EarthStructure - Introduction to Earth Science/Geology C....

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Introduction to Earth Science/Geology C. Ophardt Geology, What is it? Geology is the study of the Earth. Includes surface process which have shaped the earth's surface Study of the ocean floors Interior of the Earth. History of the Earth as it has evolved to its present condition. The Earth has changed throughout its history, and will continue to change (Unifying Theme)
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Earth Science/Geology - Time Scale Time scale (Unifying Theme) Earth is about 4.6 billion years old Human beings - maybe 2 million years. Humans have witnessed only 0.043% of Earth history How can we think about changes on earth on a scale of billions of years?
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Earth Science/Geology - Time Scale II Try to imagine 1 million years That's 50,000 times longer than you have lived. A river deposits about 1 mm of sediment (mud) each year. How thick is the mud after 100 years? -- 10 cm hardly noticeable over your lifetime. What if the river keeps depositing 1 mm/yr for 10 million years? Answer 10,000 meters (6.2 miles).
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Scientific Method - Inquiry in Earth Science Strongly tied to experiment and observation. Observations can be cast as experiments -- thought experiments. Observation: Wind River Mountains in Wyoming - 10,000 feet above sea level -observe a rock containing many seashells. How did it get there?
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Questions: Was area covered by an ocean at some time in the past? Was this ocean 10,000 feet deep? Was this area at one time at sea level and unknown forces elevated it to its present elevation? Tie in to previous slide about rate of
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This note was uploaded on 10/03/2011 for the course GIS 434 taught by Professor Tretr during the Spring '11 term at Federal University of Technology.

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EarthStructure - Introduction to Earth Science/Geology C....

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