Physical geology is a survey of the physical processes operating on and in the earth and the results of these processes through time. Topics covered range in scale from the atomic to the galactic. The formation of the minerals and lavas, types of volcanoes, and the creation of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks make up the first third of the course; this introduces the materials of the earth. The course next covers large-scale topics such as the age of the earth, earthquakes and their resultant damage, how continents and seafloors are created, a brief history of the world, and an outline of the great unifying theory of geology, plate tectonics. The last third of the course discusses how surface processes such as streams, wind, waves and changes in the environment affect the deserts, glaciers, shorelines, and groundwater, and how these changes affect our way of life. Includes a laboratory.
Prerequisites: Credit for GEOL 101 will not be given to students who have received credit for GEOL 104.