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GY 102 Lecture Notes for Whole Sem.

by: Conner Jones

GY 102 Lecture Notes for Whole Sem. GY 102

Marketplace > University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa > Geography > GY 102 > GY 102 Lecture Notes for Whole Sem
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Pitts GY 102 lecture notes
Earth System Processes
Mary Pitts
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This 13 page Bundle was uploaded by Conner Jones on Friday April 29, 2016. The Bundle belongs to GY 102 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Mary Pitts in Fall2014. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see Earth System Processes in Geography at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 04/29/16
GY 102 Lecture Notes for all semester Topic 1 January 19, 2016  Geography- science of the relationships among natural systems, geographic areas, society, cultural activities, and the interdependence of all these over space  Geomorphology- origin, evolution, form, classification, and spatial distribution of landforms Is geography a new science? No. It has been around forever What is science?  Systematic enterprise  Builds and organizes knowledge  Forms testable explanations  Allows predictions Special themes?  Location- where?  Place- unique nature, tangible/non tangible, living/non living  Movement- global interdependence  Region- area with uniform character  Human-Earth relationships January 21, 2016 Some theories…  Catastrophism- “biblical” everything can be explained by a catastrophe in the bible o Georges Cuvier  Uniformitarianism- “present is key to past” earth constantly changes o James Hutton o Charles Lyell  Evolution o Charles Darwin  Creationists- everything on earth was created by God and never evolved  Intelligent Design- life as we know it today had to be created by a higher authority What questions do we ask?  Where is it located?  Why is it located there?  How and why are places different?  How do people interact with their environment? Answer: Spatial Data Steps What was investigated/discovered Observation Gasoline in groundwater Questions from observation Is it from leak in buried tank? Proposed explanations Test water. From tank/not from tank Collect data to test Leak/no leak, wrong type of gasoline in predictions tank Conclusion From tank/contamination is from elsewhere Types of data: 1. Qualitative- descriptions like colors, textures, smell, taste, etc. 2. Quantitative- numbers like length, height, temperature, area, volume, time, etc. January 26, 2016 Earth’s 4 spheres/energy and matter exchange  Lithosphere- solid portion of the earth, ground o Movements: weathering (physical & chemical), erosion and transport, deposition (deposited), burial, deformation and metamorphism, uplift  Biosphere- regions of earth occupied by living organisms  Hydrosphere- extends into other three spheres, made up of the water o Clouds and precipitation (rainfall), glaciers, ocean currents, lakes, streams, groundwater  Atmosphere- gasses surrounding the earth like clouds Systems- ordered interrelate set of things  Subsystems  Dynamic  Matter/energy stored/received  Energy transformed from one type to another Types of systems  Open system: energy and/or matter move in/out  Closed system: no exchange of energy/matter with surroundings o Earth- both an open (sunlight/energy) and closed (no exchange of matter) system o Tree- open system (gas in and out) What does science do?  Provides objective information to people and their institutions. Allows them to make own value judgements based off information  Awareness that human activity causes environmental change Future of geography  Environmental changes  Rate of change  Increased pressure  Global interdependence  Increased environmental awareness Topic 2 Tools of Geography outline  Maps o Map scales o Coordinate systems o Projections  Coordinated universal time  Remote sensing o Direct/indirect acquisition of data  GIS (geographic information system) o Storage, retrieval, and presentation of spatial data Maps  generalized view  representation of features on the earth’s surface  scale drawing, relating horizontal ground distances with map distances  major types: planimetric (typical road maps) and topographic (physical relief)  key concepts o elevation- height above sea level o depth- below sea level o topographic relief- difference in elevation of one feature to another o slope-degrees from horizontal o gradient- 480m of drop over 1000m = 0.48 January 28, 2016  types of scales: o written scale- one inch equals four miles o representative fraction- 1:250,000 or 1/250,000 o graphic scale- distance on map to distance on land, most common  types of maps: o small scale- large representative fraction, world map, less detail o large scale- small representative fraction, cover small areas, more detail Coordinate systems Latitude and Longitude  latitude o how far north/south of equator you are o measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds o angular distance north/south of equator measured from center of earth o parallels  longitude o measures position east//west of an imaginary line called Prime Meridian o angular distance measured