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EXAM 1 STUDY GUIDE T HE E ARTH S YSTEM Components of the Earth System: Geosphere – Solid portion of the earth, rocks, soil, sediment Hydrosphere – Water, oceans, rivers, lakes Biosphere – Living portion of the planet Atmosphere – Envelope of gases that surrounds the Planet Major Cycles Linking Earth System Components: Biogeochemical Cycles - How energy and matter is transferred from one system to another. Movement of elements or compounds, such as carbon, through living organisms and the nonliving environment. Rock Cycle – A pictorial representation of events leading to the origin, destruction and/or changes, and reformation of rocks as a consequence of Earth’s internal and surface processes. Igneous to Sedimentary to Metamorphic. Any rock type can be derived from the othersMagma either crystallizes or becomes consolidation, giving us igneous rocks. The igneous rocks undergo weathering, where they undergo transportation and deposition. They then become sediments with undergotLithification (compaction and cementation) giving us sedimentary rocks. The sedimentary rocks undergo metamorphism giving us metamorphic rocks, which will melt in the magma and then the cycle starts over again. Carbon Cycle - the circulation of carbon atoms in the biosphere as a result of photosynthetic conversion of carbon dioxide into complex organic compounds by plants, which are consumed by other organisms: the carbon returns to the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide as a result of respiration, decay by fungi, bacteria, etc., and combustion of fossil fuels. Much of the earth's carbon is contained in the atmosphere which serves as a reservoir. Atmospheric carbon consists mostly of carbon dioxide and has two major sinks: terrestrial ecosystems and marine ecosystems, both of which deal with photosynthesis as a part of assimilation and respiration as a part of release. Hydrologic Cycle – Water undergoes evaporation and then forms clouds. Water falls back onto the earth by precipitation. Water can then undergo infiltration to add back to the water table, or runoff back into the body of water that it started in. It can also be taken up by plants or animals. D EVELOPMENT OF H ISTORICAL G EOLOGY AS A S CIENCE Famous people and the roles they played in the early development of ideas regarding earth history: Curvier – Was the first paleontologist and worked for Napoleon. Developed the theory of catastrophism , explaining earth’s physical and biologic history by sudden, worldwide catastrophies; also holds that geologic processes active with greater intensity in the past. 1
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Werner Neptunism . Believed that all rocks that existed on earth were formed by the process of precipitation from a vast global ocean. Primitive (primary) rocks were the first to precipitate, followed by transition, secondary and alluvial rocks. Whole surface of earth was covered by ocean. Believed middle of earth is cool ocean there and coal is burned closer to the surface. Journey to the Center of the Earth is based on this view.
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This note was uploaded on 04/01/2008 for the course ESSC 111 taught by Professor Loduca during the Spring '08 term at Eastern Michigan University.

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