Visualizing Physical Geology, 3rd Edition

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  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-04-17
  • Publisher: Wiley
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Murck's 3rd edition of Visualizing Geology maximizes the use of National Geographic Society photographs, maps, illustrations and video to bring dynamic Earth processes. From the ground-up, this text is designed to better meet the needs of those involved in the large mainstream Physical Geology course and working to attain a science credit. The text provides pedagogy to help readers better digest more material than they would in a conventional textbook. Moreover it provides information about geology as a discipline as a dynamic and growing science, to move readers beyond the idea that geology is simply about the memorization of terms related to dead rocks.

Table of Contents

How Old Is Old? The Rock Record and Geologic Time

Relative Age 66

Stratigraphy 66

Gaps in the Record 68

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: A Grand View Of Stratigraphy 70

Fossils and Correlation 71

The Geologic Column 73

Eons and Eras 73

Periods and Epochs 76

Numerical Age 77

Early Attempts 77

Radioactivity and Numerical Ages 78

Magnetic Polarity Dating 82

�� CASE STUDY: Dating Human Ancestors 84

The Age of Earth 85

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: The U.S. Geological Survey 85

�� AMAZING PLACES: Famous Unconformities 87

Plate Tectonics

A Revolution in Geology 94

Wegener’s Hypothesis of Continental Drift 94

The Puzzle-Piece Argument 95

Matching Geology 97

Apparent Polar Wandering Paths 99

The Missing Clue: Seafloor Spreading 99

The Plate Tectonic Model 102

Plate Tectonics in a Nutshell 103

Types of Plate Margins 104

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden 106

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Interactive Tectonic Map 108

The Search for a Mechanism for Plate Motion 108

�� AMAZING PLACES: The Hawaiian Islands: A Growing Island Chain 110

The Tectonic Cycle: Past, Present, Future 112

Earthquakes and Earth’s Interior

Earthquakes and Earthquake Hazards 120

Earthquakes and Plate Motion 120

�� CASE STUDY: Proving the Elastic Rebound Theory 122

Earthquake Hazards and Readiness 123

Earthquake Prediction 126

The Science of Seismology 129

Seismographs 129

Seismic Waves 130

Locating Earthquakes 130

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Earthquakes at Your Fingertips 132

Measuring Earthquakes 132

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: Richter Magnitude and Modified Mercalli Intensity Scales 134

Studying Earth’s Interior 135

How Geologists Look into Earth’s Interior: Seismic Methods 135

How Geologists Look into Earth’s Interior: Other Methods 137

A Multilayered Planet 140

The Crust 140

The Mantle 142

�� AMAZING PLACES: Point Reyes, California 143

The Core 144

Volcanoes and Igneous Rocks Volcanoes and Volcanic Hazards 152

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory 153

Eruptions, Landforms, and Materials 153

Volcanic Hazards 158

�� CASE STUDY: Plinian Eruption in the Philippines 159

Predicting Eruptions 161

�� AMAZING PLACES: Mt. St. Helens 164

How, Why, and Where Rock Melts 166

Heat and Pressure Inside Earth 167

Magma and Lava 170

Cooling and Crystallization 174

Rate of Cooling 174

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: Putting Rocks Under a Microscope 175

Chemical Composition 176

Fractional Crystallization 178

Plutons and Plutonism 179

Batholiths and Stocks 180

Dikes and Sills 180

Weathering and Erosion

Weathering—The First Step in the Rock Cycle 190

How Rocks Disintegrate 191

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: Joint Formation 192

Mechanical Weathering 192

�� AMAZING PLACES: Monadnock—and Monadnocks 194

Chemical Weathering 196

Factors Affecting Weathering 198

Products of Weathering 201

Soil 202

Soil Profiles 203

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Soils of Canada and the United States 204

�� CASE STUDY: Bad and Good Soil Management 205

Erosion and Mass Wasting 206

Erosion by Water 206

Erosion by Wind 206

Erosion by Ice 208

Gravity and Mass Wasting 208

Slope Failures 210

Flows 210

Factor of Safety and Landslide Prediction 211

From Sediment to Sedimentary Rock Sediment 220

Clastic Sediment 220

Chemical and Biogenic Sediments 222

Transport and Deposition of Sediment 223

Depositional Environments on Land 224

Depositional Environments in and near the Ocean 226

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: The Geological Society of London 228

Sedimentary Rock 229

Rock Beds 229

�� AMAZING PLACES: The Navajo Sandstone 231

Lithification 232

Types of Sedimentary Rocks 233

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: A Change in the Atmosphere 235

Interpreting Environmental Clues 236

Sedimentary Facies 238

�� CASE STUDY: Thinking Critically About Sedimentation and Human History 239

How Plate Tectonics Affects Sedimentation 240

Divergent Plate Boundaries—Rift Valleys 240

Convergent Plate Boundaries—Collisional Type 240

Convergent Plate Boundaries—Subduction Type 240

Folds, Faults, and Geological Maps Rock Deformation 250

Stress and Strain 250

Brittle and Ductile Deformation 251

Where Rock Deformation Occurs 256

Structural Geology 258

Strike and Dip 258

Faults and Fractures 261

�� AMAZING PLACES: The Canadian Rockies 262

Folds 263

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: Monocline 264

Geologic Maps 268

�� CASE STUDY: The Map That Changed the World 269

Making and Interpreting Geologic Maps 271

Geologic Cross Sections 272

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: National Geologic Maps Database 273

