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Introduction To Physical Geology. The Science Geology is typically broken up into two fields of study –Physical Geology –Historical Geology.

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction To Physical Geology. The Science Geology is typically broken up into two fields of study –Physical Geology –Historical Geology."— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction To Physical Geology

2 The Science Geology is typically broken up into two fields of study –Physical Geology –Historical Geology

3 Physical Geology Examines the materials composing Earth and seeks to understand the processes that operate beneath the surface –It is the how and why of Geology

4 Historical Geology Seeks an understanding of the origin of Earth and its development through time. –It is the who, what, where, and when

5 The rock cycle

6 - Series of processes by which rocks changes into other types of rocks -Illustrates various processes and paths as earth materials change both on the surface and inside the Earth - What are the three main rocks ? 1- Igneous 2- Metamorphic 3- Sedimentary

7 The rock cycle

8 Fundamental Rock Types -Igneous Rocks: solidify from melt, e.g. lava (extrusive) or magma (intrusive) -Sedimentary Rocks: are made at the Earth’s surface from particle and chemical remnants of other rocks -Metamorphic rocks: form when other rocks are heated, squeezed, and deformed.

9 Granite (igneous, intrusive)

10 Basalt (igneous, extrusive)

11 Conglomerate (sedimentary)

12 Shale and sandstone (sedimentary)

13 Limestone (sedimentary)

14 Sandstone (sedimentary)

15 Marble (metamorphic)

16 Quartzite (metamorphic)

17 Gneiss (metamorphic)

18 Earth as a System –Earth ’ s Four Spheres Atmosphere –The air we breathe Hydrosphere –The water we drink Biosphere –life Solid Earth –Where we live All of these spheres interact with each other. A minor adjusting In the properties of one could lead to drastic changes in the Properties of the other three


20 Earth’s Outermost Layers The most dynamic portion of the Earth –Atmosphere Thin gaseous envelope surrounding Earth –Hydrosphere Water layer dominated by the oceans –Biosphere All living things on the planet –Lithosphere Rocky outer shell

21 The Atmosphere Composition is unique in solar system –78% nitrogen –21% oxygen ( not present in early atmosphere ) –Minor amounts of carbon dioxide, argon and water vapor

22 The Hydrosphere Total mass of water on or near the Earth’s surface –Covers 71% of Earth’s surface –~98% in oceans –2% in glaciers, groundwater, lakes and streams (fresh water)

23 The Biosphere All life on Earth –Animals & plants on land, in the sea and air –Microorganisms-the most common form of life –Evolved within narrow zone near the Earth’s surface

24 Earth’s Internal Structure Solid Earth has a layered structure –Layers defined by composition and physical properties –Compositional layers crust - mantle - core –Physical layers lithosphere - asthenosphere - mesosphere - outer core - inner core



27 Compositional Layers Crust –Outermost compositional layer –Definite change in composition at the base of the crust –2 types: Continental crust Oceanic crust

28 Compositional Layers Mantle –Largest layer in the Earth 2900 km thick 82% by volume 68% by mass –Composed of silicate rocks with abundant iron and magnesium Density ranges from 3.2 to 5 g/cm 3


30 Compositional Layers Core –Central mass about 7000km in diameter –Average density of 10.8 g/cm 3 –16% by volume, 32% of mass –Indirect evidence of composition Metallic iron

31 Physical Layers Lithosphere –Crust + upper portion of the mantle –Solid & rigid –Thickness ranges from 10 km beneath oceans to 300 km in continental areas


33 Crust –Continental crust Thick - up to 75 km Lower density - 2.7 g/cm 3 Strongly deformed Much older - may be billions of years old

34 Crust –Oceanic crust Thinner - about 8 km More dense - 3.0 g/cm 3 Comparatively undeformed Much younger - < 200 million years old

35 Physical Geology Earth’s Systems –Atmosphere gases that surround the Earth –Hydrosphere water on or near Earth’s surface –Biosphere all living or once-living materials –Geosphere solid, rocky Earth

36 Earth’s Interior Compositional Layers –Crust Very thin outer rocky shell of Earth Variable thickness –Mantle Hot solid Special “plastic” zone Fe-, Mg-, Si-rich minerals –Core Outer core –liquid –mostly iron Inner core –solid –mostly iron

37 Earth’s internal layers

38 The Earth in Space

39 Age of the Earth = 4.5 Billion years [4,600,000,000 years] Age of the Universe = 14 Billion years

40 Earth Compared to Other Planets The Solar System –The inner planets Rocky planets near the Sun Mercury, Venus, Earth & Mars –The outer planets Giant gaseous planets Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune –Pluto, a small icy minor planet


42 Origin of the Solar System Gravitational collapse of gas & dust cloud [nebula] –Rotation around a central mass –Disk shaped cloud –Temperature variations segregated matter –Small particles accreted into larger planetesimals, planets


44 How do we Know this?

45 Differences between inner and outer planets: –Density –The rocky inner planets=densities of 3 g/cm 3 more –The gaseous outer Planets=densities of 1.6 g/cm 3 or less

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