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ESC110 Chapter Eleven: Environmental Geology & Earth Resources. Principles of Environmental Science - Inquiry and Applications, 1st Edition by William and Mary Ann Cunningham. Chapter Eleven Readings.

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ESC110 Chapter Eleven:Environmental Geology & Earth Resources

Principles of Environmental

Science - Inquiry and Applications,

1st Edition

by William and Mary Ann Cunningham

chapter eleven readings
Chapter Eleven Readings

Required ReadingsCunningham & Cunningham, Chapter Eleven: Principles of Ecology: Matter, Energy, and Life

chapter eleven key terms mcgraw hill course glossary
Chapter Eleven Key TermsMcGraw-Hill Course Glossary
  • Acids
  • Atom
  • Bases
  • Biological community
  • Biomass
  • Carbon cycle
  • Carnivores
  • Cellular respiration
  • Compound
  • Conservation of matter
  • Consumers
  • decomposer
  • ecology
  • ecosystem
  • Energy
  • First law of thermodynamics
  • Food web
  • Herbivores
  • Ions
  • Kinetic energy
  • Matter
  • Metabolism
  • Molecules
  • Nitrogen cycle
  • Omnivores
  • Organic compounds
  • pH
  • Photosynthesis
  • Potential energy
  • Primary producers
  • Productivity
  • Second law of thermodymanics
  • Species
  • Tropic level
chapter eleven topics
Chapter Eleven Topics
  • A Dynamic Planet;
  • Minerals and Rocks;
  • Economic Geology and Mineralogy;
  • Environmental Effects of Resource Extraction;
  • Conserving Geologic Resources; and
  • Geologic Hazards.

Pangea: the



part 2 minerals and rocks
Part 2: Minerals and Rocks
  • Mineral - a naturally occurring, inorganic solid with a definite chemical composition and a specific internal crystal structure
  • Rock - a solid, cohesive aggregate of one or more minerals
weathering and sedimentation
Weathering and Sedimentation
  • Mechanical weathering - physical breakup
  • Chemical weathering - oxidation, hydrolysis
  • Sedimentation - deposition of loosened rock
part 3 economic geology and mineralogy
Part 3: Economic Geology and Mineralogy
  • Economic mineralogy is the study of minerals that are valuable for manufacturing and trade.
  • Public policy in the U.S. has encouraged mining on public lands as a way of boosting the economy and utilizing natural resources.
Strategic metals and minerals - those that a country uses but cannot produce itself
  • Wealthy industrial nations often stockpile strategic resources, especially metals.


nonmetal mineral resources
Nonmetal Mineral Resources
  • Sand and gravel production for road and building construction - greatest volume and dollar value of all nonmetal mineral resources.
  • Evaporites - halite (rock salt), gypsum, potash
  • Sulfur deposits - mined mainly for sulfuric acid production (industry, car batteries, some medicinal products)
part 4 environmental effects of resource extraction
Part 4: Environmental Effects of Resource Extraction
  • Geologic resource extraction involves the physical processes of mining and the physical or chemical processes of separating minerals, metals, and other geologic resources from ores or other materials.
  • Ore - a rock in which a valuable or useful metal occurs at a concentration high enough to make mining it economically attractive
  • Placer mining
  • Strip-mining or open-pit mining
  • Tailings - surface waste deposits
  • Groundwater contamination
  • Spoil banks - acid and sediment runoff
  • Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (1977)

Smelting - roasting ore to release metals

Recycling - aluminum, platinum, gold, silver, copper, lead
  • Steel and iron recycling: minimills
  • Substituting new materials for old - polymers, high-tech alloys, glass cables
  • Earthquakes - sudden movements in the earth’s crust that occur along faults
  • Soil liquefaction
  • Tsunamis
  • Volcanoes and undersea magma vents are the sources of most of the earth’s crust.
  • Hazards: nuees ardentes (“glowing clouds”), mudslides, ash and dust, sulfur emissions
Flood - excess water that overflows stream banks and covers adjacent land

Biggest economic loss: contamination

Many human activities increase both the severity and frequency of floods.

Flood control - locks, dams, levees - problem transferred downstream

  • Landslides
  • Gullying
  • Agricultural soil erosion - “an invisible crisis”
construction on beaches and barrier islands
Construction on Beaches and Barrier Islands
  • People place high value on ocean views and beach access.
  • Construction directly on beaches and barrier islands can (1) cause irreparable damage to entire ecosystems and (2) worsen storm damage.
  • Government policies often encourage people to build in risky places.



beaches and