east/west of a point on earth’s surface from center of earth o meridians  great circles- made by plane passing through center of sphere  small circle- made by plane not through center of sphere Map projections (no perfect projection)  preserve correct shapes  preserve correct areas  Mercator projection- most common projection in schools, over sizes Greenland (1/8 size of South America) o Cylindrical projection o Shape & projection preserved o straight line represents a true direction o Used for navigation o Distances and areas greatly distorted near poles  Worldwide system o Standard time zones o Rotation 360 degrees 24 hours o 15 degrees an hour o 1884 international meridian conference o Greenwich meant time Remote sensing  Information required from a distance without contact with the subject o Satellites o Airplanes o Ocean floor sensors February 2, 2016  Types of remote sensing o Active- direct beam at surface and analyze energy reflected (radar) o Passive- record energy radiated from a surface, visible and infer- red (photos, satellite images) Geographic Information Systems (GIS)- different information represented as data “layers”  Spatial data analysis  Computer based, data processing tool  Gathers, manipulates and analyzes geographic information  Single data plane, composite overlay  Diagnostic tool  Uses- fire/police, modeling/monitoring, site location/delivery systems, transportation/communication, military, research/administration Global positioning system (GPS)- Determines location using satellite signals Topic 3- Earth Structure and Materials Earth’s dynamic systems  Endogenic- internal- radioactive  Exogenic- external- solar energy Minerals (5 properties)  Natural material  Inorganic  Solid  Ordered internal structure (not random)  Specific chemical composition What is a rock?  Mass of one mineral (limestone)  Assemblage of many minerals (granite)  4 classes of rock o Sedimentary- formed by the deposition of material at the Earth's surface and within bodies of water  Weathered existing rocks  Organic materials (fossils)  Exogenic processes- weathering, transportation, deposition  Stratigraphy- study of sedimentary rocks (layered)  Lithification- cemented, compacted, and hardened o Igneous- formed through the cooling and solidification of magma or lava  Intrusive – crustal rocks, cool slowly, granite (Sierra Nevada Batholith, California)  Extrusive – lava onto surface, cool slowly (basalt, Hawaii) o Metamorphic- Rock that was once one form of rock but has changed to another under the influence of heat, pressure, or some other agent without passing through a liquid phase  Greek “change form”  Harder and more resistant due to heat and pressure  Physical and chemical changes may result  Two types: contact metamorphism, regional metamorphism o Hydrothermal- rocks whose minerals crystallized from hot water or whose minerals have been altered by hot water passing through them February 4, 2016  What can happen to a rock? (see diagram) o Weathering  Physical weathering- fracturing, frost and mineral wedging, roots and other biological activity, thermal expansion  Chemical weathering- dissolution, oxidation, biological reactions, hydrolysis o Erosion & transport o Deposition  Oldest layer on bottom and youngest layer on top o Burial o Deformation & metamorphism or melting/solidification o Uplift  How clastic sediments become sedimentary rocks o Burial/compaction of sand grains o Decrease in amount of pore space between grains o Add natural cements to pore spaces (cementation) o Common cements: carbonate minerals, silicates, iron oxides February 9, 2016 Geologic time- system of chronological measurement that describes timing and relationships between earth and events throughout Earth’s history  Relative time- based on other absolute times (after lunch)  Absolute time- a worldwide system of time (at 12:30 eastern time)  Superimposition- theory that oldest rock is on bottom layers and newest rock is on upper layers of rock  Catastrophism- appearance of earth today is solely based on a series of catastrophic events  Uniformitarianism- earth is a result of uniform daily, monthly, yearly processes  Punctuated equilibria- evolution of earth is marked by isolated episodes of rapid change with long periods of no change in between  Precambrian Eon- 4600 million years, before modern atmosphere  Phanerozoic Eon- 542 million years, since modern atmosphere Topic 4 – Earth’s Crustal Movements What is inside the earth?  Upper layer crust (lithosphere)- stronger than asthenosphere o Continental- ex: granite o Oceanic- ex: salts  Asthenosphere- hot and weak; mostly solid  Thicker elevations of crust are typically land and thinner layers of crust are typically oceanic o Isostasy- relationship between crustal thickness and elevation What is plate tectonics?  