Intro to Environmental Geology

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Geological Sciences
GEOL 2390
William M.Last

Introduction to Environmental Geology terminological inexactitude of "environmental geology" basic consensus • application of earth sciences to overall benefit of humans and biosphere; integrated application of many branches of earth science OR • coordinated physical/chemical/geological study… During the term • pragmatic viewpoint: ◦ corrective earth science(treating problems after human activity has creat- ed them) • versus ◦ preventative earth sciences (anticipation of problems) MUCH EG TODAY 1. statement/id of problem 2. proposed solution geoscience excellent for purpose: basically an historic science and predictive science HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY • old as awareness of physical world --- primitives much better EG than we are! • Romans: extensive sewers, aqueducts, control structures: basic geoengineering ef- forts why would you do more (much more) research on bedrock geology instead of surface geology? • the only reason this was done was oil! • 25% compared to 90%!!! Mission of EG • develop information about earth for public purposes ◦ must be systematic ◦ focus on some problem(s)…. society slow to accept earth science/geologic conservation some reasons: 1. man is superior attitude - we are meant to exploit 2. nature is self healing - nature will renew 3. nature is cyclic - inevitability of trends 4. we live in the present - now generation 5. limitless resources - land resources plentiful and even if we do exhaust - always can find new sources OR science is soooo intelligent it will get us out of any problem several often-referred to fundamental concepts 1. closed system - everything effects everything else 2. earth (currently) only habitat and resources 3. uniformitarianism rules! - rates can change 4. always has been/will be natural hazards - risk to human population is increasing - we are also moving into more hazardous areas 5. planning - both $ and aesthetics 6. cumulative effects - threshold concepts 7. geologic factor - THE most important component 8. complexity - normal in natural systems 9. feedback Great Plains Groundwater Usage • large volume, cheap resource ◦ overpumping ◦ lowered water table ◦ collapse, subsidence ◦ deeper drilling required ◦ increased cost of pumping ◦ increased energy cost ◦ deeper water is of lesser quality and more saline ◦ salinization of soil ◦ crops and agriculture/ranching effected BACTERIA STUDY exponential growth in finite environment • growth by division 1 =>2, 2 =>4 • assume division time = 1 minute • 1 bacterium in bottle at 11 pm • bottle is full at 12 noon ◦ But at 11:58 --> massive effort to find more resource ◦ 11:59: discover 3 new empty bottles ◦ 3x original resources ◦ How much longer will this extend their time?! ◦ 2 minutes Summary Pop Growth • 9 billion by 2050 • slow growth until mid 19t
More Less

Related notes for GEOL 2390

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.