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BIO 70 Notes #1

THE EARTH SYSTEM AND BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES

What makes Earth an unusual planet?

1. Carbon-based __________
2. Unique atmosphere (_____% N; _____%O; _____%Ar; water vapor; CO2)
3. Water in all its states
4. _______________ active
5. Strong __________ field
6. Unusually large __________

What are the Earths Subsystems and their main components?

1. _____sphere (Gas envelope)


a. _____sphere
b. Ionosphere
c. Mesosphere
d. _____ layer
e. Stratosphere
f. _____sphere
2. _____sphere (includes layer of frozen water called _____sphere)
3. _____sphere (includes the different component layers of the Earths
structure)
a. Crust
b. Mantle Lithosphere includes the crust and part of the
c. Core upper mantle
4. Biosphere (includes the human
Asthenosphere subsystem
forms part of the we call the _____sphere)
mid-mantle
portion

The Earths various subsystems interact with each other to drive the different
processes occurring on Earth. You can see examples of these interactions
summarized in Table 1.

Figure 1 likewise represents these interactions including disturbances


(anthropogenic or otherwise).

These interactions show that everything on Earth is ________________!

Refer to Figures 2-6 to see simplified versions of the various biogeochemical


cycles that are important for the continuation of life on Earth and how these
cycles are driven by the interactions between different Earth subsystems.

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BIO 70 Notes #1

Table 1. Interactions Between Earths Principal Subsystems.

ATMOSPHERE HYDROSPHERE BIOSPHERE LITHOSPHERE


ATMOSPHERE Interaction between Surface currents Gases for respiration; Weathering by wind
various air masses driven by wind; Dispersal of spores, erosion; Transport of
Evaporation pollen, and seeds by water vapor for
wind precipitation of rain
and snow
HYDROSPHERE Input of water vapor Hydrologic cycle Water for life Precipitation;
and stored solar heat Weathering and
erosion
BIOSPHERE Gases from Removal of dissolved Global ecosystems; Modification of
respiration materials by Food cycles weathering and
organisms erosion processes;
Formation of soil
LITHOSPHERE Input of stored solar Source of solid and Source of mineral Plate tectonics
heat; Landscapes dissolved materials nutrients;
affect air movements Modification of
ecosystems by plate
movements

Reference:

Wicander R, Monroe J. 2002. Essentials of Geology, 3 rd ed. Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, California, USA. 523 pp.

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Figure 1. The different geological processes driven by interactions between


Earths Subsystems as affected by different energy sources.

Figure 2. Nutrient Cycling

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Figure 3. The Hydrologic Cycle Figure 4. The Carbon Cycle

Figure 5. The Nitrogen Cycle Figure 6. The Phosphorus Cycle

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