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Study Guide

[EAS100] - Final Exam Guide - Ultimate 52 pages long Study Guide!


Department
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Course Code
EAS100
Professor
Solweig Balzer
Study Guide
Final

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U of A
EAS100
FINAL EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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Foundations of the Earth (components of the integrated earth system)
- physics and chemistry are experimental sciences
-earth science = primarily observational (experiments are also used)
-observation + hypotheses + tests
-what makes an idea scientific? - can be tested against observation or experiment
-hypothesis testing + formation of a theory (discarding/accepting/re-vamping/new
observations)
-principles/laws - general rules you follow
-principles - generalizations with exceptions
-ex. principle of superposition (exception: overturned strata in mountain belts)
-ex. the principle of uniformitarianism (James Hutton - theory of the earth) - ancient features of
the earth are best interpreted in terms of processes that operate at the present day (‘the
present is key to the past’)
-Hutton’s unconformity - interpreted the contact between the lower rocks and upper rocks as
an ancient erosion surface, produced by the processes similar to those operating at the
present day - sedimentary rocks and unconformable appearances
-Hutton - very strict principle of erosion (but there have been big changes in earth processes
ex. long: evolution of the atmosphere and short term changes)
-principle of actualism - moderate version of buttons principle
-laws - wide spread application and well established but no known exceptions when
developed (overtime you may find one)
-ex. law of conservation of energy (1st law of thermodynamics)
-relationship to other sciences - derived from biology, chemistry, physics (palaeontology,
geophysics, geochemistry, biogeography)
-geophysicists - magnetism, gravity, seismic waves
-geologists - mapping, field observation, sampling chemical analyses
-palaeontologists - fossils and history of life
-biogeographers - distributions of living things at the present day
-hydrologists + oceanographers - liquid water on the earths surface, living things in water,
sediments deposited on the floor
-glaciologists - behaviour + distribution of ice. materials deposited in the landscape by ice
-atmospheric scientists (meteorologists + climatologists) - physics of the atmosphere
-resources obtained form the earth
-water (consumption + irrigation)
-fuels (coal, oil, natural glass)
-materials (metals + building materials)
-Materials returned to the earth
-solid wastes (garbage, construction, industrial products)
-liquid wastes (sewage, waste water, industrial products)
-gases into atmosphere
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-direct impact on humans
-landslides
-earthquakes
-volcanoes
-violent weather
-climate change
Systems, cycles and budgets
system: a portion of the universe that can be separated from the rest for the purpose of
observing changes (isolated, closed, open) - time is a factor
isolated - theoretical ideal/ imaginary concept (nothing crosses the boundaries, no matter or
energy is lost or gained)
closed - no matter is lost or gained
- energy maybe exchanged with surroundings
- earth approximated a closed system (almost, but not technically)
open - matter and energy = exchanged with surrounding
- tricky to control
- most systems on the planet (not completely balanced) ex. oceans
the earth as a system
-an almost closed system
-small amounts of gas are lost to space
-small amounts of material are aded by meteorites
-amounts are negligible (disregarded)
-contains several major open systems (atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere)
**do not use lithosphere as a term in this diagram - is a specific layer of the geosphere**
cycles
-trace the flow of material or energy through systems
-energy cycle
-hydrologic cycle
-rock cycle
-when a cycle is quantified … budget
the energy cycle/budget
-drives all the processes that we see operating on the earth
-energy flow = measured in Watts (1 W = 1 J/s)
-1st law of thermodynamics: conservation of energy (if assuming a closed system)
-energy pathways
- energy inputs (solar radiation, geothermal energy, tidal energy)
-energy loss (reflected into space, re-radiated)
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