GEO 303C Introduction to the Solar System Homework #2 Due 3/11/22 Remember

GEO 303C Introduction to the Solar System
Homework #2
Due 3/11/22
Remember to answer ALL parts of the questions.
1) How do we know that the Earth has a large metal core? That the core is mostly made of iron? That the outer core is liquid? Describe how scientists reach these conclusions about Earth’s internal structure.
2) You and a friend come across a small round depression (~1 km diameter) outside of Odessa, TX. You believe that you have discovered an impact crater, but your friend, who has not taken this class, believes the depression is from an extinct volcano. Describe several things you could look for to determine if the crater formed from an impact.
3) a. Describe how the process by which magma is generated in the mantle beneath mid-ocean ridges differs from that at subduction zones, and how this affects the style of volcanism and type of lava produced at these two tectonic settings.
b. Based on your answer above, would you expect volcanism Venus to have been dominated by effusive basaltic (low-SiO2) eruptions, or explosive eruptions of andesite or rhyolite (high-SiO2)? Justify your answer.
4) What is the dominant type of lava erupted from most shield volcanoes, and how can you tell?
5) Describe the Coriolis effect? What direction do hurricanes rotate in the northern hemisphere, and why?
6) The Mariner spacecraft and more recently the Messenger spacecraft detected a magnetic field around Mercury similar in shape (but much weaker) to Earth’s dipole magnetic field. What does this tell us about the internal structure and dynamic behavior of Mercury?
7) Describe how the composition of Earth’s atmosphere is different from that of Venus, and what process(es) may be responsible for generating these differences.
8) Describe how the “greenhouse effect” works. What effect on Earth’s climate is likely to result from rising levels of CO2 in the atmosphere?
9) If impact cratering is a ubiquitous process in the solar system, why does Earth have comparatively few impact craters compared to the moon or most other terrestrial planets?
10) Mars does not appear to have plate tectonics. Explain how this may explain why some Martian volcanoes such as Olympus Mons are much larger than similar shield volcanoes on Earth.