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Chapter 2: 2.1-2.6

by: Andrea Smith

Chapter 2: 2.1-2.6 1001

Andrea Smith

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Chapter lessons 1-6
Amy Luther
Class Notes
Geology, 1001, rocks, clasts, fault, era, surface, quantified
25 ?




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This 13 page Class Notes was uploaded by Andrea Smith on Monday September 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 1001 at Louisiana State University taught by Amy Luther in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see GEOL in Geology (GEOL) at Louisiana State University.


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Date Created: 09/05/16
Chapter 2: Investigating Geologic Questions • Geologic history is found in a planets rocks and landscapes and to understand the history within the rock and landscapes, you look at the color, texture and the fracture. 2.1 What Can We Observe in Landscapes? • What Features Do Landscapes Display? o Note the features in the picture above § Color: Red, Tan and Gray. The colors say that these rocks consist of sand and mud so they are sedimentary rocks § Shape: The bottom part is the thickest and there is a small hill at the top. § Small features: There are horizontal lines on the rocks. These lines express the layers of the rocks. These layers are called bed or bedding. There vertical fractures in the rock as well. Also, below the cliff are small pieces of sediment rock. This indicates that rocks have fallen from the top. • What Are Some Strategies for Observing Landscapes? o Focus on one part of the landscape at a time. In the scene above, look at the left side of the image and compare it to the center. o Start at one part of the picture and let the features guide you to the other parts of it. For example, look at the cliff, then look at the reddish slope below the cliff and then the piles of small rock that is below the reddish slope. o Focus on one feature at a time, going into as much detail as possible. Look at the fractures in the picture and as the questions. Are they steep? How do they affect the look of the cliff? o Look at the color o Some rocks are more resistant to erosion. Slopes or soil covered areas contain weaker materials like sand but cliffs and ledges contain rocks that are hard to erode. o Horizontal Layers o The shapes of the rocks. The thickness of the layers, space in the fractures, hardness of the rock, and other factors depends on the shape of the rock. o Draw a sketch like the one above to help point out huge characteristics. 2.2 How Do We Interpret Geologic Clues? • How Can We Infer the Environment in Which a Rock Formed? o Compare a rocks characteristics with another rock that is similar or has the same kind of rocks within it to figure out how the first rock was formed. For Example: We are trying to figure out how the top rock was formed (the top picture). We can look at the rocks that were formed on a steep mountain front (first picture on the second row) and we can look at the rocks that formed in a river (second picture on the second row). The picture that most resembles the first picture are the rocks that formed in the river so the shape and form of the rock probably formed because of water. • How Can We Envision the Slow Change of Landscapes Through Time? o Sometimes the change in landscape is so slow that within our lifetime we don’t notice it. Geologist use a strategy called trading location for time, so geologist mentally arrange the different parts into a logical progression of how we interpret the landscape to have hanged, or will change through time. • How Do We Determine the Sequence of Past Geologic Events? o Geologist determine relative ages of rocks and geologic features by using commonsense principles o Principle 1- Superposition : The Youngest Layers is on Top and the Oldest Is on the Bottom § Upper layers deposited later and lower layers deposited first § In the figure above, the red layer is the youngest layer and the sand colored one is the oldest o Principle 2- Cross Cutting Relationship: A Geologic Feature Is Younger Than A Rock unit or Feature It Crosscuts § Faults cuts layers, so it must be younger § Magma could also cut across existing rock layers o Principle 3: A Younger Rock or Deposit Can Include pieces (clasts) of an Older Rock § The tan layer is younger but the clasts and layer of gray rock are the oldest § The pieces of gray rock had to be weathered into pieces on the surface to be incorporated into the overlying tan unit o Principle 4: A Younger Magma Can Bake or otherwise Change Older Rocks That Are Nearby § A magma invaded the rock sequence and solidified into the brownish-gray; the magma caused effects along the contact by heating (baking) the rock near the magma. 