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Scientific Method - Geology

Observe something about Earth not explained


Develop most probable explanation (Hypothesis)
Determine how to test explanation
Not often lab experiments as other sciences
Must be repeatable with only on independent variable
Often test multiple hypothesis
Make conclusion (Math and statistics supported)
Publish and discuss results with other
Repeat


Principle of Uniformitarianism

James Hutton
(1726-97)


Charles Lyell
1797-1875





http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10c.html
Past geologic processes still govern
today
Present is key to past
Lyell argued that processes
and rates were constant
Influenced Darwin and
biology. Rates now considered to
vary. Contradicted creationism
Ussher's 6016 year old earth
Two Conceptions of Earth History:
Catastrophism
Great Effects Require Great Causes
Earth History Dominated by Huge Events THE
FLOOD
Uniformitarianism
Processes and the results do not change over time
or space;
Earth History Dominated by Small-scale Events
Typical of the Present.
Catastrophes happen but are rare
Uniformitarianism
Continuity of Cause and Effect
Apply Cause and Effect to Future -
Prediction
Apply Cause and Effect to Present
Understand hazards
Apply Cause and Effect to Past hISTORY
The Present is the Key to the Past
The Earth is the key to the Universe
Lithosphere Rocky sphere
100km thick crust +
Upper mantle

Asthenosphere weak sphere
Next 350 km

http://pubs.usgs.gov/gip
/dynamic/Vigil.html
Types of Plate Boundaries
Terminology
Diagram shows the location of the key terms that
explain how plate tectonics works.
Internal energy of earth drives plate tectonic
Transferred by conduction and convection of heat
The Interior of Earth
Direct evidence?
Drilling has not
penetrated the upper
mantle.
Seismic waves are
indirect evidence.
Molten material
sampled only on the
surface.
Energy to Move Plates
Definitions - Mineral
Minerals are the naturally occurring
chemical elements or compounds, formed by
inorganic processes, with an ordered internal
arrangement or pattern for its atoms, that
possess a definite, chemical composition or
range of composition.



Identifying Minerals using Diagnostic
Characteristics
1. Crystal Form orderly arrangement of
atoms. Maybe regular or distorted.
2. Luster quality of light reflected from the
surface.
Metallic appearance of metals regardless of
color
Nonmetallic glassy, pearly, silky, earthy
Submetallic partially metallic
3. Color unreliable as a diagnostic
indicator because impurities create a
variety of colors. Sulfur, however, is
always yellow.
4. Streak color in powdered form.
Metallic is dark and dense.
5. Hardness the Mohs scale is 1-10 with 1
being the softest and 10 the hardest.
Talc/gypsum/calcite/fluorite/apatite/orthoclase/
quartz/topaz/corundum/diamond
Fingernail (2.5); penny (3.0); glass (5.5)
6. Cleavage tendency to break along lines
of weakness. Surface of break is ALWAYS
smooth.
7. Fracture if a mineral does not cleave, it
will break into a curved surface or fracture.
Most minerals fracture in an irregularly
fashion.
8. Specific gravity ratio of the weight of
the mineral to the weight of an equal
volume of water. Galena = 7.5; gold
(24 carat) = 20
Ionic vs Covalent Bonding

Ionic: electron(s) leave one atom &
gained by another atom to satisfy both
atoms octets
This results in the formation of ions.
The resulting opposite charges attract
each other.
Covalent: electrons are shared by two or
more atoms to satisfy need to have
clean outer electron shells.
Other bond types

Metallic electrons flow freely through mass of
atoms

Van der Waal forces Very weak bond caused
by slight electron orbital imbalances

All metals = metallic bond
Nonmetals and Metals = ionic bond
All nonmetals = covalent bond
Element Abundance in Crust
Oxygen 46.6% by weight in the crust
Silicon 27.7%
Aluminum 8.1%
Iron 5.0%
Calcium 3.6%
Sodium 2.8%
Potassium 2.6%
Magnesium 2.1%
All others 1.5%

O & Si = 75% of crustal rocks by weight

The Key to Buying Diamonds
REMEMBER GRAPHITE and
DIAMONDS ARE both CARBON
Color colorless to shades of yellow
Clarity no internal flaws to internal flaws
Carat the size of the diamond
Cut the way it reflects light back to the
observer. Shape can also vary based upon
personal preferences.
Shop for price but remember to compare exactly
the same characteristics from store to store.
Color
The scale goes from D (exceptional white color) to
S-Z which is yellow or some other color.
Minerals: the building blocks of rocks
Rock consolidated or poorly consolidated
aggregates of one or more minerals, glass, or
solidified organic matter (coal) that covers a
significant part of the crust.
Three classes or categories:
Igneous crystallized from molten or partially molten
material
Sedimentary fragments of pre-existing rock and rocks
that were formed from chemical or biological action.
Metamorphic changed by heat, fluids, and pressure
These categories are based upon the
processes that form the rock.

