EESA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Ecosystem Respiration, Mercury Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle

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EESA01H3 F: Lecture 3 - Earth's Systems, Ecosystem Ecology and Global
Biogeochemical Cycles. September, 19th, 2016.
Today’s Objective:
Finish tectonics and the rock cycle.
Ecosystems and ecology.
Major geological and biogeochemical cycles on earth: carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle,
mercury cycle, others.
Inferior Structure Drives Plate Tectonics:
Mantle moves slowly and moves with it tectonic plates pertaining to the Earth’s crust.
The lithosphere is made up of 12 major plates, as well as slower moving minor plates.
Figure 1: Inferior Structure Drives Plate Tectonics.
Boundaries Between Plate Tectonics:
Three processes form the foundation for ecological processes on the surface of the
Earth.
Divergent boundary: Along divergent boundaries, plates moves apart from each
other.
Plates move gradually away from the boundary, and magma rises to the
surface through cracks along the boundary.
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Transform boundary: Along transform boundaries, plates move adjacent to one
another. Lateral movement past each other.
This causes frictions, which lead to earthquakes.
Convergent boundary: Along convergent boundaries, plates move towards one
another. This can lead to subduction, one plate moving beneath another, if there
are differences in density.
This can lead to volcanos or mountain formation.
Figure 2: Between Plate Tectonics.
Tectonics Control Geological Hazards:
Pacific ring of fire: is a hotspot on Earth in terms of different types of tectonic plates.
Lay on the boundaries of pacific tectonic plates.
Lead to earthquakes and tsunamis.
Figure 3: Tectonics Control Geological Hazards.
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The Rock Cycle:
The rock cycle occurs at a much more local scale than plate tectonics.
Rock is composed of minerals and other fragments such as shells.
Minerals: crystalline element or inorganic compound.
Rocks get heated with the earth, melt, erose, and are reassembled over very long time
Types of Different Rocks:
Igneous rocks: comes from the cooling and crystallization of lava.
Granite is intrusive (deep beneath the surface of the Earth) igneous rock.
Basalt is an extrusive igneous rock.
Metamorphic rocks: heat and pressure alters the composition of the rock
Gneis.
Sedimentary rock: is a result of erosion.
Limestone and sandstone.
Major Environmental Systems:
Ecosystems.
Hydrologic cycle.
Global Energy Balance.
Biogeochemical cycles:
Carbon cycle.
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