2.3 How Do We depict Earth’s Surface? • Earth has many features such as mountains, river valleys and more. These feathers can be seen in topographic maps and shaded-relief maps. To show the materials on Earth surface you can use satellite images and geologic maps. • Geologic maps are the most important because it shows ages and types of rocks and sediment as well as the geologic feathers. • How Do Maps and Satellite Images Help Us Study Earth’s Surface? o Above is a computer generated picture of the SP Crater in Arizona. § The hills you see are small volcanos called scoria cones. These cones form when fragments of molten rock are ejected into the air and settle around a volcanic vent. § The black feature is solidified lava flow. The Volcano looking image that it looks like it is flowing from is the SP Crater. § The tan and sand colored area that is in the left corner is just a really dry area with very few vegetation. o Shaded-relief map § Shows the shape of the land by simulating light and dark shading on the hills and valleys. o Topographic Map § Shows the elevation above sea level of the land surface with a series of lines called contours o Satellite Image § Uses different wavelengths to show the distribution of different types of plants, rocks and other features. § Black part is the solidified lava and the red thigs are the scoria cones o Geologic Map § Shows the distribution of rock units and geological features 2.4 How Do We Depict Earth’s Heights, Slopes and Subsurface Geology? • How Do We Refer to Differences in Topography? o Earth is not flat at all. It has high and low parts, steep here and kind of flat in other parts. We use common terms to refer to the height of the land and the steepness of slopes. § There is elevation (arrow one): the height of a feature above sea level. Can be described in meters, kilometers or feet. § There is depth (in the water): the height of a feature below sea level § There is relief (arrow two): the height or elevation between two places or features. topographic relief is the difference in elevation of one feature relative to another; rugged areas have high relief, whereas subdued areas have low relief § And finally slope (arrow three): measures the steepness of a fall. cliffs that drop sharply are described as steep slopes, whereas less steep areas are referred to as gentle slopes • How Do We Represent Geologic Features in the Subsurface? o Geographic diagrams help us envision and understand the thickness, orientations and subsurface distributions of rock units. There are two main diagrams geologist use: Block and Evolutionary Block Diagram Stratigraphic Cross Section Section § Block Diagram • 3-D • Portrays the three dimensions the shape of the land surface and the subsurface distributions of rock units. It also shows the location and orientation of faults, folds and other geologic features (if present) • Cross Section o It shows the geology as a 2-D slice through the land (subsurface) • Stratigraphic Section o Shows the rock units stacked on top of one another (with relative thickness) o Idealized sequence of layers o The patterns in the layers represent the characteristics within the layer. I.G The layer with the orange and gray rock shows that there is round gray pebbles and orange sediments within that layer. o This kind of section also shows how resistant a layer is to weathering and erosion. The thicker layers are more resistant to weathering and erosion and the thinner layers are less resistant to weathering and erosion. § Evolutionary Diagram • • Block diagrams, cross sections or maps that show the history of an area as a series of steps, proceeding from the earliest stages to the most recent one. • Example above o First: Shallow sea deposits gray layer o Second: Sand dunes deposit sand layer o Third: Erosion cuts through layers, forming canyon 2.5 How Are Geologic Problems Quantified? • What is the Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Data? o Qualitative (quality) Data: includes descriptive words, labels, sketches and/or other images. o Quantitative (quantity) Data: involve numbers that represent measurements • What Quantitative Properties Do We Measure in the Field? o Geologist measure: § Orientation of geologic features like layers, fractures and folds. § Surface features: topographic and other maps to mark locations of data § Gas Composition: marking how much gas is emitted form volcanos and what kind it is § Water Flow and Chemistry: measure the velocity and volume of flowing water in rivers and groundwater and chemical analyses • What Quantitative Properties Do We Measure in the Laboratory? o Geologist Measure § Physical Properties: Density, strength and other physical properties of a rock as measured in the lab § Composition: Chemical analyses and the percentage of different materials in a rock as measured in the lab § Age: Certain rocks can be dated using precise analytical instruments that measure the ratios between different types of radioactive elements • How do We Calculate Density, and How Does It Differ from Weight? o Density refers to how much mass (substance) is present in a given volume. o The wood block is less dense than the stone block o Density= mass/volume o The weight of an object is how much downward force it exerts under the pull of gravity o We can weight different on different planets but still have the same mass on a different planet. 2.6 How Do Geologists Refer to Rates and Time? • How Do We Subdivide Geologic Time? o Geologist refer to time in millions of years (m.y) or billions of years (b.y) o If they use times before the present, they use Ma(mega-annum) o Cenozoic: Most recent Era § Lots of mammals o Mesozoic: “Middle Era” § Dinosaurs roamed § First flower plants o Paleozoic: § Creatures with shells began to come about § Fish, plants, insects, reptiles o Precambrian: oldest Era § Before shells and hard parts


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