IGNEOUS Rocks
Magma molten material within Earth
Large crystals result from slow cooling
(phaneritic texture); a large mass of such rock
is a Batholith; normally a granite.
Lava molten material on the surface
Fine-grained with restricted crystal growth
(aphanitic texture)
Igneous rock texture determined by where it
cools and solidifies and therefore how FAST
PHANERITIC - LARGE GRAIN CRYSTALS
A PHANERITIC NOT (A) LARGE GRAIN OR CRYSTALS
IGNEOUS Rocks
Pumice has the
composition of glass
but does not look
glassy.
Formed on the surface
cooled rapidly.
Steam driven out of
obsidian contributes to
bubbles will float
Dental hygienists use it
to polish teeth

Volcanic
Plutonic
SEDIMENTARY ROCKS
Sediment is a particulate derived from
physical or chemical weathering of
material on the crust or from certain
organic processes.
The sediment can be transported and re-
deposited by gravity, streams, glaciers,
wind and/or waves.
It may also be residual. (rubble left behind)
Sediments are turned to stone by deep
burial (pressure) or cementation or both.
Clastic Sedimentary Rocks
The diagram shows
how gravels, sand,
silt and clay go
through various
processes to
become rock.
Texture is a
definitive property
in identification.

As we will discuss in detail later:

Two ways rocks are broken down:
1) Dissolve chemically
2) Physical break-up

The products of the physical break-
down get compacted and
cemented clastic sedimentary
rocks :
Shales
Sandstones
Siltstones

The rock material dissolved in water
precipitates out to form chemical
sedimentary rock
Limestones
Salt formations
Gypsium
Metamorphic Rocks
Coarsely foliated
gneiss formed
under intense heat
and pressure.

Formed within the
Earths crust, never
on the surface.
Neptunist view
Cold early earth
Rocks form by chemical precipitation from
water
Leader A. Werner: (1740-1817)- German
mining academy
Volcanoes aberration coal fired
Succession of layers, order of layers
Vulcanism
Also Stratified Formations above Primitive Rock
(basalt and granite)
Identified igneous and metamorphic rocks caused
by HOT earth
Even sedimentary rock fused by heat, not
chemically cemented
French volcanic origin basalt flows turned the day
Neptunist support Principle of Original
Horizontality Vulcanist cross cutting
Rock Cycle This could go on forever
If you can describe
this chart well, you
will do well on the
first exam
Definition
IGNEOUS ROCK - An aggregate of minerals
crystallized from molten rock (magma).
Major distinctions in rock type are based on
two criteria:
1) the chemical composition of the magma
(mafic to felsic) and
2) the environment of magma emplacement
(plutonic or intrusive vs. volcanic or extrusive)
http://csmres.jmu.edu/geollab/fichter/IgnRx/magmatyp.html
Igneous Rock-forming Minerals crystallized from
Various Magma Compositions
Igneous Rock Texture
Fine grain rapid cooling (Aphanitic)
At surface
Coarse grain slow, in crust cooling (Phanitic)
Glassy super fast cooling
Porphyritic two step crystallization, slow
then fast


http://geowww.geo.tcu.edu/faculty/donovan/10113%20igneous%20class%20rev/photoalb
um/pages/bowen%27s%20reaction%20series_jpg.htm
Types of Magma Eruptions
Fissures
Columbia &
Snake River
Basalt basins
- 8.5 km Iceland
(USGS photo
- Mid-ocean
ridges
Decca plateau
2.5 MM km-sq
Magma Eruptions
Fissures
Shield Volcano pure basalt Hawaii

Mauna Kea
13,795
Haleakala
10,023 (Maui)
Mauna Loa
13,677
Water depth > 16,000
Magma Eruptions
Fissures
Shield Volcano pure basalt Hawaii
Cinder Cone
clastic debris
Capulin (NM)
Pilot Knob

