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GEOL 101: Geologic Time Part II: Lecture 15

by: Natalee Stanton

GEOL 101: Geologic Time Part II: Lecture 15 101-017

Marketplace > University of South Carolina > Geology > 101-017 > GEOL 101 Geologic Time Part II Lecture 15
Natalee Stanton

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These notes will cover the PowerPoint, Professors lecture, and the answers to the sample exam questions
Geology 101-017
Class Notes
Geology 101
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Natalee Stanton on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 101-017 at University of South Carolina taught by in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Geology 101-017 in Geology at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 02/17/16
GOEL 101: Clocks in Rocks: Timing the Geologic Record Part II  Sequence stratigraphy­ Analysis in which the major geologic units are bound by  unconformities ­ Unconformities are caused by changes in sea level ­ Used widely with seismic date, especially in petroleum exportation   Geologic timescale­ Division in the worldwide stratigraphic column based on  variations in preserved fossils  ­ Examples : o Cambrian – Cambria, England o Devonian – Devon, England o Jurassic – Jura mountains, Switzerland   Absolute Geochronology­ Add numbers to the stratigraphic column which was  originally based on fossils and correlation ­ Based on the regular radioactive decay of some chemical elements  o These elements are unstable  Don’t Forget!  Isotopes – are atoms of the same element with different number of neutrons  Ions – when an atom loses or gains an electron to or from another atom  ­ Anion – negatively charged ions (gain of electron) ­ Cation – positively charged ions (loss of electron)  Isotopes – atoms of elements with the same number of protons and varying number  of neutrons  Ex: 235U, 238U    87Sr, 86Sr     14C, 12C  Isotopic dating­ radioactive elements (parents) decay to stable, non­radioactive  elements (daughters) o Only happens to unstable radioactive decay ­ The rate at which this decay occurs is constant and known ­ If we know the rate of decay and the amount present of parent and daughter, we can calculate how long  this reaction has been occurring  o This is how we determine absolute time  Types of radioactive decay 1) Alpha decay – loss of a 4He (2n,2p) o Helium (H) shooting out of the nucleus o Biggest energy producer  2) Beta decay – convert a neutron to a proton o Electron goes shooting out of the nucleus 3) Electron capture – convert a proton to a neutron o Absorb an electron   Half­life – the time required for half of it (radioactive element) to decay to the  daughter product  ­ The half­life is constant and does not vary with time, temperature, pressure ­ Never get rid of the parent   Fission tracks – damage trails  ­ Radioactive decay causes damage to the crystal structure of minerals ­ Alpha decay Direct Measurement of the Rates of Geologic Processes ­ Addition of absolute ages to the geologic time scale provides a great insight to  Earth evolution ­ Precision of dating techniques decreases with increasing geologic time ­ The precision now available through the Global Positioning System (GPS) allows measurements of processes o  Such as plate motion, to within 1 mm/year Sample Exam Questions  Which of the following is the best statement of the principle of original horizontality?  a. Igneous intrusions form horizontal layers  b. Metamorphic isograds are horizontal before deformation  c. Sediments are deposited as horizontal layers d. Most igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks in the earth’s crust form  horizontal layers  The study of the layers in sedimentary rock is known as ___.  a. Stratigraphy  b. Paleontology  c. Sedimentation  d. Geochronology  Based on the concept of half­life in radioactive decay, after three half­lives, the amount of a parent isotope remaining will be ____ of the original amount. a. ½ b. 1/3 c. ¼ d. 1/8 The principle of superposition states that _____.  a. A fault is younger than the rocks it cuts b. Undisturbed sedimentary layers get progressively younger form bottom to top c. The present is the key to the past d. Sediments are deposited as essentially horizontal layers 


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