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Rock Types and the Landscape
This is Hounds Tor, Dartmoor

Rock Types and the Landscape

Different rocks create contrasting landforms and landscapes. Some of the most common rocks in Britain are granite, chalk, clay and Carboniferous limestone. For the GCSE, you will have made some case studies of several areas, each with a different geology, to learn about the features associated with these types of rock. You will also have studied how we use these areas, but this quiz is only concerned with helping you to revise about the landforms and how they are linked to the properties of the underlying rocks.

Granite is an igneous rock that underlies a lot of highland Scotland and the south-west peninsula of England (Devon and Cornwall). Dartmoor is a good example of a typical granite landscape. Exposures of granite are the tops of batholiths and this usually produces flat-topped moorland areas.

Which of the following is likely to be found in a limestone landscape.
Dry valleys
Swallow holes
All of the above
Carboniferous limestone is permeable so water will often end up underground by going down swallow holes, leaving dry valleys. Gorges form when the roof of an underground watercourse or cave collapses
Why do chalk downs have a low drainage density?
Chalk is porous and permeable
Chalk is neither porous nor permeable
Farmers have created underground channels to prevent water contamination
Chalk is only found in deserts
Any rain falling on to a chalk landscape will be absorbed into the ground
A geographer on a field trip noticed that the fields of barley around the study centre were waterlogged even though it hadn't rained for over a week. What might she guess about the underlying rocks?
It is probably chalk
It is probably limestone
It is probably granite
It is probably clay
There are two clues in the question. Firstly, waterlogging that lasts more than a few days suggests that the rock underneath is impermeable so that makes limestone and chalk less likely. Secondly, the fact that she was looking at fields of barley means it is not likely to be granite as that is not suitable for arable farming (nor are limestone and chalk so that also backs up her guess). That leaves clay
Which of the following statements about a chalk landscape is untrue?
It is most often located in the upland areas of Britain
Chalk forms white cliffs on the south coast
Chalk soils are thin and poor
Acid rain can dissolve chalk
Layers of chalk that are underground form good aquifers (areas underground that allow the storage of water because the rock is porous)
Which of the following features is most associated with granite landscapes in the south-west peninsula of England?
Stalactites and stalagmites
White cliffs
Underground streams
On the granite moorland of Dartmoor, there are at least 150 tors. These are rock outcrops formed by a combination of freeze-thaw weathering and hydrolysis that have not become covered in vegetation
Clay is:
a hard and porous rock
a hard and impermeable rock
a soft and porous rock
a soft and impermeable rock
Layers of clay in porous or permeable rocks can trap liquids like oil and water underground
Granite forms which of the following types of landscape?
A dust bowl
It is an impermeable rock that weathers only slowly, forming poor soils. As it is resistant to weathering, it usually forms areas of high land or even mountains
Why does a granite landscape have a high drainage density?
Granite is criss-crossed with underground aquifers
Granite is highly porous
Granite is an impermeable rock
The soil is very thin
Granite forms upland areas where rainfall tends to be high. Since granite is impermeable, the rain forms many streams and rivers
Which of the following is the least likely to be found in a granite landscape?
Underground caverns
High drainage density
Peat bog
Areas of standing water
Granite is impermeable
Limestone pavement is created by which of the following processes?
Hydraulic action
Carbon dioxide (and pollutants like sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from burning fossil fuels) make rainwater slightly acidic. This reacts chemically with the limestone, dissolving it away along lines of weaknesses like joints and bedding planes
Author:  Kev Woodward

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