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GEO 110
Abednego Aryee

Lecture 1 Introduction: - 4.6 billion years ago - Sun was formed when gravity pulled material towards the centre (swelling motion) - Accretion, small grains buildup to form fist sized planets (planet tesema) - Asteroids and comets occasionally collide into the Earth The Earth’s Four Spheres: • Geosphere: solid earth: core( 6000 C ;fluid but solid), mantle (2900km contributes to the largest component of the Earth), crust - Outer layer compressing the core - Mantle: Inner (soft, plastic, and weak) & Outer (cooler, solid) 80% of the Earth - Asthenosphere: area between the outer mantle and the crust… reason why we have tectonic plate activity - Lithosphere (mantle and crust collectively): thinnest layer • Hydrosphere: water sources, riverine, lacustrines (collective lakes), palustrine (collective wetland, marshes), ocean… - Other sources of water come from frozen ice (i.e. Greenland, Arctic & Antarctic circles 1.8% fresh water) - Rivers, lakes (fresh water) account for <1% - Aquifer: regions of subterarian water supply- underground layer of water (sandwiched btw 2 impermeable layers OR an overlying permeable layer and underlying permeable material) - Confined Aquifer and Unconfined aquifer o Confined: clay or rock (impermeable) o Unconfined: permeable, also referred to as water-table • Atmosphere: gaseous layer: N (largest) O (21%) CO2, Ar, He etc.. - Heterosphere: outermost sphere (composition: begins in the exosphere extends to ~80km) hetro= not UNIFORM! - Lightest elements found here! (He) - Homoshpere (extended from 80km to the Earth’s surface) - ozone found here O3 - Thermoshpere: (heat zone w/in the earth) NOT HOT (less volume of air) vibrational energy causes HIGH temperatures (e- excited!!) - Mesosphere (50-80km): coldest b/c particles serve as condensation nuclear COLDEST ONE - Stratophere temperature inversion (warms up)~ ↑ absorption of greenhouse gases - Troposhere: Tropopause: (transition zome btw stratosphere and troposphere)↓ temperature with altitude (-6.4 for ever 1000m rise); higher you go, cooler it becomes • Biosphere: realms of living organisms, nutrient cycles - Made of complex organisms: vertebrate, invertebrate, microorganisms, plant material - Nutrient recycling within the biosphere interaction, interdependence, interconnection among different systems very dynamic and self- sustaining (reciprocal relationship: give&take) • Carbon Cycle and Nitrogen Cycle Carbon Cycle: - Photosynthesis (plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere thus, loose Carbon). - When trees die, decomposes and Carbon is released (thru pressure & extreme heating) into the Earth. - We can gain carbon into the atmosphere from the combustion of coal, forest fires etc. - The lakes and ocean also absorbs a lot of carbon over the years. Nitrogen Fixation Cycle
 - The process which gaseous form of nitrogen is absorbed by bacteria that dwell in the roots of trees. - Convert the gaseous form of nitrogen into ammonia and nitrite ions. - It becomes part of the tissue of plants. - Produce NO2 and NH4 Nitrogen Denitrification Cycle: - Process by which nitrite is converted back into nitrogen gas. - Must occur for fixation to occur - Provide N2 Earth as a System
 - A system: is an assemblage or a combination of interacting component - Suprasystem & subsystem: both components needed for the survival of the system
 - Causes a chain of reaction and changes to other spheres ( interconnected)
 i.e. emission of greenhouse gases can cause acid deposition & this causes changes in the pH of water in turn, death to fishes
 - Humans interact with the environment
 o Size of system
 o System interact in complex ways
 o Energy and material cycle are essential for the study o
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