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Geo - 101 Notes Week 1

by: godfreytorrance

Geo - 101 Notes Week 1 GEO 101

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About this Document

Prelude and intro to Chapter 1
Intro Geology
Prof. Yong Zhang
Class Notes




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by godfreytorrance on Friday August 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GEO 101 at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa taught by Prof. Yong Zhang in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Intro Geology in Geology at University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa.


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Date Created: 08/19/16
Geo 101|8/17­19 What is the Structure of the Universe?   The geocentric model of the universe placed the Earth at the center of the  Universe. The Heliocentric model placed the sun at the center.   Terrestrial Planets – planets made of rocks. Earth is a terrestrial planet.  The Big Bang Theory 13.8 Billion years ago. Start of the universe. Explosion that started our universe.  What is the universe expanding into?  It depends on whether or not there are edges.   If we live in an infinite universe, then the universe expands into  “nothing.”  If the universe is finite, then eventually it will reach a boundary, and  therefore the universe is expanding into “something” o The first atoms of the universe developed within minutes of the  Big Bang.  o The atoms formed vast gas clouds known as Nebulae.   Gravity caused clumps of gas in the nebulae to coalesce into flattened  disks with bulbous centers. The center of each disk became so dense  and hot that fusion reactions and they became true stars.  Formation of the moon  The moon was formed from a collision between the Earth and a  protoplanet.   The time of collision was 4.527 billion years ago. Earth is only 4.540 billion years old.   The moon is younger than the Earth. .013 billion years younger that is. Why are Planets/Stars Round?   It becomes round when gravity smooths out irregularities.  The Earth Atmosphere – Earth’s Gaseous envelope Hydroshpere – Earth’s surface and near surface water Biosphere – Earth’s great variety of life forms Lithosphere – The outer shell of the Earth Interior – Material inside the Earth Magnetic Field Solar Wind – A stream of Plasma released from the upper atmosphere  of the Sun. It consists mostly of Electrons and Protons.  Cosmic Rays – They are immensely high – energy radiation mainly  originating outside the solar system.  Earth’s magnetic field protects us from these.  Atmosphere Air pressure decreases with increasing elevation. 99% of atmospheric  gas lies at elevations below 50km.  There are 4 layers. We live in the Troposphere.  Layers: 1. Troposphere 2. Stratosphere 3. Mesosphere 4.  Thermosphere.  Land and Oceans  The deepest point on the ocean floor is 10.9 KM below sea level and  the highest point on land is 8.9km above. The total difference in  elevation (19.8 km) is only .3% of Earth’s radius (6.371 km).  The Earth’s surface can be divided into land (30%) and oceans (70%) What is the Earth Made of?  Earth materials include organic chemicals, minerals, glasses, rocks,  metals, melts, and volatiles.   Organic Chemicals – Carbon­containing compound that either occur in  living organisms or have characteristics that resemble compounds in  living organisms.   Minerals – A solid natural substance where atons are arranged in an  orderly pattern. Example: Crystal, grain;   Glasses – a solid where atoms are not arranged in an orderly pattern 2  Rocks – Aggregates of mineral crystals/grains, or masses of natural  gases (3 types of rocks.   Melts – a melt forms when solid materials become hot and transform  into liquid magma or lava.   Volatiles – Materials that easily transform into gas at the relatively low  temperatures found at the Earth’s surface.   Pressure and temperature both increase with depth inside the Earth.  What are Earth’s Layers made of?   Crust ­ There are two types of crust. Oceanic crust is thinner and  consists of basalt rock (which is mafic rocks, with small grains) and  gabbro rock (mafic rocks, with large grains). Continental crust varies in thickness and rock type (from felsic to intermediate rocks).  Upper mantle (including the transition zone) ­ consisting entirely of  an ultramafic (dark and dense) rock called Peridotite.   Lower mantle ­ consisting entirely of Peridotite rock. Almost all of the mantle is solid rock, with only a few percent of the mantle has melted  (occurring beneath the ocean floor). Although it is solid, mantle rock is  so hot that it is soft enough to flow with a slow speed of 15 cm/yr.  Outer core ­ consisting of liquid iron alloy. It is liquid because of the  high temperature. The iron alloy of the outer core can flow, and this  flow generates Earth’s magnetic field.  Inner core ­ consisting of solid iron alloy. Although it is hotter than the outer core, the inner core is solid because it is deeper and is subjected  to even greater pressure. The pressure keeps atoms locked together  tightly in very dense materials. 3 4


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