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Geology 110 Quiz 1 notes

by: kjh2

Geology 110 Quiz 1 notes GEOL 110 001


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These notes cover material from the first week of class up until the first exam
Cultural Geology
Thomas Owens
Class Notes
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by kjh2 on Monday October 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GEOL 110 001 at University of South Carolina taught by Thomas Owens in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views. For similar materials see Cultural Geology in Geology at University of South Carolina.


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Date Created: 10/10/16
Mineral and Energy Resources ● Cliche - “New Wealth is in the ground” ● Timber Barons, Salt Barons, Silver Barons, Oil Barons, etc. Mineral Resources ● “Precious” minerals vs “strategic” minerals ● “Strategic” - necessary for essential, civilian, industrial, or military needs ● “Precious” - ornamental or jewelry usage Potential energy sources ● Solar radiation ● Wind ● Photosynthesis (plankton or wood) ● Evaporation ● Gas hydrates ● Uranium ore ● Oil and gas ● Earth’s internal heat ● Peat ● Coal ● Swamp ● Tidal ● Biomass crop ● Nuclear ● Solar panel ● Hydroelectric US and Canada are the big users of energy What types of energy do we use? ● 37% petroleum ● 25% Natural gas ● 21% coal ● 9% Nuclear electric power ● 8% Renewable energy ○ 1% solar ○ 6% waste ○ 9% wind ○ 20% biofuels ○ 24% wood ○ 35% hydroelectric power Who uses this energy? ● 31% Industrial ● 28% transportation ● 22% residential ● 19% commercial Quick observations ● 83% of our energy comes from non-renewable sources (coal, gas, oil) ● No single usage sector dominates ● Industrial sector has shown capacity to increase efficiency ● “Ending dependence on foreign oil” and “development of renewable energy sources” seem unrelated ● Industrial sector has the most source diversity, electric grid is second ● Transportation grid needs an attitude adjustment The US Energy story is not all bad ● How did we get where we are? ○ Petroleum usage peaked ~1970 ○ Coal usage has been steady for the past 60 years, peaked in 1910’s ○ Natural gas usage peaked ~1970 ○ Nuclear power being used more since ~1970 ○ Wood usage declining ○ Hydroelectric power slowly increasing ● Where are we improving? ● Where can we do better? Almost 60 years ago, we lost our energy self-sufficiency ● The US was self-sufficient in energy until the late 1950’s, when energy consumption began to outpace domestic production. At that point, the nation began to import more energy to meet its needs. In 2009, net imported energy accounted for 24% of all energy consumed. Our economy is twice as efficient over the last 40 years ● After 1970, the amount of energy consumed to produce a dollar’s worth of the nation's output of goods and services trended down. The decline resulted from efficiency improvements and structural changes in the economy. The level in 2009 was 54% below that of 1970. We are ~20% more efficient per person in the last 30 years ● Energy use per person stood at 214 billion British thermal units (btu) in 1949. The rate generally increased until the oil price shock of the mid-1970’s and early 1980s when the trend reversed for a few years. From 1988 on, the rate held fairly steady until the 2008-2009 economic downturn. In 2009, 308 million btu of energy were consumed per person, 44% above the 1949 rate. But we are hooked on fossil fuels ● Most energy consumed in the US comes from fossil fuels. Renewable energy resources supplied a small but growing portion. In the late 1950’s, nuclear fuel began to be used to generate electricity. From 1998-2009, nuclear electric power surpassed renewable energy. Our electrical grid is aging ● In the 1950’s and 1960’s, coal, which had been imported to residential and commercial consumers, was gradually replaced by other forms of energy. Petroleum consumption peaked in the early 1970’s, and then, with mild fluctuations, held fairly steady in the following years. Meanwhile, electricity use (and related losses) expanded dramatically Review question ● “Strategic” minerals are essential for civilian, industrial, or military needs. ○ True Review question ● For every unit of energy from electricity used by the residential/commercial sector: ○ Two units of energy are lost in the electrical grid Review question ● Per capita energy consumption in the US is: ○ Over 4 times larger than the global average Formation of Fossil Fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) ● Fossil