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PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY
Geology - from the Greek words geo (earth) and logos (discourse); literally the
science of the Earth, dealing with the study of its composition, structure, history, past
life forms and processes responsible for the Earths present configuration.
Geology is already recognized to be of important use in economics, engineering,
environmental studies, agriculture, land use, urban planning, and even for
seemingly unrelated disciplines such as sociology and politics.
The two main branches of Geology are:
1) Physical or Dynamic Geology involved in the study of the material
composition, appearance, structure and processes of the Earth.
2) Historical Geology deals with the history of the Earth. This includes the Earths
origin, relative and absolute timing of events that has shaped the Earth, as well as the
life forms that has appeared in Earths history.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Geological Branches and Specializations
Geophysics
Geochemistry
Petroleum geology
Economic geology
Hydrogeology and hydrology
Engineering geology
Environmental geology
Seismology
Geochronology
Geomorphology
Planetary geology or cosmogeology
Glaciology
Marine geology
Mineralogy
Paleontology
Petrology
Sedimentology and stratigraphy
Structural geology
Volcanology
1) Ca. 4.7 B years ago - accumulation of the planet by
the gathering of planetesimals (unsorted
conglomeration of Si compounds, and Fe and Mg
oxides and smaller amounts of natural chemical
elements.
Earth origins
2) Gravity compression leads to temperature
rise; heat accumulated in the Earths interior,
probably averaging 1000C.
3) Spontaneous disintegration of radioactive
elements (e.g., U, Th, K) further caused heating
of the Earths interior.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Planetary differentiation
At about 1 billion years after the Earth was formed,
the T at depths of 400-800 km was enough to melt
Fe.

Large drops of Fe have fallen toward the center,
displacing the lighter minerals.

About 1/3 of the material sank to the center, a large
part being converted to a molten state.
The molten material floated upward to cool and form a primitive crust

Such differentiation resulted in the Earths internal layering

Differentiation probably initiated the escape of gases from the interior which
eventually led to the formation of the atmosphere and oceans, and ultimately,
life.
the transfer of internal heat to the surface was accomplished by convection,
even when the mantle solidified.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The major structural units of Earth
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Layers Based on Composition
The Crust consists of:
1) The continental crust - relatively light granitic rock that includes the oldest
rock of the crust; generally richer in Na and K; thickness ranges from 30 to 80
km, sometimes attaining 100 km in some portions.
2) The oceanic crust - composed of dark, dense volcanic rocks (basalt) with
densities much greater than that of granite; more Fe-rich than the continental
crust and thinner, ranging from 3 to 10 km in thickness; young and relatively
undeformed by folding.
The Mantle - surrounds or covers the core; constitutes the great bulk of Earth
(82% of its volume and 68% of its mass); composed of iron and magnesium
silicate rock.
The Core - central mass about 7000 km in diameter; density increases with depth
but averages about 10.78 g/cm
3
; constitutes only 16% of Earths volume but
accounts for 32% of Earths mass; mostly composed of iron.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Internal Layers Based on Physical Properties
Lithosphere - the strong rigid outer layer consisting of the crust and a portion of
the upper mantle.
Asthenosphere (weak sphere)- a major zone within the upper mantle where
temperature and pressure are at just the right balance so that part of the material
melts. The rocks become soft plastic in behavior and flowing like warm tar. The
boundary between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere is distinct but does not
correspond to a compositional change but due to a major change in the physical
properties of the rock. It is as much as 200 km thick.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Mesosphere layer below the asthenosphere; the region between the
asthenosphere and the core-mantle boundary; stronger and more rigid because
the high pressure at this depth offsets the effect of high temperature.
The Core - marks a change in both physical properties and composition;
composed mostly of iron and is therefore distinctly different from the silicate
(rocky) material above. On the basis of physical properties, the core has two
distinct partsa solid inner core and a liquid outer core.

EARTHS OUTER LAYERS
The outermost layers of Earth are the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and
biosphere. The continents and ocean basins are Earths major surface
features.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The Continents and Ocean Basins

The ocean basins occupy about two-thirds of Earths surface; characterized by a
spectacular topography.

The continents rise above the ocean basins as large platforms.
The difference in elevation of continents and ocean basins represents a
fundamental difference in rock density.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Major features of the continents:
1. Most continents are roughly triangular in shape.
2. They are concentrated in the Northern Hemisphere.
3. Although each may seem unique, all continents have three basic components:
(a) a shield - large areas of highly deformed igneous and metamorphic rock
(basement complex)
(b) a stable platform or craton - extensive flat, stable regions of the
continents in which complex crystalline rocks are exposed or buried
beneath a relatively thin sedimentary cover
(c) folded mountain belts uplifted mountain ranges that are sites of tectonic
convergence
4. Continents consist of rock that is less dense than the rock in the ocean basins.
5. The continental rocks are old, some as old as 3.8 billion years.
6. The climatic zone occupied by a continent usually determines the style and
variety of landforms developed on it.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Shield
Stable platform
Continental crust
Flood basalt
Young mountain belt
Old mountain belt
Oceanic crust
Trench
Rift Zone
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Major features of the ocean floor
1. Mostly basalt, a dense volcanic rock, and its major topographic features are
somehow related to volcanic activity The oceanic crust, therefore, is entirely
different from the continental crust.
2. The rocks are young in a geologic time frame; most are less than 150 million
years old
3. The rocks have not been deformed by compression.
4. The major provinces of the ocean floor are
a. Oceanic ridge - most striking and important feature on the ocean floor;
extends continuously from the Arctic basin down the center of the Atlantic
Ocean, into the Indian Ocean, and across the South Pacific; A huge,
cracklike valley, called the rift valley, runs along the axis of the ridge
throughout most of its length
b. The abyssal floor - vast areas of broad, relatively smooth, deep-ocean
basins on both sides of the ridge; lies at depths of about 4000 m; consists
of:
c. Seamounts - isolated peaks of submarine volcanoes.
d. Trenches - the lowest areas on Earths surface; adjacent to island arcs or
coastal mountain ranges of the continents.
e. Continental margins - zone of transition between a continental mass and
an ocean basin consisting of continental shelf and continental slope
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PLATE TECTONICS
The lithosphere is broken into a series of separate plates that move relative to each
other.
The Earths lithosphere floats on the denser, plastic asthenosphere beneath, and it
rises and sinks in attempts to maintain equilibrium.
Tectonics study of the origin and arrangement of the broad structural features of
the earths surface (e.g., continents, mountain belts, island arcs, earthquake belts,
faults, folds, etc.) .
Plate a large, mobile slab of rock that is part of the earths surface. It may be
made up entirely of sea floor (e.g., Nazca plate) or both continental and seafloor
(e.g., North American plate).
Plate tectonics the principle that the earths surface is divided into large, thick
plates that move slowly and change size relative to one another.
Plate boundary narrow areas of intense geologic activity where plates move
away from one another, past one another or toward one another.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The major plates of the world
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Eurasian Plate Pacific Plate
African Plate Indian-Australian Plate
North American Plate Philippine Sea Plate
South American Plate Nazca Plate
Antarctic Plate Cocos Plate
Arabian Plate Scotia Plate
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Distribution of earthquakes and volcanoes
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
1. Continental
extension



2. Continental rifting




3. Ocean spreading
Diverging plate boundaries
-where plates move away from each other, either within the ocean or
continent.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Converging plate boundaries - where two plates move
toward each other
OCEAN-OCEAN CONVERGENCE
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
OCEAN-CONTINENT CONVERGENCE
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
CONTINENT-CONTINENT CONVERGENCE
1. Ocean-continent
convergence





2. Ocean closing





3. Continent-continent
collision
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Transform boundaries where one plate slides horizontally past another
plate along a fault or a group of parallel faults.
- the displacement along the fault abruptly ends or transforms into another kind of
displacement
MOR-MOR
MOR-Trench Trench-trench
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Plates move by mantle convection
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
ROCKS AND MINERALS
Rock the material or substance, consisting of a mineral or aggregate of minerals,
the Earth is made of.
Mineral a solid chemical compound that is characterized by a definite composition
or a restricted range of chemical compositions and by a specific, regular
architecture of the atoms that make it up.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The nature of minerals
Minerals are the major solid constituents of Earth. A precise definition is difficult
to formulate, but for a substance to be considered a mineral, the following
conditions must be met:
1. It occurs naturally as an inorganic solid.
2. It has a specific internal structure; that is, its constituent atoms are precisely
arranged into a crystalline solid.
3. It has a chemical composition that varies within definite limits and can be
expressed by a chemical formula.
4. It has definite physical properties (hardness, cleavage, crystal form, etc.) that
result from its crystalline structure and composition.
The differences among minerals arise from the kinds of atoms they contain and
the ways the atoms are arranged in a crystalline structure.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The Structure of Minerals
Law of constancy of interfacial angles - each mineral has a characteristic
crystal form. Although the size and shape of a mineral crystal form may vary,
similar pairs of crystal faces always meet at the same angle.
Polymorphism - ability of a specific chemical substance to crystallize with more
than one type of structure. Example: Diamond and graphite, pyrite and
marcasite, etc.
Physical Properties of Minerals
1) Crystal Form - natural crystal faces that assumes a specific geometric form.
2) Cleavage - tendency of a crystalline substance to split or break along smooth
planes parallel to zones of weak bonding in the crystal structure.
3) Hardness - measure of a minerals resistance to abrasion. (Review Mohs
Scale)
4) Specific Gravity - the ratio of the weight of a given volume of a substance to
the weight of an equal volume of water.
5) Color - most minerals are found in various hues, depending on such factors
as subtle variations in composition and the presence of inclusions and impurities.
6) Streak. It is the color of a mineral in powder form; usually more diagnostic
than the color of a large specimen.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Cubes of pyrite
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Prismatic crystals of quartz
Perfect cleavage in mica Gypsum scratched by fingernail
SILICATE MINERALS
contain a basic building block called the silicon-oxygen tetrahedron, a complex
ion [(Si0
4
)
4
-] in which large oxide ions (O
2
-
) arranged to form a four-sided pyramid
with smaller silicon ion (Si
4
) fitted into the cavity between them. The major groups
minerals differ mainly in the arrangement of such silica tetrahedral crystal
structures.
The silica tetrahedron
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Silicon-oxygen tetrahedra combine to form minerals in different ways. In the
simplest combination, the oxygen ions of the tetrahedra bonds with other
elements, such as iron or magnesium (e.g., Olivine). Most silicate minerals are
formed by the sharing of an oxygen between two adjacent tetrahedra.
The sharing of oxygen with the silicon ions results in several fundamental
configurations of tetrahedra defining the major silicate groups:
1.Single chains - pyroxenes
2.Double chains - amphiboles
3.Two-dimensional sheets - micas, chlorites, and clay minerals
4.Three-dimensional frameworks - feldspars and quartz
REVIEW THE ROCK FORMING MINERALS (e.g., silicates, carbonates,
sulfates, etc.)
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
IGNEOUS ACTIVITY
An igneous rock is one that formed from the solidification of magma.
Magma - is the hot-liquid molten material, generated within the Earth, that forms
igneous rocks when solidified
Magmas may be:
1) Intrusive (plutons) - magmas stored within the crust
2) Extrusive magma erupted on the surface either as lava or as fragments sent
into the air (pyroclastic material).
Plutons may be emplaced as concordant or discordant bodies in relation to the
layering of the intruded rock or host rock.
- Sills are concordant plutons; they are flat, tabular bodies intruded parallel to the
layering of the host rock.
- Dikes are discordant plutons that cut across the layering of the host rock. When
no layering in the host rock is evident, the pluton is called a dike.
- A volcanic neck is an intrusive structure apparently formed within the throat of a
volcano.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
-Laccoliths are mushroom-shaped bodies that rises near the surface and domes
the overlying layers while it spreads laterally.
- Batholiths are enormous, complex rock bodies that cover at least 100 km
2
.
- Stocks are plutons similar to batholiths but smaller in size (<100 km
2
).
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Igneous rock textures
Phaneritic texture coarse grained; the
mineral components are visible to the naked
eye; charactersitic of deep intrusive rocks that
slowly cooled.
Aphanitic texture fine grained; the
mineral components are not visible to the
naked eye (i.e., microscopic); formed by
relatively fast cooling of some volcanic
rocks (e.g., basalt).
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Glassy texture of igneous rock with a high
glass content; formed by very rapid cooling, such
that minerals had no time to form crystals.
Porphyritic igneous texture in which
crystals visible to the naked eye are embedded
in a matrix of aphanitic texture; it represents
a solidifying magma that has suddenly
erupted to the surface.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Classification of igneous rocks
Peridotite family (Ultramafic rocks).
Peridotite - a dark, coarse-grained intrusive rock composed mainly of olivine, with
lesser amounts of pyroxene with little or no plagioclase, believed to form the bulk of
the upper mantle. Mg and Fe aare dominant constituents

Basalt-gabbro family (Mafic rocks).
Basalt - a fine-textured, dark brown to black extrusive rock, composed primarily of
Ca-plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene and olivine.
Gabbro - coarse-textured, deep intrusive equivalent of basalt.
Dolerite or diabase - intermediate between basalt and gabbro, as it is intruded near
the surface.
Mg and Fe minerals remain important components but in lesser amounts than those
in ultramafic rocks. They compose the entire oceanic crust, basalt forming the upper
layers and dolerite and gabbro forming the thicker internal layer upon which the
basalt rests. Hotspot volcanoes and some arc volcanoes also erupt basalts.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Andesite-diorite family (Intermediate rocks)
Andesite - a gray, fine-grained volcanic rock consisting of plagioclase, pyroxene,
amphibole and/or biotite (mica). The plagioclase has about equal amounts of Ca and
Na ions.
Diorite - the coarse-grained intrusive equivalent.
The andesite family is typical of subduction-related magmatism.

