托福阅读TPO6解析

  TPO6-1-2 原文:William Smith

  In 1769 in a little town in Oxfordshire, England, a child with the very ordinary name of William Smith was born into the poor family of a village blacksmith. He received rudimentary village schooling, but mostly he roamed his uncle’s farm collecting the fossils that were so abundant in the rocks of the Cotswold hills. When he grew older, William Smith taught himself surveying from books he bought with his small savings, and at the age of eighteen he was apprenticed to a surveyor of the local parish. He then proceeded to teach himself geology, and when he was twenty-four, he went to work for the company that was excavating the Somerset Coal Canal in the south of England.

  This was before the steam locomotive, and canal building was at its height. The companies building the canals to transport coal needed surveyors to help them find the coal deposits worth mining as well as to determine the best courses for the canals. This job gave Smith an opportunity to study the fresh rock outcrops created by the newly dug canal. He later worked on similar jobs across the length and breadth of England, all the while studying the newly revealed strata and collecting all the fossils he could find. Smith used mail coaches to travel as much as 10,000 miles per year. In 1815 he published the first modern geological map, “A Map of the Strata of England and Wales with a Part of Scotland,” a map so meticulously researched that it can still be used today.

  In 1831 when Smith was finally recognized by the Geological Society of London as the “father of English geology,” it was not only for his maps but also for something even more important. Ever since people had begun to catalog the strata in particular outcrops, there had been the hope that these could somehow be used to calculate geological time. But as more and more accumulations of strata were cataloged in more and more places, it became clear that the sequences of rocks sometimes differed from region to region and that no rock type was ever going to become a reliable time marker throughout the world. Even without the problem of regional differences, rocks present a difficulty as unique time markers. Quartz is quartz—a silicon ion surrounded by four oxygen ions—there’s no difference at all between two-million-year-old Pleistocene quartz and Cambrian quartz created over 500 million years ago.

  As he collected fossils from strata throughout England, Smith began to see that the fossils told a different story from the rocks. Particularly in the younger strata, the rocks were often so similar that he had trouble distinguishing the strata, but he never had trouble telling the fossils apart. While rock between two consistent strata might in one place be shale and in another sandstone, the fossils in that shale or sandstone were always the same. Some fossils endured through so many millions of years that they appear in many strata, but others occur only in a few strata, and a few species had their births and extinctions within one particular stratum. Fossils are thus identifying markers for particular periods in Earth’s history.

  Not only could Smith identify rock strata by the fossils they contained, he could also see a pattern emerging: certain fossils always appear in more ancient sediments, while others begin to be seen as the strata become more recent. By following the fossils, Smith was able to put all the strata of England’s earth into relative temporal sequence. About the same time, Georges Cuvier made the same discovery while studying the rocks around Paris.

  Soon it was realized that this principle of faunal (animal) succession was valid not only in England or France but virtually everywhere. It was actually a principle of floral succession as well, because plants showed the same transformation through time as did fauna. Limestone may be found in the Cambrian or—300 million years later—in the Jurassic strata, but a trilobite—the ubiquitous marine arthropod that had its birth in the Cambrian—will never be found in Jurassic strata, nor a dinosaur in the Cambrian.

  Paragraph 1: In 1769 in a little town in Oxfordshire, England, a child with the very ordinary name of William Smith was born into the poor family of a village blacksmith. He received rudimentary village schooling, but mostly he roamed his uncle’s farm collecting the fossils that were so abundant in the rocks of the Cotswold hills. When he grew older, William Smith taught himself surveying from books he bought with his small savings, and at the age of eighteen he was apprenticed to a surveyor of the local parish. He then proceeded to teach himself geology, and when he was twenty-four, he went to work for the company that was excavating the Somerset Coal Canal in the south of England.

  1. The word “rudimentary” in the passage is closest in meaning to

  ○thorough

  ○strict

  ○basic

  ○occasional

  2. According to paragraph 1, which of the following statements about William Smith is NOT true?

  ○Smith learned surveying by reading and by apprenticing for a local surveyor.

