GEO 110 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Oceanic Crust, Continental Crust, James Hutton

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25 Jul 2016
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Lecture 1- Apr 25
Earth’s Major Components
Geosphere
-Core of the earth has
-Most inner part is made up of iron and nickel, and its solid, the rides is about 1200 km
- Second layer is the mantle, made up of two components upper and lower mantel
-The upper layer is cooler and solid, it is made up of…,
--Makes up 80% of the volume of the earth
-2900km
-Above the mantle layer is the lava, metal rock,
-above asthenosphere is the earths crust
Oceanic vs Continental crust
Oceanic Crust: Shorter in term of thickness, more denser, and fluid, large amount of water in it
it is made of certain minerals: basalt and gabbro
Continental Crust: Varies in thickness, depending on the nature of the terrain and the types of
mountain chains formed on it
-Made of silica and aluminum, and its lighter compared to the oceanic crust, and it is buoyant of
float depending on the location
Hydrosphere
-A zone of water bodies, made of the oceans, lakes, rivers, and cryosphere (zone of ice and
snow)
-71% of earths surface is made up of water
-The ocean constituents the largest amount of water, 97.5% of water, but much of it is salty due
to dissolved minerals in the water
Lacustrine: Associated with lakes (5 Great lakes) Huron, Ontario Michigan, Erie, Superior
Paulstrines: Wetlands, swaps, waterlog areas, peats
Riverine: streams, rivers
Atmosphere
-Zone of gases, and the largest proportion of the atmosphere is nitrogen, 78%,nitrogen can be
gained or lost in the atmosphere
-We lose the nitrogen by a process called nitrogen fixation
Nitrogen Fixation: Nitrogen is extracted from the atmosphere and converted into nitrogen
compounds which are plant nutrient (fertilizer), which is carried out by certain bacteria in the
roots and nitrogen fixation is also described as nitrification
-Second process is called denitrification
Denitrification: The reduction of soil nitrate to nitrogen containing gases such as nitric oxide
and nitrogen gas
-There are also industrial sources of nitrogen from combustion of fuel in automobiles
-Other composition is oxygen and it accounts for 21% of the volume of air
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-Bacterias that dwell in the ocean to produce oxygen, and it can also be produced from
photosynthesis
-Photosynthesis helps obtain oxygen in the atmosphere
-There are other gases, carbon dioxide 0.033%, it is the primary contributor for the greenhouse
effect, and it can be gained by combustion of fuel, combustion of trees during forest fires,
combustion of coal in local fire plants, all these process generate carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere
-We lose carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through photosynthesis
-We have argon, helium, methane, sulfur dioxide, mercury, etc
-Water vapour is also a composition of the atmosphere as well, has a high capacity absorb heat
Biosphere
-A zone of living organisms, made of nominal and plant life, flour and fauna respectively
-Includes organisms that are found at the bottom of the ocean
-Nekton: Organisms in the ocean that swim
-Plankton: Organisms that float in the sea, there are two types of plankton; phytoplankton, and
zooplankton
Phytoplankton: A plant
Zooplankton: An animal
Zooxanthellae: Greenish-blue algae that grow on coral leafs, they provide nourishment to
corals
-1 to 2 km above we have birds, insect, and other organisms
-Then we have mammals and reptiles
-Then we have humans
Earth As a System
A system: an assemblage or combination of interacting components
-Geosphere is connected to the biosphere
-It is an on going relationship
-It is useful to refer to the components as subsystems, and to the larger system surrounding the
system being considered as the supra system
Suprasystem is divided according to components, and each are different sizes, there is
constantly flow between the different components
In what ways is the atmosphere connected to the biosphere?? —> plants often take gases from
the atmosphere, humans take oxygen, and we release other gases such as greenhouse gases
Biosphere is also connected to the hydrosphere- plant to rivers and lakes, etc, and plants also
protect water bodies
-Biosphere is connected to geosphere and hydrosphere and atmosphere
Time’s and Rates of Change in the Earth’s Science
James Hutton: Observed certain types of rocks, which are called sandstone, and he formulated
the principle of uniformitarianism/gradualism
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