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Lec 2

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Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

What was the early Earth like? 1. Earth collided with a planetismal 2. Earth was bombarded by meteorites 3. Meteorites left craters on earth 4. Accretion allowed the planet to melt 5. Accretion caused heavier material (iron/nickel) to settle toward the planet’s centre. Lighter material (silica/oxygen) settle on earths surface Differentiation of the earth (DIAGRAM PAGE 14) 1. Earth melts and minerals are mixed 2. Iron-nickel begins to settle toward centre a. Nickel-iron core b. Liquid outer core c. Density mantle d. Light rock crust Meteorites Meteorites – small solid particles of rock, metal, and ice orbiting the sun o Stony-iron – made of iron and nickel o Iron o Stony – look like rocks Meteors – when meteorites enter earth’s atmosphere aka shooting stars Internal Structure of the Earth (Diagram Page 16) 1. Innermost core – iron, nickel, and silicon 2. Outer core – liquid 3. Mantle – Fe-Mg silicates o Peridotite – most common rock on earth o Creates stresses in the crust 4. Outer crust – lighter rocks such as basalt and granite o Thin and rigid like an eggshell Lithospheric plates - formed with the earth’s mantle breaks the crust Asthenosphere – part of the upper mantle where the lithospheric plates are pushed around the surface (Diagram Page 16) 1. Oceanic crust 2. Continental crust 3. Uppermost mantle (solid) 4. Asthenosphere (part of mantle) Formation of the Early Atmosphere Outgassing – water and gaseous elements released during volcanic eruptions o Formed oceans and lakes on earth’s surface o Rich in carbon dioxide o Created oceanic water that are highly acidic o Photosynthetic helped separate carbon dioxide into carbon and free oxygen Early Life Form Prokaryotes – earliest life forms that are microorganisms Stromatolites – prokaryotes trapped sediment and grew these organic structures What is the “Earth system”? Earth system – is a small part of the larger solar system but also has its own component parts or subsystems Subsystems aka spheres: 1. Atmosphere – gases that evolve earth 2. Hydrosphere – water on earth’s surface 3. Biosphere – livi
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