Granite-rhyolite family (silicic or felsic rocks)
Granite - a light-colored, coarse grained intrusive rock consisting primarily of quartz,
K-feldspar and/or Na-plagioclase. Ferromagnesian minerals such as hornblende and
biotite may or may not be present in subordinate amounts. Granite and its slightly
more mafic variety, granodiorite, are the most common igneous rocks of the
continental crust.
Rhyolite - the extrusive equivalent of granite and is also generally confined to the
continental crust.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
How magma forms
Magma originate principally by partial melting of pre-existing rock.
Sources of heat:
1) Geothermal gradient
2) The hotter mantle geothermal gradients are higher in hot spots, where mantle
plumes, which are narrow upwellings of hot material within the mantle occur.
Factors affecting melting temperatures:
1) Pressure In general, the melting point of a mineral increases with increasing P.
Upwelling mantle material originating from deeper high pressure portions would
melt at shallower portions where there is lower P.
2) Water water vapor under high pressure can lower the melting T of rocks.

How magmas of different composition evolve
1) Differentiation
Magma stored within the earths crust, if allowed to remain liquid, will undergo
differentiation, the process by which different ingredients separate from an
originally homogenous mixture. Differentiation is attained when minerals crystallize
and separate from the mother magma, altering the magma composition in the
process.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
According to experiments by N.L. Bowen in the early 20
th
century, it is possible to
derive mafic and felsic magma from a common parental source through
differentiation.

Bowens reaction theory
Bowens reaction series
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
2) Source rock the composition of the resultant magma is, in general, more felsic than the
parent magma. Thus, peridotite melting produces basaltic magma, while melting a basaltic
source will give rise to intermediate to felsic rocks, depending on partial melting degree.
3) Partial melting The first minerals to melt are those in the later portion in the Bowen
reaction sequence. Thus, the lower the partial melting degree is, the more felsic the rock
becomes.
4) Assimilation A very hot magma may melt the country rock and assimilate the newly
molten material into the magma.
5) Magma mixing If two magmas meet and merge in the crust, the combined magma will
be compositionally intermediate.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Geologic settings of igneous activity
Andesitic island arc
Trench
Basaltic shield
volcano
Basaltic MOR
Trench
Andesitic/rhyolitic
volcanoes
Granitic
pluton
Basaltic lava
plateau
Rift
valley
Rhyolitic ash flow
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
WEATHERING AND SOILS
Weathering changes that take place in minerals and rocks at or near the surface
of the earth in response to the atmosphere, water and plant and animal life.
Some definitions:
1) Bedrock the solid rock underlying all parts of the land surface.
2) Regolith soil and loose fragments that may cover the bedrock
3) Soil surface accumulation of sand, clay and decayed plant material (called
humus)
Types of weathering
1) Mechanical weathering also called disintegration process by which a rock is
broken down into smaller and smaller fragments as the result of energy developed
by physical forces.
a) Expansion and contraction changes in T, if they are rapid and great
enough, may bring about the mechanical weathering of a rock.
b) Frost action When water trickles down into the cracks, crevices and pores of
a rock mass and freezes, its volume increases about 9%. This expansion sets up
pressures directly outward from the inside of a rock and frost wedging results. A
second type of frost action is frost heaving, which occurs when moisture
absorbed by loose soil or fragments freezes at shallow levels, heaving the ground
above.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
c) Exfoliation process in which curved plates of rock are stripped from a larger
rock mass by physical forces.
- it develops two types of landscape features:
1) exfoliation domes joints parallel to the surface of a rock mass may develop.
This may be accomplished through exhumation of the deeper portions of the
rock mass by erosion (e.g., sheeting).
2) spheroidally weathered boulders boulders that have been rounded by the
spalling off of a series of concentric shells of rock. The shells develop from
pressures set up within the rock by when minerals become altered (or
chemically weathered) and expand. Rocks that have considerable amount of
feldspar are susceptible to spheroidal weathering because of the expansion of
these minerals during chemical weathering.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Other types of weathering
Plants also play a role in mechanical weathering. The roots of trees and shrubs
growing in rock crevices sometimes exert sufficient pressure to dislodge previously
loosened fragments of rock.
The mechanical mixing of soil by ants, worms and rodents, makes the soil more
susceptible to chemical weathering.
2. Chemical weathering also called decomposition; more complex process
involving chemical alteration or changes, transforming the original material into
something different. These changes either involve the transformation of a mineral to
clay or another mineral or the solution of soluble minerals.
Factors influencing chemical weathering
1) Particle size The greater the surface area of a particle, the more vulnerable it is
to chemical attack.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
2) Composition of original material Minerals respond at different rates to
weathering
3) Climate rocks respond to to different climate conditions
4) Moisture when moisture is accompanied by warmth, rate of chemical
weathering is faster.
5) Plants and animals they produce oxygen carbon dioxide and certain acids
that enter into chemical reactions with earth materials.
Chemical weathering of minerals
1) Quartz very slowly affected, relatively stable mineral.
2) K-Feldspars Feldspars are among the first minerals to break down under
chemical attack. - Aluminum silicate, derived from the chemical breakdown of
feldspar, combines with water to form hydrous aluminum silicate minerals, or
clays.
Products of orthoclase weathering:
a) Clay the H ion from the water forces the potassium out of the orthoclase,
disrupting its crystal structure. The H ion combines aluminum silicate to
form the new clay mineral. The mineral undergoes hydration, the process
by which waer combines with other molecules.
- clays are very fine, sometimes colloidal (0.2-1 mm)
Types of clay:
1) kaolinite derived from the Chinese kao-ling, or high hill, the name of
the hill from which the first kaolinite shipped to Europe came.
2) montmorillonite first described from a town in central France,
Montmorillon.
3) illite named by state geologists of Illinois in honor of their state.
b) Potassium ions some of the potassium is carried away by water, some
are absorbed by plants, and some are absorbed by clay minerals or taken
into their crystal structure.
c) Silica - appears as silica in solution or finely divided quartz of colloidal size.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
3) Plagioclase the weathering products are similar to those of K-feldspars, but
instead of K, either Na or Ca carbonate is formed. These are soluble in water,
and may eventually reach the sea.

4) Ferromagnesians they produce similar products when weathered: clay,
soluble salts, and silica. The presence of Fe and Mg, however, makes the
formation of other minerals possible. Fe may combine with O to form hematite
(Fe
2
O
3
), a deep red color mineral (from the Greek word haimatits or bloodlike).
The Fe may unite with O and a hydroxyl ion to form goethite (FeO(OH)) (named
after the German scientist Goethe). Another substance produced is limonite or
plain rust. It is not a true mineral because its composition is not fixed. Mg is
removed in a solution as a carbonate or taken up in illite and montmorillonite
clays.

Rates of weathering
- Some rocks weather rapidly and others only slowly. Rate of weathering is
governed by the rock type, mineral composition, moisture, temperature,
topography, and plant and animal activity
- Minerals commonly found in igneous rocks can be arranged according to the
order in which they are chemically decomposed at the surface.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Rate of weathering of minerals in relation to Bowens reaction series
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
SOIL
Definitions:
Soil - the residue of weathering. It is the layer of weathered unconsolidated material
above bedrock.
Bedrock - the unweathered rock beneth the soil; also termed as parent rock.
Regolith loose fragments that may cover the bedrock; soil is the upper part of the
regolith
Loam soil of approximately equal amounts of sand, silt and clay; they are well
drained and often fertile.
Topsoil the upper fertile protion of soil.
Subsoil Stony part of the soil, lacking organic matter.
Soil consists of:
1) Clay minerals help to hold water and plant nutrients in soil.
They are negatively-charged microscopic plates that attracts
water and nutrients (e.g., Ca
++
and K
+
) in the soil.
2) Quartz form sand grains that help keep soil loose and aerated,
allowing good water drainage
3) Water molecule is neutrallly charged, but with posititve and
negative end; its positive end is attracted to clay to make it
available for uptake by plant roots.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Soil Horizons are the soil layers that can be distinguished from one another by
appearance and chemical composition. Their boundaries are transitional.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
O horizon dark-colored layer rich in organic materialand forms just below surface
vegetation. It contains humus or decomposed plant material, and contributes to the
formation of organic acids that accelerate the leaching of the underlying A horizon.
A horizon this is the zone of leaching, where there is downward movement of
water. Water that percolates leach or carry dissolved chemicals and clay downward
to lower levels. Leaching may make this horizon pale and sandy, but the uppermost
part is often darkened by humus.
B horizon where leached material from A horizon accumulates. It is often clayey
and stained red or brown by hematite and limonite. Calcite may build up in B
horizons.
C horizon incompletely weathered parent material or bedrock; it is the transition
between unweathered bedrock below and developing soil above.

Residual soil soil that develops in situ; it developed on the rock beneath it.
Transported soil soil that developed from parent material that was brought to a
site from other region such as sediment deposited by running water, wind or ice. Mud
deposited by a river during flooding may form fertile soil
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Effect of parent rock
Soil from granite develops sand and clay; sand is composed of quartz, while clay
comes from weathering of the feldspars.
Soil from basalt is never sandy but always clayey
Effect of time
Given enough time, soil will mature and parent material becomes immaterial. The
presence of quartz grains is the only characteristic with long term significance.
With time, soils become thicker.
A new deposit of volcanic ash maybe covered with grass in just a few years but a
new lava flow weathers much more slowly.
Effect of slope
Soils tend to be thick on flat land where erosion is slow and water collects; they are
thin on steep slopes where gravity pulls water and soil particles downslope.
Effect of organic activity
Organic activity aides mechanical and chemical weathering
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Effect of climate
Soil tends to be thick in wet climates, and characterized by downward movement of
water to form pedalfer, which has a high content of aluminum and iron.
Soils are thin in arid climates where pedocals are developed. They are characerized
by little leaching, scant humus and the upward movement of soil water beneath the
land surface by evaporation. The evaporation of water beneath the surface can
cause the precipitation of calcium salts.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Hardpan
This is a general term for a hard layer of earth material that is often clayey.
Hardpan in wet climates are usually formed of clay minerals, silica and iron
compounds that have accumulated in the B horizon.
In arid climates, caliche forms from the cementing of soil by calcium carbonate and
other salts that precipiitate as water evaporates.
Hardpans are very hard and impermeable; they can break plows, prevent water
drainage and act as barrier to plant roots.
Laterites and bauxites
Laterites highly leached soils that develop in tropical climates. Intense and deep
weathering develops red soil composed entirely of iron and aluminum, which are
the least soluble products of rock weathering. Iron laterites may form from basalt,
and other iron-bearing rocks. Nickel laterite is produced from weathering of
ultramafic rocks. Laterites are unproductive soil. If exposed to the sun, it is apt to
bake into a very hard layer that may be quarried to make bricks.
Bauxite forms from the weathering of aluminum-rich rocks. If found in thick pure
layers, they are mined for aluminum. The aluminum is concentrated residually by
removal of other components.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Paleosol soil buried by younger deposits of lava, volcanic ash, dust or sediment.
They may be extensive layers useful for interpreting past climates and topography.
Laterite soil
Bauxite formation
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
SEDIMENTARY PROCESSES
Sediment particles that have been mechanically transported by water, wind or
ice or chemically precipitated from solution, or secreted by organisms, and
deposited in loose layers on the Earths surface.
- they contain the entire fossil record of the Earth.
- in them are recorded the composition, climate, topography of former
landmasses, as well as physical, chemical and biological conditions of the
oceans that no longer exist.
- they provide the means of retaining the chronological record of the past
- also of significant economic importance: groundwater, gold, copper, zinc, iron,
lead, diamonds, limestone, sand, gravel, clay, oil, gas, coal.

