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Earth SC-202 Physical Geology

Earth SC-202 Physical Geology

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Earth SC-202 Physical Geology

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  1. Earth SC-202 Physical Geology

  2. Instructor • Prof. Steven Dutch • Office: LS 402 • Phone: 465-2246 • Email: dutchs@uwgb.edu • Home Page: www.uwgb.edu/dutchs • Office Hours MWF 10:30-11:30, TR 9:30-10:50

  3. What is Physical Geology? Erosion Wind Soils Oceans Glaciers Water Weathering Surface Underground Sedimentary Fossils Earth History Rocks Volcanoes Metamorphic Igneous Earth’s Interior Intrusions Plate Tectonics Earthquakes Mineral Resources Mountains Other Planets

  4. Syllabus • Introduction to the course • Minerals • Igneous Rocks and Volcanoes • Weathering and Erosion • Evolution of Landscapes • Sedimentary Rocks • Evolution, Fossils, Geologic Time • Glaciers • Wind and Wave Erosion • Metamorphism and Deformation • Earthquakes and Earth's Interior • Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics • Resources from the Earth • Geology of other Worlds

  5. Exams and Grading Midterm I 50 points Midterm II 50 points Lab 100 points Final 80 points Field Trip 20 points Attendance 10 points Total 300 points A 270+ AB 255-269 B 240-254 BC 225-239 C 210-224 CD 205-210 D 200-204

  6. Field Trip • Dates • Mandatory – Absence Excuse Required • 8:00 LS Parking Lot, Return 4:15 • Casual Clothing – No strenuous hiking • Bring a lunch and fluids • Rest stops provided • Put on your calendar! No excuses!

  7. Lab • Instructor: Jennifer Wessel • Enroll in one section • 100 points total

  8. Expectations • Commitment • Focus in class • Professional Conduct • No talking, texting • Stay whole period • Stay vertical and awake • Use Syllabus • Know your ID number or bring ID to exams

  9. Sample exam question • Which is the most desirable property in a gemstone? • High hardness • Low hardness • Excellent cleavage • Density

  10. Signs of Trouble • Not making connections • Lecture, lab, text, on-line, exams • Not knowing your grade • Not knowing what to study for • Not knowing what’s on syllabus

  11. Geology and Other Sciences

  12. Who Geoscientists Are: • About 30,000 in the U.S. • Globally, in rich and poor countries, about one per $50 million GNP. • Mostly male but changing rapidly (now about 25% female in U.S.) • Still less than 10% minority in U.S. (moving up slowly)

  13. Where Geologists Work • 40 % Private Sector • 30 % Academic • 30 % Government

  14. What Geologists Do: • Locate Geologic Resources • Geologic Hazard Mitigation • Geological and Mining Engineering • Site Study • Land-Use Planning • Environmental Protection • Environmental Impact • Ground Water and Waste Management • Basic Research (Furnishes fundamental knowledge for the applications)

  15. Some Unique Aspects of Geology Importance of Relationships • Sequential • Spatial Importance of Time Distinctive Problems of Evidence • Slow Rates • Rare Events • Destruction of Evidence • Inaccessibility

  16. Some Geologic Rates Cutting of Grand Canyon • 2 km/3 m.y. = 1 cm/15 yr Uplift of Alps • 5 km/10 m.y. = 1 cm/20 yr. Opening of Atlantic • 5000 km/180 m.y. = 2.8 cm/yr. Uplift of White Mtns. (N.H.) Granites • 8 km/150 m.y. = 1 cm/190 yr.

  17. Some Geologic Rates Movement of San Andreas Fault • 5 cm/yr = 7 m/140 yr. Growth of Mt. St. Helens • 3 km/30,000 yr = 10 cm/yr. Deposition of Niagara Dolomite • 100 m/ 1 m.y.? = 1 cm/100 yr.

  18. 1 Second = 1 Year • 35 minutes to birth of Christ • 1 hour+ to pyramids • 3 hours to retreat of glaciers from Wisconsin • 12 days = 1 million years • 2 years to extinction of dinosaurs • 14 years to age of Niagara Escarpment • 31 years = 1 billion years

  19. Some Unique Aspects of Geology (Continued) Reliance on Inference and Deduction Intrinsically "Unsolvable" Problems • Ancient Landscapes • Mass Extinctions • Ancient Ocean Basins

  20. Scientific Principles in Geology • Parsimony (K.I.S.S.) • Superposition • Uniformitarianism Using these, plus observation, we establish facts about Earth Processes

  21. Parsimony • The simplest explanation that fits all the data is preferred • Doesn’t guarantee that things must be simple! • Theories with lots of ad hoc or unsupported ideas are probably wrong.

  22. Parsimony: What is the best interpretation of this well data?

  23. Parsimony • This? • Or This?

  24. Parsimony • Rock layers throughout NE Wisconsin are nearly flat and little disturbed • Glacial deposits are always on top of bedrock • Therefore this is the most likely interpretation

  25. One Implication of Parsimony How do we know the laws of nature are the same everywhere? • Out to the farthest stars, everything seems to obey the same laws of nature • We find nothing in the rocks to suggest the laws of nature were different in the past Either: • The laws of nature change but just happen to produce effects that look like the presently-known laws of nature – or – • The laws of nature really are the same everywhere

  26. Another Implication of Parsimony • We live in a universe of patterns • If someone claims there is an exception to a known pattern, the simplest explanation is that he/she is wrong • Therefore the burden of proof in science is on the challenger

  27. Superposition Whodunit? • Last night, one of Green Bay’s premier beer can collections was stolen • The only clue is footprints in the snow • The thief was the last person to leave the premises

  28. The Suspects • The Nephew Has a seeing-eye dog • The Maid Drives a car • The Cook Rides a motorcycle • The Handyman Rides a bike • The Butler Walks to work

  29. The Crime Scene • The Nephew has a seeing-eye dog • The Maid Drives a car • The Cook Rides a motorcycle • The Handyman Rides a bike • The Butler Walks to work

  30. Contacts

  31. A Contact:Mindoro Cut, Wisconsin

  32. Uniformitarianism Continuity of Cause and Effect • Apply Cause and Effect to Future - Prediction • Apply Cause and Effect to Present - Technology • Apply Cause and Effect to Past - Uniformitarianism

  33. Uniformitarianism does not mean: • Catastrophes never occur • Physical Conditions on Earth never Change • Earth has always been the same • Physical processes always occur at the same rate or intensity • Laws of Physics have always been the same

  34. Uniformitarianism does mean: Using our knowledge of physical laws, we can test: • Whether catastrophes have occurred • Whether physical conditions on earth have changed, and if so, how (ice ages, warm periods, high or low sea level, etc.) • Whether physical laws themselves have changed in time, or elsewhere in the universe.