GEO Exam Study guide - Chapter 1 An Introduction to Geology...

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Chapter 1 – An Introduction to Geology What is the principal of uniformitarianism and how is it applied by geologists? o The present is the key to the past Understand the nebular hypothesis and how it applies to the formation of our Solar System (sun and planets). o As the gasses of the universe cooled after the big bang clouds of dust formed nebula which in turn gave birth to the stars what was left over formed planets How did the Earth’s moon form? Why is the Earth’s orbital plane tilted? o A small planet collided with the earth forming a ring of dust which formed the moon, The Earth began to differentiate forming a stratified Earth. How does density change with depth? What are these zones (not necessary to memorize depths)? How are these zones (Fig 1.16) grouped? Which one makes up the tectonic plates? Which zones are strong and which ones are weak or ductile? o The deeper the denser o Core, Crust, Mantle o The crust is weak like an eggshell and is cracked to form the plates How old is the Earth? o 4.6 billion years How did Earth’s continents, atmosphere and oceans form? Continents: Formed by Flux melting – partial melting in a subduction zone This forms new land through volcanism land is attached to the continents through accretion Oceans Decompression melting – forming oceanic crust Did Mars undergo the same processes that occurred on Earth? o ? The Earth has an external heat engine and internal heat engine. Why are they important? Where did the heat energy(s) originate which powers the internal and external heat engines? o External = Sun o Internal = Geothermal Gradient o The importance of the sun is that it is the birth of all life the importance of geothermal activity is that it creates a magnetic felid which repels solar winds What is the theory of plate tectonics? What is the driving force behind plate tectonics? o The driving force is convection of the mantle and core o The earths crust is separated into plates Chapter 2 – Plate Tectonics: A Scientific Revolution Unfolds What is the continental drift hypothesis as advanced by Alfred Wegner? What evidence did he use to support his hypothesis? With so much evidence why was it not elevated to a theory – what were some of the problems? o The concept that large scale movement of continents has been around since the 16 th century o Continental Drift Evidence Continental fit Patterns of present day animal life Fossil evidence Related rocks Ancient climates When? 200-225 million years ago o Problems? Wegener lacked a mechanism He incorrectly believed that only the continents were moving Continents aren’t independent plates What is Pangea? When did Pangea form?
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course GEOL 101 taught by Professor Wilkie during the Fall '08 term at Washington State University .

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GEO Exam Study guide - Chapter 1 An Introduction to Geology...

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