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Unformatted text preview: CLASS NOTES January 11, 2008 **Read Chapter 1** (especially material concerning plate tectonics) 6 Big Points about Earth 1. The Earth is composed of four different components – “spheres” a. Lithosphere- hard part of earth b. Atmosphere- air c. Biosphere- what makes the earth unique in solar system d. Hydrosphere- water, lakes, etc. 2. Earth is density stratified- The densest is in the middle. a. Progressively less dense outward 3. Life support systems = hydrosphere and atmosphere. a. Random…mars doesn’t have a hydrosphere now, but it once did 4. Materials move within each sphere and between spheres a. most IMPORTANT b. Important cycles include the plate tectonic cycle, hydrologic cycle, rock cycle, carbon cycle. c. This movement between spheres is what this whole course is going to be about. i. Plate, tectonic, rock, hydrologic, carbon. (order of class) d. Plates move transferring material from solid earth, to Hydrosphere, atmosphere, and back around. e. Rocks change from one type to another as a result of hydrologic, plate tectonic, and carbon cycles. f. Water moves within between rocks, air, oceans, ice, life (hydrologic cycle) g. Carbon moves from biosphere-lithosphere-atmosphere-hydrosphere over millions of years i. Compare and contrast- road kill and petroleum… Both are high in carbon. ii. What is the fate of roadkill? 1. Scavenged- Tissue broken down and used for energy by other organism. Carbon is transferred. In process of energy transfer (respiration) carbon combined with oxygen. Carbon dioxide is put into atmosphere a. If temperature is warmer, more CO2 in air, and gets even warmer 2. OR – Can decay! Tissue broken down by bacteria. Bacteria break it down using oxygen. Again, produces CO2 (into atmosphere) h. Petroleum formed when...Microscopic plants die but are not decayed or scavenged. ABSENCE OF OXYGEN. (Organisms did not live that would break them down) No decay, no transfer of carbon. Carbon is preserved…until we get it. Combine it with oxygen and use energy. 5. Present state of earth is temporary…different in past, different in future. a. Tennessee used to look more like the Bahamas 400 million years ago 6. Humans are capable of altering the Earth—particularly the life support systems. SHIELD CHARACTERISTICS- Not mountainous, low relief, not high above sea level.- Rocks = formed CRATONS: Shields & Platforms- Every continent has one....
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This note was uploaded on 04/21/2008 for the course EES 101 taught by Professor Miller during the Spring '08 term at Vanderbilt.
- Spring '08