Practice Test:Reading Comprehension
From the 197 million square miles, which make up the surface of the globe, 71 per cent is covered by the interconnecting bodies of marine water; the Pacific Ocean alone covers half the Earth and averages near 14,000 feet in depth. The portions which rise above sea level are the continents-Eurasia, Africa; North America, South America, Australia, and Antarctica. The submerged borders of the continental masses are the continental shelves, beyond which lie the deep-sea basins.
The ocean are deepest not in the center but in some elongated furrows, or long narrow troughs, called deeps. These profound troughs have a peripheral arrangement, notably around the borders of the pacific and Indian oceans. The position of the deeps, like the highest mountains, are of recent origin, since otherwise they would have been filled with waste from the lands. This is further strengthened by the observation that the deeps are quite often, where world-shaking earthquakes occur. To cite an example, the “tidal wave” that in April, 1946, caused widespread destruction along Pacific coasts resulted from a strong earthquake on the floor of the Aleutian Deep.
The topography of the ocean floors is none too well known, since in great areas the available soundings are hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. However, the floor of the Atlantic is becoming fairly well known as a result of special surveys since 1920. A broad, well-defined ridge-the Mid-Atlantic ridge-runs north and south between Africa and the two Americas and numerous other major irregularities diversify the Atlantic floor. Closely spaced soundings show that many parts of the oceanic floors are as rugged as mountainous regions of the continents. Use of the recently perfected method of submarine topography. During world war II great strides were made in mapping submarine surfaces, particularly in many parts of the vast Pacific basin.
Most of the continents stand on an average of 2870 feet above sea level. North America averages 2300 feet; Europe averages only 1150 feet; and Asia, the highest of the larger continental subdivisions, averages 3200 feet. Mount Everest, which is the highest point in the globe, is 29,000 feet above the sea; and as the greatest known depth in the sea is over 35,000 feet, the maximum relief (that is, the difference in altitude between the lowest and highest points) exceeds 64,000 feet, or exceeds 12 miles. The continental masses and the deep-sea basins are relief features of the first order; the deeps, ridges, and volcanic cones that diversify the sea floor, as well as the plains, plateaus, and mountains of the continents, are relief features of the second order. The lands are unendingly subject to a complex of activities summarized in the term erosion, which first sculptures them in great detail and then tends to reduce them ultimately to sea level. The modeling of the landscape by weather, running water, and other agents is apparent to the keenly observant eye and causes thinking people to speculate on what must be the final result of the ceaseless wearing down of the lands. Much before there was any recognizable science as geology, Shakespeare wrote “the revolution of the times makes mountains level.”
1.The peripheral furrows or deeps are found
1.only in the pacific and Indian oceans
3.near the shore
4.in the center of the ocean
5.to be 14,000 feet in depth in the pacific.
2.The largest ocean is the
3.We may conclude from this passage that earth quakes
1.Occur more frequently in newly formed land or sea formations
2.Are caused by the weight of the water
4.Occur in the deeps
5.Will ultimately “make mountains level”.
4.The highest mountains are
2.in excess of 12 miles
3.near the deeps
4.relief features of the first order
5.of recent origin.
5.The science of geology was started
1.By the Greeks
2.During world war II
6.The highest point on North America is
1.2870 feet above sea level
2.not mentioned in the passage
3.higher than the highest point in Europe
4.2300 feet above sea level
7.The deeps are subject to change caused by
8.The continental masses
1.Rise above sea level
2.Consist of six continents
3.Are relief features of the second order
4.Are partially submerged
5.Comprise 29 per cent of the earth’s surface.