A geologic theory proposed to explain large scale motions of earths lithosphere  Continents “adrift”, Common widespread acceptance NOW  Due to convection forces in the asthenosphere and upper mantle  Historical evidence o 1619 Bacon observed jig saw like fit of continents on either side of Atlantic o 1915 Wegener circumstantial evidence like fossils and paleoclimate, estimated all continents were together 225 million years ago o Fossils of same land animals and plants found on Africa and South America o Continental drift explains observations without need for land- bridge hypothesis  new information o ocean sonar- 1950’s (created sea floor configurations) o remote sensing of ocean surface- 2000 o mid oceanic ridge- 40,000 miles long 600 miles wide underwater mountain range  high volume of earthquakes and volcanoes on this ridge o dating ocean floor sediments – spreading  three types of relative plate motions o divergent- move apart  move apart at mid oceanic ridges (seafloor spreading)  forms new oceanic crust o convergent- move toward each other  typically happens at trench or island arc  subduction – one plate moves down and other stays on top o transform- move horizontally past one another  link spreading segments in mid oceanic ridges  rates of plate movement o plates move very slowly (about a cm/year) o relatively, some plates move much faster than others Historical Changes in landmasses  supercontinent of Rodinia (600 million years ago) o theory that all major continents were joined, forming Rodinia, a huge supercontinent centered over the south pole o Evidence of widespread glaciation  Dispersal of continents (500 million years ago) o North America and Europe were separated  Supercontinent of Pangaea (280 million years ago) o All the continents were joined in one supercontinent called Pangaea  Gondwana and Laurasia (150 million years ago) o Continents on either side of Atlantic are moving away from each other o Southern continents formed Gondwana  Present Current configuration of continents Chapter 4B – Earthquakes and Volcanoes What is an earthquake?  Sudden movement of a block of earth’s crust along a geologic fault, releases accumulated strain  Destruction after earthquakes can include: fires, flooding, dam failure, etc.  Scales to rate earthquakes o Magnitude – amount of energy released o Intensity – effects on people and structures  Intraplate earthquake – earthquake within the crustal plates (New Madrid- central earthquake zone in US)  Can we control earthquakes (controlled release of strain) o Water reservoirs o Deep waste disposal o Underground nuclear explosion o This is a very controversial topic right now What is a volcano?  A vent in the surface of the earth through which magma and associated gases and ash erupt  Volcanic caldera- a large volcanic crater, typically one formed by a major eruption leading to the collapse of the mouth of the volcano  Their effects on us o Lava flows  Rhyolitic, andesitic, and basaltic lavas o Ash fall  Vegetation destroyed, water contamination, building damages, health hazards o Poisonous gas release  Carbon dioxide (CO )2  Sulfur dioxide (SO 2 Chapter 5 – Soils  Haiti only has 4% of natural vegetation cover left  Soil in Haiti is very baron  Madagascar is very bio diverse  In Madagascar there only 17% natural vegetation cover left  It takes 500 years to produce 1 inch of topsoil  Renewable resource – resources replenished by natural processes at a rate comparable to or faster that rate of consumption o Living: biomass o Non-living: soil/water  Nonrenewable resource – cannot be remade, regrown, or regenerated as fast as it is consumed o Fixed amount. Ex: oil, gas, coal  Soil science o Pedology – classification and description of soil o Edaphology – concerned with influence of soil on living things like plants  Porosity – amount of pore space  Permeability – measure of materials ability to transmit fluid gravel-high permeability clay-low permeability  Soil is derived from a starting material (parent material) whose composition, size, and sorting reflects its history  Soil horizons o Over time, soils develop distinct layers or soil horizons  Types of soils: o Oxisols  Deeply weathered, leached, oxidized, rich in Fe and Al (red brown color)  Formed under tropical conditions (hot and humid) o Aridosols  Formed in areas with lack of vegetation and water  Poorly developed layers with calcite and salts o Mollisols  Most productive soil, present in grasslands  Rich in organics o Gelisols  Soil above permafrost, very waterlogged and sensitive to disturbance  Rich in organic matter but unproductive, many mosses and lichens Chapter 6 – Weathering and Mass Wasting  Landmass denudation o Denudation – any process that wears away or rearranges landforms o Processes – weathering, mass movements, erosion, transportation, and deposition o Agents – flowing water, waves, wind, ice, and gravity  Factors influencing weathering o Character of bedrock o presence/absence of jointing o Precipitation o Climatic elements o Orientation o Vegetation o Soil water o Groundwater o Scale o Time  Exfoliation in granite – when the oldest layer of a rock is removed in shaves  One way calcite dissolves in water: o CaCO + 3 CO 2---3Ca 2++ 2(HC0 )3-  Mass movement/waste o Any type of downslope movement of materials in direct response to gravity  Can be rapid movement such as an avalanche  Soil creep – slow downward progression of rock and soil down a low grade slope; it can also refer to slow deformation of such materials as a result of prolonged pressure and stress (caused by expansion and contraction) (wet/dry, heat/cool, freeze/thaw)  Quake lake – lake