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EESA06H3 (200)
Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Notes


Department
Environmental Science
Course Code
EESA06H3
Professor
Nick Eyles
Chapter
1

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Chapter 1
INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOLOGY & THE ENVIRONMENT
What is Geology?
-the study of the earth
-the industrial revolution in the 1800s sparked geology because needing new minerals
forced new ways of investigating planet earth by a profession called a geologist
-earliest detailed geologic maps was made my William Smith in England 1815; referred to
Father of Geology
-earth approximately 4.55 billion years old
Moving Continents
-Alfred Wegener; continental drift & Pangea
-Tuzo Wilson; plate tectonics & transform faults
Time & Geology
-geology needs great time, referred to as deep time
-some things can be fast like a landslide or volcanic eruption
-rate of plate motion relatively fast
-animal life forms from 545 million years
-reptiles 230 million years ago
-dinosaurs evolved & extinct 65 million
-humans here only last 3 million
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What Do Geoscientists Do?
-old school geologists spend their time travelling & looking at rock & earth formations
-exploration geologists look for gold, silver, diamonds, etc
-need to protect water, etc
-geochemists: work in the lab to discover the chemistry of rocks and minerals
-petrologists: study the makeup of rocks & how they form
-geoscientists use boats, planes, ships, helicopters, satellites to learn more
-geophysicists: learn the nature of the physical conditions on or under earths surface
-all are professionals & have qualifications
Environmental Geology: New Challenges for Geoscientists
-new challenges are finding safe drinking water, and dealing with waste products
-environmental geoscientists
-engineering geoscientists dealing with safe building conditions & land stability
-geomatician collects, organizes, analyzes, and creates images from any spatial and
geographic data available in digital form
Common Themes
-geoscientists work with teams of biologists, lawyers, engineers, planners, etc
-society needs geoscientists because they appreciate & understand geological processes
What is the Scientific Method?
-problem or question
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