Sep 23, 2023
GEOL 1200 - The Mobile Earth
An examination of the earth’s dynamic systems including continental drift, sea floor spreading, mountain building, volcanic activity, and earthquakes, and their explanation in terms of plate tectonic theory. Intended for both science and nonscience majors seeking a nontechnical overview of plate-tectonics.
Credit Hours: 3
General Education Code: 2NS
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
Course Transferability: OTM Course: TMNS Natural Sciences
College Credit Plus: Level 1
- Become familiar with the concept of paleomagnetism, its use in developing the hypothesis of sea-floor spreading and the evidence that substantiated this hypothesis.
- Become familiar with the process of terrane accretion (as exemplified by the North American Cordillera) as a prelude to continental collision.
- Know that mid-ocean ridges represent the surface manifestation of divergent plate boundaries and understand the processes occurring at these sites (as exemplified by the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the east Pacific Rise and Iceland).
- Know the geologic time scale and understand the concept of geologic time and the history behind our efforts to determine age of the Earth.
- Learn the concept of continental drift, the evidence upon which it was based, and the reasons for its rejection by the contemporary scientific community.
- Recognize the role of supercontinents, such as Pangea, in influencing the geologic, climatic and biological evolution of the earth.
- Understand convergent plate boundaries (as exemplified by the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia and the Mediterranean), the volcanoes associated with these boundaries, and there impact on society.
- Understand the concept of hot spots on the earth’s surface (as exemplified by Hawaii and Yellowstone), their probable origin and their role in the break-up of continental land masses.
- Understand the process of continental break-up through the development rift systems (as exemplified by the East African Rift Valley) and their opening to form oceans.
- Understand the process of subduction and the recognition of its link of sea-floor spreading in formulating the theory of plate tectonics.
- Understand the processes associated with continental collision (as exemplified by the Appalachians, Alps and Himalayas).
- Understand transform faults such as the San Andreas, their role as conservative plate boundaries, the earthquakes they produce, and our effort to predict earthquakes and mitigate their effects.
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