Review Sheet for Exam I
“And perhaps equally satisfying, [geology] will permit us to perceive with even more clarity the origins of the
landscapes, brimming with geologic history, that surround us every day of our lives.” (MacDougall, p. 248)
The exam will draw from the following sources of information and will be multiple choice.
A Short History of Planet Earth:
Mountains, Mammals, Fire, and Ice
that you will read this book and be able to answer the questions below.
It is your responsibility, if you have
questions, to ask those in advance of the test.
Regional Setting for Louisville and surrounding areas
This exam will focus on the natural context of our region.
While we are looking at a particular point in space and
time (Jefferson County in 2008), most of our stories require some understanding of things that you might not see here
but which are very important to your understanding of what you do see.
As always, we are looking for both
thematic concepts and the vocabulary to express them
The MacDougall book provides a great background to the
local geologic, climatic, and evolutionary stories.
While you are required to read the entire book, focus on the
4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
Never be afraid to skim—read for the big story first by reading the
first couple of paragraphs, chapter subheadings, and final paragraphs—then return for the details.
The diagrams in
this book are particularly helpful, not only the numbered diagrams in each chapter, but also the summary diagrams for
the Paleozoic (p. 110), the Mesozoic (132), and the Cenozoic (178).
In addition, you must understand the geologic
timescale on p. 4.
You may bring a copy of this with you to the test (that is, you DON’T have to memorize it), but
you will need to understand why it is structured as it is.
Just to sum up the broad themes you’re exploring:
Geologic layers are shaped by, and thus reflect, the central
processes of earth history, summarized as follows:
Shifting stages of sea levels, continental arrangements
(driven by plate tectonics), and associated climatic change, drive organic evolution
MacDougall, Chapter 1
What are the major Eons, Eras, Periods, and Epochs of the geologic timescale?
What are the three major types of rocks (sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic)?
What evidence do geologists use to define the different sections of the geologic timescale?
(Skim for key concepts)
(Skim for key concepts)
What is meant by the concept of “uniformitarianism”?
What role does it play in geologists’ reading of the landscape?
Geologists like to talk about the “Law of Superposition,” which states that, in undisturbed rock layers, younger rocks
will (logically) be above older rocks.
Why is this helpful?
How does it relate to Figure 4.1?
What about igneous
rocks that cut through rock layers (are they older or younger)?
What does Figure 4.3 tell you about how continents are formed?