sample questions

Table of Contents

Malaysian Earth Science Olympiad 2019

Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Language: English

1. This Question Booklet contains 80 multiple choice questions. Answer all questions.

2. Answer using the MCQ Answer Sheet.
  • Fill in and shade your student ID at the top.
  • Shade ‘(R) Rescore’ below your student ID.
  • Write your name in the ‘Name’ field.
  • Use 2B pencils to shade your Student ID and answers.

3. It is forbidden to discuss during the test.
1. _______ is called the “father” of geology.

A. John Butler
B. Art Smith
C. Albert George
D. Alfred Weigner
E. James Hutton
2. Which of the following features is associated with a transform plate boundary?

A. Mid-Oceanic ridge
B. Deep focus earthquakes
C. Sea-trench
D. Volcanic activity
E. Tides
3. San Andreas fault is an example of what type of plate boundary?
A. Divergent
B. Convergent
C. Transform
D. Intraplate
E. Interplate
4. Metamorphic rocks rarely contain fossils due to

A. It is too hot for animals to survive
B. They are often found in mountainous regions
C. Rocks are melted during metamorphism
D. Re-crystallization of the rock usually destroys fossils
E. Animals or plants were not existed during metamorphic rock was formed
5. What is the name for the supercontinent to which all the land mass on earth was joined approximately 335 million years ago?

A. Gondwanaland
B. Gaia
C. Pangea
D. Laurasia
E. Tethys
6. The Law of Superposition explains that

A. The lower stratum is older than the upper stratum
B. The lower stratum is younger than the upper stratum
C. The lower stratum is higher in temperature than the upper stratum
D. If there is a disturbance, the lower stratum is older than the upper stratum
E. The stratum is characterized by the fossils content
7. Choose the CORRECT chronological sequence of events represented in the map.
A. A→B→C→E→F→G→I→J→D→H
B. D→A→I→G→F→J→C→H→E→B
C. F→D→A→I→G→J→C→B→H→E
D. E→H→C→D→A→B→I→G→F→J
E. B→G→C→I→A→E→J→D→F→H
8. Radioactive decay occurs when atoms of an unstable element

A. Become part of a fossil
B. Join with atoms of another element
C. Break down to form atoms of another element
D. Are exposed to chemical weathering
E. Are subjected to very high heat and pressure
9. What property of slate makes it a good material to use for roofing?

A. It splits easily into thin sheets
B. It is dark in colour as heat insulator
C. It can be polished to look attractive
D. It shiny appearance is useful to reflect the heat back to the atmosphere
E. It is hard and waterproof
10. What is the planar surface of fracture along which relative displacement of bodies has taken place called?

A. Fold plane
B. Stress plane
C. Strain plane
D. Bedding plane
E. Fault plane
11. The total amount of energy released by an earthquake at its source is its

A. Intensity
B. Dilatancy
C. Seismicity
D. Magnitude
E. Density
12. Hot spots and aseismic ridges can be used to determine

A. Location of divergent plate boundaries
B. Absolute motion of plate
C. Location of a magnetic anomalies in oceanic crust
D. Relative motion of plates
E. Location of convergent plate boundaries
13. Along what type of boundary does subduction occur?

A. Divergent
B. Transform
C. Convergent
D. Intraplate
E. Interplate
14. Himalayas are a good example of what type of plate boundary.
A. Continental-continental
B. Oceanic-oceanic
C. Oceanic-continental
D. Convergent
E. Divergent
15. What are the most common biotic province boundaries?

I. Geographic barrier
II. Biologic barrier
III. Climatic barrier
IV. Physiographic barrier

A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV
16. Magnetic surveys of the ocean basins indicate that

A. The oceanic crust is the oldest adjacent to mid-ocean ridges
B. The oceanic crust is the youngest adjacent to continents
C. The oceanic crust is the oldest adjacent to continents
D. The oceanic crust is the same age everywhere
E. The oceanic crust is the youngest adjacent to mid-ocean ridges
17. Convergent plate boundaries are areas where

A. New continental lithosphere is forming
B. Two plates slide past each other
C. New oceanic lithosphere is forming
D. New oceanic-continental lithosphere is forming
E. Two plates come together
18. The majority of all earthquakes take place in the

A. Spreading-ridges zone
B. Mediterranean-asiatic belt
C. Rifts in continental interior
D. Circum-pacific belt
E. Volcanic belt
19. What does the geologic time scale represent?

