruptions

6. How Plate Movement Affects Earthquakes, Tsunamis & Volcanic Eruptions

Earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis are all dangerous natural disasters, but they also have something else in common - tectonic plate movement. In this lesson, you'll see how these seemingly different events actually come from similar geological beginnings.

What is an Earthquake? - Definition and Components

7. What is an Earthquake? - Definition and Components

Earthquakes are well known for the damage and destruction they leave behind. But what is an earthquake? In this video lesson you will learn about what causes earthquakes and the various components involved in these powerful natural disasters.

Rock Cycle: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Rocks

8. Rock Cycle: Igneous, Sedimentary, and Metamorphic Rocks

In this lesson, we will discuss the three main types of rocks and how they are formed. The lesson also gives an introduction into how matter locked in rocks can be cycled through the earth.

Methods of Geological Dating: Numerical and Relative Dating

9. Methods of Geological Dating: Numerical and Relative Dating

Learn how scientists determine the ages of rocks and fossils. We'll explore both relative and numerical dating on our quest to understand the process of geological dating. Along the way, we'll learn how stratigraphic succession and radioactive decay contribute to the work of paleontologists.

Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time

10. Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time

You may already know how to date a fossil with a rock. But did you know that we can also date a rock with a fossil? Watch this video to find out how we use index fossils to establish the relative ages of rocks.

Half-life: Calculating Radioactive Decay and Interpreting Decay Graphs

11. Half-life: Calculating Radioactive Decay and Interpreting Decay Graphs

What causes a radioactive particle to decay? We'll never really know, but our best guess lies in probability. In this lesson, we are going to focus on the half-life, a way of measuring the probability that a particle will react.

Theories of Geological Evolution: Catastrophism vs Uniformitarianism

12. Theories of Geological Evolution: Catastrophism vs Uniformitarianism

Geologists haven't always agreed about the history of our planet. They have debated between catastrophism and uniformitarianism over the last few hundred years! Learn about the two main theories of geologic evolution and how scientists came to resolve the dispute.

Effect of Erosion and Deposition on Landforms

13. Effect of Erosion and Deposition on Landforms

Landforms are constantly being broken down and reformed by the processes of weathering, erosion, and deposition. In this lesson, we explore chemical and physical weathering and how the face of the earth gets changed.

How a Landform Diagram Describes the Geological Progression of a Landscape

14. How a Landform Diagram Describes the Geological Progression of a Landscape

This lesson describes what a landform diagram is. We'll also discuss some basic laws of geology that can help scientists deduce both the order of events that create a landform and the geologic events that occur after a landform's formation.

Earthquakes and Volcanoes: Evidence of Earth's Inner Layers

15. Earthquakes and Volcanoes: Evidence of Earth's Inner Layers

The interior layers of the earth are not able to be observed directly, so scientists need to rely on other information to learn about it. S waves, P waves, and magma from volcanoes and earthquakes give a glimpse at the layers of the earth by providing data that can be built into a model of the earth.

Contributing Factors of Longshore Transport: Beach Drift & Longshore Current

16. Contributing Factors of Longshore Transport: Beach Drift & Longshore Current

The longshore transport is the process responsible for the movement of sand and sediment along the coastline. Sand and other particles are transported with the help of the longshore current and beach drift. Learn how these factors shape shorelines.

The Effects of Coastal Erosion on Shoreline Features

17. The Effects of Coastal Erosion on Shoreline Features

Shorelines constantly change due to the pounding of waves that erode coastal structures. Learn about shoreline features that are formed through coastal erosion, such as wave-cut cliffs, wave-cut platforms, sea arches and sea stacks.

Ground and Surface Water: Effects On Landscapes

18. Ground and Surface Water: Effects On Landscapes

In this lesson, you will learn how groundwater and surface water form features on Earth and cause changes in landscapes. You will also learn about the different types of features formed by each type of water.

The Water Cycle: Precipitation, Condensation, and Evaporation

19. The Water Cycle: Precipitation, Condensation, and Evaporation

This lesson discusses the processes water takes as it moves around the Earth in the water cycle. You'll get an in-depth look at condensation, precipitation, and evaporation.

Solar Energy: Understanding Active and Passive Solar Heating

20. Solar Energy: Understanding Active and Passive Solar Heating

Solar energy is the energy we harness from the sun. We can use this energy to heat our homes. Learn about the design elements needed for passive solar heating and the equipment needed for active solar heating.

Types of Air Masses & Their Effect on Weather

21. Types of Air Masses & Their Effect on Weather

Air masses affect weather in a number of different ways. In this lesson, you will learn about the different types of air masses found on Earth and how the movement of air masses creates changes in the weather.

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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