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Chapter 16: Geologic Time

Practice Test
  1.How can geologists determine the absolute age of a rock?  
  a.   by analyzing the fossil content of the rock  
  b.   by analyzing unconformities above and below the rock  
  c.   by applying methods of radiometric dating to the rock  
  d.   by applying the principle of superposition  
  2.Which of the following can cause an unconformity?  
  a.   erosion  
  b.   rock uplifted by an earthquake  
  c.   by applying methods of radiometric dating to the rock  
  d.   all of the above  
  3.Why is the record of geologic history most complete in the Cenozoic era?  
  a.   Cenozoic rocks have the most organisms.  
  b.   Cenozoic rocks are young and have not been subject to as much erosion or other geologic changes as older rocks have.  
  c.   Cenozoic rocks contain the most igneous rocks.  
  d.   Cenozoic rocks have experienced the most plate tectonic activity.  
  4.Which era is known as the age of dinosaurs and for the occurrence of the first mammals?  
  a.   Mesozoic  
  b.   Paleozoic  
  c.   Precambrian  
  d.   Cenozoic  
  5.What is missing in a sequence of rock that contains an unconformity?  
  a.   some sandstone  
  b.   part of the area's geologic history  
  c.   the top layer of rock  
  d.   older volcanic rocks  
  6.Why do hard parts of organisms aid fossil formation?  
  a.   Hard parts are less likely to be broken.  
  b.   Hard parts are less likely to decompose.  
  c.   Hard parts are less likely to be eaten.  
  d.   all of the above  
  7.A geologist finds a sequence of rock layers. She notices that a layer of limestone has a formation of granite that cuts through it. Which rock is older?  
  a.   It is not possible to determine which rock is older.  
  b.   the limestone  
  c.   the granite  
  d.   The granite and the limestone are the same age.  
  8.During which era does the fossil record first contain fish?  
  a.   Cenozoic  
  b.   Precambrian  
  c.   Mesozoic  
  d.   Paleozoic  
  9.Which of the following organisms lived on Earth approximately 2 billion years ago?  
  a.   bacteria  
  b.   fish  
  c.   humans  
  d.   cats  
  10.How are fossils useful?  
  a.   They organize events on Earth into a time line.  
  b.   to determine how many individuals of a type of organism once lived  
  c.   They reveal the soft tissue of an organism.  
  d.   to determine what color an organism was  
  11.What conditions favor the preservation of a fossil?  
  a.   rapid burial  
  b.   exposure to air and water  
  c.   the presence of scavengers  
  d.   the presence of bacteria  
  12.How do fossils form by replacement?  
  a.   An organism falls into a tar pit and solidifies.  
  b.   Sediment fills in a shell and hardens.  
  c.   Water moves through an organism, depositing minerals in its place.  
  d.   An imprint of an organism is left behind in mud.  
  13.Which absolute age marks the beginning of the absolute geologic time scale?  
  a.   4.6 thousand years ago  
  b.   4.6 million years ago  
  c.   4.6 trillion years ago  
  d.   4.6 billion years ago  
  14.What does the principle of superposition state about layers of rock?  
  a.   Oldest layers of rock are found at the top.  
  b.   Oldest layers of rock are found at the bottom.  
  c.   Youngest layers of rock are found at the bottom.  
  d.   Youngest layers of rock are sedimentary.  
  15.What is a fossil?  
  a.   a winged organism  
  b.   a thin layer of sediment  
  c.   the remains or trace of an organism that was once alive  
  d.   an imprint of a shell in plaster of paris  

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