New SAT Reading Practice Test 13: California’s Long Valley Caldera

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Question 10 questions

Time 14 minutes

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This passage is adapted from David P. Hill, Roy A. Bailey, James W. Hendley II, Peter H. Stauffer, Mae Marcaida, "California's Restless Giant: The Long Valley Caldera." © 2014 by U.S. Geological Survey.

Long Valley Caldera cumulative earthquakes between 1983 and 2015, USGS. The vertical bars on the graphs above correspond with the left-side y-axis and represent the number of earthquakes per week. The thicker gray line indicates the cumulative number of earthquakes and corresponds with the right-side y-axis.

1. As used in line 10, "depression" most nearly means

  • A. dejection.
  • B. decrease.
  • C. crater.
  • D. trouble.

2. The authors use the phrase "as recently as 600 years ago" (line 22) primarily to

  • A. suggest that there will be another eruption this century.
  • B. convey a sense of the magnitude of geologic time.
  • C. communicate irony, because 600 years ago is not recent.
  • D. indicate that the word 'recently' is a relative term.

3. As used in line 38, "temblor" most nearly means

  • A. drum.
  • B. earthquake.
  • C. eruption.
  • D. caldera.

4. What is the reason geologists have increased their monitoring of the Long Valley Caldera?

  • A. It has been more than 150 years since the last eruption.
  • B. Eruptions happen frequently in volcanic chains of such size.
  • C. The area is experiencing geologic activity indicative of an impending eruption.
  • D. The swelling of the caldera may damage the sensitive geodetic equipment.

5. Which choice provide the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 19-24 ("The volcanic…mid-1800s")
  • B. Lines 38-39 ("That temblor…California")
  • C. Lines 58-60 ("Today,…caldera")
  • D. Lines 70-72 ("Such emissions…eruptions")

6. In the context of the passage as a whole, what is the primary purpose of the last paragraph?

  • A. To suggest that geologists believe danger from an eruption is not imminent
  • B. To explain how quickly geologic unrest can turn into a catastrophic eruption
  • C. To warn of the dire impact of another eruption like Mount St. Helens
  • D. To emphasize the impact of the earthquakes discussed earlier in the passage

7. It can be inferred from the passage that Mammoth Mountain

  • A. erupted most recently around 600 years ago.
  • B. is an active volcano that the USGS is monitoring for early signs of eruption.
  • C. shows signs that the larger volcanic system to which it belongs is still active.
  • D. was formed 760,000 years ago by pyroclastic flows from a volcanic eruption.

8. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 1-5 ("About 760,000…surface.")
  • B. Lines 19-24 ("The volcanic system…mid-1800s)
  • C. Lines 25-27 ("Although no…frequently.)
  • D. Lines 75-77 ("However, symptoms…Caldera")

9. Which of the following situations is most analogous to the recent swelling of the Long Valley Caldera?

  • A. Many small tremors along a particular fault precede a large, magnitude 8 earthquake.
  • B. A scientist discovers a new species of insect by chance while observing snakes in the Amazon rainforest.
  • C. Bad road conditions cause a collision between two cars, and poor visibility contributes to a multi-car pile-up.
  • D. A doctor is unable to give a definitive diagnosis to a patient after assessing symptoms typical of a particular disease.

10. Which of the following claims is supported by information in the graph?

  • A. Long Valley Caldera had experienced more than 120,000 cumulative earthquakes by 2015.
  • B. Long Valley Caldera experienced roughly 30,000 earthquakes per week in 1990.
  • C. By 2012, Long Valley Caldera had experienced 1.2 cumulative earthquakes.
  • D. By 1988, Long Valley Caldera had experienced over 2,500 cumulative earthquakes.