I. The age of the earth and all creatures on it
II. The magma and earthquake occurrences record
III. The theorized development of life on earth dating back 4.6 billion years ago
IV. The geologic history of universe

A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV
20. A tsunami is a

A. Part of a fault with a seismic gap
B. Precursor to an earthquake
C. Seismic sea wave
D. Particularly large and destructive earthquake
E. Formation of new oceanic lithosphere
21. Most of Earth’s internal heat is generated by

A. Moving plates
B. Volcanism
C. Earthquakes
D. Radioactive decay
E. The sun
22. Iron bearing minerals in magma gain their magnetism and align themselves with the magnetic field when they cool through the

A. Curie point
B. Magnetic anomaly point
C. Thermal convection point
D. Hot spot point
E. Isostatic point
23. Isostatic models explain the presence of thick underlying root crust under most mountain chains. Which of the following influence these roots crust?

I. The average rock density in the mountain chain
II. The height and thickness of the mountain chain
III. The tectonic setting of the mountain chain
IV. The temperature of the rock in the mountain chain

A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV

24. The seismic discontinuity at the base of the crust is known as the


A. Transition zone
B. Magnetic reflection point
C. Low-velocity zone
D. Mohorovicic
E. Spreading-ridges zone

25. The southern part of Pangea, consisting of South America, Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctica, is called

A. Laurasia
B. Gondwana
C. Panthalassa
D. Laurentia
E. Baltica

26. An epicentre is

A. The location where rupture begins
B. The points on the Earth’s surface vertically above the focus
C. The same as the hypocentre
D. The location where the energy is released
E. The location of the seismograph is placed
27. Which of the following characteristics must have in the igneous rock that is fine-grained or glassy?

I. Crystallised slowly
II. Cooled rapidly after erupting from a volcano
III. Formed deep underground
IV. Extrusive features

A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV
28. The geothermal gradient is Earth’s

A. Capacity to reflect and refract seismic waves
B. Most destructive aspect of earthquake
C. Temperature increase with depth
D. Average rate of seismic wave velocity in the mantle
E. Absolute motion of plate
29. Which of the following sedimentary rock(s) is/are chemical sedimentary rock?

I. Anhydrite
II. Sandstone
III. Limestone
IV. Gypsum

A. I, II & III
B. I, II & IV
C. I, III & IV
E. I, II, III & IV
30. A P-wave is one in which

A. Material moves perpendicular to the direction of wave travel
B. Earth’s surface moves as a series of waves
C. Material is expended and compressed as the wave moves through it
D. Large waves crash into a shoreline following a submarine earthquake
E. Particularly large and destructive earthquake
31. Which of the following factors do NOT affect metamorphism?

I. Seismicity
II. Heat
III. Pressure
IV. Radiation

A. I & II
B. I & III
E. I & IV

32. Stratification cannot be seen in which of the following rock(s)?

I. Intrusive rocks
II. Quartzite
III. Shale
IV. Limestone

A. I & II
B. I & III
E. I & IV

33. Which of the following involved the process of sedimentation?

I. Loading
II. Re-crystallisation
III. Cementation
IV. Compaction

A. I, II & III
B. I, II & IV
C. I, III & IV
E. I, II, III & IV
34. Which of the following areas are NOT considered as the crust?