fuels originate as organic-rich sedimentary deposits ● Organic materials are the remains of plants and animals ● Burial in sedimentary basins causes the organic material to be ‘cooked’ to different degrees, thereby producing different types of hydrocarbon materials Conditions appropriate for fossil formation 1. Biologically productive​ environment producing large quantities of organic material - typically shallow water continental margins 2. Limited supply of oxygen ​ o bottom waters in contact with sediment limits the biological activity that would act to decompose dead organic material 3. Rapid burial​ of un-decomposed organic material provides for efficient capture of the organic material in sedimentary deposits The removal of rock from the mountains by ​ eathering ​ nd​ rosion​ and the deposition of that material in the form of ​clastic sediment​ around the edges of the continents creates over time, a great shift in mass from the mountains to the continental edges. ​The response to the loading of the edges of the continent with large accumulations of sediment is the slow sinking process known as ​subsidence​, which because the lithosphere sinks/subsides under the great weight of sediment that accumulates over millions of years ● Sediment from rivers gets deposited in alluvial fans ● The Mississippi River drains almost half of the continental US One of the most important fossil fuel locations in the US is the Mississippi River Delta and nearby Gulf of Mexico. The course of the lower Mississippi River has shifted over the past 6000 years creating large land areas and creating extremely thick accumulations of organic-rich and muddy sediment in different places at different times The coal story Coal is a black, brittle sedimentary rock that is composed primarily of organic materials which are primarily the remains of plants that were living at the time that the sedimentary rocks were deposited ● Swamps are the primary sedimentary environments where thick accumulations of plant material can result in the production of a major coal reserve ● The subsidence of the land surfaces around the edges of continents means that the swampy environments that create thick accumulations of organic material eventually subside below sea level and are buried by younger sedimentary deposits. ● The burial and heating of organic material creates a progressive change from the living plant material to first ​peat, lignite, bituminous coal, ​an​ nthracite coal ● Each of these steps involve​ rogressive loss of nitrogen and water to create organic material with higher carbon and hydrogen contents and thus higher energy contents ● Peat ​is commonly burned for fuel in boggy regions at high latitudes (Scotland, Ireland, etc.) ● Anthracite ​is the highest grade of coal. Because it is ‘cooked’ at a relatively high temperature, ​anthracite​ has a relatively high energy content, and is also relatively free of pollution-causing impurities such as sulfur ● The US reserves of anthracite are relatively small and have been largely mined out. Overall, however, US coal reserves are large and widely distributed. Coal reserves in the US have been estimated to constitute a 300-year supply Who has the coal? ● 28% Eastern Europe and Russia ● 27% North America ● 18% Asia ● 10% Western Europe ● 9% Australia ● 5% Africa ● 2% Central and South America ● 1% Middle East This is good news for the US electricity production, but perhaps bad news for the environment, because coal mining is a messy business and the burning of coal contributes to air pollution and possibly to global warming Review question ● The three major factors that exist in an environment favorable for the formation of fossil fuels are: Organic matter, oxygen poor conditions, and heat generated by rapid burial. ○ True Why are they “fossil” fuels? ● Based on the foregoing it should be clear that the energy stored in coal, oil, and gas is essentially primarily from sunlight that was supplied to living organisms in the geologic past. It is essentially fossilized energy ● It should be clear that it took a long time (approximately 500 million years) to create the world’s reserves of fossil fuels. This means that these fu​ onrenewable Changes in coal production ● Coal production by mining method ○ In 1949, ¼ of the US coal came from surface mines; by 1971, more than ½ was surface mined, and in 2009, 69% came from above ground mines ● Coal production by location ○ Western coal production expanded tremendously after 1969 and surpassed Eastern production beginning in 1999. In 2009, an estimated 58% of US