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Earth History Study Guide

by: Vani Singh

Earth History Study Guide GEOL 1210

Vani Singh
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

Study Guide for what will be on the exam.
Earth History
Study Guide
Paleozoic Era, Mesozoic, EARTH, history
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This 5 page Study Guide was uploaded by Vani Singh on Monday April 25, 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 45 views. For similar materials see Earth History in Earth Sciences at University of North Carolina - Charlotte.

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Date Created: 04/25/16
CONTINENT POSITION, GENERAL CLIMATE, OROGENIC EVENTS, AND IMPORTANT ROCK UNITS Cambrian­ 541 to 485.4 MYA  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  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.  MESOZOIC  Age of Reptiles  Germany Triassic System­ Bunter (lower), Muschelkalk­ “mussel limestone” (middle) and Keuper (upper)   Pangea straddles equator, shaped like Pac man  Tethys Sea divides Laurasia in N and Gondwana in S  Warm, dry, middle of Pangea was very arid  N Pangea was more lush, more forests and tree ferns  Middle Triassic ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­>  Merging on Eurasia and Siberia brought up Ural Mountains  Late Triassic­ N America splits from Europe. A fault line splits S. Europe from Africa. Tethys  seaway separated Africa, Europe and N. America.   Late Triassic­ N. Europe thickly wooded subtropical. Hot and dry conditions worsened  throughout Triassic due to volcanic activity in S. Africa. No ice caps or continental glaciation.  Diking and rifting of continents Split up of Pangea 1  True mammals appearance Triassic Mass Extinction First Dinosaurs appeared later Triassic early Jurassic Cretaceous Period: origin of flowering plants Mass Extinction at the end of the Cretaceous  Africa  Split between South America and Africa  Parts of Africa: desertification  Madagascar split off from Africa   Greenhouse gases  Igneous dikes and flood basalts, Warm climates  Salt deposits  India Pangea split up, India still part of Gondwanaland  Hot Climate, Lush tropical climate Pranitha – Godavari Basin Antarctica, Australia, & India together Indo­Burman orogenic belt Chalk deposits Cretaceous: volcanism (temperature increased and then significantly decreased) Australia:  South Pole location, attached to Antarctica Sandstone Sydney Basin Hot & dry Hunter – Bowen Orogeny (basin formations & fold belts) Rotated up and broke off of Antarctica Eromanga Sea (33% of the land)  End of Cretaceous: cool & wer, icy & semi­dark in some places


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