Paricutn, Mexico 1946 USGS photo
March
1944
Magma Eruptions
Fissures
Shield volcanoes
Cinder Cones
Composite
volcanoes
Mt St. Helens 1980
Before 1980 Most beautiful and peaceful
Forecast in 1975
North exploded May 18, 1980
3 cubic km avalanche and vertical explosion
Blast destroyed everything in path for 16 to 25km
Human deaths 25 km away
Pyroclastic debris flow (1600 degree F) -160 km/hr
Toutle River wiped out, 42 MM cubic m of debris in
Columbia
Ashes tracked around the world

Non-extrusive magma
Batholiths
Enchanted Rock
Laccoliths
Dikes
Zimbabwe 375 miles
6 miles wide
Sills
nuweb.neu.edu
Laccolith Big Bend N.P
Exposed dike
Shiprock N.
Ultra Mafic and Mafic
Basaltic Very hot mix
Low viscosity
High melting point minerals
Felsic and Intermediate
Andestic and granitic
High viscosity
Lower Temperature,
Lots of water and gas
Do differences in magma explain different kinds of volcanic forms?
http://www.google.com/url?q=http://activity.ntsec.gov.tw/space/EN/show.asp%3FX
H50&ust=1346542391469504&usg=AFQjCNHcDdLk2Jph6cvbXXDeRiRF2pxwVw
The three kinds of magma:
Basaltic - hottest , deepest, and therefore includes the higher melting
point minerals like olivine and calcium plagioclase.
Andesite re-melted crust in the subduction zone
Rhyolite Lower temperature melting of silica crust, often with melting
points depressed by water introduced from below. Heat also from
magmas below
04_22.JPG
Sedimentary rocks
Almost 90% of earth crust - igneous rocks
Sediments and Sedimentary rock- 5% of
outer 16km of Earth but 75% of surface
Fluid deposited minerals that lithified
99% shale, limestone, or sandstone
46% 22% 32%
Clay CaCO3 SiO2
Sedimentary rocks form from weathered,
transported and deposited sediments
Summary Physical Weathering

Frost action

Wetting and drying

Action of plants and animals

Loss of overlying rock and soil
EXFOLIATION
Chemical Weathering
Rocks minerals are changed into different
substances.

Water and water vapor are important agents of
chemical weathering.

WATER and its bi-polar covalent bond will
eventually wear everything down

Example: Formation of clay minerals from
feldspar
Types of Chemical Weathering
Results mainly from the action of rainwater,
oxygen, carbon dioxide, and acids of plant decay
on rocks.

Dissolves

Oxidizes

Hydrolysis reactions


Agents - Chemical Weathering
Rainwater dissolving oxygen, carbon
dioxide, and acids of plant decay.
Carbon dioxide dissolves easily in water.
Carried through the ground to the bedrock.
Dissolves the ionic bonded minerals like rock
salt, calcite, (limestone, dolomite), and
gypsum
Agents of Chemical Weathering
Has the greatest effect on calcite than any
other mineral.
It dissolves it completely, with no clay left
over.
Hydrolysis of Igneous Rocks Chemical
Weathering
The chemical reaction of water with other
substances is called hydrolysis.

This attacks minerals in our igneous rocks like
:Feldspar

Common Clay Type
Oxidation of Igneous Rocks Chemical
Weathering
The chemical reaction of oxygen with other
substances is called oxidation.
Iron-bearing minerals are the ones most easily
attacked by oxygen
These include
Magnetite
Pyrite
Dark-colored ferromagnesian silicates
OLIVINE
AMPHIBOLE
PYROXINE




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Chemical weathering
Igneous Rocks
Higher melting point materials react first:
Iron of mafic minerals oxidizes to form
Limonite and clays
Felsic material hydrolizes to form clays
The silicon-dioxide based materials resist
chemical attack
High melting point igneous rocks (from our
basaltic and intermediate magmas) mostly
weather to clays and oxides
Low melting point igneous rocks weather
physically to sands




Deposition
Settling (coming to rest) of transported
material
Accumulation of chemical or organic
sediments, typically in water
Environment of deposition is the location
in which deposition occurs
Deep sea floor
Beach
Desert dunes
River channel
Lake bottom
From sediment to sedimentary
rockiment to Sedimentary Rock
Preservation
By burial with additional sediments, in order
to become a sedimentary rock
Lithification
General term for processes converting
loose sediment into sedimentary rock
Combination of compaction and
cementation
From Sediment to
Sedimentary Rock
Cementation:
Cementing material is usually;
Secondary Silica (Siliceous cement),
Calcium carbonate (Carbonate
cement),
Iron rich (ferruginous cement)
Cement itself to some extent is the source
of weakness in the sedimentary rocks

Sedimentary Rocks
Clastic Rocks
Made of
Fragments
Deposited by
Water (Most
Common)
Wind
Glacial Action
Gravity

Biochemical
Evaporation
Precipitation
Biogenic
Clastic Rocks
Classified by:
Grain Size
Grain Composition
Texture

Sediment Sizes and Clastic Rock Types
Sedimentary rocks made of silt- and clay-sized
particles are collectively called mudrocks, and
are the most abundant sedimentary rocks.

