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Lecture 8

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Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

EESA06 Lecture 8 Page 1 EESA06 Lecture 8 Japan Earthquake: - Pacific plate going beneath the Philippine plate both going underneath Japanese mainland (Tokyo is dangerous) - Tsunami wave height was low but… - Japan as a whole moved east 25metres – normal is 2.5-3cm/year o plates were locked build up of stress and energy o recurrence interval – plates locked for 1000years (superquakes) - vertical uplift – is what killed people – tsunami and lowered shoreline Geologic Time and Stratigraphy - The Earth is 4.56 Billion Years Old How did we find this out? 1) Early idea on stratigraphy (the study of rock layers as in a book) 2) How layers get bent & broken (lost chapters) 3) Relative age of rocks (this one is older than…) 4) Absolute age (isotopic age dating ex: 50 million years) 5) The Geological Timescale: 4.56 to today (similar to a book) Ancient Greeks recognized fossils embedded in rocks now on top of mountains - How did they get there? – uplifted - Strata – beds, older at bottom, deposition and accumulation of older layers o Can use these to correlate rocks from one location to another o Aliogeography – trying to find out what it was like in ancient times “Diluvium” (Meaning ‘of a flood’) – Africa was moving towards North America, collided with east coast - Strict biblical interpretation of earth’s history – rocks and landscapes result from Noah’s Flood - More than one flood recognized – new life created each time so each layer contains different life forms Archbishop Ussher (1581-1625) - Declared in 1625 that “Earth formed at 9am on October 26 , 4004BC” – only 6,000 years old - Based on counting generation in the Bible - But… Georgius Agricola (1494-1555) - “father of mining geology” - Recognizes that fossil remains are of marine organisms in 1531 Nicolas Steno (1631-86) - “mountains can be raised and lowered, land can be conveyed from one place to another” The “Scottish Enlightment” (c1730-1830) – Industrial Revolution, more rational beliefs - Joseph Black (Pioneer Chemist), James Hutton (Farmer, interest in soil formation), Adam Smith (Economist, Free Trade), James Watt (Steam Engine, Energy), Walter Scott (Writer) - An English visitor to Edinburgh remarked: “here I stand at what is called the Cross of Edinburgh, and can, in few minutes, take 50 of genius and learning by the hand” - Rational outlook – science based - Industrialization - Mapping of Oil shale rocks, building of canals - EESA06 Lecture 8 Page 2 James Hutton (1726-97) – “Father of modern day geology” - Recognized “unconformities” within layer of rock and the igneous origin of granite – gaps in geological record - Proposed concept of “uniformitarianism” (the present is the key to the past) – actualism, same processes observed today - Came into conflict with Abram Werner and “diluvialism” and “catastrophism” – catastrophic floods, 6k years old earth - Facies – means “appearance of” o Geologists speak of rock facies - Arthur’s Seat – distinctive shape, igneous intrusion, sill o First identification of igneous rocks – forms in molten state - Hutton’s Unconformity at Siccar Point in Scotland -> John Playfair, geologist (1747-1819) - The concept of “Deep Time” - “the mind grows giddy gazing so far back into the abyss of time” - Layers in earth o Secondary Strata – second layer, contained fossils o Unconformity – gap, earth experienced multiple events o Primary Strata – first layer The Great Unconformity at Marmora, Ontario - Peterborough, hwy7 - Old Iron at bottom, limestone on top with fossils An Angular Unconformity: 500 million missing years - Kingston - Flat lying rocks on top of steeply dip
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