I. Continental area
II. Oceanic area
III. Glacial area
IV. Arid area

A. I & II
B. I & III
E. I & IV
35. What is the second most abundant gas in the atmosphere?

A. Oxygen
B. Nitrogen
C. Carbon dioxide
D. Argon
E. Hydrogen
36. Why is the stratosphere dangerous for the living?

A. Because there is no oxygen in the layer.
B. Because the layer is very cold below freezing point.
C. Because the layer experience high number of meteor collisions.
D. Because the layer is too low in temperature.
E. Because of the abundant amount of ozone within the layer.
37. During warm front transition, which of the following statement is FALSE?

A. The duration of the rain is longer
B. Experience intense downpour
C. A broader range of rainfall
D. Might experience light snowfall
E. The air condenses into a broad area of clouds
38. You measure the temperature of your surrounding and notice that the temperature increases with altitude. What do you call this phenomenon?

A. Heat layer
B. Evaporation mass
C. Advection zone
D. Inversion layer
E. Atmosphere mass
39. What will happen when the land is warmer than the sea?

A. The wind will blow from the land to the sea
B. Formation of cloud will be blown from land to sea
C. The air parcel will rise and expand
D. The duration of the rain is longer at the sea
E. All of the above
40. When does the air parcel starts to condense?

A. When they reach high saturation point
B. When all heat is release
C. When reaching curie temperature
D. When the density is optimum
E. All of the above
41. What is the difference between radiation and advection fog?

A. Radiation fog can only form on land, where advection fog can form on land and sea
B. Advection fog needs a surface that is already cool
C. Advection fog can last longer than radiation fog
D. The wind causes the moist air to move for advection fog to form while radiation fog forms under calm winds
E. All of the above
42. Which of the following can be induced by the heavy rain?

I. Tsunami
II. Flooding
III. Landslide
IV. Normal fault

A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV
43. Thundercloud can also be named as

A. Cirrus
B. Strata
C. Cumulonimbus
D. Cyclone
E. Tornado
44. The statement below refers to

“A group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure”

A. Star clusters
B. Milky way
C. Galaxy clusters
D. Celestial sphere
E. Constellations
45. What is the brightest star on the night sky?

A. Rigel
B. Sirius
C. The Sun
D. Venus
E. Proxima centauri
46. The diagram below shows a coordinate system. Which of the following is TRUE?

A. X : Altitude angle
B. Y : Equatorial line
C. X : Zenith angle
D. Y : Horizon
E. None of the above
47. The figure below show the positions of star A and B relative to the background stars before and after 6 months. Which of the following is TRUE regarding star A and B?

January 2017

July 2017

A. Both stars are the same type stars
B. Star A is hotter than star B
C. Star A is further away from us than star B
D. Star B is further away from us than star A
E. Star A moving faster than star B
48. One _________ can be defined as a distance to an object whose parallax angle is one arcsecond.

A. Kilometer (km)
B. Astronomical Unit (AU)
C. Lightyear (Ly)
D. Parsec (pc)
E. Mega-parsec (mpc)
49. What is the similarity between both instruments in the images below?

Radio Telescope

Newtonian Telescope

A. Both operate within the optical region
B. Both focus EM wave through reflection
C. Both focus EM wave through refraction
D. The main purpose is to emit EM radiation
E. Both can detect all EM spectrum
50. A group of students have been asked to observe Jupiter using a telescope. There are four eyepieces available which are 5mm, 10mm, 24mm and 40mm. Which eyepiece should they use to observe the planet at highest magnification?

A. 5mm Eyepiece
B. 10mm Eyepiece
C. 24mm Eyepiece
D. 40mm Eyepiece
E. None of the above
51. In a distant solar system, an exoplanet named Edolas orbit a sun-like star. It has been discovered that Edolas took 3.5 Earth years to orbit the star. If the Edolas is tidally locked to its star, how long is 1 Edolasian day in term of Earth days?

A. 730 Earth days
B. 930 Earth days
C. 1095 Earth days
D. 1277 Earth days
E. 1460 Earth days
52. What phase is the moon during a solar eclipse?

A. Waning crescent
B. First quarter
C. Full moon
D. New moon
E. Waxing crescent
53. Based on the table below, which of the following statements are TRUE?