Rock Type Sediment Grain Size
Shale Clay less than 0.001 mm
Siltstone Silt .001-0.1 mm
Sandstone Sand .01-1 mm
Conglomerate Gravel 1mm +
Chemical Sediments
Evaporites -Water
Soluble
Halite
Gypsum
Calcite

Precipitates
Gypsum
Limestone
Iron Formations
Alteration After
Deposition
Dolomite
Biogenic Sediments
Limestone - Shells,
Reefs, Etc.
Organic Remains
Coal
Petroleum
Sediment
Sediment - loose, solid particles originating from:
Weathering and erosion of pre-existing rocks
Chemical precipitation from solution, including secretion by
organisms in water
Classified by particle size
Boulder - >256 mm
Cobble - 64 to 256 mm
Pebble - 2 to 64 mm
Sand - 1/16 to 2 mm
Silt - 1/256 to 1/16 mm
Clay - <1/256 mm
Gravel
Types of Sedimentary Rocks
Detrital (clastic) sedimentary
rocks
Most common sedimentary rock type
Form from cemented sediment grains
that come from pre-existing rocks

Chemical sedimentary rocks
Have crystalline textures
Form by precipitation of minerals from
solution
Organic sedimentary rocks
Accumulate from remains of organisms

Clastic Sedimentary Rocks
Breccia and Conglomerate
Coarse-grained clastic sedimentary rocks
Sedimentary breccia composed of coarse,
angular rock fragments cemented
together
Conglomerate composed of rounded
gravel cemented together

Sandstone
Medium-grained clastic sedimentary rock
Types determined by composition
Quartz sandstone - >90% quartz grains
Arkose - mostly feldspar and quartz grains
Graywacke - sand grains surrounded by
dark, fine-grained matrix, often clay-rich

Clastic Sedimentary Rocks
Shale
Fine-grained clastic sedimentary rock
Splits into thin layers (fissile)
Silt- and clay-sized grains
Sediment deposited in lake bottoms, river
deltas, floodplains, and on deep ocean floor

Siltstone
Slightly coarser-grained than shales
Lacks fissility
Claystone
Predominantly clay-sized grains; non-fissile
Mudstone
Silt- and clay-sized grains; massive/blocky

Chemical Sedimentary Rocks
Carbonates
Contain CO
3
as part of their chemical composition
Limestone is composed mainly of calcite
Most are biochemical, but can be inorganic
Often contain easily recognizable fossils
Chemical alteration of limestone in Mg-rich
water solutions can produce dolomite

Chert
Hard, compact, fine-grained, formed almost entirely
of silica
Can occur as layers or as lumpy nodules within
other sedimentary rocks, especially limestones
Evaporites
Form from evaporating saline waters (lake, ocean)
Common examples are rock gypsum, rock salt
Organics in Sedimentary Rocks
Coal
Sedimentary rock forming from compaction
of partially decayed plant material
Organic material deposited in water with
low oxygen content (i.e., stagnant)

Oil and natural gas
Originate from organic matter in marine
sediment
Subsurface cooking can change organic
solids to oil and natural gas
Can accumulate in porous overlying rocks
Intermediate and deep water
deposition
Little sediment makes off the continental shelf
except:
What collects in canyon and then slides off
Turbidity currents
Carbonate re-dissolves at depth (6000)
No clams, corals, foraminiferans, etc.
Only atmospheric fall out in abyss

