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Lecture 8

Lecture 8

Environmental Science
Course Code
Nick Eyles

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Near Japan there is a pacific plate which caused the earthquake
Extremely dangerous area around the rim, epicenter is about 80km offshore
Japan moved 25m due to the earthquake in less than an instant, moved east
Moved 25m in one go because the plates were locked and then they were released;
were under a huge amount of stress which caused such a huge earthquake
Plates should move about 2.5cm per year
The recurrence intervals for these super quakes are about a thousand years
Japan goes east and the pacific plate underneath goes west
Killed people because the vertical uplift which was like tilting up the ocean floor
which went west to Japan which caused a tsunami
The edge of the plate springs up from being dragged then the earthquake happens
and the plates becomes unlocked and the overriding plate comes up
Stratigraphy is very simply arranging rocks in terms of their age for example if you
were in Eastern Japan if you wanted to know the prewritten history earthquakes
then you looked for deformed sediments that may have been folded or buckled
Different fossil types can show evolutionary change through time
The earth is about 4.56 billion years old
Relative age of rocks you can find out by the nature of the relationships you see in
the layer e.g one rock is older than another therefore its the relative age
As you come up in the stratigraphy you get younger
Sometimes we cant date rocks thats when we use relative rock dating
Ancient Greeks recognized fossils embedded in rocks now on top of mountains they
got there
Strata beds; older strata are at the bottom
Each layer may have a distinct fossil type and we can use that type to correlate the
rocks that we see in one location with the rocks that we see in another one; maybe

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over the distance in 1km to 100km; the whole idea is to find out what the
environments were like during that time period
Trying to put together paleogeography; what the world looked like in the past
Diluvium (meaning of a flood): strict biblical interpretation on earths history ( rocks
and landscapes results from Noahs Flood) more than one floor recognised (new life
created each time so each layer contains different life forms)
Assumption was that rocks had been deposited in Noahs flood which was thought
was the dominant process that created the earths surface
Thought that earth created in an instant and it is how we see it today
Archbishop Ussher declared in 1625 that earth formed at 9am on October 26th, 4004
B.C based on counting generations in the Bible, but then
Georgius Agricola who was considered father of mining geology recognized that
fossils were the remains of marine organisms in 1531 and realized that earth didnt
form in one go but had a long history; wrote a textbook for mining geologists
Nicholas Steno: mountains can be raised and lowered, land can by conveyed from
one place to another; was a physician not a geolgists
These two people made other peoples think of the earths past history
The Scottish Enlightenment: during the Industrial Revolution people started
mapping things like coal, oil shale; built canals to move bulky stuff and you would
look at geology because youre excavating over huge areas; Joseph Black- a Scottish
physician and chemist, James Hutton- was a farmer and became interested in how
soil formed and considered modern day geology, Adam Smith- founder of modern day
economics, free trade; James Watt- further developed the steam engine, Walter
Scott- was a writer who used to write about Scotland
James Hutton: recognized unconformities within layers of rocks and the igneous
origin of granite, proposed concept of uniformitarianism (the present is the key to
the past), came into conflict with Abram Werner and dilvuialism” and
The concepts above underpin our understanding of the Earth, of where we come from
as a species
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