Geology and GIS
Content development
• A bit of content for you non-geology types…
• after
A few big idea in Geology/Earth Sci.
• Big Idea 1- Earth scientists use repeatable
observations and testable ideas to understand
and explain our planet.
– Works to assist humanity with challenging
– Combines aspects of biology, chemistry, physics,
and mathematics…
Big idea 2 Earth is ____
years old.
4.6 Billion years of time…
• The Earth’s rock record provides a natural
library for its history (construction,
destruction, change, evolution, etc.)
– Life on Earth began 3.5 billion years ago
– The record contains gaps (unconformities)
• Two crust types = oceanic and mafic
• Gradualism vs. Catastrophism
• Big Idea # 3 – The Earth is a complex system of
interacting rock, water, and life!
– Spheres = geo, hydro, atmo, and bio…
– All processes are the result of changing energy
between systems
• Sun
• Core
– These systems are dynamic, constantly changing,
and contain feedback systems
• Big Idea #4 – The
Earth is a water
– Water water ever
where from the upper
atmosphere to depths
of the mantle.
– Water is essential for
life on Earth!
– Water shapes the
Earth’s landscapes
• Big Idea #5 Life evolves on a dynamic Earth
and continuously changes our planet.
– Fossils are preserved evidence of ancient life
– Evolution, including the origination and extinction
of species, is a natural and ongoing process
– Mass extinctions occur when global conditions
change faster than species in large numbers can
• Life, human life is a
mere occurrence of
time. I say this not to be
little our existence, but
rather to emphasize the
miracle, that we are
here at all.
Science and religion
• Xavier Le Pichon
• Fragility and the evolution of our
• Big idea # 7 We (humans) depend on the Earth for
– Recourses mold our civilization
– Natural recourses are limited
– Geology affects the distribution and development of
human populations
– Fossil fuels and uranium currently provide most of our
energy resource
– Earth scientists help society move toward greater
• Big idea #7 Natural hazards pose risks to humans…
– Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, draughts, sinkholes,
landslides, severe weather, etc.
– Again gradualism vs. catastrophism
– Scale – local to global
– Increasing populations in hazardous areas
• Big idea #8 We (humans) significantly alter each of
the Earth’s spheres.
– We alter the rate of the Earth’s processes
– We can use the geologic record to distinguish natural vs.
human influences
– Humans affect the quality, availability, and distribution
of Earth’s water through the modification of streams,
lakes, and groundwater
– An Earth-science-literate public, informed by current and
accurate scientific understanding of Earth, is critical to
the promotion of good stewardship, sound policy, and
international cooperation
Homework for this week
• Create an activity that incorporates geology
layers, within any theme of your choosing
• Or Listen to the Xavier Le Pichon podcast and
write paper (no more than two pages) first page a
summary of what he was talking about and a
second page as a personal reflection (what do
you personally think about his perspective?) Only
the first page will be graded.
GIS and Geology options
• Make sure that you use the format provided in
the activity book that I sent you…
Some geology layers that you might
want to use….
– Bedrock
– Pahas
– Dunes
– Coal mines
– Aggregate sources beds
– Sinkholes