The Earth's Atmosphere

Practice exam questions written by Timothy H. Heaton,
Professor of Earth Sciences, University of South Dakota

Click the circle by an answer with the mouse, then click on the Submit button to get a response. You will be told if your answer is correct or not and will be given some comments.

  1. What is the most abundant element in the earth's atmosphere?
    Argon.
    Carbon dioxide.
    Neon.
    Nitrogen.
    Oxygen.

  2. What is the correct order of earth's atmospheric layers from bottom to top?
    Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Troposphere, Thermosphere, Exosphere.
    Stratosphere, Troposphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Exosphere.
    Stratosphere, Troposphere, Thermosphere, Mesosphere, Exosphere.
    Troposphere, Mesosphere, Stratosphere, Thermosphere, Exosphere.
    Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Exosphere.

  3. Which layer of the atmosphere has the highest density of gas molecules?
    Exosphere.
    Mesosphere.
    Stratosphere.
    Thermosphere.
    Troposphere.

  4. Which layer of the atmosphere contains the ozone layer?
    Exosphere.
    Mesosphere.
    Stratosphere.
    Thermosphere.
    Troposphere.

  5. In which layer do virtually all weather phenomena take place?
    Exosphere.
    Mesosphere.
    Stratosphere.
    Thermosphere.
    Troposphere.

  6. In which layer do auroras (e.g. northern lights) occur?
    Exosphere.
    Mesosphere.
    Stratosphere.
    Thermosphere.
    Troposphere.

  7. Which two atmospheric layers have temperature profiles that promote convection?
    Mesosphere and Stratosphere.
    Mesosphere and Thermosphere.
    Mesosphere and Troposphere.
    Stratosphere and Thermosphere.
    Stratosphere and Troposphere.

  8. What frequencies of electromagnetic radiation are absorbed by the earth's ozone layer?
    Infrared light.
    Microwaves.
    Radio waves.
    Ultraviolet light.
    Visible light.

  9. What frequencies of electromagnetic radiation are most abundantly emitted by the sun?
    Infrared light.
    Microwaves.
    Radio waves.
    Ultraviolet light.
    Visible light.

  10. What frequencies of electromagnetic radiation are most abundantly emitted by the earth?
    Infrared light.
    Microwaves.
    Radio waves.
    Ultraviolet light.
    Visible light.

  11. What frequencies of electromagnetic radiation are absorbed by gasses in the troposphere?
    Infrared light.
    Microwaves.
    Radio waves.
    Ultraviolet light.
    Visible light.

  12. What instrument is used to measure air pressure?
    Barometer.
    Radiosonde.
    Seismograph.
    Thermometer.
    Volt meter.

Please report any problems or errors to Dr. Heaton.