Advanced General Geology W4001x

Advanced General Geology is an introductory class designed for students who have some science background . This course is a fast-paced one that not only servers to introduce the student to basic introductory material, but also introduces the student to current research topics in the Earth sciences. This is done, in part, by assigning readings in research articles dealing with recent advances in diverse fields while at the same time presenting introductory material.

There is a laboratory designed to introduce students to rocks and rock forming minerals run in conjunction with the lecture. There are at least two required day-long field trips. The required text are: Earth by Press and Siever and The Inaccessible Earth by Brown and Mussett (this text is out of print so copies can be obtained from your TA). There will also be a large number of supplemental readings and handouts given at the beginning of lectures.

September 7th. Origin of the Earth.

Includes discussions of nuclear synthesis, meteorites and the theories of formation of the earth and solar system.

Read ch 4 & 5 in Brown & Mussett,

Ahrens (1994, Physics Today, p. 38-45) "The Origin of the Earth"

Burrows (2000, Nature, p. 727-733) "Supernova explosions in the Universe"

Paczynski (1999, Nature, p. 331-352) "The devil is in the distance"

Maoz et al. (1999, Nature, p. 351-354) "A distance to the galaxy NGC4258 from observations of Cepheid variable stars" Meyers (1994, Nature, p.13) "A distant space thermometer" Songalla et al. (1994, Nature p. 43-45), Measurement of the microwave background temperature at a redshift of 1.776) Ash (1994, Nature, p. 219-220) "Small spheres of influence" Eisenhour et al. (1994, Science, p. 1067-1070) "Electromagnetic heating of the early solar nebula and formation of chondrules" Sneden (2001, Nature, p. 673-676) "The Age of the Universe"

Cayrel et al. (2001, Nature p.691-696) "Measurement of stellar age from uranium decay"

Also read the Book of Genesis 1:1 through 1:9 (circa 1000 AD).

September 12th 14th & 19th Structure of the Earth. An overview of the evidence for the chemical, phase and rheological properties of the Earth.

Includes indepth discussion on the origin of the core, mantle, and crust.

Read chapters 6 through 10 in B&M. Chapter 19 in P&S Stevenson (1995, Nature, p. 763-764) "Light form tungsten on core construction" Lee and Halliday (1995, Nature, p. 771-774) " Hf-tungsten chronometry and the timing of terrestrial core formation" Bassett (1994, Science, p. 1662-1663) "What is in the EarthÝs core besides iron?" Fei and Mao (1994, Science, p. 1678-1680) "In situ determination of the NiAs phase of FeO at high pressure and temperature" Merrill (1997, Nature, p. 678-679) "A magnetic reversal record" Channell and Lehman (1997, Nature, p. 712-715) "The last two geomagnetic polarity reversals recorded in high-deposition-rate sediment drifts"

Vidale (1994, Nature, p. 288) "A mystery in the mantle"

Kawakatsu and Niu (1994, Nature, p. 301-305) "Seismic evidence for a 920-km discontinuety in the mantle

Yardley and Valley (1994, Nature, p. 205-206) "How wet is the EarthÝs crust?"

September 21st, 26th, & 28th. Plate Tectonics. A historical overview of the development of the plate tectonic theory. Read Chapter 20 & 21 in P&S.

October 3rd & 5th. Geologic time.

Discussion of the basic assumptions used to assess geologic time. Detailed examination of U/Pb, Rb/Sr, 14C K/Ar and Ar/Ar techniques. Other non-radiometric techniques will be discussed. Read "notes" 5, 6 & 7 pages 213 to 215 in B&M. Pages 41 through 48 in P&S. Handouts including a problem set to be returned on the 26th

Halliday (2001, Nature, p. 144-145) "In the beginningÍ"

Wilde et al. (2001, Nature, p. 175-178) "Evidence from detrital zircons for the existence of continental crust and oceans on the Earth 4.4 Gyr ago"
October 10th, 12th. and 17th Construction of the Geologic time scale. A discussion of both the present techniques used to assign ages to divisions of time as well as a historical perspective on the development of the time scale. Read ch 2 P&S and memorize time scale on page 39 P&S

October 19th and 24th The Rock Cycle.

Discussion of the formation of sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks October 26th and 31st Structural Geology. Includes brief discussion of the faulting process in the upper crust-- e.g. strike-slip, normal and thrust faulting. Read ch. 4 in P&S.

November 2nd Mid-Term

November 7th -- election day - no class

November 9th, 14th and 16th No lectures

November 21st The earth's solid surface (lecture into lab period)

An overview of the role of wind, water and ice as agents in sculpting the surface of the earth. Read Ch 8, 9 & 10 and

Mountain Building and Climate.

A look at newly developed theories of the role of climate in mountain building or, if you like, the role of mountain building on climate. Read Molnar & England 1992 (Science) Ruddirman et al. 1989 and ch. 6 in P&S

November 23rd eat turkey day (no class except for vegetarians, they may attend class)

November 28th & 30th . The great K/T boundary debate.

Alvarez et al. 1980 (Science) "Extraterrestrial Cause for the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction"

Bohor et al. 1987 (Science) "Shocked Quartz in the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary Clays: Evidence for a Global Distribution"

Alvarez and Asaro 1990 (Scientific American) "An Extraterrestial Impact"

Courtillot, 1990 (Scientific American) " A Volcanic Eruption"

Officer and Drake 1985 (Science)

December 5th Philosophy of Science. Discussion of reads from Popper, Kuhn, Lakatose and Feyerabend.

Extensive handout readings from these four authors plus other relavant readings

Dokka 1989 (Geology) Comment on "Magnitude and significance of Miocene crustal extension in the central Mojave Desert, California." Glazner et al. Reply
December 7th Evolution. Discussion of the theories of evolution and how the geologic record may alter our perception of the tempo and mode of evolution. De Duve, 1996 (Scientific American) "The Birth of Complex Cells"

White et al., 1994 (Science). "Australopithecus ramidus, a new species of early hominid from Aramis, Ethiopia

Final Exam Times posted on door of 560 Schermerhorn

Grade is based on 25% for lab grade (meets in room 417 Schermerhorn)

25% mid-term

50% final

Field trip attendance is required-- questions on exams may include subject material covered on field trips. There is a field trip fee ˇ see Robbie in 560 or Mia at Lamont about costs.

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