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Processes Shaping the Earth
Take a guess. What are the processes that could be currently shaping the earth
RIGHT NOW?? Try to complete the acronym above for these processes.
Four Spheres of
the Earth
 One of the ways
describe the earth
is by spheres
 Physical processes
that take place in
the spheres create,
maintain, and/or
modify the features
and environments
of the earth.
S.T.E.W.– Soil Building
 Bits of rock, mixed with decaying
plants and animals. The type and
quality of soil determines what
can grow in a particular place
 Alluvial plain – soil is rebuilt in a
regular cycle by flood waters
leaving behind sediment
S.T.E.W.– Tectonic Forces
The push/pull of the major plates of the earth.
What is common where these two plates meet?
Three types of tectonic plate boundaries
 Divergent – plates
move apart from
one another
 Convergent –
plates move
 Transform – plates
slide across each
Useful Prefixes!
Di – two; apart
Con – with; together
Trans - Across
Divergent Boundaries
 Spreading ridges:
 1) Plates move apart
 2) New material is erupted
to fill the gap
 Contributes to creation of
volcanoes and islands
Convergent or Subduction Boundaries
Plates collide into each other creating high mountains
Transform Boundaries
 Where plates slide past each other
•Above: View of the San
Andreas transform fault
•Major source of earthquakes
Tibetan video?
Epicenter – origin of an
S.T.E.W. – Erosion
Material is moved by the action of WIND, WATER, or ICE
WATER: Motion of water picks up soil – river
Abrasive action of waves – grind down rock, carries soil away.
WIND: wind carries soil, stronger wind heavier particles can be
ICE/GLACIER: As ice moves it carved and grinds the rocks, also
transporting soil. (Fjords & Valleys)
Bill nye
S.T.E.W. - Erosion/Weathering
Erosion - the process by which broken down rock is
Main Physical Processes – Erosion
and Weathering
 Weathering – the gradual
wearing down of rocks by
wind, water, or ice. Can be
mechanical or chemical
Chemical v Mechanical Weathering
 Chemical changes composition by chemical decay
 Mechanical/Physical changes by physical force
Chemical Weathering
Acid Rain and Statues
Watch Carefully.
If rain can do this to a statue over a relatively short period of time,
then how else might acid rain affect the earth?
Main Physical Processes – WEATHER
or Climate
Meteorological conditions such as
temperature, precipitation, wind,
etc. (often combine with soil
building and erosion)
What does S.T.E.W. stand for?
Soil Building
Tectonic Forces
Erosion ( and Weathering)
Weather (or Climate)