Size classification:
1) Gravel includes particles coarser than 2 mm in diameter (boulder > 256 mm,
cobble 256-64 mm and pebble 64-2 mm)
2) Sand grains from 1/16-2 mm
3) Silt grains from 1/2561/16 mm; too small to see without a magnifying glass.
4) Clay finest sediment, at least 1/256 mm in size.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
3)Types of sediments:
1) Detrital fragments derived from the weathering of rocks, transported by water,
wind or ice and deposited in loose layers on the Earth;s surface.
2) Chemical particles precipitated directly from water.
3) Biochemical precipitated directly or indirectly by the activities of organisms
Origin of sedimentary rocks:
Weathering the physical disintegration and chemical alteration and
decomposition of rocks exposed to the atmospheric influences at the Earths
surface.
Transport The disintegrated rock particles are transported by water, wind or ice.
During transport, the sediments are subjected to:
a) rounding the grinding away of sharp edges and corners of rock fragments
during transport.
b) Sorting process in which sediment grains are selected and separated
according to grain size or grain shape and specific gravity.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Deposition when transported material settles or comes to rest as the medium of
transport loses energy and can no longer transport its load.
- also refers to the accumulation of chemical or organic sediment, such as shells, in
the sea floor or plant material on the floor of a swamp.
- Deposition of salt crystals can take place as seawater evaporates.
environment of deposition the location in which deposition occurs (deep sea
floor, desert valley, river channel, coral reef, lake bottom, beach, sand dune).
Preservation sediments are preserved when they are protected from further
erosion, usually by being buried by later sediments.
Lithification The conversion of sediment into rock trough such processes as
compaction, cementation and recrystallization.
compaction reduction in volume of sediments resulting from the weight of
newly deposited sediments above.
The spaces between grains of sediments are called pores, which may be empty or
filled with finer sediment called matrix. If the matrix consists of clay and silt,
compaction will harden the matrix.
If the matrix is filled with groundwater or saltwater saturated with silica, calcium
carbonate or iron oxides, these compounds will precipitate and bind the grains
together in a process called cementation.
Recrystallization the formation of new crystalline mineral grains in a rock.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
COMPACTION AND CEMENTATION
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Classification of sedimentary rocks
Sedimentary rock rock that has formed from: (i) lithification of sediment; (ii)
precipitation from solution; consolidation from the remains of plants and
animals.
Types of sedimentary rock:
1) Clastic (or detrital) formed from cemented sediment grains that are
fragments of preexisting rocks (e.g., conglomerate, sandstone, shale)
2) Chemical deposited by precipitation of minerals from solution (e.g., rock salt,
limestone
3) Organic or biochemical rocks formed by the accumulation of the remains of
organisms.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Clastic (or detrital rocks)
Breccia and conglomerate
Sedimentary breccia coarse-grained
sedimentary rock formed by the cementation of
coarse, angular fragments of rubble; formed not
far from the source (e.g, landslides, talus, etc.)
Conglomerate coarse-grained sedimentary
rock formed by the cementation of rounded
gravel; though formed not far from the source,
some transport was necessary to round the
angular edges.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Sandstone a medium-grained sedimentary rock formed by the cementation of
sand grains.
Quartz sandstone sandstone in which more than 90% of the grains are
quartz
Arkose sandstone in which more than 25% of the grains are feldspar; the rock
has not underegone severe chemical weathering; transportation distance is
relatively short.
Graywacke (lithic sandstone) more than 15% of the rocks volume consists of
fine-grained matrix; often tough and dense, generally dark grey or green in color.
The sand grains consist primarily of lithic (or rock) fragments, feldspar, quartz.
Maturity of detrital sediments
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Turbidite deposits
Most graywacke probably formed from sediments transported by turbidity
currents, dense masses of sediment-laden water that flow downslope along the
sea floor. The sediments that result are called turbidites.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Fine-grained rocks
Shale fine grained sedimentary rock notable for its splitting capability (called
fissility). Splitting takes place along the surfaces of very thin layers called
laminations within the shale. They deposit on lake bottoms, at the ends of rivers in
deltas, beside rivers in floods, and on the quiet parts of the ocean floor. Depending
on the size of particles fine grained rocks are called siltsone, shale and mudstone.
Carbonate rocks
Limestone a sedimentary rock composed mostly of calcite (CaCO
3
), usually
precipitated in shallow seawater through the actions of organisms. Carbonate
sediments are directly precipitated in the warm, shallow waters of tropical to
subtropical seas
Types of limestone:
1) Biochemical limestone
a) chalk fine-grained limestone consisting of billions of microscopic organisms
that settled in shallow water.
b) coquina composed of large, poorly cemented shell fragments.
c) micrite fine-grained limestone formed from the lime mud; deposited in water
devoid of current or wave action (e.g., tidal flat or quiet lake)
Coral reefs built of the myriad skeletal secretions of tiny colonial coral. Live coral
must grow close to sea level where light can penetrate.
Chemical limestone
Oolitic limestone directly precipitated limestone consisting of caviar-sized
particles called ooids. An ooid consists of a minute sand-grain nucleus, around
which are wrapped layers of calcium carbonate.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Other sedimentary rocks
1) Evaporites rocks that formed from crystals that precipitate during
evaporation of water (e.g., rock gypsum and rock salt)
2) Chert A hard, compact, fine-grained sedimentary rock formed almost entirely
of organisms that secrete silica for their shells. These organisms, radiolaria
and diatoms, are very tiny single celled.
3) Coal a sedimentary rock formed from the consolidation of plant material; it is
rich in carbon and usually black; it burns readily. Coal usually develops from
peat, a brown, lightweight unconsolidated deposit of moss or of the plant
material that accumulates in wet bogs.

Sedimentary structures
Bed (or stratum) The smallest division of stratified (or bedded) sedimentary
rock, consisting of a single distinct sheetlike layer of sedimentary material,
separated from the beds above and below by relatively well-defined planar
surfaces called bedding planes which mark a break in sedimentation.
Stratification the condition shown by sedimentary rocks of being disposed in
horizontal layers of beds.
Lamina the thinnest or smallest recognizable unit layer of original deposition in
a sediment or sedimentary rock<1 cm in thickness
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Types of bedding:
1) Current or cross-bedding the development of internal laminations within a
stratum inclined at an oblique angle to the main bedding planes, resulting from
changes in the direction of water or wind currents during deposition. It is most
commonly developed in sandstones.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
2) Graded bedding Sedimentary bedding in which particles show a size
distribution. The coarsest material forms the base and the sequence becomes
progressively finer upwards. It is often present in turbidity deposits.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
3) Mud cracks also known as dessication cracks,
they are irregular fractures in a crudely polygonal
pattern formed by the shrinkage of clay, silt or mud
in the course of drying under the influence of
atmospheric surface conditions.
Ripple marks - most common minor beach morphological form, consisting of fairly
regular and generally small ridges formed in sediment on a river bed, in the inter-
tidal zone, or on the seabed seaward of low-water mark. Ripples are caused by
water or wind flow, and are aligned more or less perpendicularly to the flow
direction.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
SEDIMENTARY ENVIRONMENTS
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Glacial deposit Boulder-clay or till is the dominant deposit, consisting of unsorted
and unstratified heterogenous mixture of clay, sand, gravel and boulders varying
widely in size and shape.
Alluvial fan a low, outspread, relatively flat to gently sloping mass of loose rock
material, shaped like an open fan or a segment of a cone, deposited by a stream at
the place where it issues from a narrow mountain valley upon a plain or broad valley,
or where a tributary stream is near or at its junction with the main stream, or
wherever a constriction in a valley abruptly ceases or the gradient of the stream
suddenly decreases.
Flood plain flat surfaces adjacent to streams over which streams spread in times
of flood. It is built of alluvium (recent clastic sediments) carried by the river during
floods. The sediments are called flood plain deposit.
River channel deposit may consist of sediments of all sizes and shape. Abundant
load can result in the formation of channel bars, elongate deposits of sand and
gravel located in the course of the stream.
Lake deposit sedimentary deposit laid down conformably on the floor of a lake,
usually consisting of coarse material near the shore and sometimes passing rapidly
into clay and limestone in deeper water; most of it is fluvial or glacial in origin.
Sand dunes consists of loose sand piled or heaped up by the wind, commonly
found along low-lying seashores above high-tide level, more rarely on the border of
a large lake or river valley, as well as in various desert regions.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Delta The low, nearly flat alluvial tract of land deposited at or near the mouth of a
river, commonly forming a triangular or fan-shaped plain of considerable area.
Beach a shore of a body of water, formed and washed by waves or tides, usually
covered by sandy or pebbly material.
Lagoon - A shallow stretch of seawater, near or communicating with the sea and
partly or completely separated from it by a low, narrow, elongate strip of land such as
a reef, barrier island, sandbank, etc. Sand and silt dominate the sediments
deposited, with or without organic matter.
Barrier island a long, low, narrow wave-built sandy island representing a
broadened barrier beach that is sufficiently above high tide and parallel to the shore,
and that commonly has dunes, vegetated zones, and swampy terranes extending
lagoonward from the beach.
Shelf continental shelf; a relatively wide, shallowly submerged platform
Slope continental slope; the steep part of the continental margin abutting the
continental shelf.
Abyssal fan a terrigenous (land-derived sediments) cone- or fan-shaped deposit
located seaward of large submarine canyons. They often form turbidites.
Pelagic sediments deep-sea sediments without terrigenous material; they are
either inorganic clay or organic ooze (pelagic sediment consisting of at least 30%
skeletal remains of pelagic organisms, and clay).
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
METAMORPHISM
Metamorphism the set of processes by which preexisting rocks (also called
parent rocks) are changed by pressures, temperatures and chemical conditions
that prevail deep within the earth.
- alters the mineralogy, texture and structure of the rocks, to give rise to
metamorphic rocks.
- Occurs at pressures and temperatures well above those prevailing at the Earths
surface but below melting temperatures.
Factors controlling the characteristics of metamorphic rocks
1)Composition of the parent rock usually, no new chemical compounds are
added to the rock, except, perhaps, water (except for contact metasomatism).
2)Temperature any mineral is stable only within a given temperature. High T
causes ions of the minerals to vibrate more rapidly, causing chemical bonds to
break, forcing them to realign in combinations suitable with the high-energy
environment; New minerals form while old ones are destroyed. Heat also causes
plastic deformation.
3) Pressure and stress - buried rocks are subjected to confining pressure (or
geostatic pressure), or the pressure applied equally on all surfaces of a body as a
result of burial.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Differential stress: the stronger or weaker stress acting on a body at different directions; often
caused by tectonic forces. Ther are 2 types:
a) Compressive stress due to compression
b) Shearing stress due to sliding of one body past another.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Compressive stress
Shearing stress
Foliation planar texture that develops as a result of
differential stress. Minerals that are subjected or form
under differential stress tend to follow the direction
of shearing or align themselves perpendicular to the
compressive stress.
4) Fluids hydrous fluids charged with dissolved gases greatly accelerate chemical
reactions. The water may come from the rocks themselves or from an outside
source.
5) Time - Minerals that form by metamorphism need time to grow. Silicates have
very slow chemical reaction rates, often requiring millions of years to attain
significant growth.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Classification of metamorphic rocks
Non-foliated rocks (Name based on mineral content)
Usual parent
rock
Rock
Name
Predominant
minerals
Identifying characteristics
Limestone
Dolomite
Marble
Dolomitic
marble
Calcite
Dolomite
Coarse interlocking grains. Calcite (or
dolomite) has rhombohedral cleavage.
Calcite effervesces in weak acid.
Hardness between glass and fingernail.
Quartzose
sandstone
Quartzite Quartz Interlocking small granules of quartz;
sugary appearance, vitreous luster;
scratches glass.
Shale

