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Lecture 3

GEOL 106 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Silt

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Course Code
GEOL 106
John Hanes

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Friday Class 2015-02-11
Earth Systems Science and Earth Systems Management/Engineering (Continued)
Ice Cores from Ice sheets
Annual snow layers trap dust
Snow turns to ice
Ice “drill” (Like the tree drill) younger at the top, older at the end
Determine how old a layer is
Snow in the summer is cleaner than in the winter, one layer will have a dark and light parts
Humans have been “engineering the earth since the start of the human race
Ex. By study of lead contamination in the ice cores from the Greenland ice sheet
Significant levels of lead in the ice cores, 2000 years old
There is measureable lead in the Greenland ice sheets that came from when the Roman Empire smelted
lead 2000 years ago
Ex. By the effects on past ecosystems of early human fires and agricultures (not conscious engineering)
What about the scale of earth system Engineering/ management
“The earth is increasingly a product of human engineering” – Brad Allenby
We can certainly see the increase by simple observation
Stonehenge, England
And we can also quantitively measure the increase:
Use of metals and energy
How much material humans move compared to the rest of natural processes
Measured sediment (sand, silt, clay) carried by rivers to the sea
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