Intro - GEOL 114 The Earth's Dynamic Interior Lecture...

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GEOL 114 The Earth's Dynamic Interior Lecture Notes (Copyright © 2006 by Jeffrey S. Barker) 1. Introduction and Administrivia What is the Earth made of and how did it form? How old is the Earth? How big/how dense is the Earth? Why is the Earth round? Why is the Earth not round? Is it true that the Earth is molten inside? How does a compass work? Why does the Earth have a magnetic field? Why are there mountains? Why are there not mountains? What causes earthquakes and volcanic eruptions? Can they be predicted? Can damage be mitigated? The topics covered in GEOL 114 The Earth's Dynamic Interior are designed to give you a basis for understanding the processes and properties of the Earth's interior so that you can answer these questions (and many others) for yourself. The course is designed for those with no previous exposure to the geological sciences. In fact, the only prerequisite is a willingness to consider new ideas, weigh the evidence, and draw conclusions. A typical and normal way of understanding new things is to compare them to your own set of experiences and observations, and then to decide if they make sense, and see if they raise any questions which you can attempt to answer by some experiment or measurement (this is science!). However, to fully appreciate the processes which occur in the Earth's interior, you will have to expand your perspective, and consider scales of processes which are outside of your realm of experience. For example, in this class, we will consider: Time scales 0-1 sec: earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, other catastrophes 4.5 Billion years (140,000,000,000,000,000 sec): Age of the Earth 15 Billion years (470,000,000,000,000,000 sec): Age of the Universe GEOL 114 1 1. Introduction
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Speeds plate motions: 2.5 cm/yr (0.0000000018 mph) earthquakes and volcanos: 1 m/s (2.2 mph) seismic waves: 6 km/s (13,416 mph) speed of light: 300,000 km/s (669,600,000 mph) Pressures 0-1 atmosphere: surface and out into space 3,650,000 atmospheres: center of the Earth Temperatures absolute zero (-273 0 C): deep space 0-100 0 C: our experience 3,300 0 C: center of the Earth 2,000,000,000 0 C: center of a Red Giant star Extra Info Extra Info : : When you see a box like this, it contains information that may not be necessary for your understanding of the concept,
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Intro - GEOL 114 The Earth's Dynamic Interior Lecture...

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