Basalt
Hornfels

Hornfels
Fine-grained
micas; ferromags,
plagioclase
Fine-grained dark rock that generally
will scratch glass; may have a few
coarser minerals present
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Non-foliated rocks
Foliated rocks (Name based on kind of foliation)
Texture Rock
Name
Identifying characteristics
Slaty Slate Fine-grained rock with earthly luster. Splits easily into thin, flat
sheets
Intermediate
(slaty to
schistose)
Phyllite Fine-grained rock with silky luster. Generally splits along wavy
surfaces.
Schistose Schist Visible platy or elongated minerals with planar alignment
Gneissic Gneiss Light and dark minerals are found separate, parallel layers or
lenses. Dark layers commonly include biotite and hornblende;
light-colored layers consist of quartz and feldspars. Layers may
be folded or contorted.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
a) Slaty rock splits easily along nearly flat and parallel
planes indicating microscopic platy minerals pushed
into alignment.
Types of foliation texture:
b) Schistose visible platy or needle-shaped minerals
have grown essentially parallel to a plane due to
differential stress.
c) Gneissic minerals separate into distinct light and dark
layers or lenses.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Metamorphic facies
Facies Assemblage of mineral, rock
(or fossil) features reflecting
environment in which rock was formed;
such features are used to differentiate
one rock facies from other neighboring
units. Rocks having the same mineral
assemblage that formed within a well-
defined set of pressure-temperature
conditions are regarded as belonging to
the same metamorphic facies.
Such minerals that characterizes a
given intensity of metamorphism are
called index minerals.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Distribution of facies across a convergent plate boundary
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Types of metamorphism:
1) Regional metamorphism metamorphism of an extensive area of the crust;
generally associated with intensive compression and mountain building; induced
during subduction and collision that produce fold mountain ranges. Rocks are
almost always foliated due to differential stress (e.g., from green schist to
amphibolite)
2) Shear metamorphism the transformation of rocks within the shear zone
associated with active fault movement; mainly involves grinding, pulverizing and
recrystallization of the rocks. Shear faulting produces a rock type called
mylonite.
3) Contact metamorphism the transformation of rocks caused by heat escaping
from an igneous intrusion. It may be accompanied by metasomatism, which is
a replacement process whereby the elements of a rock are exchanged with
those of a magmatic fluid.
4) Burial metamorphism results in response to the pressure exerted by the
weight of the overlying rock; occurs deep into thick sedimentary basinsThe
deeper rocks are subjected to higher temperature and pressures, giving rise to
progressive metamorphism.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
5) Shock metamorphism changes in rock and minerals caused by shock waves
from high-velocity impacts, mainly from meteorites.
Metamorphism and plate tectonics
Specific metamorphic
rocks are associated with
specific tectonic
environment. Examples:
regional metamorphism at
subduction zones, shear
metamorphism long faults,
contact metamorphism due
to rising magma, and
hydrothermal
metamorphism of the sea
floor.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Seafloor metamorphism
Fractures that develop within
the MOR act as
passageways for seawater
circulating within the crust.
The seawater heated by
magma rises and reacts with
the basaltic crust, converting
it to hydrous rocks such as
serpentinite. Metals extracted
from the crust are
redeposited and
concentrated high within the
crust and on the surface.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Stress, Strain and Strength of Rocks
Deformation of the Earths crust can be described in terms of change in volume,
change of shape, or a combination of both.
Compression produces
change in volume
without change in shape
Shear causes change
of shape without change
of volume
Deformation may involve a combination of both
CRUSTAL STRUCTURE AND DEFORMATION
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Stress A force applied to a material that tends to change that materials
dimensions.
Unit stress total force divided by the area over which the force is applied.
Strain the amount of deformation caused by stress.
Rocks are said to be elastic if deformation disappears when stress is removed.
However, rocks may may not regain their former shape at an instant, as there is a
retardation of recovery. A materialss resistance to elastic shear is called rigidity.
Plastic deformation is permanent. It involves a property of rock called viscosity.
A material that is deforming plastically does so by the propagation and movement of
dislocations (or small structural defects of the material).
If the rate of flow is proportional to the stress causing it, the material is said to be
viscous.
Viscosity is an important property in some geological processes; it governs the
ability of magma to flow and enables the mantle to adjust to crustal loads.
There are different types of stress:
Extension stretching stress, can cause increase in volume of material
Compression tends to decrease the volume
Shear produces changes in shape.
A stress beyond a materials strength can cause rupture.
Strength is the limiting stress that a solid can withstand without failing by rupture
or continuous plastic flow (compressive strength, shear strength, and tensile
strength.)
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Structural geology deals with deformed masses of rock, their shapes and stress
that caused the deformation.
Relief the difference in elevation between the highest and lowest points in a
specified area.
Structural relief the difference in elevation of parts of a deformed bed; it is used
as a measure of deformation

