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Energy. Non-renewable and Renewable Resources. The Earth’s Interior. Composed of 4 layers Crust Mantle Outer Core Inner Core. Crust. Temperature: Over 175 degrees Celsius Topmost layer of the Earth Relatively cool Made of rock 2 types of crust Oceanic (4-7 km thick)

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Non-renewable and Renewable Resources

The Earth’s Interior

  • Composed of 4 layers

    • Crust

    • Mantle

    • Outer Core

    • Inner Core


  • Temperature: Over 175 degrees Celsius

  • Topmost layer of the Earth

  • Relatively cool

  • Made of rock

  • 2 types of crust

    • Oceanic (4-7 km thick)

    • Continental (20-40 km thick)


  • Temperature: Over 1250 degrees Celsius

  • Makes up about 80% of the Earth’s volume

  • ~ 2900 km thick

  • Outer mantle – rocks

  • Inner mantle – “plastic”


  • Temperature: Over 6000 degrees Celsius

  • Outer core – liquid

    • Pressure from the mantle & crust do not allow the metals in the outer core to become gasses

  • Inner core – solid

    • Pressure from the mantle and crust do not allow the metals to become liquid

Plate Tectonics

  • The Earth’s lithosphere is made up of 7 tectonic plates

  • Plate tectonics – the movement of these lithospheric plates

Why do the plates move?

  • One theory suggests that plates move due to the convection currents in the asthenosphere (“plastic” inner portion of the mantle)

Divergent Plate Boundaries

  • 2 plates move apart

  • Magma fills the gap created from this movement

  • Magma cools as it reaches the Earth’s surface creating rift valleys

Convergent Plate Boundaries

  • Oceanic plates dive beneath continental or oceanic plates (called subduction)

  • Creates deep ocean trenches

Wall diving- coral reefs form over time on the “walls” of deep sea trenches. Many are thousands of feet deep.

Convergent Plate Boundaries

  • Mountains form at the convergent plate boundaries as magma from the mantle rises, pushing continental crust upward

Convergent Plate Boundaries

  • Volcanoes form at the convergent plate boundaries as magma rises to the surface and cools

Transform Fault Boundaries

  • Plates move past each other at cracks in the lithosphere (called faults)

  • Transform fault boundary – horizontal movement between two plates


  • Occur at plate boundaries

    • Plates slide past each other creating pressure

    • Rocks break along the fault line

    • Energy is released, called seismic waves

San Andreas Fault

Focus = point of earthquake origination

Epicenter = point on the Earth’s surface directly above the focus

Energy from an earthquake

  • Energy is released in the forms of waves

    • P wave: Primary or longitudinal waves originate from the focus & move quickly through rock. These are the first waves to be recorded

    • S wave: Secondary or transverse waves originate from the focus & moves more slowly through rock.

    • Surface waves: move across the earth’s surface, causes building to collapse

Earthquake Measurement

  • Seismograph

    • Records data about P, S and surface waves

    • Used to locate the epicenter of an earthquake

  • Richter scale

    • Measures energy released at the epicenter of an earthquake (in magnitude)

    • Each step up in magnitude represents a 30-fold increase in energy released!


  • Volcanoes result from openings or vents in the Earth’s surface

  • Magma reaches the surface through these vents

  • When magma reaches the surface it changes physically and is called lava

Shield Volcano

  • Formed from fluid lava, rich in iron

  • Shield volcanoes are large

Mauna Loa in Hawaii

Composite Volcano

  • Made of alternating layers of lava, ash and cinders.

  • Magma is rich in silica and thick

  • Large with steep slopes

Cinder Cone

  • Large amounts of gas are trapped in the magma causing violent eruptions

  • Active for short periods of time

Minerals & Rocks

  • Minerals:

    • naturally occurring, inorganic substances

      • (inorganic = does not contain Carbon)

    • can be expressed by a chemical formula

    • Quartz SiO2 (silicon dioxide)

  • Rocks:

    • Composed of minerals

Types of Rock

  • Igneous

    • Formed when magma or lava cools and hardens

      • Magma forms intrusive igneous rock

      • Lava forms extrusive igneous rock

  • Sedimentary

    • Formed when rock particles, plant and animal debris are carried away by water, redeposited, then fused together

