Class Notes (837,023)
Canada (510,044)
Brock University (12,126)
ERSC 1F90 (47)
Dale Hess (4)
Lecture

earth science lecture

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Department
Earth Sciences
Course
ERSC 1F90
Professor
Dale Hess
Semester
Fall

Description
AnIntroductionToYour Planet AVIEW OFEARTH • Earthis aplanetthatis smallandself-contained • Earth’sfourspheres ○ Hydrosphere ○ Atmosphere ○ Biosphere ○ Geosphere EARTHASASYSTEM • Earth’sfourspheresarelinkedasasystemthroughtheirinteractions • Characterizedbyprocessesthat ○ Varyonspatialscalesfromfractionsofa millimetertothousandsofkilometers ○ Havetimescalesthatrangefrommillisecondstobillionsofyears • TheEarth systemisalsopoweredbytheEarth’sinterior ○ HeatremainingfromEarth’sformation,andheatthatiscontinuouslygeneratedby radioactivedecay,powertheinternalprocessesthatproducevolcanoes,earthquakes,and mountains WHATISTHE ENVIRONMENT • Bestdefinedas“allthatsurroundsuswithwhichweinteract” • Thiscanbe prettyfar-reaching(e.g.Marsrovers,Voyager,etc.) • Forthiscourse,althoughwewilltalkaboutthesolarsystem,our“environment”willbetheplanetearth shownintheApolloimages WHATISGEOLOGY • FromtheGreekgeo(Earth)and logos(discourse) • ThesciencethatpursuesanunderstandingofplanetEarth • Geologyisverymultidisciplinary.Itdrawsfromphysics,chemistryandbiology-anEarthSystems Scienceapproach. • Butwaitaminute,whatisscience…? THENATUREOF SCIENTIFICIDEAS • Scienceisa systemofknowledgethatisbasedongeneral“truths”orfactsas theyareknownat the time. • Scientistsuseobservations(togatherthefacts)anddeductiontoofferexplanationsofnatural phenomena. • Deductivereasoning:todrawconclusionsregardingphenomenabasedonallthatisknown • EarthScience(Geology)focusesonnaturalphenomenathatarerelatedtotheEarth. HOWDOWE DEVELOP ANDEXPRESSSUCH EXPLANATIONSOFNATURAL PHENOMENA? • Speculation:simplyopinionorguess. • Hypothesis:alogicallyderivedexplanationthatisbasedonabodyof knowledge;everythingknown aboutwhatisbeingexplained. • Itremainstentative(possiblywrong)untilfurtherevidenceandrigoroustestingprovesitbetterthan otherhypotheses;arenew“facts”thatbecomeknownconsistentwiththeexplanation? OCKHAMSRAZOR: Givenmorethanonehypothesisforagivenphenomenon thesimplesthypothesisisalwayspreferred! (thesimplesthasfewerassumptionsandunknowns) (thesimplesthasfewerassumptionsandunknowns) • Theory:averywellverifiedandcommunicatedexplanationthatexplainsallofthedata • Law:TheoriesbecomeLaws(e.g.,theLawofGravity)whentheyareshowntobeabsolutelycorrectfor theconditionstowhichtheyapply Scienceisaprocessofcontinuousrefinementandtestingofsuch generalizations… THESCIENCEOFGEOLOGY • GeologyisthesciencethatpursuesanunderstandingofplanetEarth ○ Physicalgeology-examinesthematerialscomposingEarthandseekstounderstandthe manyprocessesthatoperatebeneathanduponitssurface ○ Historicalgeology-seeksanunderstandingoftheoriginofEarthanditsdevelopment throughtime Large scale cross-bedding in 240 million year old rocks in the Central US. = windblown sand dunes; the Central US was a desert at that time. THESCIENCEOFGEOLOGY • ACanadianprofile ○ SirWilliamEdmondLoganhasbeencalledCanada’s#1scientistinhistory ○ Hewasthefirstdirectorof theGSC and wasactivein theoutdoorpursuitsofgeology • Herodotus (500 BC) : RecognizedthattheNileriverdepositedsedimentduringflood(i.e.,theland surfacewasmodifiedbynaturalprocesses ). • Aristotle(384- 322 BC) : recognizedthatfossilsinrocksresembledmanylivingorgasms;concludedthat fossilswereoncelivinganimals.Impliesthatrocksformedsincetherewaslifeonearth • Theophrastus(374 -287 BC) : wrotethefirstbookon themineralsthatmakeup rocks ABRIEFHISTORYOFGEOLOGY • St.Thomas Aquinas(1225-1274): explainedallgeologicalphenomenaintermsofthebiblicalaccount. • LandscapeonEarth todaywas formedduringcreationorm
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