Evolution of the Earth

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1 Evolution of the Earth Evolution of the Earth Solar system, 4.6 byr Collapse of a nebula Star forms as gravity concentrates material at center of cloud Smaller concentrations of matter coalesce Proto-earth Homogeneous composition, partially melted Eventually underwent density stratification Highest density material 1

2 Evolution of the Earth: plate tectonics Thin, rigid blocks of lithosphere move horizontally Interactions of plates build major features of Earth s crust Crustal composition (percent by weight) Oxygen 46.6% Silicon 27.7% Aluminum 8.1% Iron 5.0% Calcium 3.5% Sodium 2.8% Potassium 2.6% Magnesium 2.1% All others 1.5% Plate tectonic theory: evidence Plate tectonic theory: evidence 3. Magnetic polarity reversals 1. Puzzle-like fit of continents 2. Matching rocks and mountain chains Structures Rock types Rock ages Plate tectonic theory: evidence 3. Magnetic polarity reversals - changes in Earth s magnetic polarity are recorded in the rocks as seafloor is created Animation: seafloor magnet 2

3 Seafloor spreading: Evidence 4. Age of ocean floor: youngest at mid-ocean ridge Seafloor spreading: Evidence 5. Heat flow: highest at mid-ocean ridge crest Seafloor spreading: Evidence 6. Earthquakes: most occur along plate margins Evolution of the Earth: plate tectonics Thin, rigid blocks of lithosphere move horizontally Interactions of plates build major features of Earth s crust Evolution of the Earth: seafloor spreading Rising heat pushes and pulls tectonic plates Crust created at mid-ocean ridges Crust destroyed at oceanic trenches 1. Divergent 2. Convergent 3. Transform 3

4 Convergent: oceanic-continental plate Oceanic plate subducted Oceanic trench Continental arc Convergent: oceanic-oceanic plate Oceanic plate subducted Oceanic trench Island Arc Divergent: plates move apart 4

5 Divergent: plates move apart Divergent: plates move apart Hydrothermal vents: seawater migrates through cracks in ocean crust Black smoker White smoker Juan de Fuca ridge Oceanic transform fault Continental transform fault Segments of plates slide past each other Occur between two segments of mid-ocean ridge Shallow but strong earthquakes 5

6 Evolution of the Earth: hotspots Volcanic peaks Evolution of the Earth: hotspots Source: Prentice Hall Source: Prentice Hall Evolution of the Earth: seafloor spreading Rising heat pushes and pulls tectonic plates Crust created at mid-ocean ridges Crust destroyed at oceanic trenches Rock cycle and plate boundaries One or more minerals held together by a matrix Rock types: Igneous Form from the solidification and crystallization of -magma (molten rock below ground) -lava (molten rock above ground) Most common examples -Basalt -Granite Rock types: Igneous Four types of igneous rocks Mafic minerals Contain iron and magnesium Felsic minerals No iron and magnesium Bowen s reaction series: arranged by temperature of formation 6

7 Rock types: Igneous Classified by texture and color/composition slow = thousands to millions of years fast = days to weeks Texture Glassy Vesicular Aphanitic (fine grained) Phaneritic (coarse grained) Porphyritic (two grain sizes) Cooling History Very fast (hours) cooling; noncrystalline. Very fast cooling with rapid gas escape forming bubbles in the non-crystalline rock. Slow cooling; microscopic crystal growth. Very slow cooling; crystals grow to visible size. Two stage cooling; one slow underground creating visible phenocrysts, the second fast at the earth's surface producing a fine grained groundmass. Examples Obisdian Pumice, scoria Rhyolite, andesite, basalt Granite, diorite, gabbro Any aphanitic rock with the word porphyry Rock types: Igneous rock distribution Loose, unconsolidated accumulation of minerals or rocks Sedimentary processes -weathering -transportation/sorting -deposition to limestone (CaCO 3 ) Loose, unconsolidated accumulation of minerals or rocks Compounds that weather and do not dissolve in seawater form clastic rocks Classified by 1. Texture 2. Composition - Quartz - Feldspar - Lithic fragments - Fine-grained matrix 7

8 Compounds that weather and do not dissolve in seawater form clastic rocks Compounds that weather and do not dissolve in seawater form clastic rocks Sandstone (quartz sand) Breccia (angular particles) Shale (clay) Conglomerate (rounded particles) eventually form: Chemical rocks -Precipitate directly from seawater Biochemical rocks -Plant or animal derived eventually form: Carbonates (CaCO 3 ) -Dolomite (Mg) -Chalk Chert (SiO 2 ) Evaporites -Halite (NaCl) -Gypsum (CaSO 4 H 2 O) eventually form: Carbonates (CaCO 3 ) eventually form: Carbonates (CaCO 3 ) Oolitic limestone Fossiliferous rock (coquina) Chalk Dolomite crystals (Mg) 8

9 eventually form: Silicate eventually form: Salts Chert (SiO 2 ) Gypsum (CaSO 4 H 2 O) Halite (NaCl) eventually form: Accumulation of plant material Peat Rock types: Metamorphic Rocks that have experienced heat and pressure Classified by texture 1. Granular -Quartz > quartzite -Calcite > marble Coal Rock types: Metamorphic Rocks that have experienced heat and pressure Classified by texture 2. Foliated -amount of temperature, pressure, recrystallization Phyllite Gneiss Rock types: Metamorphic processes Hydrothermal metamorphism -low T, low P -associated with water near igneous intrusions -examples: pegmatite, serpentinite, soapstone Slate Schist 9

10 Rock types: Metamorphic processes Contact metamorphism -high T, low P -associated with igneous intrusions -examples: hornfels, marble, quartzite Rock types: Metamorphic processes Regional (Barrovian) metamorphism -Low-high T, intermediate P -associated with orogenic events (mountain building) -examples: slate, phyllite, schist, gneiss Rock types: Metamorphic processes Blueschist -high T, low P -associated with subduction zones -examples: blue color from mineral glaucophane Rock types: Metamorphic processes Eclogite -moderate T, very high P -metamorphism occurs in the mantle (rarely outcrops) 10

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