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Unformatted text preview: Basic Earth Science and Environmental Geology Earth Science is the name for all the sciences that collectively seek to understand Earth and its neighbors in the space. It Includes: • Geology: Study of the Earth • Oceanography: the application of all sciences in a comprehensive and interrelated study of the oceans. • Meteorology: Study of the atmosphere and the processes that produce weather and climate. • Astronomy: Study of the universe This section deals with basic concepts in earth science and environmental geology. The student will: • Describe the Earth's structure • Recognize the characteristics of plate tectonics settings and plate movement • Relate plate tectonics to global geologic trends Earth Spheres • Hydrosphere: The hydrosphere is a mass of liquid continually on the move, continuously interchanging with the biosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere. The oceans represent approximately 71% of the Earth's surface to an average depth of 3800 meters (see "Oceans" unit) and accounts for about 97% of the Earth's water. • Figure 2: Boat on Calm Seas under evening sky ----> • Atmosphere: • Compared to the thickness of the Earth (about 6400 kilometers), the atmosphere is a very shallow layer. Functions of the atmosphere include protecting life on Earth from the dangerous radiations emitted by the Sun and providing a dynamic exchange of energy at the Earth's surface that produces the climate and weather. The structure and functions of the atmosphere is discussed in detail in the "Atmosphere" unit. • Biosphere: • The biosphere includes all life on Earth. Although mostly concentrated near the surface on land and in the ocean, life forms can be found in the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. A variety of life forms are adapted to extreme environments, for example bacteria living in hot springs and deep ocean organisms adapted to high pressure and no light. All life forms interact with the physical environment. • The lithosphere Is the solid Earth lying beneath the atmosphere and the ocean. It extends from the surface to the center of the planet and is the largest of Earth's four spheres (depth = 64,000 km). Earth Internal Structure: Layers Defined by Composition Crust : is a thin rocky outer layer; divided into: o oceanic : 7 km, thick, igneous rocks. this is crust under the oceans; it is thin, compact, and more dense than continental crust. o continental : 40 km, thick many rock types. Less dense than oceanic crust, this layer can be a from between a few feet thick to over a mile thick (mountains) • Mantle : • The mantle is solid rocky shell that extends to a depth of about 2900 km. The boundary between the crust and the mantle represents a change in chemical composition....
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This note was uploaded on 03/04/2012 for the course ENV 1009 at Broward College.
- Environmental Science