  ○Smith’s family lived in a small English town and possessed little wealth.

  ○Smith learned about fossils from books he borrowed from his uncle.

  ○Smith eventually left his village to work on the excavation of an English canal.

  Paragraph 2: This was before the steam locomotive, and canal building was at its height. The companies building the canals to transport coal needed surveyors to help them find the coal deposits worth mining as well as to determine the best courses for the canals. This job gave Smith an opportunity to study the fresh rock outcrops created by the newly dug canal. He later worked on similar jobs across the length and breadth of England, all the while studying the newly revealed strata and collecting all the fossils he could find. Smith used mail coaches to travel as much as 10,000 miles per year. In 1815 he published the first modern geological map, “A Map of the Strata of England and Wales with a Part of Scotland,” a map so meticulously researched that it can still be used today.

  3. Which of the following can be inferred from paragraph 2 about canal building?

  ○ Canals were built primarily in the south of England rather than in other regions.

  ○ Canal building decreased after the steam locomotive was invented.

  ○ Canal building made it difficult to study rock strata which often became damaged in the process.

  ○ Canal builders hired surveyors like Smith to examine exposed rock strata.

  4. According to paragraph2, which of the following is true of the map published by William Smith?

  ○It indicates the locations of England’s major canals.

  ○It became most valuable when the steam locomotive made rail travel possible.

  ○The data for the map were collected during Smith’s work on canals.

  ○It is no longer regarded as a geological masterpiece.

  5. The word “meticulously” in the passage is closest in meaning to

  ○carefully

  ○quickly

  ○frequently

  ○obviously

  Paragraph 3: In 1831 when Smith was finally recognized by the Geological Society of London as the “father of English geology,” it was not only for his maps but also for something even more important. Ever since people had begun to catalog the strata in particular outcrops, there had been the hope that these could somehow be used to calculate geological time. But as more and more accumulations of strata were cataloged in more and more places, it became clear that the sequences of rocks sometimes differed from region to region and that no rock type was ever going to become a reliable time marker throughout the world. Even without the problem of regional differences, rocks present a difficulty as unique time markers. Quartz is quartz—a silicon ion surrounded by four oxygen ions—there’s no difference at all between two-million-year-old Pleistocene quartz and Cambrian quartz created over 500 million years ago.

  6. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in the passage? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.

  ○The discovery of regional differences in the sequences of rocks led geologists to believe that rock types could someday become reliable time markers.

  ○Careful analysis of strata revealed that rocks cannot establish geological time because the pattern of rock layers varies from place to place.

  ○Smith’s catalogs of rock strata indicated that the sequences of rocks are different from place to place and from region to region.

  ○Because people did not catalog regional differences in sequences of rocks, it was believed that rocks could never be reliable time markers.

  7. Why does the author use the phrase “Quartz is quartz”?

  ○To describe how the differences between Pleistocene and Cambrian quartz reveal information about dating rocks

  ○To point out that the chemical composition of quartz makes it more difficult to date than other rocks

  ○To provide an example of how regional differences in rock sequences can make a particular rock difficult to date

  ○To explain that rocks are difficult to use for dating because their chemical compositions always remain the same over time

  Paragraph 4: As he collected fossils from strata throughout England, Smith began to see that the fossils told a different story from the rocks. Particularly in the younger strata, the rocks were often so similar that he had trouble distinguishing the strata, but he never had trouble telling the fossils apart. While rock between two consistent strata might in one place be shale and in another sandstone, the fossils in that shale or sandstone were always the same. Some fossils endured through so many millions of years that they appear in many strata, but others occur only in a few strata, and a few species had their births and extinctions within one particular stratum. Fossils are thus identifying markers for particular periods in Earth’s history.

