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What Is a Geologist?



What Is a Geologist?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.43

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    geologist, geologic, origin, continental, magma, mantle, geologists, knowing, mass, outer, core, timeline, beginning, environment, liquid, fuel
     content words:    Himalaya Mountains


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     Spanish: ¿Qué es un geólogo?


What Is a Geologist?
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     A geologist is a person who studies the earth. Geologists study the structure of the Earth, or how it is made, the origin, or the beginning of the Earth, and its history. Geologists study rocks, soil, fossils, mountains, and earthquakes.
 
2     Geologists study the structure of the Earth, and they have found that it is made up of four main parts. The earth has a solid inner core, a liquid outer core, a mantle, and a crust. The crust is the outer layer of the Earth, just as bread crust is on the outside of the bread slice. The crust has continents and ocean basins. It is made up of many plates, or pieces, that move around. At one time, all the continents were joined together in one giant land mass. Scientists called this Pangea. There is scientific evidence that the continents have joined together and moved away from each other many times during Earth's history. The movement of these plates, although it happens very slowly, is what causes earthquakes. Some geologists study earthquakes to help people by predicting when an earthquake might happen and how to prepare for it. Sometimes the plates push apart, and sometimes they push together. When plates push together, mountains are formed. The Himalaya Mountains, the tallest mountains on Earth, were formed when two continental plates pushed together and pushed up these great mountains!
 
3     Also, by studying the structure of the Earth, geologists have helped us understand why there are volcanoes. Inside the Earth's mantle, rock is under great pressure and heat, and it melts and becomes magma. Magma sometimes is released from inside the Earth, and when this happens, a volcano erupts. After the magma reaches the surface of the Earth, we call it lava.

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