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[EESA06H3] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (48 pages long!)


Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA06H3
Professor
N.Eyels
Study Guide
Midterm

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UTSC
EESA06H3
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE

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->>>>>Earth systems:
-matter and energy flows between all the spheres
-atmosphere - envelope of gases around our planet
-solid earth (lithosphere or geosphere)
-biosphere - living and dead organic matter (NOT THE SAME AS ECOSPHERE)
-hydrosphere (and cryosphere which is the frozen part of the hydrosphere)
->>>> Lithosphere
-in the ecosphere, the only part we consider is the upper part/crust of the earth.
->>>>Atmosphere
-a mixture of gases
-78% nitrogen
-21% oxygen
-1% other gases
->>>>Biosphere
-look at map of biosphere map in oceans in slides
-in the oceans, note that much of the chlorophyll is found around the poles and close to land,
the middle of the oceans aren't very active in plant growth
->>>>THE ECOSPHERE
-the interaction of the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere on which the biosphere
resides; the area of interaction.
->it is important to wrap your head around the impact of time on Earth's history
-humans have only been here for a very small amount of time.
-there is a a conflict between the technosphere and the other natural spheres of the earth.
->>>>Energy Sources
-external sources: mainly the sun, which drives the hydrologic cycle (circ. in the ocean) and
the circulation of the atmosphere and oceans; these flows then shape the lithosphere via
erosion
-internal energy: the energy that drives volcanoes and the deformation of the crust via
radioactive radiation decay in the mantle and the leftover heat from the formation of our planet,
fuels the movement of the earth plates
-One important example of the sphere's interacting is the one of the Saharan Dust storm that
travels over the pacific ocean and deposit nutrients in the ocean which life in the oceans use.
(hydrosphere, atmosphere, geosphere and the biosphere are all interacting)
->>>> Two ways to classify what's inside the earth:
->Layers by Composition (recipe)
-Crust: very thin; two different kinds, continental crust and oceanic crust (Silica Rich, light)
-Mantle (Olivine rich)
-Core (Iron Core, rich in iron and magnesium, heavy)
->Layers by Physical Properties (behaviour)
-Lithosphere (solid, rigid) (NOT THE SAME AS CRUST, Lithosphere includes the crust and the
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upper part of the mantle)
-Athenosphere (solid, weak, ductile)
-Mesophere- Solid
-Outer Core - Liquid
-Inner Core - Solid
How do we know what's in the planet?
-Through the use of earthquakes and seismographs.
-The Lithoprobe project: Instead of waiting for earthquakes, these trucks send their own small
seismic waves out and read that data that comes back to learn about what happens beneath
the surface.
Many different types of seismic waves:
-Primary waves (p waves) can travel through liquids and solids (transverse), can travel
through core
-Secondary waves (s waves) cannot travel through liquid (sinusoidal), cannot travel through
core
-Rayleigh Waves and Love waves are the ones that cause the most damage to humans.
-p waves move faster than s waves, the further you are from the quake, the larger the gap
between s and p waves.
-What is the difference between oceanic crust and continental crust?
Continental crust is thick (30-50km)
Ocean Crust is thin (~7km)
Earthquakes travel faster in oceanic crust than continental crust
-The Lithosphere is interacting with the athenosphere, the mantle and the core.
Common Rock Types:
-Continental Crust = granite
-Oceanic Crust = basalt (dark colour, denser, heavier)
-Mantle = Olivine (which is a mineral not a rock); Olivine and Pyroxene are minerals that make
up Peridotite
-Core = Meteorites can tell us about the inside of planets (iron-nickel meteorites are like the
core of our planet)
->Most of earths history is made up of the precambrian, no visible life
->In Earth's earliest history; "The Hadean" - Earth did not have an atmosphere or oceans, just
many meteorite collisions
->The Earth was once homogenous, then over time, the heavier stuff sunk and lighter stuff
oated and then the atmosphere formed. (it differentiated)
-> The liquid outer core formed the magnetic field, which protected us from solar wind and we
were able to form an atmosphere
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