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Exploring Earth’s Surface
Chapter 5 Study Guide
The Earth’s surface has many kinds of landforms. Each forms
Weathering and Erosion change the surface of the Earth
Weathering happens when wind and water break down rock into
smaller pieces.
Erosion happens when wind or moving water moves sand and
small rocks or pebbles.
Earthquakes and Volcanoes change the surface of the Earth
Earthquakes are a shaking of the Earth’s surface. An earthquake
caused the crack in this road and these stairs to fall down.
A volcano is a place where hot melted rock called lava comes
out of the ground. Lava can build up and form a mountain
Lava from volcanoes under the oceans can form islands.
Rocks are part of the Earth’s crust. A boulder is a very large rock.
Other rocks can be as small as a tiny grain of sand.
A mineral is solid matter found in nature. Rocks are made of
minerals. A mineral was never living. Rocks can have many colors
and can be rough or smooth.
Bits of rock mixed with dead plant parts make up soil. Plants need
soil to grow.
 Soil holds a plant’s roots in place.
 A plant’s roots take in water and nutrients from the soil.
There are many different types of soil. Some of the things in soil
are silt, clay, sand and humus.
Humus is made of dead plant parts and other things that were once
Dinosaurs lived millions of years ago. There are none living now.
They have all died out or become extinct.
Scientists learn about dinosaurs from their fossils.
A fossil is what is left of an animal or plant that lived long ago.
Fossils can be footprints in rock, shells, teeth or bones that have
turned to rock.
Scientists compare fossils with animals that are living today.
This helps them to learn about the extinct animals.