Ch' 1 Dynamic and Evolving Earth - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Ch' 1 Dynamic and Evolving Earth


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Title: Ch' 1 Dynamic and Evolving Earth

Ch. 1 Dynamic and Evolving Earth
ESCI 102 Spring 2005
Lec. 1 Review/Summary Questions
  • What are the five subsystems of Earth?
  • Are there any more details known about early
  • If everything in the universe is moving away from
    us, why is it that we are not the center of the
  • How has Earths core stayed hot for so long?

Earths Interior Layers
  • Crust - 5-90 km thick
  • continental and oceanic
  • Mantle
  • composed largely of peridotite
  • dark, dense igneous rock
  • rich in iron and magnesium
  • Core
  • iron and a small amount of nickel

Earths Interior Layers
  • Lithosphere
  • solid upper mantle and crust
  • Crust - 5-90 km thick
  • continental and oceanic
  • Mantle
  • composed largely of peridotite
  • dark, dense igneous rock
  • rich in iron and magnesium
  • Asthenosphere
  • part of upper mantle
  • behaves plastically and slowly flows
  • Core
  • iron and a small amount of nickel

Earths Interior Layers
  • Lithosphere
  • solid upper mantle and crust
  • broken into plates that move over the
  • Asthenosphere
  • part of upper mantle
  • behaves plastically and slowly flows

Earths Crust
  • continental (20-90 km thick)
  • density 2.7 g/cm3
  • contains Si, Al
  • oceanic (5-10 km thick)
  • density 3.0 g/cm3
  • composed of basalt

Plate Tectonic Theory
  • Lithosphere is broken into individual pieces
    called plates
  • Plates move over the asthenosphere
  • as a result of underlying convection cells

Modern Plate Map
Plate Tectonic Theory
  • at plate boundaries
  • volcanic activity occurs
  • earthquakes occur
  • movement at plate boundaries
  • plates diverge
  • plates converge
  • plates slide sideways past each other

Plate Tectonic Theory
  • types of plate boundaries

Cont.-Cont. Convergent
Ocean-ocean Convergent
Cont.-Ocean Convergent
Plate Tectonic Theory
  • influence on geological sciences
  • revolutionary concept
  • comparable to evolution
  • provides a framework for
  • interpreting many aspects of Earth on a global
  • relating many seemingly unrelated phenomena
  • interpreting Earth history

Plate Tectonics and Earth Systems
  • plate tectonics is driven by convection in the
  • and in turn drives mountain building
  • and associated igneous and metamorphic

Solid Earth
arrangement of continents affects solar
heating and cooling, and thus winds and
weather systems rapid plate spreading and
hot-spot activity may release volcanic carbon
dioxide and affect global climate
Plate Tectonics and Earth Systems
  • continental arrangement affects ocean currents
  • rate of spreading affects volume of mid-oceanic
    ridges and hence sea level
  • placement of continents contributes to the
    onset of ice ages

movement of continents creates corridors or
barriers to migration, the creation of ecological
niches, and transport of habitats into more or
less favorable climates
Theory of Organic Evolution
  • provides a framework for understanding the
    history of life
  • Darwins On the Origin of Species by Means of
    Natural Selection, published in 1859
  • revolutionized biology

Central Thesis of Evolution
  • all present-day organisms
  • are related
  • descended from organisms that lived during the
  • Natural Selection is the mechanism that accounts
    for evolution
  • results in the survival to reproductive age of
    those organisms best adapted to their environment

History of Life
  • Fossils are the remains or traces of once-living
  • demonstrate that Earth has a history of life
  • most compelling evidence in favor of evolution

Geologic Time
  • human perspective
  • seconds, hours, days, years
  • ancient human history
  • hundreds or even thousands of years
  • geologic history
  • millions, hundreds of millions, billions of years

Geologic Time Scale
  • resulted from the work of many 19th century
    geologists who
  • pieced together information from numerous rock
  • constructed a sequential chronology based on
    changes in Earths biota through time
  • the time scale was subsequently dated in years
  • using radiometric dating techniques

Geologic Time Scale
  • Uniformitarianism is a cornerstone of geology
  • present-day processes have operated throughout
  • physical and chemical laws of nature have
    remained the same through time
  • to interpret geologic events
  • we must first understand present-day processes
    and their results

How Does the Study of Historical Geology Benefit
  • survival of the human species depends on
    understanding how Earths various subsystems work
    and interact
  • how we consume natural resources and interact
    with the environment determines our ability to
    pass on this standard of living to the next
  • our standard of living depends directly on our
    consumption of natural resources that formed
    millions and billions of years ago
  • study what has happened in the past, on a global
    scale, to try and determine how our actions might
    affect the balance of subsystems in the future

