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Forensic psychology. Introduction to bookkeeping and accounting. The science of nutrition and healthy eating. Succeed with maths — Part 1. Geology tag cloud plate tectonics geology eruptions metamorphic rock minerals astronomy landscapes lava earthquakes Earth sciences limestone fossils volcanoes rocks rock analysis.

Read more. Filter pages by:. Show all. Introductory Intermediate Advanced. Sort by:. Date Title Popular Rating. Items per page:. Apply Reset. Free OpenLearn courses. Free extracts from OU course materials. An introduction to geology In this free course, An introduction to geology, you will explore basic geological processes, focusing on how, where and why different rocks and Free course 12 hours Level: 1 Introductory.

Updated on: 30 Jul An introduction to geology Free Course Featuring: Video. Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 30 Jul In this free course, An introduction to geology, you will explore basic geological Copyright: Used with permission. Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology Have you ever wondered how scientists analyse the environment? Free course 14 hours Level: 1 Introductory. Updated on: 10 Apr Practising science: Reading the rocks and ecology Free Course. Introductory level Duration 14 hours Updated 10 Apr This free course, Life in the Palaeozoic Fossils are a glimpse into the distant past and fascinate young and old alike.

Updated on: 18 Jul Life in the Palaeozoic Free Course. Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 18 Jul Fossils are a glimpse into the distant past and fascinate young and old alike Volcanic hazards This free course, Volcanic hazards, discusses the various hazards posed by different types of volcanic eruption, illustrated by examples from Free course 10 hours Level: 1 Introductory. Updated on: 06 Dec That is, at some point in time, an atom will spontaneously transform in order to gain stability.

This disintegration is irreversible, and the initial isotope is called the parent isotope and the resulting isotope is called the daughter isotope. A particular isotope of a radioactive element decays into another element at a distinctive rate. Page 6 This table describes the radioactive decay of Carbon and its transformation into Nitrogen The blue line represents the initial element, Carbon and the red line represents the result of the radioactive decay, Nitrogen This is shown on the graphic when the two lines intercept.

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Page 7 By looking at the table we can see that, for example, when half of the parent isotope potassium has turned into argon, 1. The exact age of the oldest rocks exposed on the surface of the Earth is difficult to determine, as they are aggregates of minerals of possibly different ages. But the oldest such minerals analyzed to date — small crystals of zircon from the Jack Hills of Western Australia — are at least 4.

## University museum

Crystal of Zircon 1 8. Just click on the link bellow. Nowadays we know that the Earth is about 4. This average age is based on evidence from radiometric age dating of meteorite material and it is consistent with the ages of the oldest-known terrestrial and lunar samples. The internal structure of the Earth deals primarily with the concentric layering of the earth based on their physical characteristics, which distinctively vary in their densities and seismic wave characteristics. And also, the compositional layers of the earth are characterized by their chemistry composition.

Depth Earth Internal Structures 2 Layer Kilometres Miles 0—60 0—37 Lithosphere locally varies between 5 and km 0—35 0—22 … Crust locally varies between 5 and 70 km 35—60 22—37 … Uppermost part of mantle 35—2, 22—1, Mantle — 62— … Asthenosphere 35— 22— … Upper mesosphere upper mantle —2, —1, … Lower mesosphere lower mantle 2,— 5, 1,— 3, Outer core 5,— 6, 3,— 3, Inner core Seismic waves are waves of energy that travel through the Earth's layers, and are a result of an earthquake, explosion, or a volcano which erupts. There are different types of seismic waves according to their characteristics; we have P waves, S waves and Surface waves.

## Mathematics: A Simple Tool For Geologists - David Waltham

Primary waves P-waves are compressive waves that travel faster than other waves through the earth, and arrive first at seismograph stations. Secondary waves S-waves are shear waves that are transverse in nature and can only travel through solids, since fluids liquids and gases do not support shear stresses. Surface waves have low frequency, long duration, and large amplitude, so they are the most destructive. The propagation velocity of seismic waves depends on the density and the elasticity of the medium, and is given by the complex following equation: Page 11 From this formula we can know that the velocity of seismic waves depends on the stiffness of the medium that they cross, and that, the more rigid the medium is, the faster the seismic waves will be.

In fact, the velocity of seismic waves is not constant throughout the Earth. That variation is the evidence used to confirm the physical model of the internal structure of the Earth, as well as the existence of discontinuities between the layers and an outer core which is in the liquid state.

