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Earth History Exam Study Guide

by: Vani Singh

Earth History Exam Study Guide GEOL 1210

Vani Singh
GPA 3.5

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Exam Study Guide
Earth History
Study Guide
Earth History
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Vani Singh on Friday April 15, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to GEOL 1210 at University of North Carolina - Charlotte taught by in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 26 views. For similar materials see Earth History in Earth Sciences at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.


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Date Created: 04/15/16
Study Guide: Earth History Exam Basic Components of Climate System  Distance from Sun  Incoming Energy/ Solar Luminosity               Climate Influences  Global Albedo  (Natural) Greenhouse Effect Insolance: exposure to sun  Angle of Incidence  Length of Daylight                               External Controls  Atmospheric Transparency  Variation in Solar Iridescence  ~ Albedo: reflectivity of a surface ­ Snow: high reflectivity  ­ Ocean: low reflectivity  Earth’s Magnetism: ~ Inner core: solid & spinning ­ Outer Core (liquid): 90% of the Earth’s magnetic field  convection currents ~ Iron­content minerals in igneous rocks align to the magnetic field (North Pole, for present time magnetism) ~ Curie Point: below this point minerals are trapped in their alignment  Early Life Chemosynthetic Organisms: inject sulfur into the atmosphere ­ Places today that prove how Earth’s processes occurred at the beginning of the planet’s life, also organisms living in these places can prove that ­ Yellowstone   National   Park:   Archaea   (first   organisms   &   THEN   chemosynthetic organisms evolved on Earth) Archean Life: Stromatolstes: cyanobacteria (blue – green algae) ­ 1  life (prokaryotes): 3.5 billion years ago Steranes: molecular fossils 2.7 billion years ago ­ Chemicals that are part of eukaryotic cells (2.1 billion years ago) Organisms: CaCO3 (invertebrates)                    CaPO4 (bone)                    late Proterozoic  ­ Hard parts: store crucial elements & protect soft parts & anchorage structure for muscles & tissues                     ­defensive structure Archean cratons formed during collisions of island arcs and mini­continents during the period of the formation of Laurentia  Cambrian­ 541 million years ago to 485.4 million years ago   The cambrian saw most of the continents in the southern hemisphere.  The supercontinent Pannotia continued to assemble in some regions but fragmented into  Gondwana, Laurentia, and Baltica.  Iapetus ocean mostly submerged Baltica during this time. o Climate was generally warm, wet, and mild this was the case everywhere.  Cambrian “explosion” this was the sudden evolutionary burst. o Most the lifeforms today can be traced back to the Cambrian period.  Black shale is seen along with other siliciclastics. Ordovician ­ 488 to 444 million years ago  Gondwanaland (S. Europe, Africa, S. America, Antarctica and Australia) o Moved towards South Pole  Western and Central Europe were separate from Gondwanaland­ rotated 90 degrees counterclockwise from present orientation and in the southern tropics  N. America collides with microcontinent, Baltica (later becomes Europe)­ this conversion leads to the shrinking of the Iapetus Ocean (in the middle of N. America and Baltica) o Iapetus ocean turns into mountain range­ Greenland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland  and N.E. N. America o Caledonian Orogeny­ Avalonia and Baltica broke off from Gondwana and joined  Laurentia  Took 150 million years­ from late Cambrian to mid Devonian  Subduction of Iapetus Ocean formed volcanoes. Plutonic intrusions  (granites) now exposed by erosion in Scotland, N. England and Anglesey  Greywackes deposited in deep waters of subduction trench  Black shales deposited further out on deep ocean floor (abyssal plain)  N. Wales and Anglesey­ repeatedly deposited sands and clay in deep water eventually regionally metamorphosed into quartzites and schists from high heat and pressure from ocean folding­­ slates and gneiss were also found  Plate collision caused faulting of the rocks­­­ Great Glen Fault, Moine Thrust, Highland  Boundary Fault and Southern Uplands Fault  Widespread shallow, warm epicontinental seas­ favorable for marine life o Gondwana suffered a severe Ice Age, Europe was unaffected due to its more  northern position Silurian – 444 million years ago to 416 million years ago  Siberia, Laurentia and Baltica converge at the equator, forming mountain ranges and new supercontinent­ Laurussia  Long, warm greenhouse phase. Warm, shallow seas covered much of the equatorial land  masses o Low continental elevations, high sea level­­65% of shallow seas flooded  Seas were tropical to subtropical in climate­­­ high evaporite deposits  found in N. Europe  Much Wenlock Limestone Formation­ Wales and the Welsh Borderland (Early Silurian) o Home to 600 species of invertebrates (fossils) o Covered by relatively warm, shallow shelf sea o Six bedded lithofacies and two reef types o Carbonate shelf environments o 29 meters in thickness Devonian ­ 367 to 408.5 million years ago  Climate was largely warm and equable, until the catastrophic drops in the late Devonian o Those drops caused massive extinctions  Laurentia during this time was slammed on 3 sides by other continental bodies, those  being Siberia, Baltica, and Africa/S.America (see image) o This interaction was the initial formation of Pangea  Marine chemistry went through huge changes, accompanied by explosions in plankton  populations  A big Devonian site for fossils is the Rhynie Chert o It was a peat bog, preserving a lot of plant life, even to the cellular level  Devonian era is also known as “The Age of Fish” o Several species of sharks, lungfish, and ray­finned fish evolved here  At the end of the late Devonian, there was a massive extinction caused by the glaciation  of Gondwana, killing off masses of coral and entire coral reefs until the triassic, where  they finally began emerging again  After the Devonian, Baltica starts being called Europe as a part of Pangea Carboniferous ­ 360 to 300 million years ago  During this time period the beginnings of the Pangea formation began and Baltica was  slowly changing into the continental mass known today as Europe  The collision of Gondwanaland and Laurasia results in mountain building from Poland all the way through Central Europe and the Appalachian mountains   Atmospheric changes included in an immediate rise of oxygen levels and significant  decrease in Carbon dioxide which caused TWO Ice Ages at this time  Variscan Orogeny: mountain belt formation that spanned through Portugal, Western  Spain, Ireland, and parts of the UK                       ­ Intrusions & volcanic activity in the UK because of these formations Permian­ 299 to 251 million years ago  During this period of time, all of the world’s continents were joined together in the  supercontinent Pangea  From Carboniferous through middle Permian, primarily the Cisuralian Epoch, made up of the Rotliegend Group ­ upper and lower: o Lower Rotliegend Group­ developed through volcanism, consisting mostly of  tuffs and basaltic lavas o Upper Rotliegend Group­ sandstones and siltstones  The Southern ice cap melted off during the Permian, and much of Europe was covered by the salty Zechstein Sea during the Guadalupian and Lopingian Epochs, which advanced  and receded twice. o Zechstein Sea may have connected to the Paleotethys Ocean through southeastern Poland. o Occupied mostly by brachiopods and bivalves which could handle harsh  hypersaline conditions. o Lithologies found from this time period include halite, anhydrite, dolostone, and  shale.   Collisions in the tectonic plates created volcanic activity which caused upheaval of the  Alps.  The close of the Permian brought about the worst extinction event ever recorded with  more than 75 percent of plant and animal groups disappearing from land, and only 5  percent of oceanic species survived. 


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