geology_notes

geology_notes - 8/28/2007 9:12:00 AM Introductory Geology...

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28/08/2007 09:12:00 Introductory Geology Stephen S Harlan Geology- “study of the Earth” Two main subject areas Physical geology o Rocks comprising the earth o Processes that shape the earth Historical geology  o History of these changes Importance of geology Resources – steel, oil, etc Hazards – tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes Climate – natural variability or anthropogenic (human caused) Class objectives Develop ability to comprehend, analyze, and think in a science manner Dev understanding of science Promote understanding and appreciation of geo world Earth as a system Hydrosphere Atmosphere
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Solid earth Biosphere Interaction of four components Dynamic system Four forces o Sun – drives external Atmosphere  Hydrosphere Inter with earth surf o Earth int heat Heat from formulation of earth Radioactive decay Hydrosphere o Complex system always in motion o Oceans = 71% of Earths surface o 97% of water in oceans o includes water in streams lakes glaciers and groundwater o water cycle – evaporation from ocean/lakes precipitates and returns to  ocean via rivers o presence of liquid water makes earth unique Atmosphere o Composition = 79% nitrogen 20% oxy
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o Protects from suns intense heat and radiation o Energy exchange between atmosphere earth’s surface and space –  weather o Weather causes erosion and weathering modification Biosphere o All life on earth o Concent near earth’s surface o Complex interaction with other three spheres o Responsible for presence of oxy Studied in this class with affect of phys processes on life Studies as fossils in geo 102 o Solid earth Continental crust Oldest near center of continents Highest point 29000 ft Average elevation 2,759 Old 3.6 bya Most human life found near continent margins Oceanic crust  Geologically very young Mountainous with deep trenches Marianas trench = 35750
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Average depth = 12500 Differences in elevation is due to differences in density Continents composed of granite (2.7 X water) Oceans composed of basalt (3 X water) Origin of the Earth o Solar system – about 14 bya formed during big bang o Nebular hypothesis – sun, planets, moons of our solar systems formed  from nebular cloud composed of hydro and helium o Big bang – explosion from small thing etc Nebular hypothesis o Gravitational contraction of solar nebular o Cloud rotates o Contraction rotation – heating dif o Matter condenses as cooling occurred forms protoplanets Created  solar system Internal structure of earth o Curst – thin outer skin 2 to > 40 miles
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course GEOL 101 taught by Professor All during the Fall '08 term at George Mason.

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geology_notes - 8/28/2007 9:12:00 AM Introductory Geology...

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