Sedimentary Basins and Energy
Basins form:
Seafloor spreading both sides basins
Subducting margins also
Basins drive selves Sediment begets sinking
Intracratonic basins
Formation of Oil and Gas
Microscopic plankton animal and plant
Live in upper water column, remains sink
Deposit in basin in anaerobic environment
Buried by other sediments
Anaerobic degradation, release CH4 and CO2
More deposition
Hotter and hotter, more pressure
First cook kerogen
Formation of Oil and Gas (2)
Heat and pressure remove water and other
compounds formed in degradation of organics
Kerogen percursor to oil and gas
If 1-3 km deep, 100- 200 C Crack to smaller
molecules Oil Window
Pressure causes natural fracking
Oil and gas float up in water saturated rock
Trapped in reservoir
By trap
Reservoirs and Traps- Traditional
Reservoirs High porosity, high permeability
Limestone
Dolomite
Sandstones
Traps - Low permeability shales, siltstones,
halite
Layers - stratigraphy
Anticlines
Straight bedding
Pinch out
Rock Cycle Simplified
Start with molten magma heavy in silicates or ions of
calcium and carbonate in water
Allow magma to cool and crystalize into igneous minerals
and rocks
Or promote biochemical or straight chemical combination
of calcium and carbonate to form calcite
Expose igneous rocks to water and let them deteriorate to
small pieces and clay minerals
Gather small pieces, clays, and calcites and cement
together into sedimentary rocks
OPTIONAL STEP To any rock created above, raise to high
temperatures and pressure, allowing re-crystallization into
igneous minerals or marble (from calcite)
WARNING, if temperatures get too high , you melt the rock
and start over as magma


Characteristics of Metamorphic Rocks
High temperatures can change chemical
structure of minerals
Pressure + heat flattened crystals and create
characteristic foliation
Slaty cleavage Increasing
Phyllitic cleavage degree of
Schistose metamorphism
Gneissic structure
Metamorphic rocks are not all foliated
Step 1 - Metamorphism of Shale
Shale: Fine grained Clay (and
quartz) minerals
stable under
atmospheric T&P
Compacted by
overburden
Laminated sheets
Water bound in
crystalline structure of clay
Increase pressure and temperature
create Slate
Clays converted to mica and
chlorite - fine grained plates
Water expelled from crystalline
structure of clay

New minerals stable
Slaty Cleavage due to
realignment of platy
minerals
Result of Low Grade
Metamorphism - Slate
POOL TABLES and ROOF SHINGLES


Heat Slate to Higher Temperature
and Pressure More
Grow more and larger grains
of Mica and quartz
All clays convert to mica
Slaty cleavage takes on a
sheen surface of sheets
of mica aligned with stresses
Medium-Grade Metamorphism Phyllite



Of mica
Still more heat and pressure on
Phyllite
Create larger grains of Mica
and Quartz
Garnets, amphibole and
biotite may be created

Schistosity created
by alignment of platy and
needle-like minerals
Medium to High-Grade
Metamorphism Schist

Still hotter temperature on
Schist OR Granite

Create course grained
Feldspar, Quartz,
Amphibole, Biotite
Less mica or amphibole
because of dehydration
Minerals tend to migrate into
separate parallel bands of
dark and light
High-Grade Metamorphism
Gneiss



Fig 7.12
Cook the Gneiss Even Hotter
Silica rich minerals melt
first (quartz and feldspar)
Forming silicic magma
Injected into fractures
resulting in silicic veins if
intrusive igneous rock
Very High-Grade
Metamorphism and partial
melting Migmatite
Fig 7.12
Metamorphic Rocks of other Parent
Rocks
Limestone Marble






Bioclastic calcite Crystalline calcite
Nonfoliated
Metamorphic Rocks of other Parent
Rocks
Quartz Sandstone Quartzite






Granular quartz Crystalline quartz
Nonfoliated
Metamorphic Rocks of other Parent
Rocks
Basalt Amphibole Schist
Granite Gneiss







Uniform texture Foliation (schistosity and
gneissic banding)
Types of metamorphic rocks
Slate Shale Low grade
Phyllite Sheen, more mica, higher grade
Schist Most abundant mineral first name
lot around Enchanted Rock
Gneiss Coarse grained high grade regional -
granite or gabbro
Marble Limestone or dolostone, contact or
regional
Quartzite non-foliated quartz sandstone

Regional Metamorphic Environments
Regional metamorphism occurs where rocks are squeezed between two converging
lithospheric plates during mountain building.
DEEPEST, HOTTEST and LARGEST AREA
Contact Metamorphic Environment
There are a number of environments in which
metamorphism occurs. Most are in the vicinity of plate
margins, and many are associated with igneous
activity.
Contact or thermal
metamorphism
occurs when rocks
immediately
surrounding a molten
igneous body are
baked and therefore
altered from their
original state.
Hydrothermal Metamorphic
Hydrothermal metamorphism occurs when hot fluids circulate
through fissures and cracks that develop in rock. This hot fluid
chemically alters rocks and is closely related to igneous activity.
Frac Fluid Components
Water
Sand or other proppant
Additives
Friction reducer
Gel
Scale inhibitor
Biocide
HCl

