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Canada (158,417)
EESA06H3 (234)
Nick Eyles (205)
Chapter 1-3

Chapters 1-3 notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Nick Eyles

Chapter 1: What is Geology? The first known geological map was created by ancient Egyptians over 3000 years ago. The scientific discipline of geology as we understand it today came into being only in the late 18 century. The industrial revolution in northern Europe caused a growing demand for energy and minerals (ie. Coal, limestone, iron and water) Finding and exploiting these resources forced new ways of investigating plant earth, this is the job of geologist. One of the earliest geology maps was published in England in 1815 by William Smith, he is known as the father of english geology th In North America, geological mapping began in the mid 19 century and was also driven by the need to locate resources for an ever expanding population. Sir William Logan was the founding director of the Geological Survey of Canada (1842) and was the first to systematically describe the geology of Canada th In the late 17 century it was widely believed that the Earth was only 6000 years old, and had essentially remained the same. However now it is determined that the earth is over 4500 million years old and in that time the life forms, as well as the physical geography have changed dramatically.The ever changing nature of physical environments on planet earth, along with the role of extra-terrestrial processes are seen as having largely controlled the evolution of life forms. Moving Continents The movement of earths continents was suggested in the early 20 century by Alfred Wegener. In 1912 Wegener coined the concept of continental drift, which is a concept that the continents were once one large land mass called Pangea and over time had moved apart from each other. Though Wegener collected a wealth of evidence to support his idea of continental movement, however he couldnt convincingly prove how it happened, therefore people rejected his theory. It took years of gathering geo-physical and geological data from oceans and the margins of continents for geoscientists to prove Wegeners theory. This is turn lead to the development of the plate tectonics theory. It was Canadian geologist J.Tuzo Wilson who in the early 1970s was responsible for bringing together several of the key elements of what we now know as plate tectonics. Time and Geology Geology involves vastly greater amounts of time, often referred to as deep time Some geological processes occur quickly, such as a great landslide or a volcanic eruption. These events occur when stored energy is suddenly released. Most geological processes are slow but relentless reflecting the pace at which the Earths processes work. rapidly to a geologist may mean that within a few million years a hill will be reduced nearly to a plain The rate of plate motion is relatively fast, if new magma erupts and solidifies along a mid oceanic ridge we can easily calculate how long it will take the igneous rock to move 1000 kilometres away from the crest of the ridge. At the rate of 1 cm per year, it will take 100 million years for the currently forming part of the crust to travel 1000 kilometres. The earth is estimated to be at least 4.55 billion years old What do Geoscientists do? Traditional geologists spent most of their time in the field looking for signs of minerals. www.notesolution.com Exploration geologists were formerly called prospectors performed this job. Geoscientists may work for an exploration company looking for gold silver and other medals- or more recently for diamonds. The discipline of geology has broadened its scope over the past several decades. The location of geological resources are more important than ever, however at the same time the skills of the geoscientists are required to address additional issues such as migration of the effects of natural hazards and other environmental concerns. Modern geologists specialize in a number of areas: Geochemists are comfortable working in the ordered environment of the laboratory and use high technology equipment to analyze the chemistry of rocks or minerals. Mineralogists study minerals. Petrologists study the make up of rocks and how they form. Other geoscientists called geophysicists employ high tech equipment in the field (ie boats, ships, planes, or satellites.) to learn more about the physical conditions on or under the Earths surface. Petroleum geologists search for oil and gas. Seismologists study how to measure and mitigate earthquake activity. Paleontologist is a specialist who studies the fossilized remains of ancient organisms, wether gigantic dinosaurs or the remains or organisms to small to see without a powerful microscope (micro paleontologist) Glacial geologists study the landforms and sediments left behind from when the ice sheets covered the northern part of North America in Canada Hydrogeologists study and protect the water within sediments because it is an increasingly important mineral. Todays geoscientists have the advantage of working in many different areas, both by geography and topic. Some include teaching, and working for the government. APGO- The association of professional geologists APEGGA- The association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta Geoscientists often deal with information that is sensitive andor financially significant (e.g a parcel of land that has been extensively contaminated by chemicals, or mineral deposits that haven been discovered.) Environmental Geology: New Challenges for Geoscientists Basic commodities such as metals, oil and gas still need to be found and exploited. Canada is now one of the most urbanized countries in the world, with more than 75% of its population living in cities and towns. Urban populations create large amounts of waste, consume cast quantities of water, and create many environmental problems. The new challenge for todays geoscientist is to relate to the finding and managing of drinking water, and in dealing with a wide variety of wastes ranging from radioactive waste to household waste. Environmental problems are dealt with by environmental geoscientists, they help determine where sufficient groundwater is, and how it can be protected. Questions such as have past land uses released contaminants into the ground- and if so, where are they? need to be answered. In order to do this, environmental geoscientists increasingly need to see underground using geophysical techniques, geochemical data, and flow models to create a 3-d picture of what is below our feet. The 3-D arrangement of strata and the type of www.notesolution.com
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