In describing the attitudes of structural features, it is convenient to use two special
terms:
Angle of Dip the acute angle that a rock layer or linear structure forms with the
horizontal.
Strike the course of bearing of the inclined rock layer or structure, measured along
the line of intersection that the inclined layer or structure makes with a horizontal
plane.
Direction of dip direction in which a rock layer is inclined downward from a
horizontal plane. Dip is measured perpendicular to the strike.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Horizontal Vertical Inclined Overturned
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Folding is the bending or warping of rock strata caused by compressive stress.
The structure that develops is called a fold.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Types of fold:
Monocline a double flexure
connecting strata at one level
with the same strata at another
level.
Anticline an arch-shaped fold
Syncline a trough-shaped fold.
Anticlines and synclines are
symmetrical if their limbs have
approximately equal dips.
If one limb is steeper than the
other, the fold is asymmetrical.
Overturned fold An
aysmmetrical fold in which one
limb has been tilted beyond the
vertical.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Recumbent fold a fold in
which the axial plane has been
overturned.
Isoclinal fold fold in which
the beds on both limbs are
nearly parallel, whether
upright, overturned or
recumbent.
Fold nomenclature:
a) Limbs the two sides or legs of
the fold
b) Axis the direction of an
imaginary line connecting the
points of maximum flexure of the
fold
c) Axial plane an imaginary
plane containing all the fold axes
within a deformed layer of rock
layers.
The axes of most folds are inclined.
The angle of dip of its axis is the
plunge.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The sedimentary rocks covering much of the continental interiors have been mildly
warped into:
Domes circular or elliptical structural or topographic highs in which beds dip
away to all directions; when eroded, the oldest rocks are exposed at the center.
Basins circular or elliptical structural or topographic lows or downwarps in which
beds dip towards the center; when eroded, the youngest rocks are exposed at the
center.
A warped plane
Outcrop pattern of an eroded
dome and basin structure
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Joints - fractures or cracks developed on the rock, along which no significant
movement of blocks has occurred.
Columnar joints - joints resulting from the cooling of dikes, volcanic flows and
volcanic necks (similar to mud cracking
Sheeting A pattern of essentially horizontal joints. This is especially common in
the shallow portions of granites, and may be related to pressure release upon
exhumation.
Faults deformation by rupture in which the blocks of rock on each side of the
break move relative to each other.
Types of faults:
Dip-slip fault usually, faults are inclined. When the displacement occurs is along
the direction of the dip, it is called dip slip fault.
The block above the fault plane is called the hanging wall, while the opposite
block is the footwall.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Dip slip faults are classified according to
the relative movements of these blocks.
Normal fault a dip-slip fault in which the
hanging wall appeared to have moved
down with respect to the footwall. Also
known as gravity fault. It is mostly
associated with extensional stresses.
Thrust fault or reverse fault, a dip-slip fault in
which the hanging wall appears to have moved up
relative to the footwall. It is largely the result of
horizontal compressive stresses.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Hanging wall the block at the top of a dipping fault or structure.
Footwall the corresponding block below a dipping fault or structure.
Extension or stretching of the crust may cause a series of related normal faults
that would be expressed as:
Graben a structure in which a central block dropped down in relation to two
adjacent blocks; they form topographic basins marked by relatively straight
parallel walls.
Horst - a structure in which a central block was upraised in relation to two
adjacent blocks; ahorsts commonly blocklike plateaus or mountain ranges
bounded by faults.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Strike-slip fault a fault along which the
movement is essentially horizontal, i.e., parallel
to the strike; also called transcurrent fault
Right lateral fault a strike-slip fault in which
the block on the right appears to have moved
towards the observer; also known as dextral
fault.
Left-lateral fault a strike-slip fault in which
the block on the left appears to have moved
towards the observer; also known as sinistral
fault.
Sag pond
Oblique-slip fault a fault in
which movement has both vertical
and horizontal components
Hinge fault a fault in which one
block appears to have rotated with
respect to another block, such
that the displacement dies out at a
definite point or axis.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Unconformity a structural feature representing the relationship between a
buried erosional surface and younger overlying sediments. There are several
types:
a) Angular unconformity formed when the older strata dip at an angle from that
of the younger strata.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
b) Nonconformity formed
when the underlying eroded
rocks are crystalline, either
igneous or metamorphic.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
c) Disconformity develops when the eroded rocks are parallel to the overlying
younger rocks. The top portions of the buried rocks are typically irregular because
of erosion.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
EARTHQUAKES
Earthquake trembling or shaking of the ground caused by the sudden release
of energy stored in the rocks beneath the earths surface
2 types:
1) Volcanic due to volcanic activity (eruption or rising magma under a volcano)
2) Tectonic due to movement of rocks past one another along faults; when a
rock breaks, waves of energy are sent out or produced, known as seismic
waves, causing earthquakes.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Elastic rebound theory: involves the sudden
release of progressively stored strain in rocks,
causing movement along a fault.
1) deep-seated tectonic forces act on a mass of rock
over many decades
2) The rock bends but does not break.
3) More and more energy is stored in the rocks as the
bending becomes severe.
4) The energy stored exceeds the the breaking strength
of the rock, and the rock breaks suddenly, producing
an earthquake.
5) The movement may be vertical, horizontal or both
(diagonal or oblique).
Seismic waves
Focus or hypocenter the point
within the earth where seismic
waves originate; the point of initial
movement of a fault.
Epicenter the point on the
earths surface directly above the
hypocenter.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
2 types of seismic waves:
1. Body waves travel trough the earths interior, spreading outward from the
hypocenter in all directions (like sound in air).
2. Surface waves travel on the earths surface away from the epicenter (like
ripples on water); slowest wave, can cause more property damage.
2 types of body waves:
P wave compressional; parallel to
direction of wave propagation
S wave secondary wave; transverse
to direction of wave propagation.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
P wave S wave
Very fast at speeds of 4 to 7 km/sec. Slow, at 2-5 km/sec.
First wave to arrive at a station Arrives at a later time than P wave does
Can pass through solid and fluid (gas or
liquid)
Can pass through solid but not fluid
Recording earthquakes
Seismometer the instrument used to detect seismic waves. A heavy suspended
mass is held as motionless as possible, suspended by springs or hanging it as a
pendulum. When the ground moves, the frame of the instrument moves with it.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Seismograph a seismometer with a recording device that produces a
permanent record of earth motion, usually in the form of wiggly line drawn on a
moving strip of paper. There are numerous seismograph stations all over the
world.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Seismogram the paper record of earth vibration. The different waves travel at
different rates, so they arrive at seismograph stations in a definite order: first P
waves, then S waves, and finally, the surface waves. Analysis of seismograms can
reveal the location and strength of the earthquake.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
REVIEW LOCATING EARTHQUAKES
Measuring earthquake strength
2 methods of measurement:
1) Intensity finding out how much damage the quake has caused. Intensities are
expressed in Roman numereals from I to XII on the modified Mercalli scale; higher
numbers indicate greater damage
disadvantage: (i) damage lessens away from the epicenter, so different locations report
different intensities; (ii) damage to buildings and infrastructure depend on geology and
quality of building.
2) Magnitude the amount of energy released by the quake is calculated and assigned a
number; usually done by measuring the height or amplitude of one of the wiggles in a
seismogram the larger the quake, the bigger the wiggle. It is now conventional to report
such measurement on a Richter scale
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
THE EARTHS INTERIOR
Layers of different compositions
If the Earths composition was homogenous, the velocity of P and S waves would
increase smoothly at depth.
Distinct boundaries (or discontinuities, as they are called in geology) can be
readily detected by reflection and refraction of seismic waves.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Seismic body
waves as they
are reflected
and refracted in
the Earths
interior.
The Crust
In the early 20
th
century, Mohorovii discovered that for shallow ( 40 km depth)
focused earthquakes two distinct P and S waves are recorded by seismographs
that lie within a distance of 800 km from the epicenter.
One set of waves have traveled directly from the focus to the seismograph
station, and another set arrived slightly earlier, leading to the conclusion that the
latter was refracted by another layer in which the waves traveled faster (high
velocity zone) before being refracted back to the surface.
Conclusion: there is a distinct compositional boundary that separates an outer
layer (the crust) from a deeper layer (the mantle) of higher density. This boundary
is called the Mohorovii discontinuity, also known as M-discontinuity or the
Moho.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Seismic wave speeds can be measured for different rock types in the laboratory
and the field. With this data, the composition and thickness of the crust (or the depth
of the Moho) can be measured.
Seismic velocities in the continental crust, in general, are markedly different
(slower) than those in oceanic crust.
P-wave speed in the crust ranges from 6 to 7 km/s (similar to granite, diorite and
gabbro).
The Mantle
We cannot see the mantle but we can infer its composition from seismic studies.
Beneath the Moho, speeds are greater than 8 km/s (similar to rock with denser
minerals called peridotite).
We conclude that the mantle must be made up of peridotite.
The Core
At a depth of about 2900 km, P and S waves are so strongly influenced by another
discontinuity.
P waves are so strongly reflected and refracted that the boundary casts a P-wave
shadow, or an area on the Earths surface opposite the epicenter where no P-waves
are detected.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Geoscientists consider that this
discontinuity corresponds to the
boundary of the mantle and the core.
P-wave reflections indicate the
presence of a solid material in the
inner portion of the core. Thus, the
core consists of a liquid outer layer
and a solid inner portion.
The core density is about 10-11
g/cm
3
, corresponding to iron.
The same boundary casts an even
more pronounced S-wave shadow,
because it cannot traverse this
boundary. It is concluded that
beyond this boundary is liquid
material.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Discontinuities in the mantle
The low velocity zone
From the base of the crust to a depth of about 100 km, P-wave velocity rises to
~8.3 km/s. Then velocity drops slowly to just below 8 km/s down to depths of 350
km.
At about 400 km depth, the seismic waves increase in velocity, but not so
much as to indicate a change in composition.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The 670 km seismic discontinuity represents another increase in seismic
velocity, the cause of which is unknown. Several hypotheses are given, including
polymorphic and compositional transition and the presence of cold subducted slab at
these depths.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Gravity and Isostasy
Gravity
The earth is not a perfect sphere, but an ellipsoid. The radius at the equator is 21
times longer than that at the poles.
The pull of gravity is greater at the poles than at the equator because gravitational
attraction is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between their
centers of mass.
The gravitational pull of the earth can be
measured by an instrument called a
gravimeter.
A simple gravimeter
If the rock masses between the gravimeter and the center of the earth were
everywhere uniform in thickness and composition, there would be no variations in
gravitational pull.
However, large and significant variations do exist, and these are called gravity
anomalies.
The anomalies are due to bodies of rock having differing densities.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
How a gravimeter works
Example of a gravity anomaly
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Crustal thickness profile
Seismic analysis
Gravity analysis
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Isostasy
- balance or equilibrium between adjacent blocks of brittle crust
floating on the upper mantle.
Analogy of the
principle of
isostasy
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Isostatic
compensation
due to erosion
Isostatic
rebound due
to glacier
melting
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Crustal thickening due to magma underplating
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
A region in isostatic balance gives a uniform gravity
reading (or measurement)
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
A region held up out of
isostatic equilibrium gives a
positive gravity anomaly
A region held down out of
isostatic equilibrium gives a
negative gravity anomaly
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Crustal blocks float on the mantle They tend to rise or sink gradually until they are
balanced by the weight of displaced mantle material. This concept of vertical
movement to reach equilibrium is called isostatic adjustment.
The rise of the crust after removal of its load is called crustal rebound.
Isostatic compensation or adjustment may occur when the crust thickens by
magmatism, compression or collision.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Magnetism
The Earth is one gigantic magnet. Thus, it
is surrounded by a magnetic field.
The field has north and south magnetic
poles, near the geographic poles.
Magnetic poles are displaced about
1130 from the geographic poles.
The strength of the magnetic field is
greatest at the poles coming out from the
south and entering the north.
Magnetic reversals
- The earths magnetic field has
periodically reversed its polarity in
the past.
- During a time of normal
polarity, magnetic lines of force
leave the earth near the south
pole and enter near the north pole
(like it is today).
- opposite happens during a time
of reversed polarity.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Magnetic anomalies
The instrument used to measure the
strength if the earth;s magnetic field is called
a magnetometer.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The strength of the earths magnetic field varies from place to place. The
deviation from the average reading is called a magnetic anomaly. It may
be positive or negative.
The Earths Internal Heat
Geothermal gradient the temperature increase with depth into the earth.
The average T increase is 25C/km
near the surface.
The T of the asthenosphere is
estimated at 1150C/km.
The geothermal gradient must taper
off sharply a short distance into the
earth, to as low as 1C/km
The transition at 400-670 km depth
must have a T of around 1500 C at the
top and about 2000 C at the bottom.
Estimates of T at the outer core-
mantle boundary is around 4500 to
4800 C.
The inner core-outer core limit has a T
of 6600 C, and the center of the earth
is approximated to be 6900 C.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Heat flow a small but measurable amount of heat from the earths interior that is
being lost gradually through the earths surface.
What is the origin of the heat?
1. Original heat (or thermoremanent heat) if the earth formed as a hot mass that is
cooling down.
2. Radioactive decay may actually be warming the earth.
Some regions on earth have high heat flow indicating either the presence of hot
material underneath (e.g., magma) or rocks with high content of radioactive
elements (e.g., uranium).
Regional patterns of high and low heat flow on the seafloor may also be
explained by convection of mantle rock.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PLATE TECTONICS AND SEAFLOOR SPREADING
CONTINENTAL DRIFT
Soon after the first reliable world maps were made, scientists noted that the
continents, particularly Africa and South America, would fit together like a jigsaw
puzzle if they could be moved. Antonio Snider-Pelligrini, a Frenchman, showed
in 1858 how the continents looked before they separated and cited fossil evidence
in North America and Europe, but based his reasoning on the catastrophe of
Noahs flood.
Alfred Wegener, a German meteorologist, was the first to make an exhaustive
investigation of the idea of continental drift and based his theory not only on the
shapes of the continents, but also on geologic evidence such as similarities in
the fossils found in Brazil and Africa. He drew a series of maps showing three
stages in the drift process, beginning with an original large landmass, which he
called Pangaea (meaning all lands).
Alexander du Toit (friend of Wegener) divided Pangea into two parts which initially
separated:
Laurasia North America, Greenland and Eurasia
Gondwanaland South America, Africa, India, Australia, Antarctica
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
200 million years ago 180 million years ago 135 million years ago 65 million years ago Present
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Wegener believed that the continents, composed of light silicic rock, somehow
plowed through the denser rocks of the ocean floor, driven by forces related to the
rotation of Earth. Most geologists and geophysicists rejected Wegeners
theory, for the lack of a plausible explanation of how such a process could happen.
The early arguments concerning the breakup of the supercontinent Pangaea and
the theory of continental drift were supported by some important and imposing
evidence, most of which resulted from regional geologic studies.
Paleontological Evidence
The striking similarity of certain fossils found on the continents on both sides of
the Atlantic is difficult to explain unless the continents were once connected.
Floating and swimming organisms could migrate in the ocean from the shore of
one continent to another, but the Atlantic Ocean would present an
insurmountable obstacle for the migration of land-dwelling animals, such as
reptiles and insects, and certain land plants.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Examples:
a) Fossils of Glossopteris, a fernlike plant, have been found in rocks of
the same age from South America, South Africa, Australia, and India and
within 480 km of the South Pole, in Antarctica.
b) Lystrosaurus, strictly a land dweller. Its fossils are found in abundance
in South Africa, South America, and Asia, and in 1969 a United States
expedition discovered them in Antarctica.
c) Remains of Mesosaurus, a freshwater reptile, were found in both Brazil
and Africa.
d) Fossils of Cynognathhus, a Triassic land reptile, were also found in
Argentina and southern Africa.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The continents on both sides of the
Atlantic fit together, not only in
outline, but in rock type and
structure.
The geologic similarities on
opposite sides of the Atlantic are
found only in rocks older than the
Cretaceous period, which began
about 137 million years ago. The
continents are believed to have
split and begun drifting apart in
Jurassic time, about 200 million
years ago.
Jigsaw-fit of continental margins
and their structure and rock types
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
During the latter part of the Paleozoic Era
(about 300 million years ago), glaciers
covered large portions of the continents in
the Southern Hemisphere. The deposits
left by these ancient glaciers can be
readily recognized, and striations and
grooves on the underlying rock show the
direction in which the ice moved.
Except for Antarctica, all of the continents
in the Southern Hemisphere now lie close
to the equator. In contrast, the continents
in the Northern Hemisphere show no trace
of glaciation during this time. In fact, fossil
plants indicate a tropical climate in that
area.
If the continents were grouped together as
Wegener proposed, the glaciated areas
would have comprised a neat package
near the South Pole and Paleozoic
glaciation could be explained nicely.
Evidence from Glaciation
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Similarity in sedimentary record
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Great coal deposits in
Antarctica show that
abundant plant life
once flourished on that
continent, now mostly
covered with ice.
On the other
continents, salt
deposits, formations of
windblown sandstone,
and coral reefs provide
additional clues that
permit us to reconstruct
the climatic zones of
the past.
Evidence from Other
Paleoclimatic Records
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
DEVELOPMENT OF THE THEORY OF PLATE TECTONICS
The plate tectonics theory was developed during the early 1960s, when new
instrumentation permitted scientists to map the topography of the ocean floor and to
study its magnetic and seismic characteristics.
The Geology of the Ocean Floor
In the 1950s and 1960s, newly developed echo-sounding devices enabled marine
geologists and geophysicists to map the topography of the ocean floor in considerable
detail.
They revealed that the ocean basins are divided by a great ridge approximately
64,000 km long and about 1500 km wide.
At the crest of the ridge is a central valley, from 1 to 3 km deep. This feature appears
to be a rift valley, which is splitting apart under tension.
Other evidence shows that ocean basins are relatively young.
Seismic studies have established that the oceanic crust (composed largely of basalt)
has a completely different composition from the continental crust and is much thinner.
The oceanic crust is not deformed into folded mountain structures and apparently is
not subjected to strong compressional forces.
In 1960, H. H. Hess, a noted geologist from Princeton University, proposed a theory
of sea-floor spreading which suggested a possible mechanism for continental drift.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
He postulated that the ocean floors are spreading apart, and are moving
symmetrically away from the oceanic ridge. This continuous spreading produces
fractures in the rift valley, and magma from the mantle is injected into these fractures
to become new oceanic crust. The continents are driven away from the oceanic
ridge. The oceanic crust descends into the mantle and is reabsorbed at deep-sea
trenches. He pointed to mantle convection as the mechanism to propel seafloor
spreading.
EVIDENCES SUPPORTING THE THEORY
Paleomagnetism
Certain rocks, such as basalt, are fairly rich in iron and become weakly
magnetized by Earths magnetic field as they cool.
The mineral grains in the rock become fossil magnets, oriented with respect to
Earths magnetic field at the time when the rock was formed, and thus preserve a
record of paleomagnetism.
Similarly, the iron in grains of red sandstone becomes oriented in Earths
magnetic field as the sediment is deposited, so red sandstone also can indicate
the orientation of the paleomagnetic fields.
These rocks therefore retain an imprint of Earths magnetic field at the time of
their formation.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Apparent Polar Wandering. Studies of
paleomagnetism of widely different
ages demonstrate that Earths north
magnetic pole apparently has steadily
changed its position with time.
Paleomagnetic studies at different parts
of the globe indicate several apparent
polar wandering curves.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
It is impossible that there
were numerous magnetic
poles migrating
systematically and
eventually merging.
The most logical
explanation is that there
has always been only
one magnetic pole,
which has remained
fixed while the
continents moved with
respect to it.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Magnetic Reversals on the Sea Floor.
Recent studies of the magnetic properties of numerous samples of basalt from
many parts of the world demonstrate that Earths magnetic field has been reversed
many times over.
Epochs of normal polarity, when the magnetic field was oriented as it is today,
alternated with epochs of reverse polarity.
The major intervals of alternating polarity (about 1 million years apart) are termed
polarity epochs, and the intervals of shorter duration are termed polarity events.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Determining magnetic anomalies on the seafloor
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
From the sequence of magnetic anomalies and their radiometric ages, a reliable
chronology of magnetic reversals has been established.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
If Earths magnetic field reversed
intermittently, new basalt forming at the
crest of the oceanic ridge would be
magnetized according to the polarity
at the time when it cooled.
As the ocean floor spreads, a
symmetrical series of magnetic
stripes, with alternating normal and
reversed polarities, would be
preserved in the crust along either
side of the oceanic ridge. Subsequent
investigations have conclusively proved
this theory proposed by Vine and
Matthews and by Morley.
In 1963, Fred Vine and D. H. Matthews
saw a way to test the idea of sea-floor
spreading. Sea-floor spreading should be
recorded in the magnetism of the basalts
in the oceanic crust. (The same idea was
developed independently by L. W
Morley.)
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The patterns of magnetic reversals away from the rest of the ridge are the same as those
found in a vertical sequence of rocks on the continents, from youngest to oldest.
An important aspect of these reversal patterns is that
they enable us to determine rates of plate movement.
From the pattern of magnetic reversals, the rate of
sea-floor spreading appears to range from 1 to 17
cm per year.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Magnetic surveys have now determined patterns of magnetic reversal for much of the ocean
floor, and from these patterns, the age of various segments of the sea floor has been
established. These studies show that most of the deep-sea floor was formed during
Cenozoic time (during the last 65 million years).
It now seems probable that very little or none of the present ocean basin was formed before
the Jurassic.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
As is predicted by the plate
tectonics theory, the youngest
sediment resting on the
basalt of the ocean floor is
found near the oceanic ridge,
where new crust is being
created. Away from the ridge,
the sediments that lie directly
above the basalt become
progressively older, with the
oldest sediment nearest the
continental borders.
Also, the sediments become
thicker away from the MOR.
The ages of the sediment
matches the age of the ocean
floor that it directly covers.
Equatorial microorganisms are
found even north of the equator
in the Pacific Ocean.
With no seafloor spreading
With seafloor spreading
Evidence from Sediment on
the Ocean Floor
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Evidence in topography
Depth of the ocean
floor increases, and
heat flow decreases
away from the MOR.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Evidence from seamounts
Ages of the volcanic
Hawaiian islands and
the Emperor seamount
chain increase steadily
as they approach the
Aleutian trench.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Each volcano probably formed over a stationary magma source, a hotspot (an
area of volcanic activity produced by a plume of magma rising from the mantle),
then moved away as the seafloor spread.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The major plates of the world
Individual plates are not permanent features. They are in constant motion and continually
change in size and shape. Plates that do not contain continental crust can be completely
consumed in a subduction zone. Plate margins are not fixed. A plate can change its shape by
splitting along new lines, by welding itself to another plate, or by accretion of new oceanic crust
along its passive margin.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PLATE BOUNDARIES
Three kinds of plate boundaries are recognized and define three fundamental kinds of
deformation and geologic activity: (1) divergent plate boundarieszones of tension, where
plates split and spread apart, (2) convergent plate boundaries (also called subduction
zones) zones where plates collide and one plate moves down into the mantle, and (3)
transform fault boundarieszones of shearing where plates slide past each other without
diverging or converging
Processes at Divergent Plate Boundaries
Divergent plate boundaries, or spreading axes, form where a plate splits and is pulled apart.
Where a zone of spreading extends into a continent, rifting occurs, and the continent splits to
form a new and continually enlarging ocean.
Divergent plate boundaries are thus characterized by tensional stresses that produce block
faulting, fractures, and open fissures along the margins of the separating plates.
Basaltic magma derived from the partial melting of the mantle is injected into the fissures or
extruded as fissure eruptions.
The magma then cools and becomes part of the moving plates.
More than half of Earths surface has been created by volcanic activity along divergent plate
boundaries during the past 200 million years.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Examples of continental rifting in various stages
are found in various parts of the world.
The initial stage is represented by the system of
great rift valleys in East Africa. The long, linear
valleys, partly occupied by lakes, are huge,
downdropped fault blocks, which result from the
initial tensional stress.
Magma rising from the mantle into the rift zone
produces volcanism, exemplified by the great
volcanoes of Mount Kenya and Mount
Kilimanjaro.
The Red Sea illustrates a more advanced stage
of rifting. The Arabian Peninsula has been
completely separated from Africa, and a new
linear ocean basin is just beginning to develop.
The Atlantic Ocean represents a still more
advanced stage of continental drift and sea-floor
spreading.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
If both plates at a convergent boundary
contain oceanic crust, one is thrust under
the margin of the other, in a process called
subduction. The subducting plate descends
into the asthenosphere, where it is heated
and ultimately absorbed in the mantle.
If one plate contains a continent, the
lighter continental crust always resists
subduction and overrides the oceanic plate.
If both converging plates contain
continental crust, neither can subside into
the mantle, although one can override the
other for a short distance. Both continental
masses are instead compressed, and the
continents are ultimately fused or welded
together into a single continental block, with a
mountain range marking the line of suture.
Processes at Convergent Plate Boundaries
Convergent plate boundaries, or
subduction zones, where the plates collide
and one moves down into the mantle, are
areas of complicated geologic processes,
including igneous activity, crustal
deformation, and mountain building.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The zone of convergence between two plates is a zone of deformation, mountain
building, and metamorphism. If the overriding plate contains continental crust,
compression deforms the margins into a folded mountain belt, and the deep roots of
the mountains are metamorphosed.
Metamorphism and
crustal deformation
Metamorphism-
High T, high P zone
Crustal
deformation
Andesitic
volcanism
Granitic
intrusions
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
As cold, wet oceanic crust is subducted into the hot asthenosphere, water is
driven off by metamorphic dehydration reactions at elevated temperatures.The
water was originally incorporated into the oceanic crust on its path from the ridge
to the subduction zone.
As the light, water-rich fluids rise into the overlying wedge of mantle, they act
as fluxes and lower the melting temperature of the mantle sufficiently to
produce the distinctive magmas of subduction zones.
The characteristic magmas of subduction zones are andesites, but more-silicic
magmas are found there as well.
Some geologists think that the magmas of subduction zones are products of direct
melting of the oceanic crust as it becomes hot in the subduction zone.
Some of this magma is extruded at the surface as lava and forms an island arc or
a chain of volcanoes in the mountain belt of the overriding plate.
Usually most of the magma intrudes into the deformed mountain belt to produce
batholiths. Both extrusion and intrusion add new material to the continental plate,
and thus continents grow by accretion.
This is an important mechanism in the differentiation of Earth, whereby less-dense
material, enriched in elements such as Si, Al, K, and Na, is concentrated in the
upper layers of the planet.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Back-arc basin is characterized by crustal thinning and block faulting.
The back-arc region is somewhat similar to a major spreading axis.
The floors of the basins are young. Sediment is generally thin, and exposed rocks include
fresh basalt.
Heat flow is high, but there is no well-defined ridge or rift valley, and magnetic anomalies
appear jumbled and unorganized.
Back-arc spreading (extension and spreading of the sea floor behind the island arc) may
also result at convergent plate margins, presumably as a result of complex convective eddies
in the asthenosphere above the subducting plate or by pulling away of the adjacent plate
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Transform fault boundaries are zones
of shearing where plates slide past each
other without diverging or converging
and without creating or destroying
lithosphere.
A transform fault, is simply a strike-
slip fault between plates (that is,
movement along it is horizontal and
parallel to the fault). The term transform
is used because the kind of motion
between plates is changed
transformedat the ends of the active
part of the fault.
Transform faults connect convergent
and divergent plate boundaries in
various combinations.
Processes at Transform Fault
Boundaries
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Where segments of the oceanic ridge have been offset, a transform fault connects the two
divergent plate boundaries and creates a major topographic feature called a fracture zone.
In fracture zones, the relative motion between the plates and seismic activity occur only in the
area between the offset segments of the ridge. This zone is the only place where the fault
forms a boundary between the plates. Beyond this zone, the plates on either side of the
fracture are moving in the same direction and at the same rate and can be considered to be
linked together.
Note that the oceanic ridge is not being offset by motion along the transform fault. It was
offset previously and may represent an old line of weakness in the rifted continental crust that
preceded the development of oceanic crust.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
GEOLOGIC TIME
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Catastrophism
CREATION was thought to have involved forces of tremendous violence,
surpassing anything experienced in nature, in so short a time.
This was the generally accepted idea of how the Earth was formed
A noted French naturalist, Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) , an able student of fossils,
concluded that each fossil species was unique to a given sequence of rocks.
He cited this discovery in support of the theory that each fossil species resulted
from a special creation and was subsequently destroyed by a catastrophic event.
Uniformitarianism
James Hutton (17621797) saw evidence that Earth had evolved by uniform,
gradual processes over an immense span of time.
He argued that past geologic events can be explained by natural processes we
observe operating today, such as erosion by running water, volcanism, and gradual
uplift of Earths crust.
The concept of Uniformitarianism - the laws of nature do not change with time .
UNCONFORMITIES
Geologic time is continuous; it has no gaps. In any sequence of rocks, however there
are many major discontinuities (unconformities) that indicate significant interruptions
in the rock-forming processes.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
At least four major events are involved in the development of an angular
unconformity:
(1) an initial period of sedimentation during
which the older strata are deposited in a
near-horizontal position.
(2) a subsequent period of deformation
during which the first sedimentary
sequence is folded
(3) development of an erosional surface on
the folded sequence of rock, and
(4) a period of renewed sedimentation and
the development of a younger sequence
of sedimentary rocks on the old
erosional surface.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The relationship, in which plutonic igneous or metamorphic rocks are overlain by
sedimentary shale, is called a NONCONFORMITY. This implies four major
events:
(1) the formation of an ancient sequence of rocks
(2) intrusion of granite and/or metamorphism
(3) uplift and erosion to remove the cover and expose the granites or metamorphic
rocks at the surface
(4) subsidence and deposition of younger sedimentary rocks on the eroded
surface.
When the rock strata above and below the erosion surface are parallel, a
DISCONFORMITY is formed
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
RELATIVE DATING
Relative dating is simply determining the chronologic order of a sequence of
events.
No quantitative or absolute length of time in days or years is deduced.
An event can only be inferred to have occurred earlier or later than another.
To establish the relative ages of these events is to determine their proper
chronologic order.

