GEL111 Introductory Geology. Overview/Chapter 1. The science of geology. Geology is the science that pursues an understanding of planet Earth Physical geology – examines the materials composing Earth and seeks to understand the processes that operate beneath and upon its surface.
Geology is the science that pursues an understanding of planet Earth
This semester, our study of planet Earth will cover a lot of territory:
- Biosphere (Life)
- Atmosphere (Air)
- Hydrosphere (Water)
- Geosphere (Materials)
- In the late 1700s, a physician and farmer named James Hutton put forth the idea of uniformitarianism, which says the physical, chemical, and biological laws that operate today also operated in the geologic past. (“The present is the key to the past.”)
- Relative dating means that dates are placed in their proper sequence or order without knowing their specific age in years (like knowing your mom is older than you without knowing her age).
- Absolute dating is when you can attribute a specific time to an event or specimen (like knowing the exact date you were born helps us know how old you are).
- Law of superposition: In layers of sedimentary rocks or lava flows, the youngest layer is on top and the oldest is on the bottom (assuming nothing has disturbed it since it was deposited).
- Principle of Original Horizontality: Layers of sediment are generally deposited in a horizontal position, then moved or upturned.
- Principle of fossil succession: Fossil organisms succeed one another in a definite and predictable order, so any time period can be recognized by its fossil content.
The geologictime scale
- Now, let’s take another 5 minutes to discover at least one unique trait each group member has that no one else does.
- How or why things happen are explained using a
- Theory – a well-tested and widely accepted view that the scientific community agrees best explains certain observable facts
- Scientific method
- There is no fixed path that scientists follow that leads to scientific knowledge