Regents Earth Science Test Preparation Practice


    Base your answers to questions 1 on the passage and map below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The map shows the location of the Marcellus shale formation in New York State.

    The Marcellus Shale

    The Marcellus shale is a black shale formation that was formed during the Middle Devonian Period. The shale extends from New York State as far south as Alabama. The Marcellus shale is exposed at the surface in the northern Finger Lakes region, and is buried 2.1 kilometers below the surface along the New York-Pennsylvania border.

    Geologists estimate that the Marcellus shale contains hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Most of the Marcellus shale does not allow fluids (gases and liquids) to flow through the rock. In order to obtain the natural gas trapped in the rock, the shale is fractured. This hydraulic fracturing consists of drilling a well, then pumping in large amounts of water containing chemicals and sand under high pressure to create cracks in the gas-bearing rock. Although this process can allow the trapped gas to be removed from the shale, opponents of hydraulic fracturing argue that the chemicals used in the process may lead to groundwater contamination.

    landscapes, development-of-landscape-features, standard-1-math-and-science-inquery, changing-length-of-a-shadow-based-on-the-motion-of-the-sun fig: esci12016-examw_g41.png


    Base your answers to questions 6 on the topographic map in image provided and on your knowledge of Earth science. Dashed lines separate the map into sections I, II, III, and IV. Letters A through E represent locations on Earth’s surface. The points in section I represent elevations in feet.


    Base your answers to questions 7 on the passage and diagram below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The diagram represents a house located in New York State.

    Solar Heating

    Solar collectors in solar heating systems harness the power of the Sun to provide thermal energy for heating hot water and house interiors. There are several types of solar heating systems. The best system will depend on the geographic location and the intensity of the Sun. A solar heating system saves energy, reduces utility costs, and produces clean energy. The efficiency and reliability of solar heating systems have increased dramatically in recent years.

    dynamic-earth, earth-energy-density-and-movement-of-plates, insolation-and-the-seasons, variations-of-insolation, standard-1-math-and-science-inquery, geocentric-model-heliocentric-model, standard-6-interconnectedness, systems-thinking fig: esci12014-examw_g37.png


    Base your answers to questions 8 on the data table below and on your knowledge of Earth science. The table shows the area, in million square kilometers, of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice from June through November. The average area covered by ice from 1979 to 2000 from June to November is compared to the area covered by ice in 2005 for the same time period.

    meteorology, presentation-of-weather-data, standard-1-math-and-science-inquery, eccentricity-rate-gradient-standard-error fig: esci62013-examw_g53.png