coal came from West of the Mississippi Review question ● Coal reserves in the US: ○ Could last about 300 years The Coal Story continued ● Good news ○ Coal reserves could last around 300 years ● Bad news ○ Technically recoverable does not mean environmentally acceptable ○ Consequences include ■ Landscape degradation ■ Groundwater pollution ■ Air pollution ■ Increase in greenhouse gasses ● Acid Mine Drainage is a major environmental hazard associated with mining operations ● Removing overburden negates the natural filtering properties of the soil Who has the oil? ● 65% Middle East ● 9% Central and South America ● 7% Africa ● 6% North America ● 6% Russia ● 4% Asia/Pacific ● 2% Europe How much oil is left? When will oil production decline? ● These are currently questions of very active debate ● The key participants in the discussio​ eologists​ (those who think they know where the oil is) and ​economists​ (those who think they know what the price of oil will be in the future) ● It’s clear from the debate that there are currently no definitive and unambiguous answers to these questions ● The reason for uncertainty lies in the concept ​ eserv​” What are “Reserves” ● Reserves ​are estimates of that part of a total ​resource​ that can be extracted and marketed at a profit. Estimates of reserves are therefore in part economic and therefore also part political. Most importantly, estimates of ​reserves​ may change dramatically in response to evolving technologies and economic conditions Review question ● Petroleum RESERVES include all discovered and undiscovered deposits regardless of potential for recovery ○ False Formation of oil and natural gas ● Formation of ​coal​ typically involves sedimentary deposits that a​ errestrial​ (i.e. formed on land). ​In contrast, ​oil​ and ​gas​ formation typically o​ arine​ sedimentary deposits. ​Similar to the situation with coal, burial and heating of organic material in marine sediments results in a progressive change in the organic material. These changes occur in three steps termed ​diagenesis, catagenesis, a ​ nd, ​metagenesis Diagenesis ● Diagenesis ​occurs at the surface or under shallow burial depths of a few hundred meters at at the temperatures generally less than 50 degrees C. Biological activity of burrowing organisms and bacteria is present under these conditions, resulting primarily in the decomposition of organic material and the formation of​ iogenic methane, w​ hich is also known as ‘​swamp gas​.’ nothing of large-scale commercial value is produced under these conditions Catagenesis ● Catagenesis ​occurs at burial depths of 3.5 to 5 Km and at temperatures in the range of 50-150 degrees C. Under these conditions, water is forced out of the rock and most biological activity ceases. The organic material is cooked into a mixture​ erogen ​ and oil​. ​Kerogen​ is the non-reactive / insoluble part of the organic material. At temperatures near the high end of the catagenesis range, the breakdown of k​ erogen​ results in the formation of ​ atural gas. Metagenesis ● Metagenesis ​occurs at burial depths greater than 5 Km and at temperatures greater than 150 degrees C. These are essentially the conditions of early metamorphism. Under these conditions, production of natural gas continues from the breakdown of kerogen. Beyond about 300 degrees C, the remaining kerogen becomes ​graphite​ and the formation of natural gas ends The sweet spot for oil and gas formation ● In summary, oil and gas formation occurs within a relatively narrow window of pressure (depth) and temperature ● At higher and higher temperatures within the oil window, the oil that is formed is made of organic molecules that are progressively smaller and smaller. This results in progressively lighter and more fluid oil compositions at higher temperatures and heavier, more viscous oil composites at lower temperatures The range of petroleum products ● Oil formed under different temperature conditions in the earth results in different oil viscosities which can be used to produce different petroleum-based products, ranging from tar (from heavy, viscous oil formed at low temperatures) to gasoline (formed from light oil which has a low viscosity because it was formed at high temperatures) What is in a barrel of oil? ● 19.15% gasoline ● 9.21% Diesel ● 7.27% other ● 3.82% jet fuel ● 1.76% heavy fuel ● 1.75% heating oil ● 1.72% liquefied petroleum gases After formation, petroleum is mobile. It must be captured in geologic “traps” ● Complex geology makes discovery difficult ● Up to 90% of wells are dry holes What is all this gunk used for? ● Nearly