EESA06H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Mantle Convection, Outgassing, Asthenosphere

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12 Apr 2012
Chapter 1: Introduction to Physical Geology and the Environment
What is Geology?
Geology the study of earth
Moving Continents
1.1 William Smith Father of English Geology, first to publish a geological map
1.2 William Logan first to systematically describe the geology of Canada (Candian)
- Cross-section a hypothetical vertical slice thru the land
1.3 Alfred Wegener theory of continental drift in 1912 “The Origin of Continents and Oceans
- Pangea continents has previously been clustered together in a large land mass
1.4 J. Tuzo Wilson plate tectonics theory in the early 1970s (Canadian)
- Transform faults large-scale faults that offset the crust laterally but neither created nor
destroyed material, now recognized as a major plate boundary type
- Hot spots active volcanoes, young volcanic islands stuck in the middle of the oceans
- Volcanic islands chains (ex: Hawaiian Islands) resulted from a moving plate drifting over a
stationary magma plume in the mantle support for plate tectonic theory
Time and Geology
Deep time vastly greater amounts of time (more than hours, years)
Mid-ocean ridge a giant mountain range that lies under the ocean
Earth is estimated to be at least 4.55 Ga years old
What do Geoscientists Do?
1.5 Exploration Geologists looking for gold, diamonds and other metals
Geoscientists expand the scope and responsibilities of modern geologist into additional scientific fields
- Geochemists working in a ordered environment of the laboratory and use high-technology
equipment to analyze the chemistry of rocks or minerals
- Mineralogists study minerals
1.6 Petrologists study the makeup of rocks and how they form
- Geophysicists using high-tech equipment in the field, using boats, planes, or satellites to learn
more of the nature of the physical conditions on or under the Earth’s surface
- Petroleum/coal geologists search for oil and gas and coal
- Seismologists study how to measure and mitigate earthquake activity
- Paleontologist studies the fossilized remains of ancient organisms
- Glacial Geologists study landforms and sediments left behind by ice sheets (glaciers)
- Hydro-geologists study and protect sediments that contain and transmit water
1.7 Environmental Geoscientists finding and managing drinking water, dealing with a wide range of
wastes ranging from radioactive waste to household (municipal) waste
1.8 Engineering Geologists work with the challenges of engineering structures that form part of the
human landscape, landscape stability problems.
1.9 Geomatician collect, organize, analyze and create images from any spatial and geographical data
available in digital form
What is the Scientific Method?
Scientific Method the process by which scientists first identify a problem, then they select a
methodology to collect data in order to help solve the problem, then they analyze and interpret
the information, and come up with a hypothesis, after several test, form a theory
Hypothesis a theoretical explanation where the geologist
How did the Earth form?
- Nebula a cloud of gas and dust particles
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