lecture06 - The History of Earth and Life Lecture 6 - Time...

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The History of Earth and Life Lecture 6 1 Lecture 6 - Time sequence Uniformitarianism Methodological Uniformitarianism (Valid) The fundamental properties of matter and energy do not change in time Laws of nature (e.g., principles of thermodynamics, law of gravity, etc.) do not change through time Methodological Uniformitarianism justifies Geology as a science Substantive Uniformitarianism (Questionable) Rates of processes do not change through time. Rarely correct because processes tend to vary in rate May provide powerful insights but can lead to serious errors Rates of Processes Geological processes vary in rate Rates vary from Catastrophic (e.g., Mount St. Helens, 1PM 5/18/80) to very slow (e.g., rate of rise of sea level is measured in millimeters per year) Slow processes may have major effects because lots of time is available Rates of any given process may vary through time Processes may be non-repeating and include constant (linear) (e.g. decay of radioactive elements) or non-linear (rates changes through time) Processes my be repeating including episodic processes that repeat irregularly and periodic (rhythmic) processes that repeat with a regular time period (tides, seasons, etc.) Implications for Rocks
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2008 for the course GEOS 1014 taught by Professor Sxiao during the Spring '08 term at Virginia Tech.

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lecture06 - The History of Earth and Life Lecture 6 - Time...

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