GEOL 1403 Physical Geology 1 Instructor: Dr. Michelle McMahon
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the theory of geologic processes, including a study of physical forces that shape the Earth and all its landforms. Special emphasis is given to the origins of minerals and rocks, volcanoes, earthquakes, structures, landforms, plate tectonics, and other geologic processes. Assignments outside the classroom help students explore and discover links between classroom discussions and life experiences.
COURSE PURPOSE The primary purpose of this course is for you to gain an understanding and appreciation of past, present, and future geologic processes that shape the face of the Earth and cause geological events that could directly impact you. The course will provide you with opportunities to solve geology-related problems using geological tools, and observation of geologic processes.
COURSE OUTCOMES In completing this course, you will: be able to classify some rocks and minerals common to the earth’s surface be able to recognize various types of landforms common to the earth and how they were formed Be familiar with the geologic time scale be able to recognize various geologic hazards and be able to make educated land-use decisions understand the origin of some mineral and energy resources, and have an appreciation for the environmental impact caused by their extraction
REQUIRED MATERIALS Lecture Text –C.C. Plummer, D. McGeary and D. Carlson, 20__. Physical Geology, editions 12- 13, McGraw-Hill. Laboratory Book –N. W. Jones and C Jones, 20__, Laboratory Manual for Physical Geology, edition 5 - 7 McGraw-Hill (some copies are available to be used during the lab period) Internet Access - textbook resources, internet assignments and GoogleEarth
Recommended Materials ruler in inches and centimeters hand lens colored pencils calculator
ATTENDANCE EXPECTATIONS Classroom attendance is critical. If you miss a class meeting, you are encouraged to obtain notes taken by others and to contact the instructor for assistance. Lecture notes and PowerPoint presentations are available online. Lecture tests will be given to students only on the dates indicated. Lecture test make-ups are given only in the case of emergency or illness and only when the instructor has been contacted prior to the exam.
Exams and Grading Chapter Tests: 4 - each worth 10% of final grade Lab Tests: 3 - each worth 10% of final grade Average of Internet Assignments: 10 % of final grade Campus Mapping Project: 10% of final grade Final Exam: 10% of final grade (cumulative)
Internet Assignments Internet Assignments will be assigned throughout the term, relating to the topics studied. Internet Assignments will generally be due 1-2 weeks after they are assigned. Late Internet Assignments will be accepted for and additional week after the due date with 80% being the highest attainable grade. The average of the Internet Assignments = 10% of the final grade
Laboratory Exercises The lab exercises are designed to support the material presented in lecture and in the textbook Labs are not exams. You are not expected to know the answers immediately! It is critical for success on the lab exams, and the mapping exercise, that all lab work be completed. Lab work will not be graded but will be corrected and students will be tested over the material. There are three lab exams and extra credit questions on the lecture test will commonly cover lab work.
Extra Credit Opportunities Extra credit opportunities are offered throughout the term. 10 points of extra credit raises your final grade 1 point. Maximum 50 points of extra credit –Extra credit opportunities include: - Textbook review questions link to textbook online resources - Independent field trip to Houston Museum of Natural Science - LSC-North Harris field trip to Jesse Jones Park -Hill County field trip -Bolivar –Galveston field trip
OUTSIDE READING You are encouraged to bring to class and share any pertinent newspaper or periodical article. Links to web-based articles can be posted on the discussion board.
Expectation for the Students Taking Physical Geology 1 Geol 1403 I expect students to come to both lecture and lab. I expect students to be on time for lecture and lab. I expect students to have read the chapter before the lecture. I expect student s to stay for the entire class period. I expect students to devote time outside of class to studying and preparing for this class and the class exams. I expect students to work hard. I expect students to treat each other with respect.
Class “Rules” No inappropriate language No cell phones “Test anxiety” is not allowed in class No cheating Show respect to all other students No food or drinks
What you can expect from me Class will start on time I will work hard to make geology interesting and applicable to everyday life. I will be available to help you before and during class as well as online E-mails and discussion topics will be addresses within 24-48 hours Exams and internet problem grades will be available one week after the due date
GEOL 1403 Physical Geology Introduction and Semester Review
The Earth as a System A System: An interactive set of components that behave in an orderly way according to the laws of nature. The Earth System is divided into four (5?) subsystems: –Hydrosphere- water Cryosphere – ice and frozen ground –Geosphere- rocks –Atmosphere- gas, liquid and solids –Biosphere – plants and organisms
Biogeochemical Cycles Biogeochemical cycle: the “pathways” along which energy is transferred between Earth’s subsystems. Include: –Hydrologic Cycle –Rock Cycle –Carbon Cycle –Oxygen Cycle –Nitrogen Cycle Earth system is closed The law of conservation of matter and the law of energy conservation (first law of thermal dynamics) apply Residence time
Why Study Geology? –Avoid Geologic Hazards –Supply Things We Need –Protecting the Environment –Understanding Our Surrounding
Definitions Geology: the scientific study of the solid part of the earth Physical Geology: the division of geology concerned with the earth’s materials, changes of the surface and interior of the earth, and forces that cause those changes
Other Disciplines of Geology Other Disciplines of Geology –Historical –Geophysics –Sedimentology –Petrography/Crystallography –Glacial Geology –Geomorphology –Paleontology
Geologist use the Scientific Method to understand how the earth works. Geologist use the Scientific Method to understand how the earth works. 1) A question is asked 2) Information pertinent to the question or problem is analyzed. Facts (data) are collected. 3) Data is analyzed and an explanation (hypothesis) is proposed that explains the data. 4) Predictions are made 5) Predictions are tested 6) Hypothesis that passes the tests become theory that are then subjected to further testing and refinement.