To apply relative dating, we utilize several principles of remarkable simplicity and
universality:
1) The Principle of Superposition
It states that in a sequence of undeformed sedimentary rock, the oldest beds are
on the bottom and the higher layers are successively younger. The relative ages
of rocks in a sequence of sedimentary beds can thus be determined from the
order in which they were deposited
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
2) The Principle of Faunal Succession
States that groups of fossil animals and plants occur in the geologic record in a
definite and determinable order and that a period of geologic time can be
recognized by its characteristic fossils.
Fossils provide geologists with a means of establishing relative dates.
3) The Principle of Crosscutting Relations
States that igneous intrusions and faults are younger than the rocks they cut.
Crosscutting relations can be complex, however, and careful observation may be
required to establish the correct sequence of events.
4) The Principle of Inclusion
States that a fragment of a rock incorporated or included in another is older than
the host rock.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Succession in Landscape Development
Many landforms evolve through a definite series of stages.
The composite diagram in the Figure below shows several kinds of crosscutting
relationships as well as unconformities and superposition of major rock bodies.
The major rock bodies, faults, and unconformities are labeled by letters arranged
in alphabetical order from oldest (A) to youngest (N). The same events are listed
in sequence from the youngest (N, top) to the oldest (A, bottom) in the
accompanying table.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
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PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
1) The oldest rocks in the diagram are the metamorphic rocks, A.
2) the granite, B, intrudes these rocks and is younger; but the granite is not in
contact with the tilted strata, U, so their age relationship is not certain.
3) An erosional surface, C, developed on the metamorphic terrain
4) A sequence of sedimentary rocks, D, were deposited.
5) These rocks were then intruded by dikes and sills, E.
6) Faults, F, displaced the sequence D.
7) Widespread erosion then occurred, developing the unconformity, G, which cuts
across all of the units A-F.
8) The sequence of horizontal rocks H, was then deposited.
9) Two igneous intrusions, I and J, occurred. Intrusion I formed a laccolith, whereas
J formed a dike and sill.
10) From crosscutting relationships, intrusionJ is older than the fault, K, and the
volcanic rocks, M.
11) Lava flow, M, is younger than the alluvial fan, L. Both are cut by recurrent
movement on fault K. Note the amount of displacement along the fault of the
sedimentary rocks, H, and the small amount of displacement of the fan, L, and
lava flow, M. judging from the lack of erosion on the volcanoes, it would appear
that the cones are very young features.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
THE STANDARD GEOLOGIC COLUMN
Using the principles of superposition and faunal succession, geologists have
determined the chronological sequence of rocks throughout broad regions of every
continent and have constructed a standard geologic time scale that serves as a
calendar for the history of Earth.
The original subdivision of the geologic column was based simply on the sequence
of rock formations in their superposed order as they are found in Europe.
Rocks in other areas of the world that contain the same fossil assemblages as a
given part of the European succession are considered to be of the same age and
commonly are referred to by the same names.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Nomenclature of the Geologic Column
The Precambrian
represented by a group of highly complex metamorphic and igneous rocks, which
form a large volume of the continental crust. To produce these rocks, great
thicknesses of sedimentary and volcanic rocks were intensely folded and faulted
and were intruded with granitic rock. Precambrian rocks contain only a very few
fossils of the more primitive forms of life. Arrangement of individual rock layers in
their proper detailed stratigraphic sequence is therefore difficult if not impossible in
this group of rocks. The structure is too complex.
The Paleozoic Era
Rocks younger than the Precambrian are much less complex and contain great
numbers of fossils, permitting geologists to identify them worldwide.
Paleozoic means ancient life; they contain numerous fossils of marine organisms,
primitive fish, and amphibians. The era is subdivided into periods distinguished
largely according to the rock formations of Great Britain.
Cambrian comes from Cambria, the Latin name for Wales, where these rocks were
first studied. In most areas of the world, Cambrian rocks rest on the highly deformed
Precambrian metamorphic complex.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Ordovician is derived from the name of an ancient Welsh tribe, the Ordovices.
Ordovician strata overlie the Cambrian but differ in the types of fossils they contain.
Silurian designates rocks are exposed on the border of Wales, a territory originally
inhabited by a British tribe, the Silures.
Devonian was first used to refer to rocks exposed in Devonshire, England.
Carboniferous is the name of a sequence of coal-bearing formations that lie above
the Devonian rocks. In the United States, Carboniferous rocks are subdivided into
two major units:Pennsylvanian (named after the state of Pennsylvania) and the
Mississippian (named after the upper Mississippi valley).
Permian was introduced to refer to rocks exposed over much of the province of
Perm, Russia, just west of the Ural Mountains.

The Mesozoic Era
Mesozoic means middle life. The term is used for this period of geologic time
because the presence of fossil reptiles and a significant number of more modern
fossil invertebrates dominates these rocks. The Mesozoic Era includes three
periods:
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Triassic refers not to a geographic location hut to the striking threefold division of the
rocks overlying the Paleozoic in Germany.
J urassic was first introduced for strata outcropping in the Jura Mountains.
Cretaceous refers to the chalk formations in France and England, The name is
derived from the Latin creta, chalk.

The Cenozoic Era
Cenozoic means recent life. Fossils in these rocks include many types closely
related to modern forms, including mammals, modern plants, and invertebrates. The
Cenozoic Era has two periods:
Tertiary is a term held over from the first attempts to subdivide the geologic record
into three divisionsPrimary, Secondary, and Tertiary The companion divisions,
Primary and Secondary, have been replaced by Precarnbrian, Paleozoic, and
Mesozoic.
Quaternary is the name proposed for very recent deposits, which contain fossils of
species with living representatives.
The geologic column by itself indicates only the relative ages of the major periods in
Earths history. It tells us nothing about the specific duration of time represented by a
period.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
RADIOMETRIC MEASUREMENTS OF ABSOLUTE TIME
Radiometrlc dating provides a method for measuring geologic time directly in terms
of a specific number of years (absolute dating). It has been used extensively during
the last 60 years to provide an absolute time scale for the events in Earths history.
Principle
Radioactive isotopes are unstable: their nuclei spontaneously disintegrate,
transforming them into completely different atoms.
Each radioactive substance disintegrates at its own rate and that for many
substances the rate is extremely slow.
The rate of radioactive decay is defined In terms of half-life, the time it takes for
half of the nuclei in the sample to decay. In one half life, half of the original atoms
decay. In a second half life, half of the remainder (or a quarter of the original
atoms) decay. In a third half life, half of the remaining quarter decay and so on.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The time elapsed since the formation of a crystal containing a radioactive element
can be calculated from the rate at which that particular element decays.
The amount of the radioactive element remaining in the crystal (parent isotope) is
simply compared with the amount of the disintegration product (daughter
isotope).