everything in our lives is made from oil, made by machinery and systems dependant on oil, and transported by oil as either gas or diesel fuels First oil ● First well - 1857, Romania ● First US well - 1859, Pennsylvania (<70 ft deep, 25 barrels/day, $2500) ● First offshore well - Texas, 1896 ● First “gusher” - Spindletop, TX, 1901 ○ Realization: Supply was significant and fortunes could be made Oil exploration has come a long way How long will the oil last? ● The pessimistic outlook ○ The pessimists argue that the world’s great oil fields have all been found, and that the world’s reserves of oil and gas are therefore largely known ○ They point out that the discovery of new oil fields has been declining since the 1960’s and is not keeping pace with the growing world use of oil. The pessimists argue that this means that the world production of oil will eventually begin to decline, as it eventually must for any finite resource that is used faster than it is discovered ○ A key aspect of the pessimistic view of world oil production is that discoveries of new oil fields have declined steadily since the 1960’s, even though the production and consumption of oil is ever increasing ○ Based on the decline in oil discoveries and ever increasing demand for​ he, t pessimists argue that there will be a decline in world oil production within the next few years, probably by 2010, which is too soon for substantial development of oil alternatives such as fuel cells. ○ The pessimists recognize the importance of evolving technologies and shifting economies, but they argue that these cannot overcome the decline in world oil production that must eventually come ○ The pessimists point to the successful predictions made by geologist ​M. King Hubbert​ in the 1950’s. They believe that Hubbert’s simple analysis, which correctly predicted the decline in US oil production that began in 1970, can be applied to world oil production today, and that this analysis indicates a decline in world production within the next few years (not tens of years) ● The optimistic outlook on world oil production ○ The optimists argue that there are large oil fields that remain to be discovered. They point to ​recent large discoveries in the Caspian ​ egion and argue that these are the tip of a big iceberg ○ The optimists argue that ​extraction technologies​ and economic forces will greatly expand the volume of reserves that are recognized today. They point to the history of the Kern River Oil Field near Bakersfield, California, as an example of reserve growth ○ The optimists argue that alternative oil production technologies will have a great impact if oil prices begin to rise in response to declining world production. They point to​ anada’s oil sands​ as such potential source​ lternative oil ○ Based on these considerations, the optimists don’t forecast a decline in world oil productions until decades into the future (beyond 2020) at a point in time when fossil fuel alternatives such as fuel cells, will have had time to be developed Who was M. King Hubbert? ● Geologist and geophysicist ● Involved in oil exploration ● Employed by ○ Shell oil ○ US geological Survey ○ Stanford University ● Born 1903 / died 1989 What did M. King Hubbert do? ● Hubbert’s analysis implied that the production history of a resource, under the influence of free market forces, would inevitably form​ ell-shaped curve​ ver the lifetime of the resource. ● In 1956, Hubbert used this analysis to predict that production of crude oil in the US would begin to decline in the years 1965-1970. History has shown that this decline began in 1970 ● History has shown that Hubbert’s predicted peak US oil production came in 1970. This was followed by a secondary peak in oil production in the 1980’s which was created by initial rapid production from Alaska's Prudhoe Bay oil field. By the mid-1990’s, oil production in Alaska and for the lower 48 states was well into its declining phase ● It is an important point that none of the technological advances in oil extraction or powerful market forces that have been at work (including shortages and high oil prices in response to the Arab oil embargo of 1973) have pushed the US oil production curve significantly upward (except, again, for a brief jump in the 1980’s when production in Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay field enjoyed a brief episode of high productivity) ● Hubbert used a fairly simple statistical analysis to argue that the production of a natural; resource under free-market conditions could be predicted to 1. First grow slowly in response to low