GEOL 101: Plate Tectonics I
GEOL 101: Plate Tectonics I 101-017
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Natalee Stanton on Wednesday February 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 101-017 at University of South Carolina taught by in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Geology 101-017 in Geology at University of South Carolina.
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Date Created: 02/03/16
GEOl 101 – Lecture 2 Plate tectonics 1 Earth as a system of Interacting components Earth system – all parts of Earth and the interactions of parts : o Climate system changed over 100 years. We know this because of the layers on the earth o Plate tectonics system – surface o Geodynamic system – inner earth Earth is an open system o Exchanges mass and energy with the rest of the cosmos. Why? Earth is regularly receiving mass (open system) Climate system – energized by solar radiation Atmosphere – gaseous envelope around Earth extending to about 100km o Protects us from the sun Hydrosphere – oceans, lakes, rivers, and groundwater o Hydrosphere and the atmosphere are related Cryosphere polar ice caps, glaciers, surface ice and snow Biosphere all organic matter related to life near Earth’s surface Plate Tectonic system Lithosphere – rocky outer shell of the solid Earth (~100 km depth) o Plates that move on the Earth o Makes plate tectonic o Also part of the climate system Asthenosphere – weak layer of mantle which accommodates plate movements Deep mantle – interior of Earth between core and asthenosphere that move Geodynamo system Outer core – liquid shell of molten iron; source of Earth’s magnetic field Inner core – primarily solid iron o Magnetic field lines – they run north and south o Changes in human time Geologic Time Distinguishes Geology form other science Rates of geologic processes Big earthquakes may displace the ground several meters in a few seconds Both relative and absolute time are important Rates of geologic processes are generally slower than human timescales Ribbon of Geologic time 4560 Billion years ago – formation of solar system 4.3 billion year old rock 3800 billion is when water was formed 2700 billion oxygen in the atmosphere 65 million years ago – last mass extinction (death of the dinosaurs and many other species) o Mass extinction is common in Earth’s history Plate tectonics: Tectonics – from Greek ‘tekton’ meaning ‘Builder’ o Mt. Everest 29,035ft An allencompassing theory The unifying concept of the Earth Sciences 12 large “lithospheric plates, which move relative to each other Earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountains, occur at plate boundaries Interiors of plates are stable, by comparison Creating oceans and continents Describes the movements of plates and forces acting between them First suggested based on evidence from geology and paleontology on land Fully embraced after evidence from geophysics in oceans Sample Test Question The Earth’s core is made up primarily of _____. a. Iron b. Lead c. Oxygen d. Silicon In which of the following subsystems is the Earth’s magnetic field generated? a. Climate system b. Hydrologic system c. Geodynamo system d. Plate tectonic system What powers the Earth’s external heat engine? a. Gravitational energy b. Radioactive decay c. Solar energy d. Tidal forces Which of the following concepts was developed earliest? a. Continental drift b. Plate tectonics c. Seafloor spreading d. All three concepts were developed at about the same time
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