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Another important radioactive clock uses the decay of carbon-14 (C), or
radiocarbon, which has a half life of 5730 years. (REVIEW PRINCIPLE)

THE RADIOMETRIC TIME SCALE
The currently accepted geologic time scale is based on the standard geologic
column, established by faunal succession and superposition, plus the finite
radiometric dates of rocks that can he placed precisely in the column.
Each dating system provides a cross-check on the other because one is based on
relative time and the other on absolute time.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW

From this radiometric time scale we can make several general conclusions about
the history of Earth and geologic time.
1) Present evidence indicates that the age of Earth is about 4.5 to 4.6 billion
years.
2) The Precambrian constitutes more than 80% of geologic time.
3) Phanerozoic time (the Paleozoic and later) began about 570 million years ago.
Rocks deposited since Precambrian time can be correlated worldwide by
means of fossils, and the dates of many important events during their formation
can be determined from radiometric dating.
4) Some major events in Earths history are difficult to place in their relative
positions on the geologic column but can be dated by radiometric methods.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
MASS MOVEMENT
Mass movement the movement of surface material caused by gravity.

Factors contributing to mass movement
1) Gravity provides the energy for the downslope movement of surface debris and
bedrock
2) Water surface tension of interstitial water gives a certain cohesion to the soil.
When heavy rain forces all the air out of the pore spaces, this surface tension is
completely destroyed and the whole mass becomes susceptible to downslope
movement.
3) Air air trapped beneath rapidly moving masses of rock debris acts as cushion to
reduce the friction of the debris with the ground, making possible high velocity
movement of rock slides.
4) Angle of repose the maximum slope at which rock or other loose material can
remain stable. If that angle is exceeded, the material begins to move downslope.
Coarser and more angular materials have higher angles of repose than finer and
rounded materials.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
5) Vegetation tends to stabilize the soil on a slope; its absence promotes
erosion and mass movements.
6) Climate in higher latitudes, downslope movement may be promoted by
freeze-thaw cycles. Heavy rainfall in tropical climates tend to saturate the ground
to promote mass movements.
7) Rock type certain rock types, such as shale, may become very slick when
wet so that overlying rock layers may slide along the shale.
8) Structures bedding planes and alignment of crystals, as well as joints and
faults may present planes along which material may be weaker.
9) Seismicity provides additional energy, especially where material is disposed
at a critical angle of stability.
i) Slump also called slope failure; the
downward and outward movement of rock
or unconsolidated material traveling as a
unit or as a series of units along a curved
plane.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Types of mass movement
ii) Rockslide the most catastrophic
of all mass movements; sudden, rapid
slides of bedrock along planes of
weakness.

iii) Rockfall free fall of rocks
from steep cliffs.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
iv) Debris slides a small, rapid
movement of largely unconsolidated
material that slides or rolls downward and
produces a surface of low hummocks with
small intervening depressions.
b) Debris flow consists of
mixtures of rock fragments, mud
and water that flows downslope
as a viscous fluid.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
i) Mudflow debris flow consisting of a large percentage of silt and clay
particles, usually resulting from sudden heavy rain or thaw. Their water
content may be as much as 30%.
ii) Lahar or volcanic mudflow; consisting of abundant loose pyroclastic
material that has accumulated at the foot of a recently erupted volcano,
and which has been remobilized by heavy rain or thaw.
c) Earthflow the plastic movement of unconsolidated material lying in solid
bedrock, usually helped along by excessive moisture.
d) Talus a slope built up by the accumulation of rock fragments at the foot of a
cliff or ridge.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
e) Subaqueous mass movement
water-saturated sediments flowing
or sliding downslope of the seafloor.
f) Subsidence downward movement of earth material lying at or near the
surface; movement is essentially vertical with little or no horizontal component.
Subsidence may be induced by solution of underlying rocks in limestone areas,
large underground mining (e.g., block-caving), or too much pumping of
groundwater.
2) Slow movements more difficult
to recognize, they operate over
long periods of time. They are
probably responsible for the
transportation of more material
than rapid and violent
movements of rock and soil.
a) Creep the slow downward
movement of surface material
that operates even on gentle
slopes with a protective cover of
grass and trees.
b) Solifluction (from the Latin
solum or soil and fluere, to flow)
refers to the downslope
movement of debris under
saturated conditions; most
pronounced in higher latitudes,
where there is alternating freeze
and thaw of the ground.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
GROUNDWATER
Groundwater water contained within the openings (pores, fractures, etc.) of the
rocks beneath the Earths surface.

POROSITY AND PERMEABILITY
Porosity the percentage of the openings within a given volume of rock; it
determines how much water a rock mass can hold.
4 main types of pore spaces:
1) Spaces between mineral grains
In sand and gravel deposits, pores space can constitute from 12 to 45%. The
infilling of pore spaces by smaller grains reduces porosity.
2) Fractures
All rocks are cut by fractures, and in some dense rocks (e.g., granite), fractures
constitute the only significant pore spaces.
3) Solution cavities
some limestones have high porosity because this rock is soluble in water,
forming pits and holes. Movement of water along bedding planes and joints may
result in solution cavities which may become caves.
4) Vesicles
Vesicles are commonly concentrated near the top of a lava flow and form zones
of very high porosity.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Groundwater
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Permeability the capacity of a rock to transmit a fluid; it varies with the fluids viscosity,
hydrostatic pressure (the pressure within a given point of a fluid at rest), the size of the
openings, and the degree of interconnection between the openings.

THE WATER TABLE
Zone of aeration the zone above the water table which is partly filled with air and partly
filled with water; the water forms a thin film, clinging to grains by surface tension.
Zone of saturation below the zone of aeration, where all the pores are filled with water.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Water table the upper surface of the zone of saturation.
In general, the water table tends to mimic the surface topography.
The water table is at the surface in lakes, swamps and most streams.
In arid regions, most streams lie above the water table, so they loose much of
their water through seepage into the surface.
Perched water table - is produced when an impermeable layer (e.g., shale)
occurs within the zone of aeration. If a perched water table extends to the side of a
valley, springs and seeps occur.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
The movement of groundwater
Hydraulic head the difference in elevation between parts of the water table.
Base of groundwater also called lower limit, occurring at considerable depths, all
pore spaces in the rocks are closed by high pressure, and there is no free water.

Natural and artificial discharge
Natural discharge occurs wherever the water table intersects the surface of the
ground (stream channels, floors and banks of marshes, lakes). It provides the major
link between groundwater reservoirs and other parts of the hydrologic cycle.
Spring a place where groundwater flows or seeps naturally to the surface.
Well holes dug into the ground to reach the zone of saturation, in order to access
the fluid.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Cone of depression the cone-shaped line of the water table as it is depressed due
to pumping of fluid from a well.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Artesian water confined in an aquifer between impermeable beds. It is under
pressure, like water in a pipe; where a well or fracture intersects it, the aquifer
water rises in the opening, producing a flowing well or an artesian spring. The
occurrence of artesian water requires:
1) The rock sequence must contain interbedded permeable and impermeable
strata (e.g., sandstone and shale). The permeable beds are called aquifers.
2) The rocks must be tilted and exposed in an elevated area where water can
infiltrate into the aquifer.
3) Sufficient precipitation and surface drainage must occur in the outcrop area to
keep the aquifer filled.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Thermal springs and geysers
Groundwater migrating through areas of recent igneous activity or hot rocks
becomes heated and, when dicharged to the surface, produces thermal springs and
geysers.
Geyser a thermal spring that intermittently erupts steam and boiling water.
(REVIEW HOW GEYSERS FORM)
Geothermal energy energy useful to human beings that can be extracted from
steam and hot water found within the Earths crust. It can be used directly to heat the
homes in winter countries (e.g., Iceland), or steam can be used to run electric
generators to provide electricity.

Erosion by groundwater
Slow-moving groundwater can dissolve huge quantities of soluble rock (e.g.,
limestone, gypsum) and carry it away in solution. It transports the dissolved mineral
matter and either discharges it into other parts of the hydrologic system or deposits it
within the pore spaces within the rock.
Groundwater erosion starts with water percolating through joints, faults and bedding
planes and dissolving the soluble rock. In time, the fractures enlarge to form a
subterranean network of caves.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Sinkhole produced when caves frow larger until the roof collpses and a crater-like
depression results.
Caves a naturally formed subterranean open area, chamber, or series of
chambers, commonly produced in limestone by solution activity.

Karst topography a distinctive type of terrain resulting largely from erosion by
groundwater, characterized by sinkholes, solution valleys, rounded hills and knobs
and other features produced by groundwater activity.
Tower karst a particular type of karst topography developed in tropical areas
where dissolution is at a maximum because of the abundance of water from heavy
rainfall. It is characterized by steep, cone-like hills.

Deposition by groundweater
The mineral matter dissolved by groundwater can be deposited in a variety of ways.
The change from solution to precipitation is commonly caused by lowering of the
water table, because the main solution processes occur in the zone of saturation,
and precipitation occurs in the zone of aeration after the pore spaces and caves
have been drained.
Dripstone collective term for groundwater deposits formed from by precipitation
from slow percolating and dripping groundwater rich in mineral matter.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Evolution of stalactites, stalagmites and columns
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Stalactite an icicle-chaped deposit of dripstone hanging from the roof of a cave.
Stalagmite a conical deposit of dripstone built up from a cavefloor.
Drip curtain a thin sheet of dripstone hanging from the ceiling or wall of a cave; it
may follow the trace of a fracture on the ceiling or wall.
Travertine terraces terraced deposits of calcium carbonate deposited by flowing
pools of water on the cave floor or carbonate-rich water discharged along a slope.
These deposits, however, are trivial compared to the amount of material deposited in
the pore spaces of a rock.
Hot spring deposits calcium carbonate deposition, usually of travertine, from hot
springs in geothermal areas.

PROBLEMS OF GROUNDWATER SYSTEM
Pollution
Any concentration of chemical or waste creates local pockets that potentially can
contaminate the groundwater reservoir.
Leaching the process by which groundwater dissolves and transports soluble
components of rock or soil, usually downward or down-gradient.
Leachate the solution produced by leaching. Material that is leached from waste
disposal sites, including both biological and chemical contaminants, can pollute the
groundwater system.
Saltwater encroachment too much pumping in places near seawater may cause
incursion of saltwater into the water table
Changes in the position of the water table - Raising of the water table by too
much irrigation can produce springs where there were no springs before, inducing
erosion and mass wasting. Lowering of the water table, in turn could result in
droughts and subsidence.
Subsidence -the sinking or settling of a part of the Earths crust with respect to the
surrounding parts.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
River Systems
River system a network of connecting channels through which water, precipitated
on the surface, is collected and funneled back to the ocean.
MAJOR CHARACTERISTICS:
A river system or a drainage basin consists a main channel and all the
tributaries (a stream flowing into or joining a larger stream) that flow into it.
The surface of the ground slopes toward the network of tributaries.
It is bounded by a divide (ridge) beyond which water is drained by another
system.
Within a river system, the surface of the ground slopes toward the network of
tributaries, so the drainage system acts as a funneling mechanism for removing
surface runoff (water that flows over the land surface) and weathered rock
debris.