demand and primitive technology for extraction of the resource 2. Accelerate in response to rapid development of resource demand and improved extraction technologies and efficiencies 3. Peak in production at the point when discovery of new resource reserves failed to keep pace with expanding use, and finally 4. Decline in production at a rate similar to the growth rate experiences in the resource’s early and middle development ● Hubbert’s model seems to work for the history of oil production in other countries as well, for example, Norway Review question ● A Hubbert Curve: ○ Uses statistical analysis to predict oil production in free market conditions AND accurately predicted that the peak of US oil production would occur in 1970. Reserve Growth ​in the Kern River Oil Field, Bakersfield, California ● 1899 - oil production established ● 1942 - estimated remaining reserves of 54 million barrels ● 1942-1986 - produced 736 million barrels ● 1986 - estimated remaining reserves of 870 barrels ● Reserve growth ​of the type observed in the Kern River Field is a result of improved technologies in two areas 1. Exploration geologists and geophysicists have better ways of finding more oil in known fields at lower costs 2. Reservoir engineers have greatly improved the efficiency with which they are able to extract oil from the ground Alternative oil: The Athabasca Tar Sands ● Alternative sources of oil (​alternative oil) ​lie in wait for economic conditions that will allow their development to become price-competitive. An outstanding example of this kind of ​alternative oil​ can be seen in​ thabasca tar sands​ of Canada, which constitute a potential oil reserve similar in size to the conventional oil reserves of Saudi Arabia ● The problem with the ​Athabasca tar sands ​ is that there is a high cost associated with the extraction of the oil, so the oil produced from the sands will be expensive, even if it is plentiful. There is also the environmental cost associated with the mining of these sands over a large area of Canada ● Because the optimists think that a lot more oil will be found and based on the idea of reserve growth​ and​ lternative oil, ​they believe that it will be 15-30 years before world oil production reaches its peak and begins to decline After the world oil production reaches its peak and begins to decline, the price of oil will be under complete control of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries where, by far, most of the world’s remaining oil reserves will lie ● The issue of when world oil production will reach its peak and begin to decline is popularly known as the ​peak oil ​ issue. There’s lots of good and bad information on the web about this now Top producers of oil ● 12.3% USA ● 11.6% Saudi Arabia ● 9.3% Russia ● 4.5% China ● 4.1% Canada ● 2.4% average, next 10 countries Top exporters per day ● Saudi Arabia - 8.7 million ● Russia - 6.6 million ● Norway - 2.5 million ● Iran - 2.5 million ● UAE - 2.5 million ● Venezuela - 2.2 million Top daily petroleum users ● USA - 18.9 million barrels ● EU - 12.9 million barrels ● China - 10.1 million barrels ● Japan - 4.6 million barrels ● Russia - 3.3 million barrels ● India - 3.5 million barrels Where does the US get its oil? ● 53% Western Hemisphere ● 28% Persian Gulf ● 16% Africa ● 3% other Net imports have​ eclined Review question ● Which of the following statements about global coal reserves are correct? ○ Global coal reserves are largely controlled by countries with the largest land areas AND the US controls over 25% of the known global reserves AND global coal reserves are currently being extracted primarily by surface mining methods What are the ​renewable energy sources? ● Biomass ● Hydropower ● Geothermal ● Solar ● Wind ● Ocean thermal and tidal What are ​Alternative energy sources? ● Hydrogen ● Clean coal ● Nuclear ● Biomass fuels ● Human power Approximately 8% of all energy consumed was from renewable sources ● Approximately 13% of total electricity production was from renewable energy sources Renewable energy​ usage ● Generate electricity ● Heat in industrial processes ● Heating and cooling of buildings ● Transportation fuels How are ​renewable energy sources​ sed? ● ~70% of total for generation of electricity ○ ~13% of total USA electricity generation ● ~25% of renewable energy used for industrial process heat and building space heat ● The rest used for vehicle fuels Hydropower ● Electricity produced from flowing water ● There are three types of hydropower facilities 1. Impoundment a. Dam required 2. Diversion a. No dam necessary but possibly 3. Pumped