I. Star W is brighter than star Y on the night sky
II. Star Y is the brightest among them on the night sky
III. Ascending order in term of apparent magnitude: Y, W, X, Z
IV. Star X is further away than star W from the Earth
A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV
54. Which of the following is zodiacal constellation?

A. Vigro
B. Cygnus
C. Lyra
D. Leobra
E. Aries

55. Which of the following pair of planets and their natural satellites are CORRECT?

56. The figure below shows the similarities shared by the four planets which represented by X. What are X?

I. All of them are outer planets
II. All of them are gas giant
III. All of them have ring
IV. All of them have more than 10 natural satellites

A. I, II & III
B. I, II & IV
C. I, III & IV
E. I, II, III & IV
57. The image below shows a telescope setup. Which pairing are CORRECT?

I. P : Eyepiece
II. Q : Finder scope
III. R : Telescope Tripod
IV. S : Equatorial Mount

A. I & II
B. I & III
E. I & IV
58. What are the two most abundant elements in the sun-like star?

A. Hydrogen & Carbon
B. Carbon & Oxygen
C. Nitrogen & Helium
D. Nitrogen & Oxygen
E. Helium & Hydrogen
60. By comparing to the sun, white dwarf is

I. Cooler than the sun
II. Smaller than the sun
III. Hotter than the sun
IV. Bigger than the sun

A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV
E. I & IV
61. Our Milky Way Galaxy is a spiral galaxy. Which of the following is NOT the types of galaxies?

A. Psyculiar galaxies
B. Irregular galaxies
C. Peculiar galaxies
D. Elliptical galaxies
E. Lenticular galaxies
62. Ocean water strongly absorbs light. But light of different wavelengths has different penetration power. Some are fully absorbed at the depth of 40 meters from the surface of the ocean, while some can penetrate up to the depth of 90 meters. Which colour penetrates the deepest in an open ocean?

A. Red
B. Yellow
C. Green
D. Blue
E. Violet
63. Which of the following does NOT primarily influence the salinity and temperature at the surface of the ocean?

A. Evaporation
B. Rain
C. River inflow
D. Sedimentation
E. Heat fluxes
64. Choose the CORRECT statement about sea water.

A. Increasing the temperature of sea water results in higher viscosity
B. Increasing the salinity of sea water results in higher surface tension
C. In an average sea water, the chloride and the sodium ions have the same concentration
D. Sea water freezes at zero degree Celcius
E. Deeper sea water has higher salinity globally

65. Which of the following comparison between fresh water and sea water is most accurate?

 Fresh waterSea water
ALow densityHigh density
BFreezes quicklyFreezes slowly
CpH: neutralpH: slightly alkaline
DBoils earlyBoils later
EHigh refractive indexLow refractive index
66. Deep water fish and squid use bioluminescence for the following purposes EXCEPT

A. Secreting
B. Hunting
C. Mating
D. Camouflage
E. Communication
67. The diagram below shows the formation of

A. Conventional rain
B. Convectional rain
C. Cyclonic rain
D. Tropical rain
E. Orographic rain
68. Coastal defence is the various engineering techniques aimed at protecting coasts from the dangers flooding and erosion. Which of the following techniques can prevent against flooding of the low-laying coastal areas during severe storms?

A. Dam
B. Geosynthetics
C. Beach nourishment
D. Rock groyne
E. Dune stabilization
69. What is the normal concentration of mercury in the muscle tissue of most pelagic fish?

A. Around 0.015 parts per million
B. Around 0.15 parts per million
C. Around 1.50 parts per million
D. Around 15.0 parts per million
E. Around 150 parts per million
70. Eyelight fish (shown below) have light emitting organ called photophores under each eye. The light is produced by colonies of bioluminescent bacteria living in the photophores. These bacteria are rod-shaped and uses flagellum to move through water. Name these bacteria.

A. Halobacterium salinarium
B. Oscillatoria willei
C. Vibrio fischeri
D. Calothrix crustacea
E. Streptococcus avium
71. Which of the following definitions of seafloor features are CORRECT?