3 subsystems of a river system:
1) Collecting system consists of a network of tributaries in the headwater (the
higher portions of the river), which collects and funnels water and sediment to the
main stream.
2) Transporting system the main trunk stream, which functions as a channelway
through which water and sediment move from the collecting area toward the
ocean. It may also collect additional water and sediment.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Parts of a drainage system
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
3) Dispersing system - consists of a network of distributaries (stream branches
into which a river divides where it reaches its delta) at the mouth of a river, where
sediment and water are dispersed into an ocean, a lake or a dry basin. The major
process is deposition.
Order in stream systems
Individual streams and their
valleys are joined together into
networks. We can rank the
relationship of theses streams
using a hierarchy. Small
headwater streams can be
ranked as 1
st
order. Two 1
st

order streams would combine
to form a 2
nd
order stream, and
so on.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Stream pattern
The overall pattern developed by a system of streams and tributaries depends
partly on the nature of the underlying rocks and partly on the history of the streams.
The most common stream patterns are:
1) Dendritic or treelike, it develops
when the underlying bedrock is
uniform in its resistance to erosion.
2) Radial streams radiate outward
in all directions from a central high,
likely to develop on the flanks of a
volcano.
3) Rectangular occurs when the
underlying bedrock is criss-crossed
by fractures, the streams flow at
nearly right angles to each other.
4) Trellis consisting of parallel
streams that develop on alternating
resistant and non-resistant rocks.
1
2
3
4
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
DYNAMICS OF STREAM FLOW
The most important variables in stream dynamics:
1) Discharge the amount of water passing a given point during a specific interval of time,
usually measured in cubic meters per second. Groundwater seepage is important because it
can maintain the flow of water throughout the year. Continual seepage establishes
permanent streams. If the supply of groundwater is depleted seasonally, streams become
intermittent, dry during low rainfall (or dry) season, becoming alive again with increased
rainfall.
2) Velocity
The velocity of water is not uniform throughout the stream channel, and depends on the
shape and roughness of the channel and on the stream pattern. Velocity is usually greatest
at the center of the channel and above the deepest part, away from the frictional drag of
the channel walls and floor. As the channel curves, the zone of maximum velocity shifts to
the outside bend, and a zone of minimum velocity forms on the inside of the curve.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
VARIATIONS IN STREAM VELOCITY
STREAM FLOW PATTERN
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
3) Stream gradient the slope of the stream channel. The gradient is steepest in the
headwaters and decreases downslope. The longitudinal profile (a cross section of a stream
from its headwaters to its mouth) is a smooth, concave upward curve that becomes very flat
at the lower end of the stream.
4) Sediment load the amount of suspended and dissolved matter that the river transports.
The capacity of a stream to transport sediment increase to a 3
rd
or 4
th
poweer of its velocity,
i.e., doubling the velocity will increase the transporting capacity of the stream by 8 to 16
times. Sediment is transported in 3 ways:
a) Suspended load generally the largest fraction of material moved by a river, mostly
consisting of silt and clay, or particles that remain in suspension most of the time and move
downward at the velocity of flowing water.
b) Bed load particles of sediment too large to remain in suspension, such that they
collect on the stream bottom. Thee particles move by sliding, rolling and saltation
transportation of particles by wind or water through a series of bouncing movements). The
bed load moves only when there is sufficient velocity to move the large particles.
c) Dissolved load matter transported in the form of chemical ions and is essentially
invisible. The most abundant materials in solution are calcium and bicarbonate ions, but
also includes Na, Mg, chloride, ferric and sulfate ions. Organic acids are also present.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Movement of sediment load
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Base level the lowest level to which the stream can erode its channel. It is, in
effect, the elevation of the streams mouth where the stream enters the ocean,
or lake, or another stream.

PROCESSES OF STREAM EROSION
River systems erode the landscape by three main processes:
1) Removal of regolith loose rock debris is washed downslope into the
drainage systemand is transported as sediment load in streams and rivers.
Soluble material is carried in solution.
2) Downcutting of stream channels this process is accomplished by abrasion
(mechanical wearing away of rock by friction, rubbing, scraping, or grinding). Of
the channel floor by sand and gravel as they are swept downstream by the
flowing water. Sometimes, the rotational movement of sand, gravel and
boulders acts like a drill and cuts deep holes called potholes.

3) Headward erosion streams have a universal tendency to erode
headward, or upslope, to increase the length of their valleys, until they
reach the divide.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
With headward erosion, the following can be accomplished:
a) Stream piracy or capture occurs when the tributaries of one stream extends
upslope and intersects the middle course of another stream, thus diverting the
headwater of one stream to the other.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
b) Superposed stream a stream with a course originally established on a
cover of rock now removed by erosion, so that the stream or drainange system is
independent of the newly exposed rocks and structures. Consider the following
example:
1) Initially, a dendritic pattern on
horizontal sedimentary rocks covering
older folded strata is established.
2) Regional uplift causes erosionto remove
the horizontal sediments, so that older,
folded rocks are exposed at the surface.
The dendritic drainage pattern is then
superposed upon the folded rocks
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
3) Streams cut across resistant and non-
resistant rocks alike
4) Rapid headward erosion along
exposurtes of weak rocks results in stream
capture and modification of the original
dendritic pattern to a trellis pattern.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
PROCESSES OF STREAM DEPOSITION

1) Floodplain the flat, occasionally flooded area bordering a stream. It is usually covered with
large quantities of sediments. Certain features are developed:
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
a) Meanders and pointbars
Meanders are broad, looping bends in a river.
Point bar a crescent-shaped accumulation of sand and gravel depoisted on the inside of a
meander bend.
Oxbow lake a lake formed in the channel of an abandoned meander.

b) Natural levees a broad, low embankment built up along the banks of a river channel
during floods. Flooding significantly reduces stream velocity, causing deposition of some
suspended sediments. The coarsest sediments are deposited close to the channel, creating
natural levees.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
c) Backswamp the marshy area of a floodplain at some distance beyond and lower
than the natural levees that confine the river. It is swampy because it is poorly
drained. Tributary streams in the backswamp are unable to flow upslope the natural
levees, so they are forced to empty into the backswamp or to flow as yazoo streams,
which flows parallel to the main stream for a considerable distance before joining it.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
d) Braided stream a stream with a
complex of diverging and converging
channels separated by bars or islands. They
form where more sediment is available than
can be removed by the discharge of the
stream.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
2) Alluvial valleys
Streams may fill part of their valleys with sediment, and then cut through the
sediment fill, creating alluvial valleys. This is accompanied by the formation of
stream terraces (a series of level surfaces in a stream valley representing the
dissected remnants of an abandoned floodplain, stream bed of valley floor produced
in a previous stage of erosion or deposition). Stream terraces develop as follows:
i) A stream cuts a valley by normal
downcutting and headward erosion
processes
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
ii) Changes in climate, base level,
denudation or other factors that reduce flow
energy cause the stream to partially fill its
valley with sediments, forming a broad, flat
floor.
iii) An increase in flow energy causes the
stream to erode through the previously
deposited alluvium.
iv) The stream shifts laterally and forms
lower terraces as subsequent changes cause
it to erode though the older valley fill.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
3) Delta a large, roughly triangular body of sediment deposited at the mouth of a
river. As a river enters a lake or ocean, its velocity suddenly diminished and most of
its sediment load is deposited to from the delta.
2 major processes are fundamental to the formation of a delta:
a) The splitting of a stream into a distributary channel system, which extends into
the open water in a branching pattern
b) The development of local breaks, called crevasses, in natural levees, through
which sediment is diverted and deposited as splays in the area between
distributaries.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Shoreline systems
WAVES
Wave generation
As wind moves over the open ocean, the turbulent air distorts the surface of the
water.
Gusts of wind depress the surface where they move downward, and as they move
upward, they cause a decrease in pressure, elevating the water surface.
These changes in pressure produce irregular, wavy surface in the ocean and transfer
part of the winds energy to the water.
Wave motion in water
Wavelength the horizontal distance between adjacent wave crests (the highest
part of a wave) or adjacent wave troughs (the lowest part of the trough between
successive crests).
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Wave height the vertical distance between wave crest and wave trough.
Wave period also known as frequency, is the time between the passage of two
successive crests.
Wave motion has a circular orbit. A floating object move forward as the crest of a
wave approaches and then sink back into the following trough.
The morphology of a wave
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Beneath the surface this orbital motion dies out rapidly,
becoming negligible at a depth equal to about the
wavelength. This level is known as the wave base.
Fig. 16.3
The energy of a wave depends on its length and height
the greater the wave height, the greater the size of the orbit,
and the deeper is the wave base.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Breakers
As a wave approaches shallow water:
1) the wavelength decreases because the wave base touches the ocean bottom, and the resulting
friction gradually slows down the wave.
2) The wave height increases as the column of water encounters the sea floor and is pushed up.
3) The wave height continues to increase, while the velocity decreases, and acritical point is
reached at which the wave crest extends beyond the support range of the underlying column
of water, and the wave collapses or breaks
4) At this point, all the water in the column moves forward, releasing its energy as a wall of
moving, turbulent surf called a breaker.
Swash the rush of water up onto a beach after a wave breaks; it causes the landward movement
of sand and gravel.
Backwash the return sheet flow down a beach after a wave is spent.; some of the water,
however, seeps into the sand and gravel
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
WAVE REFRACTION
Waves approaching a shore are bent, or refracted, so that energy is concentrated on
headlands (an extension of land promontory, cape or peninsula seaward from
the general trend of the coast) and dispersed in bays (wide, curving recesses or inlet
between two headlands). Refraction occurs because the part of a wave in shallow
water slows down, while segments in deeper water move forward at normal velocity.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
LONGSHORE DRIFT
Development of longshore drift
1) As a wave strikes the shore at an angle of <90, water and sediment are transported
obliquely up the beach in the direction of the waves advance.
2) When the energy of the wave is spent, the water and sediment return with the backwash
directly down the beach, perpendicular to the shore. This process is known as beach drift.
3) A similar process that develops in the breaker zone is called a longshore current, which
transports material in suspension and by saltation.
4) The combined action of 2) and 3) is called longshore drift.

If the wave is constant, longshore drift occurs in one direction only. It can be reversed when
there are seasonal changes in the angle of the waves approach to the shore.
Longshore currents can pile significant volumes of water on the beach, which return seaward
through the breaker zone as a narrow rip current, which can be dangerous to swimmers.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
COASTAL EROSION
Erosion along coasts results from the abrasive action of sand and gravel moved by
waves and currents and, to a lesser extent, from solution and hydraulic action. Coastal
erosion produces certain landforms:
Sea cliff or wave-cut cliff, produced where steeply sloping land descends beneath
the water, and waves cut a notch into the bedrock at sea level. The cliff ultimately
collapses, and fallen debris is removed by wave action, after which the process is
repeated.
PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
As the sea cliff retreats, a wave-cut platform is produced at its base.
Sediment derived from the erosion of the cliff and transported by longshore drift
may be deposited in deeper water to form wave-built terrace.
Stream valleys that formerly reached the coast at sea level are shortened and left as
hanging valleys when the cliff recedes.
As the platform is enlarged, the waves break progressively farther from the shore,
wave action on the cliff is reduced, and beaches can then develop at the base of the
cliff.

PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY REVIEW
Sea caves, sea arches and sea stacks
Sea cave cave formed by wave action, usually from the erosion of joint systems and
fault planes in the rock.
Sea arch an arch formed by the erosion from two opposite sides of a headland.
Sea stack an isolated pinnacle that remains after a sea stack collapses.
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DEPOSITION ALONG COASTS
Sediment transported along the shore is deposited in areas of low energy and
produces a variety of landforms
Beach a shore built of unconsolidated sediment. Sand is the most common
material, but some beaches are composed of cobbles and boulders, and others of fine
silt and clay. Beaches composed of fine-grained material are generally flatter.
Spit a sandy bar projecting from the mainland into the open water, formed by
deposition of sediment by longshore drift. It usually forms where a straight shoreline
is indented by bays or estuaries (bays at the mouths of rivers formed by subsidence
of the sand or rise in sea level, and where fresh and seawater mixes.
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Tombolo a beach or bar connecting an island to the mainland, formed by the
islands effect on wave refraction and longshore drift.
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Barrier island long, low offshore islands of
sediment trending parallel to the shore. They are
typically separated from the mainland by a shallow
lagoon.
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Tectonic uplift may elevate sea cliffs and wave-cut platforms, resulting in elevated
marine terraces.
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REEFS
A reef is a solid structure built of shells and other secretions of marine organisms,
particularly coral. Most grow and thrive only in the warm, shallow waters of
semitropical and tropical regions.
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Reef ecology
The marine life that forms a reef can flourish only under strict conditions of
temperature, salinity and water depth.
1) Most modern coral (a bottom-dwelling marine invertebrate organism of the class
Anthozoa) reefs occur in warm tropical waters between the limits of 30 south and
north latitudes.
2) Colonial reefs cannot live in water deeper than 76 m, because they need sunlight
3) They survive only if the salinity of the water ranges from 27-40 ppt.
Thus, corals are good indicators of past climatic, geographic and tectonic conditions.

Types of reefs
Fringing reefs generally ranging from 0.5 to 1 km wide, are attached to shores of
volcanic islands. The corals grow seaward toward their food supply. They are usually
absent near deltas and mouths of rivers where the waters are muddy.
Barrier reefs are separated from the mainland by a lagoon, which can be >20 km
wide.
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Atolls roughly circular reefs that rise from deep water, enclosing a shallow lagoon in
which there is noe exposed landmass. They are the most common type of coral reef.
Over 330 are known. Drilling into the coral reefs confirm Darwin;s theory on the
origin of atolls.
Platform reefs grow in isolated patches in warm, shallow water on the continental
shelf.
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TIDES
On most shorelines, the sea advances and retreats in a regular rhythm twice in
approximately 24 hours. These changes are called tides. The origin of tides was not
known until Newton showed how tides arise from the gravitational attraction of the
Moon and the Earth.
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The gravitational force exerted by the moon tends to pull the oceans facing the Moon
into a bulge.another tidal bulge, on the opposite side of the Earth, is caused by
centrifugal force. Earth and Moon lies at the same center of gravity, about 4500 km
from the center of the Earth. The eccentric motion of the Earth as it revolves
around this center of gravity creates a large centrifugal force, which forms the second
tidal bulge. Earth rotates beneath the bulges, so the tides rise and fall twice every 24
hours.

TSUNAMI
Movement of the ocean floor by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or submarine
landslides frequently produces an unusual wave called a tsunami (from the Japanese
word for harbor wave), which has a long wavelength and travels across the ocean at
great speeds. As tsunami approach the shore, wavelengths decrease and their wave
heights increase. Therefore, tsunami can be formidable agents of destruction along
shorelines.
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