Introduction to Environmental Geology
terminological inexactitude of "environmental geology"
•application of earth sciences to overall benefit of humans and biosphere; integrated
application of many branches of earth science
•coordinated physical/chemical/geological study…
During the term
◦corrective earth science(treating problems after human activity has creat-
◦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-
why would you do more (much more) research on bedrock geology instead of surface
•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
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
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
Much eg today: statement/id of problem, proposed solution geoscience excellent for purpose: basically an historic science and predictive science. 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. Lsd/section/twp/range system: basis for all eg, base other maps/visualization surface deposits & properties bedrock properties (dip, strike, composition etc. ) Geologic maps: know how to locate a position on a topopmap from western canada (handout: low. Floodplain analysis, landslides/slumping, water resources and hydrologic hazards, construction re- straints, depth to bedrock, nature of sediment. Key to remember - interpretation (unlike topi, soils, etc. : na: 95% covered by surgical sediments only 25% detailed surface maps. Why? people only cared about finding resources (oil, gas, metals, etc. )