A. Ridges are relatively narrow, deep furrows with steep slopes, cutting across the continental shelf and slope, with bottoms sloping continuously downward
B. Canyons are the declivities seaward from the shelf edge into greater depth
C. Plains are very mountanious surfaces found in many deep ocean basins
D. Continental slopes are long, narrow elevations of the sea floor with steep sides and rough topography
E. Basins are deep depressions of the sea floor of more or less circular or oval form
72. What are the variables affecting the speed of sound in the ocean?

I. Temperature
II. Salinity
III. Acidity
IV. Pressure

A. I, II & III
B. I, II & IV
C. I, III & IV
E. I, II, III & IV
73. The ocean absorbs heat from the sun. Some of the heat is radiated by the ocean surface back to the space in the form of infrared radiation, called the infrared flux. However, not all of these infrared radiations make it to the outer space. Some are trapped in the atmosphere, reducing the net infrared flux. What are factors on which the net infrared flux depends?

I. Cloud thickness
II. Cloud height
III. Ocean current speed
IV. Atmospheric humidity

A. I, II & III
B. I, II & IV
C. I, III & IV
E. I, II, III & IV
74. Where do the ions that make up the salt in the ocean come from?

A. Dissolved rocks on land
B. Hydrothermal vents
C. Volcanic ash
D. Dust blown off the land
E. All of the above
75. Continental crust is always less dense than oceanic crust. Which of the following can be closely explained by that fact?

I. The highest marine biodiversity of the Sipadan island in Sabah
II. The formation of the Mariana Trench in the Philippines
III. The formation of the Andes mountain range in South America
IV. The oldest oceanic rocks are younger than the oldest continental rocks

A. I, II & III
B. I, II & IV
C. I, III & IV
E. I, II, III & IV
76. Nutrient pollution is a form of water pollution that refers to contamination by excessive inputs of nutrients. It is caused, for example, by surface runoff from farm fields. Which of the following are the known consequences of nutrient pollution?

A. Blue baby syndrome
B. Food web changes
C. Biodiversity loss
D. Eutrophication
E. All of the above
77. Brackish water is water that contains more salt than freshwater but less salty than sea water. As a comparison, salinity level of fresh water is less than 0.05%, while brackish water 0.05–3% and average sea water 3.5%. Which of the following are known to contain large bodies of brackish water?

I. Mediterranean Sea
II. Caribbean Sea
III. Baltic Sea
IV. Black Sea

A. I & II
B. I & III
D. II & IV
78. These statements are most relevant to
  • Algal blooms
  • Redistribution by upwelling
  • Excretion of aquatic and marine animals
  • Performed by bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes

A. Carbon cycle
B. Oxygen cycle
C. Magnesium cycle
D. Hydrogen cycle
E. Nitrogen cycle

79. The diagram shows the Ekman spiral, where the topmost arrow indicates the direction of the wind just above the surface of the ocean, and the other arrows show how the directions of the ocean current changes with depth. What cause this spiral?

A. The existence of Ekman transport perpendicular to the wind direction
B. The increasing density of sea water with depth
C. The existence of water vortex at the seafloor
D. The frictional drag between subsequent water layers
E. The revolving of the Earth on its orbit

80. Which of the following marine features or ecosystems can be found in Malaysia?

I. Mangrove estuaries
II. Ocean trenches
III. Deep-sea reefs
IV. Coral reefs

A. I & II
B. I & IV
D. II & IV

Malaysian Earth Science Olympiad 2019

Duration: 2 hours
Language: English

1. This Question Booklet contains two parts; Part A and Part B. There are 7 structured questions in Part A and 2 essay questions in Part B. Answer all questions.

2. Use this booklet to answer both parts.
  • Write your name and student ID at the top of this booklet’s front page .

3. It is forbidden to discuss during the test.
PART A : Instruction: This part contains 7 questions. Answer all questions.

