GEOL 241 University of Southern California Energy Systems Geology Exam This class is geology (energy systems) and I am doing a timed set of problems that I

GEOL 241 University of Southern California Energy Systems Geology Exam This class is geology (energy systems) and I am doing a timed set of problems that I would like live help with. This would be taken place on Tuesday the 31st from 9:30am to 11 at latest. it is about 60-90 problems mostly multiple choice. I am looking for someone who is strong in this field and would know most basic info about science and energy systems. Not specific about how communication should be but either a video chat or just somewhere where we can message during that time period. GEOL 241 Spring 2020: Review Questions for Exam 2
This exam will be administered via Blackboard, using the Respondus Lockdown Browser. You must
download and install the browser in advance of the exam, from this link:
You will need a Mac or Windows computer with WiFi and a web camera. If you do not have any of these,
please contact me or your TA in advance! We will be trying this setup during the lab quizzes.
The main exam will take place at the normal lecture time, 9:30-10:50am. There will also be a second
exam time for those who cannot make the normal time — please contact me if that is you!
Some other details:
• As for the first exam, this exam will cover material from both lectures and lab. This exam is not
cumulative: it will cover material from Lectures 10-17 and Labs 5-8.
• Focus on studying the topics below — the exam questions will be drawn from the topics below, so
do not feel you have to cover every detail when you are studying.
• The more deeply you understand each topic, the better prepared you will be for the exam!
• As for the 1st exam, you can use 1 page (one-side only) of notes.
• The exam will be similar format to the 1st exam (combination of multiple choice & short answer).
Now, on to the questions:
Peak oil & unconventional fossil fuels
1. Be able to identify the principal unconventional fossil fuel resources. Know the following in particular
and why extracting them is complicated: (i) oil sands, and (ii) shale gas.
2. What is the relationship between the Keystone Pipeline and unconventional fossil fuels?
3. How do the amounts of oil (conventional and unconventional), gas (conventional and
unconventional), and coal compare? How does the distribution (between countries) differ for shale oil
vs conventional oil?
4. Understand what is meant by fracking, what it involves, what its history is, and why it has seen such a
major increase in use over the past ~10 years. What are 2 major benefits and 2 major costs
associated with the increased use of fracking?
5. How does fracking relate to permeability?
6. What is meant by the term “Peak Oil”? What is the Hubbert Curve, how can it be used to predict
peaks in oil production over time? How do recent trends in oil production deviate from the simple
Hubbert Curve, and why do they deviate?
Environmental and other costs of fossil fuels
1. Be able to identify and understand some (at least 4) local/regional environmental effects associated
with fossil fuel extraction and use. Identify at least two that have been successfully addressed by
environmental regulation.
2. Be able to discuss how the international production vs consumption of oil differs from that of coal.
3. Acid rain: What is acid rain? What determines where there is likely to be acid rain? Why was acid rain
a particularly severe problem in the northeastern US in the past, but less so today? Where in the
world are risks of future acid rain most severe today?
4. Smog: What is smog? Know at least 2 health effects of smog. How is smog in LA different from the
smog that polluted London and other major cities in the early Twentieth Century?
5. What atmospheric conditions lead to particularly severe photochemical smog in LA (to address this
question, understand what is meant by an inversion layer, and why it forms).
6. How many days each year (roughly) exceed the maximum standard for ozone concentrations in LA?
Power plants and efficiency
1. In general terms, how does a power plant work? Be able to draw a simple schematic of a power plant
and identify key components.
GEOL 241 Sp 2020 Exam #2 Review Questions, Page 1 of 2
2. What does the concept of ‘efficiency’ mean? What limits the efficiency of electricity production? Be
able to calculate maximum efficiency of energy conversion in a heat engine if you are given input
(hot) and output (cold) temperatures.
Climate change, ocean acidification and carbon capture
1. Be able to describe the physical principles behind the Greenhouse Effect. What is meant by radiation
balance? Be able to draw a “Black Body radiation curve” showing the wavelengths of energy radiated
by the Sun and by the Earth. What is the difference between the radiation received by Earth from the
Sun, compared to the radiation returned to space by Earth? Why does this mean that gases in the
atmosphere increase temperature? What would Earth’s climate be like without greenhouse gases?
2. How does the history of Earth’s past climate past help us to understand climate change?
3. Why is fossil fuel use linked to climate change?
4. What is pH? Why is pH important for marine and other aquatic organisms? What effects does ocean
acidification have on marine organisms?
5. What is ocean acidification, and what chemical reaction causes it (refer to the lab on this topic)?
6. What countries emit the most CO2 today? What countries/regions have been responsible for most
historical emissions?
7. Understand what is meant by “2 degree warming”. What emissions trajectories will be required to
meet a 2 degree warming target? What about a 1.5 degree target?
8. What are some of the risks associated with climate change? Why can these risks be considered to be
9. What is the difference between mitigation and adaptation? Be able to list several different approaches
to each (at least 2-3 of each).
10. Understand the concept of “stabilization wedges” and why this concept is important for mitigation.
11. Describe what carbon capture and storage (CCS) means. In what ways is CCS technology already
used by the oil industry? What are some of the potential problems with using CCS (know at least 2)?
12. Identify/list several (at least 4) schemes that have been suggested for geoengineering. Be able to
classify these between those that deal with solar radiation, and those that deal with reducing the
amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Nuclear energy: Fission and fusion
1. What is the difference between fission and fusion?
2. What are the main components of a fission reactor? How do we regulate the rate of reaction in a
fission reactor?
3. What fuel (specifically, what isotope) is currently used in most fission reactors? Where does this fuel
come from (be able to describe and understand the basics of the where we get nuclear fuel)?
4. Why is a loss of coolant so problematic in a fission reactor? How has loss of coolant contributed to past
nuclear accidents? Why would loss of coolant not be such a problem for a fusion reactor?
5. Draw a graph showing the amount of radioactive element remaining vs. time after production of this element
has ceased (i.e. plot radioactivity vs. time, in half-lives).
6. Be able to make some simple half-life calculations. For example, starting with 100 units of an isotope
with a half-life of 1000 years, how much will remain after 3000 years?
7. Why wait at least 50 years before burying radioactive waste? What geologic factors are most
important in selecting a burial site for radioactive waste? What waste disposal sites are in operation in
the USA today? What other sites have been considered?
8. What is radioactive decay and why is radiation considered something “scary”? How much radiation
reached coastal waters of the US following the Fukushima disaster (in terms of the risk posed)?
9. What are two major advantages and two major disadvantages of nuclear power? (Be able to discuss
these thoughtfully)
10. What challenges must be overcome to make a fusion reactor possible? What are two technologies
being developed to try to make fusion a usable energy source?
11. What makes development of fusion attractive as an energy resource?
12. Why is radioactivity dangerous? Be able to describes its negative effects, and how these depend on
the amount of radioactivity
GEOL 241 Sp 2020 Exam #2 Review Questions, Page 2 of 2

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