Mohorovicic discontinuity: crust vs mantle The crust is separated from the mantle by the Mohorovicic discontinuity, usually referred to as the Moho. The study of seismic waves was crucial to prove Moho existence. Immediately above the Moho the velocities of primary seismic waves P- waves are similar to those through basalt 6. That suggests the Moho marks a change in composition. Page 12 Gutenberg discontinuity : Mantle vs Liquid Outer Core When an earthquake occurs, seismographs near the epicenter are able to record both P and S waves, but those at a greater distance no longer detect the high frequencies of the first S wave.

As was mentioned before, the velocity of the seismic waves depends on the stiffness of the medium that they cross; liquid means have zero rigidity, consequently, the S waves have zero speed. Since S waves cannot pass through liquids, this phenomenon was original evidence for the now well-established observation that the Earth has a liquid outer core, as demonstrated by Richard Dixon Oldham. Page 13 Earthquakes and logarithms An earthquake is a movement of the ground, generated from tectonic force.

These issue a motion in earth's crust and release this energy in a point of the underground called "focus".

From here the energy is emitted in a point exactly above it called "epicentre". The waves generated from an earthquake are known as "seismic waves", and are elastic and longitudinal. The unit of measurement of a seism, is the "magnitude", with who we can estimate the power of an earthquake. The term "magnitude was coined by Richter and Gutemberg that were seismologists , in when they created the Richter scale. In the Richter scale they posed at "magnitude 0" an earthquake that, on a seismograph posed at km from the epicentre, drew a seismogram of 0.

But to gauge slight and very powerful seisms, they posed the Richter scale on a base logarithm; so every increase of one unit in the scale is an increase of 10 time of the amplitude and of 30 times of the energy emitted. Page 14 Magnitude What people see 0 — 1. Page 15 But not all of the seismographs are positioned at km from the epicentre, and to estimate the earthquakes that happened between 20 and km from the seismograph, and at more than km Richter's original magnitude scale was then extended to observations of earthquakes of any distance and of focal depths ranging between 0 and km.

However since the middle of 20th century the Richter scale was replaced Page 16 by the "Moment magnitude scale" that measures the magnitude at the exact moment in who the earthquake takes place. But these two scales are not the only ones: there's also the Mercalli scale. The most important difference between Mercalli and Richter scales is the geographic connotation, that is only kept in account by the Mercalli scale; for example in there was a big earthquake: that took place in Friuli Venezia-Giulia, Italy; with a magnitude of 6.

Nine years later, in , an earthquake with the same magnitude of that in Friuli, took place at Los Angeles, California, but this one killed only 6 people. This difference of deads is explainable for the tipe of ground present in the two places.

## Geomathematics

But there's another thing to say yet: Richter scale are opened at any value because it haven't a maximum or minimum; for example the most powerful earthquake registred in the history was the Great Chilean Earthquake, happend in at Valdivia and with a magnitude of 9. His power changed definitely the geologic appearance of the place, he killed only people, but it shifted the earth's axis of 30cm The Mercalli scale, differently from the previous, estimates the damage that an earthquake makes, not is power; because a level in the Richter scale isn't equivalent of a level on that of Mercalli, in fact this last one considers Page 17 also the geographic structure of the hurted zone.

Originally it included only ten levels, but the same Mercalli added the 11th after the earthquake that took place in Messina in , and the 12th level was added in This interdisciplinary, introductory-level program will explore topics in physical geology and applied precalculus mathematics. It is designed for students with a desire to have a broader and deeper understanding of the Earth, of mathematical concepts and functions, and of applications of math to earth sciences. The study of lab and field sciences and mathematical problem-solving through rigorous, quantitative, and interdisciplinary investigations will be emphasized.

We expect students to finish the program with a strong understanding of the scientific and mathematical concepts that help us investigate the world around us. In fall quarter geology we will study fundamental concepts in Earth science including geologic time, plate tectonics, and earth materials. Winter quarter geology will focus on Earth processes including soil development, nutrient cycling, and climate change. In both quarters our precalculus material will focus on families of mathematical functions, including polynomial, trigonometric, exponential, and logarithmic functions.

Pattern identification and conceptual understanding of mathematical ideas will be emphasized along with applications to geological sciences.