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Geology: Processes, Hazard, and Soils

Chapter 10

What is the earths structure?


Crust 35 km (21 mi.) avg., 1,200C Low-velocity zone Mantle Solid 100 km (60 mi.) 200 km (120 mi.) Crust Lithosphere 10 to 65km

2,900km 100 km (1,800 mi.) 3,700C Outer core (liquid) Core 200 km

Asthenosphere (depth unknown)

Inner core (solid)

5,200 km (3,100 mi.), 4,300C

6,400 km (3,900 mi.), 4,300C

Fig. 10.2

What is the earth made of?

Abyssal hills

Features of crust and mantle


Abyssal Oceanic floor ridge Abyssal floor Trench Folded mountain belt Volcanoes Craton Continental rise Abyssal plain Continental slope

Oceanic crust (lithosphere)

Continental shelf

Abyssal plain

Mantle (lithosphere)

Continental crust (lithosphere)

Mantle (lithosphere)

Mantle (asthenosphere)

Fig. 10.3

Lithosphere: rigid, brittle Asthenosphere: plastic, deformed by heat/pressure Fig. 10.2

Why do the plates move?


Collision between two continents Tectonic plate Subduction zone Continental crust Oceanic crust Oceanic crust Continental crust Material cools as it reaches the outer mantle Mantle convection cell Hot material rising through the mantle Mantle Cold dense material falls back through mantle Oceanic tectonic plate Spreading center Oceanic tectonic plate Ocean trench Plate movement Plate movement

Two plates move towards each other. One is subducted back into the mantle on falling convection current.

Hot outer core Inner core

Earths internal processes

Lithosphere Asthenosphere Oceanic ridge at a divergent plate boundary Trench Volcanic island arc

Tectonic plates (60 mi.)


Lithosphere Asthenosphere

Three types of boundaries

Divergent boundary

Rising magma

Lithosphere

Oceanic ridges

Subduction zone

Asthenosphere

Trench and volcanic island arc at a convergent plate boundary Fracture zone Transform fault

Convergent boundary

Subduction zone Volcanic islands

Transform fault

Lithosphere Asthenosphere

earthquakes

Fig. 10.6,

Transform fault connecting two divergent plate boundaries

EURASIAN PLATE MidAtlantic Ocean Ridge CARIBBEAN PLATE

Reykjanes Ridge

EURASIAN PLATE ANATOLIAN PLATE

JUAN DE FUCA PLATE CHINA SUBPLATE

Transform PHILIPPINE fault PLATE PACIFIC COCOS PLATE MidPLATE Indian Transform Ocean fault Ridge East Pacific Rise INDIAN-AUSTRLIAN PLATE

NORTH AMERICAN PLATE

ARABIAN PLATE AFRICAN PLATE

SOUTH AMERICAN PLATE

Carlsberg Ridge SOMALIAN SUBPLATE

Southeast Indian Ocean Ridge

Transform fault

Southwest Indian Ocean Ridge

ANTARCTIC PLATE
Convergent plate boundaries Plate motion at convergent plate boundaries Divergent ( ) and transform fault ( boundaries Plate motion at divergent plate boundaries

Natural hazards of the earths processes:

Earthquakes
Primary effects:

Two adjoining plates move laterally along Liquefaction of recent sediments the fault line Earth movements causes buildings Cause flooding in of sink Low-lying areas

Landslides may occur on hilly ground

Shaking Displacement
Shock waves Epicenter Focus

Secondary effects:

Rock slides Tsunamis flooding

Natural hazards of the earths processes:


Earthquakes

Two adjoining plates move laterally along Liquefaction of recent sediments the fault line Earth movements causes buildings Cause flooding in of sink Low-lying areas

Faults

Severity /Richter scale


Landslides may occur on hilly ground

Insignificant (<4.0) Minor (4.0-4.9) Damaging (5.0-5.9) Destructive (6.0-6.9) Major (7.0-7.9) Great (>8.0)

Shock waves Epicenter Focus

Aftershocks

Natural hazards of the earths processes:


Volcanoes Activity

extinct volcanoes

Ejecta Lava Gases

central vent magma conduit

magma reservoir

Solid lithosphere

Explosive

Faults Divergent boundaries

Upwelling magma

Quietly

Partially molten asthenosphere

What processes occur on earths surface?

External processes are powered by solar energy and gravity

Mechanical weathering

Loosens material Frost wedging Erosion (wind/rain) :

Material worn away and carried elsewhere

Chemical weathering:

Reactions with carbon dioxide, oxygen, or moisture

Minerals, Rocks and the Rock Cycle

Minerals

Element, or inorganic compound found naturally and is solid

Rock

Any material that makes up a large continuous part of the earths crust, Can be a single mineral, or more than one

Igneous (granite, lava) Sedimentary (limestone, sandstone) Metamorphic (marble, slate)

Erosion
Transportation

The Rock Cycle


Deposition

Weathering

1. 2. 3.

