EOSC 114 Notes for Exam - Mass Extinction.docx

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Earth and Ocean Sciences
EOSC 114
Leah May Ver

EOSC 114 – Mass Extinction Learning Outcomes 1. Understand the concept of a biosphere - biosphere: thin layer of life on surface of and Earth System Science and that the earth that interacts with hydrosphere, biosphere has evolved over time atmostphere, + lithosphere - biosphere evolves over time as species evolve, go extinct – the “actors” change 2. Distinguish between the oldest and - superposition principle: oldest rock is the youngest portion of a geological bottom layer, youngest rock at top section using principles of - original horizontality: sediment deposited in superposition, original horizontality and layers due to gravity cross cutting relationships - cross cutting relationships: the cross-cutting layer is younger because the layers must be there first! 3. Describe the concept of faunal - faunal succession: change in fossil species succession and the use of fossils in over time; can sort fossils in layers far apart correlation and in the subdivision of because of evolution – depending on type, can Earth history categorize into time period 4. Recognize the qualities that make - depending on what animal the fossil is of, it fossils useful in biostratigraphy can separate rock layers into time categories 5. Identify important historical figures in -James Ussher- said Earth was 6000 from info the development of stratigraphy and in the Bible biostratigraphy -George Cuvier-found mammoth fossil and determined it was extinct - Nicholas Steno – devised principle of superposition (top layer = youngest) – for stratigraphy - William Smith – devised principle of faunal succession (uses fossils to determine different rock ages) – for biostratigraphy 6. Appreciate the scale of changes that - over geological time scales (millions of can occur over geological time scales years), seemingly small changes can be huge (1 mm/year = km of movement) 7. List some of the major subdivisions -eras: ex. Mesozoic, Cenozoic; separated by /ages of the geological time scale and major change in biosphere appreciate the relative scale between -- phanerozoic eon: shorter than Precambrian, the Phanerozoic and the Precambrian emergence of species with hard parts - before & after Mesozoic era: emergence of new species after mass extinction - base of each period (Cambrian, Jurassic, etc) is radiation of new species - Precambrian makes most of Earth’s history – 87%?; Phanerozoic ~13% 8. Understand how extinction events are - geological time scale divided into groups, linked to the structure of the geological defined by extinctions & introductions of new time scale species 9. List some of the major developments in - Phanerozoic era: hard part organisms the history of life on Earth - rapid introduction of new species at beginning of Cambrian 10. Define the characteristics of a mass - 30% of Earth’s species lost extinction - affect broad range of ecologies (not just 1 niche) EOSC 114 – Mass Extinction Learning Outcomes - sudden/short duration (max 1 million years) 11. List the "Big Five" mass extinction -most recent: cretaceous/paleogene (k/Pg) events and their order through time -Late Triassic -Permo/Triassic - Late Devonian - oldest: Late Ordovician 12. Distinguish between broad extinction producing phenomena 13. Describe the late Ordovician and Permo-Triassic: Permo-Triassic extinction -“worst day for biosphere”; -95-98% of species extinct -multiple causes: Pangaea, less ocean ridge = low sea level, global warming from volcanic activity 14. Describe the character of extinctions at - over 50% of species extinct; very bad in the K/Pg boundary water, with 80-90% marine species extinct - extra-terrestrial impact responsible for extinction suggested by Louis & Walter Alvarez - iridium-rich (normally rare) clay layer at end of cretaceous 15. Discuss the evidence used to support - Early Paleogene: more fern spores than the K/Pg impact pollen, so likely lots of fires at end of Cretaceous - Tektites: natural glass in aerodynamic shapes from impacting rock - Quartz: from shattered rock, ie. impact - Tsunami deposits: tsunami sedimentary features in deserts, dry places - Chicxulub Crater: crater at Yucatan peninsula shows indent, pressurized rocks proof  would have caused fires (fern spores), tsunami b/c part in ocean (tsunami deposits),
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