  • Metamorphic

    • Rock particles are fused together by pressure beneath the Earth’s surface

Determining the age of rocks

Two ways to “determine” the age of a rock:

  • Superposition – determine the age based on layers, older rocks are on the bottom, newer ones on top

  • Radioactive dating

The Rock Cycle

Weathering and Erosion

  • Two types of weathering

    • Physical

      • Breaks rocks into smaller pieces, chemical composition does not change

      • May be caused by ice or plants

    • Chemical

      • Changes the chemical composition of rocks

      • May be caused by oxidation or acid rain


  • Erosion: the process of loosening and removing sediment

    • Caused by water, glaciers, wind


  • Occurs when loose sediment is laid down

  • Causes river beds to widen and deltas to form.

Important Elements

  • Oxygen – most abundant element in the Earth’s crust

  • Nitrogen – most abundant element in the atmosphere

  • Iron – most abundant element in the core

Non-renewable Resources

  • Defined:

    • An energy source that cannot be renewed in our lifetime

    • Examples:

    • Oil

    • Natural Gas

    • Coal

    • Aluminum

    • Gold

    • Uranium

Non-renewable resources – Environmental Impacts

  • Mining


    • Disrupts land

    • Disrupts ecosystems

    • Causes acid rain

Surface Mining

  • Description – if resource is <200 ft. from the surface, the topsoil is removed (and saved), explosives are used to break up the rocks and to remove the resource, reclamation follows

  • Benefits – cheap, easy, efficient

  • Costs – tears up the land (temporarily), byproducts produce an acid that can accumulate in rivers and lakes

Underground Mining

  • Underground Mining

    • Description – digging a shaft down to the resource, using machinery (and people) to tear off and remove the resource

    • Benefits – can get to resources far underground

    • Costs – more expensive, more time-consuming, more dangerous– mining accident in Chile


  • formed from ancient peat bogs (swamps) that were under pressure as they were covered.

  • Used for electricity, heat, steel, exports, and industry, may contribute to the “Greenhouse Effect”

  • Four types of coal exist: lignite (soft, used for electricity), bituminous and subbituminous (harder, also used for electricity) and anthracite (hardest, used for heating)

  • 50% of all the coal is in the United States, the former Soviet Union and China

Increasing heat and carbon content

Increasing moisture content

Peat (not a coal)

Lignite (brown coal)

Bituminous (soft coal)

Anthracite (hard coal)







Partially decayed plant matter in swamps and bogs; low heat content

Low heat content; low sulfur content; limited supplies in most areas

Extensively used as a fuel because of its high heat content and large supplies; normally has a high sulfur content

Highly desirable fuel because of its high heat content and low sulfur content; supplies are limited in most areas

Fig. 16-12, p. 368

Waste heat

Cooling tower transfers waste heat to atmosphere

Coal bunker



Cooling loop


Pulverizing mill




Toxic ash disposal

Fig. 16-13, p. 369


  • Coal reserves in the United States, Russia, and China could last hundreds to over a thousand years.

    • The U.S. has 27% of the world’s proven coal reserves, followed by Russia (17%), and China (13%).

    • In 2005, China and the U.S. accounted for 53% of the global coal consumption.


  • returning the rock layer and the topsoil to a surface mine, fertilizing and planting it

    • Benefits – restores land to good condition

    • Costs – expensive, time-consuming

    • In the United States, mining companies are required to do this!

Open-pit Mining

  • Machines dig holes and remove ores, sand, gravel, and stone.

  • Toxic groundwater can accumulate at the bottom.

Figure 15-11

Area Strip Mining

  • Earth movers strips away overburden, and giant shovels removes mineral deposit.

  • Often leaves highly erodible hills of rubble called spoil banks.

Figure 15-12

Contour Strip Mining

  • Used on hilly or mountainous terrain.

  • Unless the land is restored, a wall of dirt is left in front of a highly erodible bank called a highwall.

Figure 15-13

Mountaintop Removal

  • Machinery removes the tops of mountains to expose coal.

  • The resulting waste rock and dirt are dumped into the streams and valleys below.

