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Lecture 1

Environmental Science
Course Code
Nick Eyles

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EESA06 Lecture 1
Planet Earth 2011
Earth is 4.5billion years old
Geography of planet has changed, Plate Tectonic Movements
Rocks can tell us the history of the planet where water was, where land ones
Glacial erratic large boulders
oMarble altered limestone
Super-continent Pangaea Great all together in one place
Amnesia Continent Pangaea # 2 will become a super continent once again
Stratigraphy putting rocks in their relative age organizing history
oAka Historical geology
Vector Map direction of movement and velocity of movement of land masses
Next super continent clustered around southeast china
Ring of Fire most dangerous place to live, the outline of pacific
Geophysical Equipment cameras etc. go underwater
Derrick drilling tower
oThe Resolution - drill ship can drill 7km underwater
Scope of Course
Earth history: Application of plate tectonics to the ancient past to reconstructing
past continents/oceans
Paleo-environment reconstruction (ex: climate) and paleo-biology
oPaleo = old
Geographical evolution of Canada over 4 billion years
Environmental issues and hazards (earthquakes etc) resources (mineral, water, oil)
Lecture 1 and 2:
How Planet Earth Works: Plate Tectonics (Chapters 1 and 2 in textbook)
Key concepts to read up for the First Two Quizzes:
Formation of planet Earth 4,500 million years before present Continental drift and
Pangaea: 1912 (Alfred Wegner)
oHe proposed that craters on the moon were caused by meteor impact
Sea Floor Spreading: 1960 (Harold Hess)
oOceans are widening, pushing the continents around
Magnetic stripes on the ocean floor and wander paths for continents: 1965 (Fred
Mid-ocean ridges and hot spots: 1965 (Tuzo Wilson)
Plate Tectonics and Wilson Cycle: 1967 (Tuzo Wilson)
oContinental drift (continents are moving around) vs. Plate tectonics (whole of
earth surface can be broken up into plates and those plates are moving due to
mantel movement)
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