1. Name the labelled major lithospheric plates of the Earth as shown below. [10 marks]
[click on the image to zoom]
2. Figure 2.1 shows a cross section of an area that composed of different types of rocks, labelled with A, B, C, D. Figure 2.2 shows the polished image of Rock A, C and D from Figure 2.1.

[click on the image to zoom]

a. Complete the table below to describe the rock type and characteristics, respective to the rocks as shown in Figure 2.1 and 2.2. [6 marks]

Rock Type Rock Sample (A,B,C,D) Rock Texture
  Crystalline with foliated grain

b. Rock A was examine for further description on its characteristics.

i. By using the scale given in Figure 2.2, state either Rock A consists of coarse, medium or fine-grained size. [1 mark]
ii. Is the grain size of Rock A and B is different? Give reason for your answer. [2 marks]
iii. Give the name of Rock A. [1 mark]
iv. What is structure of Rock B? [1 mark]

c. Rock C react with fizzing reaction when a drop of hydrochloric acid is placed on it, but no reaction on Rock D.

i. State the name of Rock C and D. What is their main composition? [2 marks]
ii. Describe the process that lead to the difference between Rock C and Rock D. [1 mark]

d. What is zone Z? [1 mark]
3. Figure 3.1 shows a star map. 

[click on the image to zoom]
a. List THREE constellations from the star map in Figure 3.1. [3 marks]

b. Figure 3.2 shows the constellation of Scorpio.

[click on the image to zoom]
4. The Hertzsprung–Russell diagram (H–R diagram), is a scatter plot of stars showing the relationship between the absolute magnitudes or luminosities of the stars versus their stellar classifications or effective temperatures. As a result, we can see how stars fall into several classes of giants, super giant, white dwarfs and main-sequence stars as shown in Figure 4.1.
[click on the image to zoom]

a. Name the following star classes. [4 marks]
Zone Star Classes

b. What is the dominant class of stars in the H-R diagram? [2 marks]
c. Circle the zone which the sun is located on the H-R diagram (Figure 4.1) above. [2 marks]
d. Based on your answer in 4(c), what is the star class for the sun? [2 marks]
5. Name the atmosphere layers below. [5 marks]

[click on the image to zoom]

6. The diagram below shows the satellite image the surface salinity of the oceans.

[click on the image to zoom]

a. Sketch a graph of the surface salinity of the Atlantic Ocean against latitude. [2 marks]
b. Explain the physical reasons behind the shape of your graph in 6(a). [2 marks]
c. Describe and explain the surface salinity of the seas near the Arctic region. [3 marks]
d. Which sea has the higher surface salinity? The Arabian Sea or the Bay of Bengal? Explain your answer. [3 marks]
7. The hydrologic cycle consists of 5 main reservoirs. The table below shows the percentage of their volume.
0.001% 0.01% 0.6% 1.8% 98%

a. Match the reservoirs with their respective percentage. [3 marks]
Reservoirs Percentage of volume (%)
Ice caps
Lakes and rivers

b. What will be the impact of global warming on the percentage of the reservoirs in general? Increased, decreased, unchanged, uncertain or unknown? State your arguments. [3 marks]
Reservoirs Impact on percentage of the reservoirs Arguments
Ice caps
[click on the image to zoom]

c. State the characteristic difference between the aquifers found in the in the area associated with the picture above and the other types of aquifers. [1 mark]

d. The most important chemical process for the geomorphological formation related to the picture above involve several major reactions. Write down the chemical equation of the reaction [3 marks]

i. In the rain
ii. During the percolation through the rocks:
ii. When in the open cave environment:
PART B : Instruction: This part contains 2 questions. Answer all questions.

1. 335 million years ago, Pangea is one supercontinent and it starts to break around 175 million years ago. The theory behind this continent break is called continental drift. Name all the evidence that support this theory to this day. [10 marks]

2. Thundercloud are one of the largest and least favoured clouds. Explain the formation of thundercloud and include any picture if necessary. [20 marks]

– End of Part B-
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