Coal
Basins also often contain coal
Origin Land based plants
Location Swampy edges of basins
Buried in water, no oxygen
Buried deeper and deeper
Increased pressure and temp

Coal (2)
Burial drives off water, oxygen, hydrogen
Leaves partially decomposed plant matter -
peat
5400 Btu/lb

Large pores

Free cellulose

Fuel or mulch
75% Water
Coal (3)
Bury deeper
More pressure
More heat
More time
Soft brown coal
or lignite
7200-9900 Btu/ton
No free cellulose
Often low sulfur content

Coal (4)
Keep pressure on
Bituminous
coal

Real coal
No plant structure
12,000 Btu/ton
10% water
Often higher Sulfur
King Coal
Colliding continental plates drive swamp
sediments really deep
Eventually get ANTHRACITE King Coal
15,500 Btu/ton
Not much left
Deep mines
18
th
Century Observation
John Hutton challenged
the Church on the age of
6,000 yrs.
He saw fossils but also
saw Earth as an engine of
change volcanoes added
material, erosion stripped
it away.
Relative Time and Relative Order
Original Horizontality
Superposition
Lateral continuity
Cross-cutting relationships
Inclusions
Unconformities
Principle of Original Horizontality
Layers of sediment deposited in horizontal
position
Gravity
Fluid deposition
Flat rock layers
have not been
disturbed
Stenos (1638-1687) First Law
Principle of Original Continuity
Sediments originally cover large areas up to a
firm boundary in horizontal sheets
Depositional environments large and
reasonably uniform
Follow layers up the entire length of Grand
Canyon
Stenos second
contribution
Age dating concepts
Superposition
within a sequence of undisturbed
sedimentary or volcanic rocks,
oldest rocks are at the bottom
and youngest at the top
.young upward
oldest
youngest
Lateral Continuity
original sedimentary layers extend
laterally until they thin at edges
continue continue
Principle of Cross-cutting
Principle of cross-cutting relationships
Intrusions can only be
deposited in layers
already there

In example to right, the
Dikes can only cut
through existing rock
Cross-cutting
Relationships
A disrupted pattern is older than
the cause of the disruption
Age dating relationships
Relative Age Dating Concepts
inclusions
fragments of other rocks contained
in a body of rock
must be older than the
host rock
e.g.
1) xenoliths in granite are older
than granite and
2) pieces of rock in
conglomerate are older
than conglomerate
Age dating concepts
Unconformities
A contact between sedimentary formations that
represents a gap in the geologic record -- gap
represented is variable
Conformity
Relatively continuous deposition
Deposition of a sequence of parallel
layers
Contacts between formations do not
represent significant amounts of time
from: http://www.elohi.com/photo/grandcanyon
Conformity
Types of unconformities
Angular unconformity
Contact separates
overlying younger layers
from tilted older layers
Sequence of layers
is not parallel
Contacts between
formations may
represent significant
amounts of time
angular unconformity
Types of unconformities

Nonconformity
Strata deposited on older crystalline
(metamorphic/igneous) rock
Erosion surface
on igneous/
metamorphic rock
covered by
sedimentary rocks
Large gap in
geologic record
Nonconformity
http://blogs.agu.org/mountainbeltway/2012/02/16/wyler-aerial-tramway-
franklin-mountains-texas/
Nonconformity Franklin Mountains near El
Paso - 500 million years missing
Nonconformity
Flat sedimentary rocks on eroded igneous or
metamorphic rock
Paraconformity
Overlaying and underlaying rocks relatively
parallel
However erosion took place in-between
Little or no evidence of erosion
Somewhat unusual and hard to explain
Types of unconformities
Disconformity
Beds (formations) are parallel
Sequence of layers
is parallel
Contacts between
may represent significant
amounts of time
Difficult to recognize
Disconformity
Parallel bedding surfaces of sedimentary rocks
Erosional or non- depositional surface
between
Another Geologic Law
Faunal Succession observed chronological
sequence of life-forms can be used to observe
chronological sequences of all life forms through
geologic time. Age of rocks can be told from life
forms within (fossils).
Relative time vs. Absolute time
Study of timing of geologic events and
processes is called Geochronology
Relative Time
Order of events or objects from first (oldest)
to last (youngest) - She is older than he is;
She was born first and he was born last
Age of events or objects expressed numerically
She is twenty-one and he is nineteen
Absolute Time
what events occur?
angular
unconformity
what events occur?
Nonconformity
Divisions of
Geologic Time