EPSC 185 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Historical Geology, Environmental Geology, Plate Tectonics

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What is geology?
Geology is the scientific study of the solid earth including the materials that makeup the
planet and the processes that shape the planet
Three broad fields:
1- physical geology examines the materials composing the earth to understand the processes
that operate both beneath and on the surface (all three types of ricks and their origins)
2- historical geology aims to understand the origin of earth and its development through time
(the study of rock strata, fossils, and geologic events utilizing the geologic time scale)
3- environmental geology studies the interaction between humans and the geological
environment
Why do we study geology?
1- Out of curiosity about our planet and our relationship with the earth system (geosphere,
hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere)
2- Locate and develop geological resources, such as fossil fuels, industrial minerals and water
3- The use of the geological environment for waste disposal in order to minimize problems of
contamination and pollution
4- Recognition of natural hazards and mitigation of their human impacts (volcanoes,
earthquakes, floods, etc..)
Look at some of the geological hazards that change the surface of the earth, and pose a direct
threat to human survival:
Plate tectonics
Earthquakes
Volcanoes - violent vs gentle volcanoes
Landslides and Avalanches
2- Help you think about the geological hazards and how they work
The scientific method
3- Climate change
Natural hazards when humans are involved
Geology - burning of the fossil fuel
Did you know that:
Every year 250 million people are affected by natural disasters
International community spent 3 billion dollars to help mitigate the impacts of these disasters
The poorest societies are the most affected
(poverty, illness, vulnerability)
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Document Summary

Geology is the scienti c study of the solid earth including the materials that makeup the planet and the processes that shape the planet. 1- physical geology examines the materials composing the earth to understand the processes that operate both beneath and on the surface (all three types of ricks and their origins) 2- historical geology aims to understand the origin of earth and its development through time (the study of rock strata, fossils, and geologic events utilizing the geologic time scale) 3- environmental geology studies the interaction between humans and the geological environment. 1- out of curiosity about our planet and our relationship with the earth system (geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere) 2- locate and develop geological resources, such as fossil fuels, industrial minerals and water. 3- the use of the geological environment for waste disposal in order to minimize problems of contamination and pollution.

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