storage ● Some use dams and some do not ● In the US, there are about 80,000 dams of which only 2,400 produce power Wind energy ● Windmills were common throughout the USA prior to 1940 ● Used for pumping water and producing electricity ● Wind power​ is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as electricity, using wind turbines ● In 2008, wind power produced about 1.5% of worldwide electricity usage; and is growing rapidly, having doubled in the three years between 2005-2008 ● Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 19% of stationary electricity production in Denmark, 11% in Spain and Portugal, and 7% in Germany and the republic of Ireland in 2008 ● As of May 2009, 80 countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis ● Wind energy as a power source is attractive as an alternative to fossil fuels because ○ It is plentiful ○ Renewable ○ Widely distributed ○ Clean ○ Produces no greenhouse gas emissions ● However, the construction of wind farms is not universally welcomed because of their visual impact and other effects on the environment ● Challenges for wind energy ○ Wind power is non-dispatchable: all of the available output must be taken when it is available ○ The intermittency of wind seldom creates problems when using wind power to supply a low portion of total demand ○ Where wind is to be used for a moderate fraction of demand (such as 40%), additional costs for compensation of intermittency are considered to be modest Solar energy ● 90% used for heat ○ 10% produced ~580 million kWh ● Solar thermal systems for heating buildings ● Solar thermal electric power plants ● Photovoltaic systems ● Radiant light and heat from the sun ● Harnessed by humans since ancient times ● Ever-evolving technologies ● Solar radiation ○ Secondary solar-powered resources ○ Wind and wave power, hydroelectricity and biomass, ○ Most of the available renewable energy on Earth ● Only a miniscule fraction of the available solar energy is used ● Solar powered electrical generation relies on heat engines and photovoltaics ● Solar energy’s uses are limited only by human ingenuity ● Solar applications ○ Space heating and cooling through solar architecture ○ Potable water via distillation and disinfection ○ Daylighting ○ Solar hot water ○ Solar cooking ○ High temperature process heat for industrial purposes ● Solar technologies are broadly characterized as passive solar and active solar depending on the way they capture, convert, and distribute solar energy ● Active solar techniques ○ Use of photovoltaic panels and solar thermal collectors to harness the energy ● Passive solar techniques ○ Orienting a building to the sun ○ Selecting materials with favorable thermal mass or light dispersing properties ○ Designing spaces that naturally circulate air Review question ● Renewable resources have nearly inexhaustible supply of energy, but are limited by the amount of energy that can be generated at a given moment ○ True Alternative energy ● “Alternative energy” ​is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the replaced fuels ● Coal as an alternative to wood ● Petroleum as an alternative to whale oil ● Alcohol as an alternative to fossil fuels ● Coal gasification as an alternative to expensive petroleum Review question ● Which of the following is considered an ALTERNATIVE ENERGY source? ○ Hydrogen Hydrogen ● Hydrogen has the potential to revolutionize transportation, and, possibly, our entire energy system ● The simplest and most abundant element in the universe ● Hydrogen can be produced from fossil fuels and biomass and even by electrolyzing water ● Producing hydrogen with renewable energy and using it in fuel cell vehicles holds the promise of virtually pollution-free transportation and independence from imported petroleum ● Hydrogen problems ○ The energy in 2.2 lb (1kg) of hydrogen gas is about the same as the energy in 1 gallon of gasoline ○ A light-duty fuel cell vehicle must store 11-29 lb of hydrogen to enable an adequate driving range of 300 miles or more ○ Because hydrogen has a low volumetric energy density (a small amount of energy by volume compared with fuels such as gasoline), storing this much hydrogen on a vehicle using currently available technology would require a very large tank - larger than the trunk of a typical car ○ Advanced technologies are needed to reduce the required storage space and weight Nuclear ● Nuclear energy ​ is released by ○ The splitting (fission) of the nuclei of atoms and ○ The merging together (fusion) the the nuclei of atoms


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