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ch 1-4


Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA06H3
Professor
Nick Eyles

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Geology is derived from the Greek words Geo and logos which means the study of
the Earth
The first geological map was made 3000 yrs ago but the discipline of geology only
started in the late 18th century because of the industrial revolution and needing
large amounts of energy/minerals lead to creating new professions that study the
earth called geologist
William Smith made one of the first comprehensive geological maps of England
(called the map that changed the world) that matched things in different areas with
distinguishing features in 1815 and was called the father of English Geology. He
also became the founding director of the geological survey of Canada
In the late 17th century, they believed the earth was 6000 yrs old but now they believe
its 4500 million years and was created by the changing physical environment of
earth (moving continents) and extraterrestrial processes
Alfred Wegner mad the idea continental drift and came up with a lot of evidence
that the continents moved from a large land mass called Pangea meaning all of the
lands 250 million years ago. Pangea was made of Godwana (S.A and Africa,
Antarctica, Australia and India) while Laurasia made of N.A., Europe, and Asia) the
evidence was the geological fit of S.A and Africa as well as similarities in rock types,
fossils and structures. He noticed that in S.A., Africa, India, Antarctica, and
Australia had almost identical late Paleozoic rocks and fossils. He saw glacial
deposits on many continents and if it were to occur on all the separate continents as
they are now, the climate must have been cold enough to surround the entire planet
but there was no evidence for it. Also then the ice sheets must have spread from
oceans to continents but this is impossible. Therefore this idea was. Wegner
reconstructed old climate zones known as paleontology where glacial features
indicate a cold climate near the North/South Pole while coral reefs indicate warm
water near the equator, and cross bedded sandstones indicate ancient deserts 30
degrees north and south latitude. This idea is was rejected bcs didnt have a
mechanism to explain how this happened because his best explanation was the
combination of earths rotation and the gravitational forces that cause tides must
lead to continental drift. This led to the development of plate tectonics theory by
Tuzo Wilson in 1970. HE was the first person to do the degree of geophysics at Uof T
and came up with the idea of transform faults which are major plate boundaries and
an active chain of volcanoes that make islands like Hawaii and its called active
volcanoes
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William Logan is known as Canadas premier scientist and made a revolutionary
map or South Wales because he used cross-sections- a hypothetical vertical line
through the land. What he also did is walk on food across Canada at that time made
of Ontario and Quebec and made full descriptions of rocks, minerals and soils
making the 1st systematic layout of the geology of Canada
Geology involves vastly greater amounts of time called deep time but some
geological processes occur quickly like landslides and volcanic eruptions bcs they
suddenly release stored energy. But other processes are slow and relentless and to a
geologies rapidly means a few million years
The earth is 4.55 billion years old but fossils show that complex animals have existed
for 545 million years, reptiles 230 million years, dinosaurs went extinct 65 million
years and humans existed for 3 million years
Traditional geologists spent time in the field looking (prospecting) tell-tale signs of
minerals. Exploration geologists-work for exploration companies looking for gold,
silver and diamonds and try to get it to the market before others do.
Geoscientists- explore and try to mitigate the effects of natural hazards and so
there are a number of different types. Geochemists- work in labs and use high
technology to analyze the chemistry of rocks and work with mineralogists/
petrologists that study minerals or the makeup and formation of rocks.
Geophysists use technology in the field like boats and ships to study the physical
conditions on or underneath the earth. Seismologists- study how to and mitigate
earthquake activity and paleontologists- study the fossilized remains of ancient
organisms. Glacial geologists- study landforms and sediments left behind from ice
sheets while hydrogeologiests study how sediments contain and transmit water
Geoscientists deal with info that is sensitive of financially significant like a piece of
land that is contaminated by chemicals or mineral deposits. Also they are registered
professionals and so the public relies on things they decide to do
Environmental geoscientists- deal with finding and managing drinking water
like ground water as well as dealing with wastes like radioactive largely because the
world is becoming urbanized. To answer questions like if the land had radioactive
chemicals they need to see underground using geophysical techniques and
geochemical data that make 3D images of the arrangement of strata. Engineering
geologists- work with civil engineers to provide info about substrates that form
where buildings etc are going to be made because it can create problems about
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foundations geomaticians- collect, organize, analyze, and create images from
spatial and geographic data available in digital form
Boulders are not randomly dispersed through the till but rather occur in horizontal
layers called pavements.
SCIENTIFIC METHODS-
Geologists are scientists that use the scientific method where they1. identify the
problem then 2.select a methodology to collect data to solve the problem then
3.analuze/ interpret info using maps and computers to come up with a solution
4. Hypothesis- a theoretical explanation where the geologist is saying well I dont
know the whole story but I think this is a good explanation and there are normally
more than one answer to problems. Normally we make multiple hypotheses and
reject many. 5.but the one that passes through repeated testing6. becomes a theory
which has a good chance of being true
Earth is old and in the solar system not as a sold body but also as oceans,
atmosphere, and life, and these individual components interact to form the dynamic
system called the earth system
The universe was made from clumping of gas and debris after the Big Bang that
occurred 15 billion years ago and there are many galaxies in this universe but the
Milky Way has our solar system and earth that was made from gas and dust
particles called nebula. The particles started contracting where the bulbous core
started doing nuclear fusion and make our sun while the dust in the outer side made
large rounded planets and smaller irregular shaped planetismals the process of
making large bodies of matter through collision and gravitational attraction is called
accretion
The planets closed to the sun, Mercury, Venus, mars earth, and mars are small,
dense and rocky terrestrial planets while the bigger Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and
Pluto have low density called Jovian planets
Heat made by accretion of debris and gravitational compression as well as the decay
of radioactive isotopes allowed earth to melt such that heavier materials like iron
and nickel went to the center and lighter materials like silica and oxygen came to
the surface. This process of zonation of different particles is called differentiation
Small solid particles of rock, metal, and ice orbiting sun is called meteoroids. When
they enter earths atmosphere they become heated and light up due to friction called
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