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Western University
Earth Sciences
Earth Sciences 2240F/G
Ron Podesta

Unit 1 Study Guide INTRODUCTION Internal Energy- leads to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions External Energy- leads to hurricanes, asteroid impacts The Scientific Method • Organization: o Observation –forms a hypothesis o Formation of hypothesis o Test of hypothesis with more observation o Formation of theory if all observations consistent (testing theory never stops) o Predictions based on theory o Formation of law after long time of testing of successful observations Terminology Learn the definitions • Natural process – events due to physical, chemical, biological activity ex. Hurricane, Earthquake, volcano • Natural hazard –potential to threat life or property due to natural processes, can not control • Disaster – termed a sudden misfortune; more local • Catastrophe – widespread disaster, disastrous end; more global • local disaster: a significant disruption to local society and communities, but the consequences are contained locally. • regional disaster: the magnitude of disruption is greater – something greater than a single city area might occupy, and the consequences of the event are more widespread. Ex. Mexico City Earthquake • regional catastrophe: a disruption of sufficient magnitude that large regions – such as provinces, states or even countries – must deal with consequences, including death and numerous injuries to the regional population. Ex. China Tangshan Earthquake • global catastrophe: the magnitude of the disruption is felt – and dealt with – on a global scale; death of many whole species is common. Ex. Tsunami 2004 and Large Asteriod 65.5 million years ago killing 70% of species Cost of Disasters/Catastrophes -1950’s cost was 3.9 billion per year, costs have risen over the years Make the connection between costs, the increase of human population, spread of living habitats into potentially hazardous areas. -more people affected by natural disasters because there are more people in the world, more expensive infrastructures means more expensive costs from natural disasters, mainly humans fault for CHAPTER 1: Philosophy: Problems With Observation & Interpretation Opposing Philosophies of Geologic Observations/Data Interpretation Catastrophism o An attempt to recognize the importance of geological processes, but sequence them and confine them within the concept of biblical studies o catastrophist, you believed • that the history of Earth was a record of unique events, • that there was no such thing as natural evolution of anything – biological or inorganic, • there was no possible prediction of nature. • that Earth began as a molten ball • that as it cooled it went through a series of intermittent global convulsions that threw rocks into mountain formations (even those containing marine fossils), • that valleys were the erosional signature of the world-wide flood of Noah‟s time • that fossils represented previous life forms that were killed off during the episodic catastrophic events. • They further believed that there were no biological “connections” between any species, living or dead, and that all were independent creations. o Steno - C -reconstructed the history of Earth's surface on the basis of the processes he could see happening o Burnet - C -tried to translate the bible literally from the story Noah’s Arc o Ussher - C nd - earth came into existence at sunset October 22 , 4004 B.C o Cuvier - C -sedimentary rocks forming the layers of the paris bason -only mechanism for flooding was a series of huge catastrophes which sudden, violent, overwhelming in force and completely unpredictable -evidence was in sedimentary rocks of mass extinction due to global and catastrophic floods Gradualism/Uniformitarianism • Learn who championed each philosophy • Several philosophers/scientists were so important (during this difficult period) that you must learn something about their philosophies and accomplishments: o Hutton -U -father of modern Geology, deist -believed in deity but not in divine intervention -time was not an issue because he ignored the religious dogma -He appreciated that great time had to be involved to proceed from weathering, erosion, transportation, deposition elsewhere, and solidification into rock -his words and grammar were not very smooth therefore his idea of gradualism wasn’t published o Lyell - U -thought on the same track as hutton -emphasized unlimited geological time CHAPTER 2: GeologicAge Dates GeologicAge Dates • Age of meteorites (from asteroid fragments): 4.567 billion years (approx. age of Solar System) • oldest mineral is crystal of zircon and dates 4.404 billion years ago • Age of Earth: 4.54 billion yea
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