Figure 15-14

United States mining

  • Central – diamonds (Arkansas), bituminous coal

  • West – bituminous and subbituminous coal, gold, silver, copper

  • East – anthracite coal, bituminous coal

  • South – some gold (SC), bituminous coal

  • North – bituminous coal, some gold (SD, WI)

Energy from non-renewable resources

  • Cogeneration

  • Primary

  • Secondary

Fossil Fuels

  • Only about 30% efficient

  • Benefits –

    • easy to use, currently abundant

  • Costs –

    • a nonrenewable resource, produces pollutants that contribute to acid rain and the greenhouse effect

  • Oil- Supplies the most commercial energy in the world today. People in the U.S. use 23 barrels of petroleum per person or 6 billion barrels total each year!!!



Aviation fuel

Heating oil

Diesel oil


Heated crude oil

Grease and wax



Fig. 16-5, p. 359


  • Eleven OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) have 78% of the world’s proven oil reserves and most of the world’s unproven reserves.

  • After global production peaks and begins a slow decline, oil prices will rise and could threaten the economies of countries that have not shifted to new energy alternatives.

Case Study: U.S. Oil Supplies

  • The U.S. – the world’s largest oil user – has only 2.9% of the world’s proven oil reserves.

  • U.S oil production peaked in 1974 (halfway production point).

  • About 60% of U.S oil imports goes through refineries in hurricane-prone regions of the Gulf Coast.

Heavy Oils from Oil Sand and Oil Shale: Will Sticky Black Gold Save Us?

  • Heavy and tarlike oils from oil sand and oil shale could supplement conventional oil, but there are environmental problems.

    • High sulfur content.

    • Extracting and processing produces:

      • Toxic sludge

      • Uses and contaminates larges volumes of water

      • Requires large inputs of natural gas which reduces net energy yield.

Oil Shales

  • Oil shales contain a solid combustible mixture of hydrocarbons called kerogen.

Figure 16-9

Core Case Study: How Long Will the Oil Party Last?

  • We have three options:

    • Look for more oil.

    • Use or waste less oil.

    • Use something else.

Figure 16-1


  • Natural gas, consisting mostly of methane, is often found above reservoirs of crude oil.

    • When a natural gas-field is tapped, gasses are liquefied and removed as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

  • Coal beds and bubbles of methane trapped in ice crystals deep under the arctic permafrost and beneath deep-ocean sediments are unconventional sources of natural gas.


  • Russia and Iran have almost half of the world’s reserves of conventional gas, and global reserves should last 62-125 years.

  • Natural gas is versatile and clean-burning fuel, but it releases the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (when burned) and methane (from leaks) into the troposphere.



Energy Efficiency – Non-renewable energy sources

  • Coal, Natural Gas, Oil: about 30% efficient

  • Nuclear:

Laws of Thermodynamics

  • 1st law: Conservation of Energy

    • Energy cannot be created nor destroyed

    • Energy can be transferred from one system to another

  • 2nd law:

    • Energy transfer must only have one direction

    • Entropy (disorder) increases over time

  • 3rd law:

    • Absolute zero is achieved when all kinetic energy stops


  • 1st law of Thermodynamics

    • Explains how we can convert energy from chemical or mechanical energy to usable electric energy

    • windmill animation

    • 2nd law of Thermodynamics explains WHY energy efficiency can be so low

Renewable Energy


  • Solar energy is harnessing energy from the sun’s rays

    • Passive Solar – Placing buildings strategically to take advantage of the sun’s heat

      • Example: Log Homes

    • Active Solar – uses solar panels to convert energy into a usable form such as electricity

Single solar cell

Solar-cell roof


Boron enriched silicon

Roof options


Phosphorus enriched silicon

Panels of solar cells

Solar shingles

Fig. 17-17, p. 398

  • Benefits of Solar:

    • Readily available

    • Renewable

    • Fairly simple system

    • Pollution free energy source

    • Can sell back extra energy to the power company

  • Drawbacks of Solar:

    • High start up cost for active solar energy system

    • Location dependent (Seattle would not be a good city for solar energy)

Core Case Study: The Coming Energy-Efficiency and Renewable-Energy Revolution

  • It is possible to get electricity from solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity.

    • Can be attached like shingles on a roof.