  8. According to paragraph 4, it was difficult for Smith to distinguish rock strata because

  ○the rocks from different strata closely resembled each other

  ○he was often unable to find fossils in the younger rock strata

  ○their similarity to each other made it difficult for him to distinguish one rock type from another

  ○the type of rock between two consistent strata was always the same

  9. The word “endured” in the passage is closest in meaning to

  ○vanished

  ○developed

  ○varied

  ○survived

  Paragraph 5: Not only could Smith identify rock strata by the fossils they contained, he could also see a pattern emerging: certain fossils always appear in more ancient sediments, while others begin to be seen as the strata become more recent. By following the fossils, Smith was able to put all the strata of England’s earth into relative temporal sequence. About the same time, Georges Cuvier made the same discovery while studying the rocks around Paris. Soon it was realized that this principle of faunal (animal) succession was valid not only in England or France but virtually everywhere. It was actually a principle of floral succession as well, because plants showed the same transformation through time as did fauna. Limestone may be found in the Cambrian or—300 million years later—in the Jurassic strata, but a trilobite—the ubiquitous marine arthropod that had its birth in the Cambrian—will never be found in Jurassic strata, nor a dinosaur in the Cambrian.

  10. The word “virtually” in the passage is closest in meaning to

  ○possibly

  ○absolutely

  ○surprisingly

  ○nearly

  11. Select the TWO answer choices that are true statements based upon the discussion of the principle of faunal succession in paragraph 5. To receive credit, you must select TWO answers.

  ○It was a principle that applied to fauna but not to flora.

  ○It was discovered independently by two different geologists.

  ○It describes how fossils are distributed in rock strata.

  ○It explains why plants and animals undergo transformations through time.

  12. In mentioning “trilobite”, the author is making which of the following points?

  ○Fossils cannot be found in more than one rock stratum.

  ○Faunal succession can help put rock layers in relative temporal sequence.

  ○Faunal succession cannot be applied to different strata composed of the same kind of rock.

  ○The presence of trilobite fossils makes it difficult to date a rock.

  Paragraph 5: Not only could Smith identify rock strata by the fossils they contained, he could also see a pattern emerging: certain fossils always appear in more ancient sediments, while others begin to be seen as the strata become more recent. █By following the fossils, Smith was able to put all the strata of England’s earth into relative temporal sequence. █About the same time, Georges Cuvier made the same discovery while studying the rocks around Paris. █Soon it was realized that this principle of faunal (animal) succession was valid not only in England or France but virtually everywhere. █It was actually a principle of floral succession as well, because plants showed the same transformation through time as did fauna. Limestone may be found in the Cambrian or—300 million years later—in the Jurassic strata, but a trilobite—the ubiquitous marine arthropod that had its birth in the Cambrian—will never be found in Jurassic strata, nor a dinosaur in the Cambrian.

  13.Look at the four squares [█]that indicate where the following sentence could be added to the passage

  The findings of these geologists inspired others to examine the rock and fossil records in different parts of the world.

  Where would the sentence best fit?

  14. Directions: An introductory sentence for a brief summary of the passage is provided below. Complete the summary by selecting the THREE answer choices that express the most important ideas in the passage. Some sentences do not belong in the summary because they express ideas that are not presented in the passage or are minor ideas in the passage. This question is worth 2 points.

  William Smith’s contributions to geology have increased our knowledge of the Earth’s history.

  ●Smith’s work on canals allowed…

  ●Smith found that fossils are…

  ●The discovery of the principle…

  Answer Choices

  ○Smith found success easily in his profession because he came from a family of geologists and surveyors.

  ○Smith’s work on canals allowed him to collect fossils and study rock layers all over England.

  ○Smith found that fossils are much more reliable indicators of geological time than rock strata are.

  ○Smith was named “the father of English geology” for his maps rather than for his other contributions to the field.

  ○Smith and Cuvier discovered that fossil patterns are easier to observe in ancient rock strata than in younger rock strata.