Metamorphism: New Rock from Old What Is Metamorphism? 280

The Limits of Metamorphism 281

Factors Influencing Metamorphism 282

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: At the Roadside 285

�� CASE STUDY: Metamorphism and Billiards 287

Metamorphic Rock 289

Rock with Foliation 289

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History 289

�� AMAZING PLACES: The Source of Olmec Jade 291

Rock Without Foliation 292

Metamorphic Processes 293

Types of Metamorphism 293

Metasomatism 297

Metamorphic Facies 298

Water On and Under the Ground The Hydrologic Cycle 308

Water in the Earth System 308

Pathways and Reservoirs 309

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Exploring the Water Cycle 311

How Water Affects Land 312

Streams and Channels 312

Stream Deposits 315

Large-Scale Topography of Stream Systems 317

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: Drainage Basins 318

Lakes 319

Water as a Hazard and a Resource 320

Floods 320

Surface Water Resources 325

�� CASE STUDY: Mono Lake and the Los Angeles Water Supply 328

Fresh Water Underground 329

The Water Table 329

How Groundwater Moves 330

Where Groundwater Is Stored 332

Groundwater Depletion and Contamination 334

When Groundwater Dissolves Rock 336

Caves and Sinkholes 337

�� AMAZING PLACES: Lechuguilla Cave 338

12 The Ocean and the Atmosphere The Ocean 346

Ocean Basins 346

The Composition of Seawater 348

Layers in the Ocean 348

Ocean Currents 350

Where Ocean Meets Land 352

Changes in Sea Level 352

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: What Causes Tides? 354

Waves 355

Shorelines and Coastal Landforms 359

�� CASE STUDY: Thinking Critically About the Effects of Oil Spills 363

�� AMAZING PLACES: The Florida Keys Reef 364

The Atmosphere 366

Composition of Earth’s Atmosphere 367

Layers in the Atmosphere 368

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Ozone Hole Watch 371

Movement in the Atmosphere 371

Where Ocean Meets Atmosphere 374

Ocean–Atmosphere–Climate Interactions 374

Tropical Cyclones 376

El Niño and La Niña 378

Climatic Extremes: Deserts and Glaciers Deserts and Drylands 386

Types of Deserts 386

Wind Erosion 388

Desert Landforms 390

Desertification and Land Degradation 395

Changing Deserts 395

Mitigating Land Degradation 395

�� CASE STUDY: The Sahel and the Dust Bowl 396

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Desertification 398

Glaciers and Ice Sheets 398

Components of the Cryosphere 398

�� AMAZING PLACES: Glacier Bay National Park and Wilderness, Alaska 402

Ever-Changing Glaciers 402

The Glacial Landscape 407

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: Periglacial Landforms 410

Earth’s Climates: Past, Present, Future The Climate System 418

Components of the Climate System 418

Present-Day Climates 419

Natural Causes of Climate Change 420

External Influences on Climate 420

�� CASE STUDY: Wetter Times in Wadi Kufra 421

Internal Influences on Climate 423

�� AMAZING PLACES: Fossil Forests of the High Arctic 428

Feedbacks 429

The Record of Past Climate Change 431

Evidence of Climate Change 431

�� CASE STUDY: Using Isotopes to Measure Past Climates 436


Earth’s Past Climates 439

Predicting the Future 442

What We Know 442

What We Think We Know 445

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 447

The Big Uncertainties 447

A Brief History of Life on Earth Ever-Changing Earth 456

Early Life 459

Life in Three Not-So-Easy Steps 460

Archean and Proterozoic Life 462

Evolution and the Fossil Record 464

Evolution and Natural Selection 465

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Evolution 101 467

How Fossils Form 468

Life in the Phanerozoic Eon 470

The Paleozoic Era 472

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: A Sample of Cambrian Life 472

�� AMAZING PLACES: The Burgess Shale 473

From Sea to Land 474

The Mesozoic Era 478

The Cenozoic Era 478

Mass Extinctions 481

15 16Understanding Earth’s Resources

Renewable and Nonrenewable Resources 494

Natural Resources and Ancient History 494

�� AMAZING PLACES: Saugus Iron Works 496

Resources and Modern Society 496

Fossil Fuels 498

Peat and Coal 499

Petroleum 502

Nontraditional Sources of Oil: Tar Sands and Oil Shales 505

Nontraditional Sources of Gas: Coal Beds and Shale 506

Relying on Fossil Fuels 506

Renewable Energy Resources 507

Power from Sun, Wind, and Water 508

Nuclear and Geothermal Power 509

�� CASE STUDY: Thinking Critically About Nuclear Power 510

Mineral Resources 511

Finding and Assessing Mineral Resources 512

How Mineral Deposits Are Formed 515

�� WHAT A GEOLOGIST SEES: Mineral Deposits in Progress 517

Plate Tectonic Controls on Ore Deposits 518

Will We Run Out? 519

�� WHERE GEOLOGISTS CLICK: Natural Resources Canada 520

Appendix A: Units and Their Conversions 526

Appendix B: Periodic Table of the Elements 528

Appendix C: Tables of the Properties of Selected Common Minerals 529

Appendix D: Self-Test Answers 532

Glossary 533

Table and Line Art Credits 538

Photo Credits 540


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