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Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

EESA06 READING – CHAPTER #1 INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT What is geology? Geology – the study of the earth William Smith = ‘father of English geology’ he was the first to publish a geologic map  Rock layers and fossils found in Bath  While travelling the world he compared different rock layers Sir William Logan = first to systematically describe the geology of Canada  Managed a coal mine and copper smelt venture  His maps introduced a Cross-Section – a hypothetical vertical slice through the land  Looking at the minerals in Canada (rocks, soils, etc.) he made a layout of the geology of Canada  Believed that coal is an organic deposit  Highest Canada’s Mountain named after him (Mount Logan) What changes controlled the evolution of life forms? 1. Positioning of the continents 2. Extraterrestrial processes (ex. Meteorite impacts) Alfred Wegener o Meteorologist Continental Drift Supercontinent called “Pangea” – an assemblage of all the continents o Believed that Pangea broke up into smaller continents that drifted apart to their present locations o Could not explain continental movement and how it happened (theory rejected) J.Tuzo Wilson Plate Tectonics Theory  Transform faults  Hot Spots o Young active volcanic islands stuck in the middle of oceans o Resulted from a moving plate drifting over a stationary magma plume in the mantle Deep Time – amount of time used in geology ‘Rapidly’ – within a few million years something will be reduced. - we may see it as not rapidly because it takes millions of years but not a geologist Mid-oceanic ridge – a giant mountain range that lies under the ocean Eon • Phanerozoic Era • Cenozoic – abundant mammals • Mesozic – dinosaurs • Paleozoic – reptiles, fishes, etc. Precambrian – origin of earth, cellular organisms What do geoscientists do? Exploration Geologists – prospecting for signs of minerals such as gold, silver, diamonds, etc. His or her goal is to find something and then get it to market before anyone else does o Mining company o Looking for goal in volcanic rock, quartz veins, faults, etc. Geoscientists o Geochemists – are comfortable working in the ordered environment of the laboratory and use high-technology equipment to analyze the chemistry of rocks/minerals. o Mineralogists – study minerals o Petrologists – study the makeup of rocks and how they form o Geophysicists – study the nature of the physical conditions on or under the Earth’s surface o Petroleum geologists – search for oil, coal and g
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