EESA06 Final Exam Ch1 Summary + 40 MCQ/T or F

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Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

PHYSICAL GEOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENTND2 CANADIAN EDITIONChapter 1 Introduction to Physical Geology and the EnvironmentChapter SummaryGeology is the scientific study of the Earth Early geologists used their knowledge of rocks and minerals to find and exploit resources required by newly industrialized nations Today geoscientists are involved in a wide range of activities including resource exploration environmental geology geomatics and engineering geology and knowledge of geological processes is required by individuals working in both wilderness and urban settingsOne of the most important theories in geology today is that of plate tectonics which proposes that the surface of the Earth is broken into plates that move relative to each other and allow continents to move over time Most geological features and processes operating on the Earth can be related to plate tectonicsThe Earth is estimated to be at least 45 billion years old and is thought to have formed at the same time as other planets in our solar system During formation of the Earth intense heat caused it to melt and allowed the most dense materials to settle toward the centre of the planet forming a core The lightest materials floated to the surface to form a crust This process of differentiation created the zoned internal structure of the Earth consisting of a dense core thick mantle and relatively thin crustThe earliest life forms on Earth were microorganisms similar to modern cyanobacteria that formed moundlike structures called stromatolites More complex life forms emerged after 600 million years ago and by 100 million years ago dinosaurs wandered across our continental interiorsErosion and transport of rocks exposed on the continents creates sediments that may form sedimentary rocks over time If these are deeply buried and heated they may change into metamorphic rocks or may melt completely and form magma Solidification of magma either underground or on the Earths surface produces igneous rocks The recycling of Earth materials as different rock types is conceptualized as the rock cycle and illustrates some of the EESA06 Page 1 of 7
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