Chesapeake Bay’s Geology and Geologic History - Quiz

Chesapeake Bay (Rookie Read-About Geography)
Carved in Stone Bay Buddies / By Kathleen Gaskell - Bay Journal

This month’s quiz will test whether your knowledge of the Chesapeake Bay’s geology and geologic history is rock solid or on shaky ground.

1. The Chesapeake Bay was formed as massive glaciers retreated north across the North American continent near the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, leaving a rise in sea level in their wake. Approximately how many years ago was the most recent ice age?
A. 10,000
B. 15,000
C. 20,000
D. 25,000

2. When the glaciers of the most recent ice age retreated, the rise in sea level drowned stream beds and submerged an area that is now known as the:
A. Potomac Plateau
B. Susquehanna River Valley
C. Chesapeake Chasm
D. Eastern Seaboard Canyon

3. The Chesapeake Bay receives freshwater from nearly 50 major tributaries as well as saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean. On average, how many gallons of water does it hold?
A. 15 trillion
B. 45 trillion
C. 60 trillion
D. 90 trillion

4. The Bay is more sensitive to changes in temperature and the wind than the ocean because of its relatively shallow depth. What is the average depth of the Chesapeake?
A. 15 feet
B. 21 feet
C. 27 feet
D. 36 feet

5. The Chesapeake Bay lies entirely within which geological province?
A. Appalachian Province
B. Atlantic Coastal Plain
C. Piedmont Plateau
D. Ridge & Valley Province

6. What is the name given to the geologic feature which forms the boundary between the Atlantic Coastal Plain, with an elevation of about 300 feet and the Piedmont Plateau, which rises to 1,100 feet?
A. Calvert Cliffs
B. Fall Line
C. Overland Gap
D. Valley & Ridge

7. Match each of the geologic provinces associated with the Chesapeake Bay or its watershed with its description.
A. Appalachian Province
B. Atlantic Coastal Plain
C. Piedmont Plateau
x. A bed of crystalline rock covered with layers of sand, clay and gravel.
y. Slates, schists, marble and granite to the east; sandstones, shales, siltstones and limestones to the west
z. Sandstone, siltstone, shale and limestone. Rich in coal and natural gas deposits.


1. C
2. B
3. A
4. B
5. B
6. B
7. A-z

Kathleen A. Gaskell, the layout & design editor for the Bay Journal, has been involved with several environmental programs for children.

Carved in Stone Bay Buddies
Article from Bay Journal
April 2002

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