Present Note Best data set available.
Latest Precambrian / Early PaleozoicSupercontine
nt Rodinia, centered about the south pole, breaks
apart. North America (Laurentia), Baltica, and
Siberia moved North. Marine Invertebrates.Nort
h America arc on the south. Baltica and Siberia
moved in from the SE. Texas (505-570 Ma) Flat
plain remnants of eroded collisional belt
(Llano). Shallow marine seas across much of
Texas. Sandy sediment onshore, limestone
offshore. Trilobites, brachiopods.
Latest Precambrian / Early Paleozoic
Supercontinent Rodinia continues to break
apart. Pieces move north. -Fish. -Glaciation. No
rth America Numerous plates and continental
blocks move in from the south and east. The
Taconic arc collides, forming the Taconic
orogeny. Texas 438-505 Ma Shallow marine seas
across much of inland Texas. Warm-water
limestone. Corals, brachiopods.
Middle / Late Paleozoic Remains of Rodinia
(Gondwana) move northward to collide with
Laurasia -- creating the super continent Pangaea
and the Tethys Ocean. First land-plants.
Baltica collides with North America in the
Caledonian-Acadian orogeny. Texas 403-438 Ma
Shallow marine seas across much of west Texas -
limestone. Corals, brachiopods.
Middle / Late Paleozoic Most drifting Rodinia
blocks assembled into the super continent of
Laurussia. Amphibians. Fish really get going.
Ferns. Glaciation. North America
Caledonian-Acadian orogeny marks assemblage of
Laurussia. Gondwana closed in from the south. An
arc formed along western North America. Texas
360-408 Ma shallow marine sandstones and
limestones in west Texas.
Middle / Late Paleozoic Gondwana, with a large,
developing glacier, nears southern Laurussia.
Fern-forests. North America The Antler arc
collides with western North America creating the
Antler orogeny. Texas 320-360 Ma shallow
marine seas inland. Shales and limestones.
Middle / Late Paleozoic Rodinia blocks of
Laurussia and Siberia collide to form
Laurasia. Reptiles. North America Gondwana
collides from the south. The resulting
Appalachian, Ouachita, Marathon, Ural, Variscan,
and Hercynian orogenies formed some of the
largest mountains of all time. The Ancestral
Rockies form. Texas 286-320 Ma Ouachita
Mountains. Collision formed inland basins filled
by seas. Limestone, sandstone, shale.
Latest Paleozoic / Early Mesozoic The
supercontinent Pangaea dominates the Permian
Earth, lying across the equator. Extinctions!
Trilobites go away. North America A new arc
approaches western North America. A new spreading
center forms as Cimmeria rifts from Gondwana and
opens the Tethyian Ocean. The western fringe
of Pangaea lay along the eastern margin of the
Pacific "ring of fire subduction zone. Texas
245-286 Ma Shallow marine inland of mountains.
Reefs. Evaporites. Red shales.
Latest Paleozoic / Early Mesozoic
Mammals. North America Arc collision along
western edge forms the Sonoman orogeny. As the
Tethys Ocean expands, Cimmeria (Turkey, Iran, and
Afghanistan) move northward towards
Laurasia. Texas 208-245 Ma shales and
sandstones in NW. Start opening the GOM - red
sandstone, shale, evaporites.
Middle Mesozoic Pangaea rotates different
components at different rates / in different
directions -- rifts form. Birds. North
America Southern North Atlantic Ocean opens,
continuing west into the Gulf of Mexico. The
Cordilleran arc develops along Pacific
margin. Arc forms on western side. Nevadan
orogeny begins. Cimmeria begins collision with
Laurasia - Cimmerian orogeny. Texas 144-208 Ma
Change in sediment direction. Shallow water
deposition / evaporites in GOM.
Middle Mesozoic The Atlantic continues to expand
as Pangaea breaks up. The Cimmerian orogeny
continues. North America Arcs and micro
continents slam into western region. Laramide
orogeny in Rockies. Texas 66-144 Ma Influx of
sediment from Rockies. Shallow Cretaceous sea way
across Texas. Shallow limestones, shales.
Late Cretaceous / Present Rifts separate Africa
and South America and then India, Australia,
Antarctica. North America rifts from Europe.
Old Gondwana lands (Africa, India, Australia)
move north toward Eurasia, closing the Tethys
Ocean and forming the Alpine-Himalayan mountains.
The Atlantic lengthens / widens, the Sevier
orogeny continues, and the Caribbean arc forms.
Texas 65-144 Ma continuing shallow limestone
and shale deposition to the southeast (from
Paleocene / Eocene Himalayan Orogeny. Alps and
Pyrenees form. The modern patterns of Planet
Earth appear. Atlantic continues to open.
Rocky Mountains grow. Texas 65 - 35 Ma shale
and sandstone in southeast region prograde
shoreline (from the Rockies). Volcanic activity
in Panhandle.
Oligocene and Miocene Orogeny continues in the
Mediterranean region and India nears its junction
with southern Asia. Antarctica
isolated. Southwestern North America intercepts
the East Pacific Rise and a great extensional
event, the Basin and Range orogeny begins.
Texas 35-5 Ma continued sandstone/shale
deposition and progradation of shoreline (erosion
of Rockies)
Present Note Best data set available.
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