    • Can be applied to window glass as a coating.

    • Can be mounted on racks almost anywhere.

Core Case Study: The Coming Energy-Efficiency and Renewable-Energy Revolution

  • The heating bill for this energy-efficient passive solar radiation office in Colorado is $50 a year.

Figure 17-1

Passive Solar Heating

  • Passive solar heating system absorbs and stores heat from the sun directly within a structure without the need for pumps to distribute the heat.

Figure 17-13

Direct Gain

Ceiling and north wall heavily insulated

Summer sun

Hot air


insulated windows

Warm air

Winter sun

Cool air

Earth tubes

Fig. 17-13, p. 396

Greenhouse, Sunspace, or Attached Solarium

Summer cooling vent

Warm air

Insulated windows

Cool air

Fig. 17-13, p. 396

Earth Sheltered

Reinforced concrete, carefully waterproofed walls and roof

Triple-paned or superwindows


Flagstone floor for heat storage

Fig. 17-13, p. 396


Passive or Active Solar Heating



Energy is free

Need access to sun 60% of time

Net energy is moderate (active) to high (passive)

Sun blocked by other structures

Quick installation

Need heat storage system

No CO2 emissions

Very low air and water pollution

High cost (active)

Very low land disturbance (built into roof or window)

Active system needs maintenance and repair

Moderate cost (passive)

Active collectors unattractive

Fig. 17-14, p. 396

Cooling Houses Naturally

  • We can cool houses by:

    • Superinsulating them.

    • Taking advantages of breezes.

    • Shading them.

    • Having light colored or green roofs.

    • Using geothermal cooling.


  • Wind energy is converted into a usable energy form by using wind turbines

Wind Power

  • Benefits of Wind Power:

    • Readily available

    • Can sell back extra power

    • Pollution free energy source

  • Drawbacks of Wind Power:

    • Disrupts migration patterns

    • Turbine farms are not aesthetically pleasing

    • Turbines are expensive

    • Good for specific locations only


  • Hydro power is mechanical energy derived from water

  • Most hydropower is generated by damming rivers

  • Using waves or ocean currents is being researched as a source of hydropower

Three Gorges Dam in China

Three Gorges Dam

  • 1.5 miles long

  • 574 feet deep

  • $23 billion

  • 13 cities and 1,300 villages were flooded

  • Benefits of Hydropower

    • Readily available

    • No pollution produced

    • Constant source of power

  • Drawbacks of Hydropower

    • Damming rivers disrupts ecosystems, causes sediment to build up and disrupts the natural flow of a river


  • Geothermal energy uses natural underground heat sources

  • When heat escapes the earth in the form of steam, the steam is used to turn a steam turbine which converts the heat energy into electrical energy

  • Benefits of Geothermal:

    • When drilled correctly, little pollution is produced

    • Takes up a relatively small area, does not disrupt the landscape

  • Drawbacks of Geothermal:

    • Can only be used in a limited capacity

    • Very location specific

    • May run out of steam

    • May release hazardous gasses or minerals if drilled improperly


  • Biomass is burning biomass fuel in a specialized burner. Steam generated turns a steam turbine which turns mechanical energy into electrical energy

Biomass at the Denver Zoo!

  • Trash and animal waste is converted into pellets

  • The pellets are put into a gassifier and heated to 400 degrees!

  • When hot enough, a gas is emitted that is converted by micro gas turbines into electrical energy

  • Denver Zoo

  • Benefits of Biomass

    • Less waste in landfills

      Readily available

  • Drawbacks of Geothermal

    • Not currently available on a large scale basis


  • The European Union aims to get 22% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2010.

  • Costa Rica gets 92% of its energy from renewable resources.

  • China aims to get 10% of its total energy from renewable resources by 2020.

  • In 2004, California got about 12% of its electricity from wind and plans to increase this to 50% by 2030.

Energy Efficiency – renewable energy sources

  • Solar

  • Wind

  • Hydro

  • Biomass

  • Geothermal


  • Denmark now gets 20% of its electricity from wind and plans to increase this to 50% by 2030.

  • Brazil gets 20% of its gasoline from sugarcane residue.

  • In 2004, the world’s renewable-energy industries provided 1.7 million jobs.

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