The Messinian Salinity Crisis

 Glossary Teacher's Page Background Mediterranean Today Timeline Interesting Info The Miocene Geologic Timescale
 About the Project
Global Climate Model
 MSC Model
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  • Adiabatic- When something occurs without heating up or cooling off.
  • Alps- A mountain Range in Eruope.
    •  Stretches from Slovenia and Austria in the East through Italy, Germany France, Liechtenstein and Switzerland in the West.


  • Angel Falls- At 979m (3,212ft), it is the world's largest free-falling waterfall. It has two drops, the largest one is 807m(2,648ft). It is located in Canaima National Park on the Auyan Tepui River in Venezuela.  It is so high that during hot days the water can evaporate before it reaches the ground.


  • Cascade Mountains- A 400 mile stretch of mountains in California.


  • Cleavage- The way minerals usually break.
  • Climate- A place's average weather based on patterns in Temperature, and Rainfall over many years.
  • Convection-When heat is transferred by movement within the Earth's Atmosphere
  • Convergence- Where things come together.
  • Divergence- Where things move away from a certain point.
  • Diurnal- Daily
  • Evaporite- Solid material that is left when water evaporates.
  • Global Climate Model-
    • Also known as the General Circulation Model.
    • Created at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in Princeton New Jersey by Syukuro Manabe and Kirk Bryan.
  • Grasslands-
    • An open  area of flat land located between temperate forests at high latitudes and desert locations at subtropical latitudes.
    • Grass varies in size from 2.1m(7ft.) tall with roots that extend 1.8m(6ft) down into the ground, to only a few millimeters tall.
    • Grasslands receive 500-900mm of rain per year.
    • Grasslands exist in temperatures that range from -20 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees Celsius.
    • Tropical grasslands have dry and wet seasons that stay warm all the time. Temperate grasslands have cold winters and warm summers with some rain.


  • Hadley Cell-
    • Air is heated more at the equator than at the North and South pole because the Earth at the equator bulges out and is closer to the sun.
    • The warm air rises near the equator and cooler air comes down from the poles.
    • The moving of warm and cool air between the poles and the equator creates the circulation known as the Hadley cell.
  • Heat Capacity- The amount of energy required to raise the temperature of a substance one degree.
  • Latitude- Lines going from North to South on a map.
  • Longitude- Lines going from East to West on a map.
  • Kelp Forests- 
    • Occur in cold water filled with nutrients.
    • Found in open waters along coasts, with the larger ones existing only in water that is less than 20 degrees Celsius. 
    • Depend greatly on photosynthesis and wont grow deeper than 15-40m.
    • Some grow 30-60m per day.
    • They are composed of three parts:
      • The Holdfast- the roots that anchor the plant to the sea floor.
      • The Stipe- a long slender stalk that extends from the holdfast vertically to the surface.
      • The fronds- leaf-like attachments to the stipe that are the source of photosynthesis.
      • Many plants also have pneumatocysts, which are air bladders that are located on the stipe or the base of the fronds to keep the plant standing upright.
      • Some species of plant exist only for one year, while others live for up to seven.
  • Mohs Scale- Measures hardness by testing a mineral's ability to be scratched by a harder mineral.
Hardness Mineral Absolute
1 Talc 1 Fingernail
2   Gypsum    2 Gold/Silver
3 Calcite 9  
4 Fluorite 21 Platinum
5 Apatite 48  
6 Orthoclase 72 Knife Blade
7 Quartz 100 Glass
8 Topaz 200 Steel File
9 Corundum 400  
10 Diamond 1500  
  • M Reflector- An evaporite layer 3 kilometers thick, 100-200 meters below the sea floor of the Mediterranean.
  • Miocene- A period of time that existed from 23 to 5.3 MYA.
  • Pressure- The amount of force per area.
  • Salinity- The amount of salt in a substance.
  • Specific Gravity- The relative density of a material.  It is the density of the material divided by a reference density.
  • Sierra Nevada Mountains-