  ○The discovery of the principle of faunal succession allowed geologists to establish the relative age of Earth’s rock layers.

  参考答案:

  1. ○3

  2. ○3

  3. ○2

  4. ○3

  5. ○1

  6. ○2

  7. ○4.

  8. ○1

  9. ○4

  10. ○4

  11. ○2, 3

  12. ○2

  13. ○3

  14. Smith’s work on canals allowed…

  Smith found that fossils are…

  The discovery of the principle…

  答案解析:

  第一题,C,词汇题。rudimentary 基本的,初步的,选C basic 基本的。A thorough 透彻的;B strict 严格的;D occasional 偶然的。

  第二题,C,选非题。问关于William Smith的叙述哪一项是正确的。NOT选非题,由于整篇文章都在讲William Smith,所以只能从选项来定位。A说Smith通过读书和当学徒学习了调研,通过surveying定位到原文第四行后面,这句说Smith通过自学用自己微薄积蓄买的书之后当学徒学习了调研,所以A正确不选;B说Smith的家在英国一个小镇,没什么钱,通过little town定位到原文第一句话,说Smith出生在英国一个小镇,家里很穷,所以B也正确;C说Smith从他叔叔那里借来的书上学习了化石,刚刚A项对应的那句说书是Smith买的,所以C不对,再确认一下,可以通过uncle定位到第二句话,说他在叔叔的农场上收集化石,没说从叔叔那里借书,所以答案就选C。最后看一下D说Smith最后离开了小村子去运河工作,与原文最后一句对应,所以D也正确不能选。

  第三题,B,推断题。问从第二段可以推断出关于运河建设的哪一项。推断题,首先根据Canal building定位到这段第一句,说在蒸汽机车出现之前,运河建设达到顶峰。这句里的before表明这里存在一个之前和之后的时间对比,可以推断出既然蒸汽机车出现以前运河建设多,那么之后就应该是减少的,所以这题选B运河建设在蒸汽机车出现之后减少。

  第四题,C,细节题。问关于William Smith的地图哪一项是正确的。细节题,首先根据map定位到最后一句话,这句说1815年,Smith出版了第一张现代化的地质地图,这张地图经过了如此仔细的研究以至于直到今天它仍然在被使用。来看选项,A地图标明了英格兰主要运河的位置,原文说这是地质地图,地质地图不是用来标识地理方位的,所以A不对;B它在蒸汽机车使铁路运输成为可能之后变得最有价值,这段中蒸汽机车只在第一句中出现了,这里没有说蒸汽机车和地图有什么关系,所以B也是不相关的信息不能选;C地图的数据是Smith在运河上工作时收集的,通过collect可以定位到倒数第二行那句话,说Smith后来在做类似的工作时穿越了整个英格兰,学习了岩石层并收集了他能找到的所有化石,这里的类似工作就是前文提到的运河上的工作,所以C正确;D它现在已经不再被认为是一个地质学杰作了,这和map那句说它研究细致以至于现在仍然被使用冲突,所以也不对。

  第五题,A,词汇题。meticulously 细致地,一丝不苟地,选A carefully 仔细地。B quickly 迅速地;C frequently 频繁地;D obviously 明显地。

  第六题,B,句子简化题。先看原句,开头的But as是一个插入语,不是句子重点,重点在逗号之后,后半句中有一个and,表示这句有两层意思,第一层是现在很清楚岩石的序列是有地域差异的,and之后第二层说没有岩石种类可以成为全球范围内可靠的时间标记。所以要找的就是地域差异和time marker,只有B项同时提到了这两层意思,它说对于岩层的细致分析表现出岩石不能用来确立地质时间,因为岩石层有地域差异,varies对应原句的differed。A后面说石头类型可以成为time marker与原文中不能冲突,所以不对;C只说了岩石的地域差别这一层意思,没有说time marker所以也不对;D前半句说人们无法归类地域差异,原句说的是可以,所以肯定不对。