My goal in this course is simple: I will completely change you perspective on life !!!
We will be looking at: –How Rocks are Formed –Time –The Ground Below Your Feet Is Moving! –How Topographic Features are Formed –Earth’s Resources
This course is divided into six units five main topics Introduction (1) Material Of the Earth (2) Geologic Time (3) Earth’s Internal Processes (4) Earth’s External Processes (5) Geologic Resources (6)
Minerals and Rocks We will learn to identify the most common minerals that make up the rocks found on earth. We will learn how to distinguish between the three groups of rocks Igneous, Sedimentary and Metamorphic Podcast: The Rock CycleThe Rock Cycle
The Earth is 4.6 Billion Years Old That is: 4,600,000,000 yrs Geologic processes take hundred, thousands and millions of years to happen and occur on local, regional and global scales
Times Scales of Geologic Processes Formation of a gem quality diamond- 5-10 million years ( high pressure and temp) Erosion of a coastline associated with a tsunami or hurricane- hours-days Ice Ages: glacial/interglacial cycle every 100,000 yrs/ 20 in the last 2 million-3 million yrs Extinctions: hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands? Formation of a volcanic cone- hundreds of years: destruction of a volcanic cone-minutes (Mt St Helens,1980) Erosion of a mountain range – hundreds of thousands of years- million of years Formation of the Texas “Coastal Plain”- 65 million years
2005 Tsunami, Indonesia (before and after images)
Spatial Scale of Geologic Processes Spatial Scale of Geologic Processes Local to Regional Scale- hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, individual earthquakes, small scale volcanic eruptions, river erosion. Global Scale – plate tectonics, mountain building, large scale volcanic eruptions producing global climate change, large meteorites strikes producing global climate change, Ice ages.
“Evolution” of Earth Big Bang Planets and Sun forming from a nebular cloud 5 billion years ago the Earths surface was molten- no atmosphere –no oceans- no life (Oldest rocks on earth 4.6 billion years ago) Oceans and atmosphere formed from out-gassing of volcanic eruption at the surface (meteorites and life) –½ of earth’s atmosphere is within 5.6 km (3.5 miles) from the surface, 90% of the atmosphere within 100 km (62 miles) First life- single celled bacteria: Precambrian First multi-celled organism: Cambrian (540-480 mya)
Geologic Time Early 1800’s: James Hutton- Father of Modern Geology presented the Principle of: UNIFORMITARIANISM or (Actualism) “ The present is the key to the past”
Geologists are Interested in Both Relative Age and Absolute Age Determining and dividing rock units: Contact: surface that separates two different rock types or rocks of different ages. Formation: bodies of rocks of considerable thickness with recognizable characteristics that make each distinguishable from adjacent rocks.
For Relative Age Geologist Use the Steno Principles (Nicolas Steno) Original Horizontality: the beds of sediment deposited in water form horizontal or nearly horizontal layers Superposition: The oldest layers of rock are at the bottom of a sequence and get younger from the bottom of a sequence to the top
The Grand Canyon How many formations are identifiable in this image? Where is the oldest formation? Where is the youngest formation? What Steno principle did you use to determine this?
Geologists divided the earth’s interior into three compositional layers: Core Mantle Crust
Mantle Convection and Tectonic Forces The interior of the Earth moves ! The core of the earth is hot and heats the mantle When hot mantle material pushes upward it “uplifts” the lithosphere. Where the lithosphere is cool and dense it sinks downward into the deeper mantle. Tectonic Forces cause deformation of rocks as well as vertical and horizontal movement of portions of the earth’s crust. Model for Mantle Convections (figure 19.37)Model for Mantle Convections (figure 19.37)
Plate Tectonics (A Theory) The lithosphere is broken into plates that are in motion. Much of the evidence for this is found through studies of the plate boundaries. the three types of plate boundaries Convergent boundary: Plates converging- they move towards each other or come together. If one plate is oceanic crust (denser) and the continental crust (less dense) the continental plate will override the oceanic plate. –convergent plate boundary (figure 9,32)convergent plate boundary (figure 9,32) Divergent boundary: when the plates are moving apart- new continental crust is being formed –the formation of a divergent plate boundarythe formation of a divergent plate boundary Transform boundary: occurs when two plates slide past each other. –transform fault plate boundary (map view) transform fault plate boundary (map view)
The Plate Tectonics Theory The geologic evidence for the plate tectonics theory include: –Earthquakes patterns –Topography of the sea floor –The distribution of mountains and volcanoes breaking up of pangaea (figure 19.2)
The West Coast of the United States is a Plate Tectonics Laboratory (California Oregon, Washington) Earthquakes Geologic Structures Mountain Building Igneous Activity- Volcanoes Texas –mountains and igneous activity throughout geologic time
Landforms - Topographic Features We will study weathering, erosional and depositional processed, and how they create our landscape. We will learn about erosion and deposition by: –Water – Wind –Ice ( Glaciers) –Gravity ( Mass Wasting)
Important Terms Weathering: The mechanical or chemical breakdown of rock material Erosion: the physical removal of rock material by mobile agents (water, wind, gravity or ice) Deposition: the physical “dumping” of rock materials by mobile agents (water, wind, gravity or ice) Mass Wasting: the transfer of rock or soil downslope under the influence of gravity
Mass Wasting (Gravity) :Southern California January 2005
Texas Geology Gulf of Mexico - Passive Continental Margin We live on the - Texas Coastal Plain Austin and San Antonio - Edwards Plateau West Texas - Permian Basin –West Texas Mountains Davis Mountains Guadalupe USGS America’s Volcanic Past - Texas