Rocks Shells/skeletons Plant remains

Sedimentary Rock Shale, Sandstone limestone

Igneous Rock Granite, pumice, basalt Heat, pressure Most of earths surface Heat, pressure, stress Magma
(molten rock)

Melting

Metamorphic Rock Slate, marble, quartzite

Fig. 10.8, p. 217

External processes lead to formation of soil

Mechanical weathering

Loosens material Frost wedging Erosion:

Material worn away and carried elsewhere

Chemical weathering:

Reactions with carbon dioxide, oxygen, or moisture

Soils: Formation
Generally takes 200-1000 yrs to generate 1 inch of topsoil

Leaf litter
A horizon:

O horizon:

Topsoil humus

Regolith

Bedrock
Immature soil

Subsoil Mostly inorganic


C horizon:

B horizon:

Young soil

Parent material

Mature soil

Soil Properties

Fig. 10.17

Infiltration

Water

Water

Movement of water downward

Leaching

Transfer of Dissolved soil components to lower layers

High permeability

Low permeability

Soils vary in porosity/permeability


Depending on their components

Soil Structure

Texture determines porosity Porosity determines permeability for both water and air Loam: Soil with roughly equal components of each and humus Infiltration Water-Holding Aeration Capacity Poor Medium Good Medium Good Medium Poor Medium Poor Medium Good Medium Workability Poor Medium Good Medium

Texture Nutrient Capacity Clay Silt Sand Loam Good Medium Poor Medium

Soil Texture
Increasing percentage clay 80 60 40 20 0 100%sand

100%clay 0 20 40 60 80

Increasing percentage silt

80

60

40

20

100%silt

Increasing percentage sand

Soil acidity or alkalinity:

pH

Affects uptake of nutrients by plants

High pH,

Common in dry areas Treatment Addition of sulfur -> sulfuric acid

Low pH

Neutralize with lime Speeds up decomposition

Mosaic of closely packed pebbles, boulders Weak humusmineral mixture Dry, brown to reddish-brown, with variable accumulations of clay, calcium carbonate, and soluble salts

Soil profiles in biomes


Alkaline, dark, and rich in humus

Clay, calcium compounds

Desert Soil (hot, dry climate)

Grassland Soil (semiarid climate)

Soil profiles in biomes

Acidic lightcolored humus

Forest litter leaf mold Humus-mineral mixture Light, grayishbrown, silt loam Dark brown firm clay

Acid litter and humus Light-colored and acidic

Iron and aluminum compounds mixed with clay

Humus and iron and aluminum compounds

Tropical Rain Forest Soil (humid, tropical climate)

Deciduous Forest Soil (humid, mild climate)

Coniferous Forest Soil (humid, cold climate)

Soils: Erosion

Water/Wind

Usually slow

Sheet erosion

Uniform Difficult to notice

Fig. 10.18

Rill erosion: fast flowing rivulets Gully erosion: wider/deeper channels

Soils: Erosion

Human intervention

2 major effects:

Loss of soil fertility Loss of water retention Run-off pollutes water sources
Kills aquatic life Clogs streams, rivers and lakes

Fig. 10.18

Soil Erosion: How serious?

Soil is renewable unless used too fast. Poverty is issue In the U.S. alone,

Approximately 1/3 of topsoil has been lost Dustbowl in the 1930s


Overgrazing, conventional tillage, drought Soil Conservation Act (1935)

Good news:

Loss has been slowed by 40% last 20 years.

Bad news: Dustbowl in China?

Global Soil Erosion

Areas of serious concern Areas of some concern Stable or nonvegetative areas

Soils: Degradation

Desertification

Productive potential of arid land decreases


Natural climate changes : prolonged drought human activities

POSITIVE FEEDBACK MECHANISM!

Drought -> increased reflectivity -> change local climate -> increase drought

Soils: Degradation

Salinization
Irrigation and evaporation Accumulated salts From unabsorbed water

Evaporation

Transpiration

Evaporation

Waterlogging
Less permeable clay layer

Waterlogging
Precipitation/irrigation causes water table to rise, salt sits in soil until

Solutions: Soil Conservation

Conventional Tillage

Leaves soil bare in the winter

Conservation Tillage (Minimum/No-Till)

Disturbs soil as little as possible Strip/contouring to protect soil Reduce soil erosion/retain moisture

Cropping methods

Windbreaks

Land Classification: ID delicate areas

(a) Terracing

(b) Contour planting and strip cropping

(c) Alley cropping (agroforestry)

(d) Windbreaks

Soil Restoration

Organic Fertilizer

Animal manure Green manure Compost

Crop rotation: alternate crops/legumes


Commercial inorganic fertilizer

Nitrogen/phosphate/potassium Doesnt restore organic material