  第七题,D,修辞目的题。问作者为什么要说“石英就是石英”这个短语。修辞目的题,问作者意图,首先通过这个短语定位回原文最后一句话,发现这句是个具体例子,例子都是用以证明前文观点的,所以直接看前面一句话,这句说即便没有地域区别的问题,岩石仍然难以成为独特的time marker。这句话强调的重点就是岩石难以成为time marker,只有CD选项中提到了标记时间的内容,所以答案在这两项中。C说地域差异让岩石不能成为时间标记,文中说的是即便没有地域差异,所以原因肯定不能是地域差异,C不对;只能选D,D说的原因是因为化学成分是常年不变的,对应“石英就是石英”这个短语本身的意思。

  第八题,A,细节题。问为什么Smith难以区分岩层。细节题,通过distinguish rock strata定位到原文第三行,这句说特别是在年轻岩层里,岩石总是如此相似以至于他难以区分岩层,所以原因就是岩石相似,对应到选项A来自不同岩层的岩石相互很像,resembled对应原文的similar;C也提到了similarity,但是C说的是their similarity,是岩层的相似让他难以区分岩石,把因果颠倒了,不能回答为什么Smith不能区分岩层的问题,所以C不能选。

  第九题,D,词汇题。endured 忍耐,经受住,选D survived 幸存,从…中坚持过来。A vanished 消失;B developed 发展;C varied 变化。

  第十题,D,词汇题。virtually 事实上,几乎选D nearly 差不多,几乎。A possibly 可能地;B absolutely 绝对地;C surprisingly 惊人地。

  第十一题,BC,细节题。问关于动物衍化原则的讨论哪两项是正确的。细节题,这一段都在讲faunal succession的principle,所以这题通过选项来定位,A这个原则只能被应用于动物群而不是植物群,通过floral可以定位到倒数第四行,说它同样也是个植物衍化的原则,所以A说不是就不对;B它同时由两个不同的地质学家独立的发现,这里要找地质学家,发现段首开始说Smith在英国发现,然后说George在法国发现,所以他们是独立发现的,B正确;C它描述了化石在岩层中是如何分布的,可以通过fossil定位到第一句,说特定的化石只出现于更古老的沉积中,而其他的化石出现在更新的岩层中,所以就是在讲化石分布于不同的岩层,所以C也对,本题选BC。D它解释了为什么动植物会随时间经历变化,通过transformation定位到倒数第三行,这句只是说植物衍化表现出了和动物一样的变化,没有说为什么变化,因此D说explain why是不对的。

  第十二题,B,修辞目的题。问作者提及三叶虫,是为了说明以下哪一个观点。修辞目的题,问作者意图,首先根据trilobite定位到原文最后一句话,这句是个具体例子,例子都是用来说明前文观点的,所以往前看,上一句说它也是植物衍化的一个原则,因为植物和动物一样表现出了随时间的变化。这句话其实是说植物衍化和动物相同,要强调是句首的It这个原则本身,所以还需要往前看段首句去找这段主旨,说Smith 不仅可以通过研究化石确定岩层,他还发现了一个pattern,这个pattern就是要找的principle,它说特定的化石只出现于更古老的沉积中,而其他的化石出现在更新的岩层中,所以这个pattern讲的是新旧的时间先后关系。选项中只有B提到了temporal sequence时间序列是表示时间先后,所以这题选B,B说的动物衍化可以帮助将岩层按时间顺序排列,这里的relative temporal sequence其实也正对应着本段第二句话对主旨的解释。其实本题看懂这个例子也可以选出答案,例子说石灰石可以在寒武纪或者3亿年后的侏罗纪被发现,但是三叶虫,在寒武纪普遍存在的海洋节肢动物在侏罗纪就永远不会被发现,同样侏罗纪的恐龙也不可以在寒武纪见到。例子表达的就是动物化石可以确定时间先后,但是岩石不行,关键还是个确定时间先后的问题。

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