caused by an earthquake in Montana  Factors that control slope stability o Angle of repose for material o Amount of water o Amount of vegetation o Fractures, cleavage, bedding Topic 7 – Water Water is a critical resource  71% of earth is covered by water  70% of our body mass by weight is water  you can survive 50-60 days w/o food, only 2-3 days w/o water  quantity equilibrium: 326 M cubic miles on earth hydrologic cycle  circulation and transformation of water throughout the earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere  composed of currents of water, water vapor, ice and energy flowing continuously in an open plumbing system types of drought  meteorological – slightly lower rainfalls and slightly higher temperatures than usual  agricultural – higher temp and lower rainfalls has started to impact agriculture  hydrologic – lake levels will fall, shrinking back of lakes and rivers (we see changes)  socio-economic – we can see loss of infrastructure (trees dying, wildfires, fish dying) precipitation = actet (precip-deficit) + surplus +/- delta storage fresh water usage 1. thermoelectric power – 41% 2. irrigation – 37% 3. public and domestic – 12.6% 4. industrial – 5.2% 5. aquaculture – 2.5% 6. mining – 1.1% 7. livestock – 0.6% bonus question: what is the best land use for water quality protection? Answer: forest Question: what is the most common pollutant in the Tuscaloosa lakes? Answer: sediment How does groundwater contamination move? Down gradient Aquifer – a rock unit that can store and transmit water to a well or spring in useful amounts (porosity and permeability)  porosity is amount of pore space  calculated as a percent, 10-30% is high porosity  permeability – how interconnected the pores are o primary – exists at the time rock is formed o secondary – develops over time o permeable allows water to move through o impermeable does not allow water to move through  water is the only resource in which there is no substitute for Topic 8 – Fluvial Systems Drainage basins – an extent or an area of land where all surface water from rain, melting snow, or ice converges to a single point at a lower elevation  discharge – amount of water varies with time and is measured in volume per time  lag time – amount time from highest rainfall to peak discharge tributaries and drainage networks  dendritic – preferred pattern in nature; branching like a tree  radial – streams diverge outward in a radial pattern  structurally controlled – controlled to fit our needs rivers vary in discharge during the year base level – the lowest level to which a river can erode (sea level is ultimate base level) flooding is a natural process case studies  the Danube River – most contaminated river, covers 9 countries  the Delaware river basin – very clean river, supplies 20 M people with water Topic 9 – Glacial and Periglacial Landforms  Glacier – a large mass of ice resting on land or floating in the sea (critical thickness is about 100 feet before gravity pushes air out) o Latitudinal glaciers – high/low latitude (near poles) o Altitudinal glaciers – high elevation o Glaciers form where accumulation of snow is greater than loss and melts when loss is greater than elevation  Snow line – lowest elevation where snow remains year round  Periglacial v glacial zone o Glacial zones have snow/ice cover all year o Periglacial zones do not stay covered by snow and ice year round  Glacial formations o Ice sheets – present at high latitudes o Piedmont – present at high altitudes  Questions: o What is firn? The intermediate stage between snow and glacial ice o Glacial tributaries do not actually mix. They maintain their own track, very different from liquid tributaries  Norwegian Fjord: a drowned river valley; glaciers can erode below base level (sea level) because its solid, when it melts it evens back out  Types of glaciers: o Ice sheet – cover all of land o Cirque glacier – snow within a depression on a mountain o Valley glacier – snow coming down a valley o Piedmont glacier – when snow reaches coast  Calving off – when ice breaks from glacier creating icebergs  Plucking and abrasion – occurs when rocks and stones become frozen to the base or sides of the glacier and are plucked from the ground or rock face as the glacier moves. It leaves behind a jagged landscape. Abrasion occurs when rocks and stones become embedded in the base and sides of the glacier.  Regelation - melting under pressure and freezing again when the pressure is reduced  Outwash plain – a plain formed of glacial sediments deposited by glacial melt  Till plain – extensive flat plain of glacial till that forms when a sheet of ice becomes detached from the main body of a glacier and melts in place, depositing the sediments it carried  Permafrost – a thick subsurface layer of soil that remains frozen throughout the year, occurring mainly in polar regions o As active layer of soil gets thinner, vegetation gets thicker and more abundant o As permafrost gets thinner, active layer of soil gets thicker o Be able to label the different types of talik (open, closed and through) Utilidors – insulated corridors for transporting energy to prevent freezing in the frozen ground


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