Alessandro Grippo's geology pages

GEOL 5 - Historical Geology (with Lab)

Exam # 2 Study Guide - Spring 2008

date: Tuesday, April 29, 2008, at 6.45 in DH 128

Professor: Dr. Alessandro Grippo, Ph.D.
General Information - read this!Last Updated  •  March 31, 2008
NOTE: Cell-phones, electronic devices of ANY sort, dictionaries, translators, notes, books CAN NOT be used during the test.

You will ONLY need to bring:

  1. one Scantron Form 882-E
  2. a number 2 pencil
  3. an eraser
If you make a correction on your Scan-Tron, be sure that you erase completely your previous answer.
Reading errors from the Scan-Tron machine that result from a badly erased answer can not be fixed.

This study guide must be interpreted (literally) as a guide to the study of the subject and not as a listing of possible questions. It is YOUR responsability to cover the materials listed here on the lecture textbook, the lab textbook, the web pages and your notes, including those you have taken during the projection of movies, if any.

For each textbook chapter that is going to be on the test, I listed all the paragraphs you need to study. I also added a list of essential concepts you need to be able to handle. This list is intended to help you outline the main points BUT it does not imply the rest is not important. It rather signifies that once you know these essential points you will be able to get to others much more easily. To be clear, there will be questions out of every paragraph that has been indicated, not only from the list of essential concepts.

I would strongly recommend that you peruse your notes for completeness of information: some concepts have been expressed with much more detail in class than are explained on the book, and you are responsible for that; know what the key terms and concepts are (see the list at the end of each chapter on both your textbook and your lab manual); exercise with the questions for review also found at the end of each chapter.
Read the summary at the end of each chapter, try to answer review questions, try to work with others if you find it useful.
Never hesitate to ask me questions in class or during the lab


part 1 - lectureLast Updated  •  March 31, 2008
Chapter 6 - Correlation and Dating of the Rock Record
This chapter is fundamental for the study of sedimentary geology. Expect questions on every paragraph.
Integrate the study from the textbooks with the web pages on Sedimentology and Stratigraphy and Stratigraphy.
Know the names of Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs. You do not need to know the names of Ages.
Know the numerical ages listed on the Geologic Time Scale I posted (yes, the ones on the right).

  1. Know the Geologic Time Scale
  2. Know Stratigraphic Units
  3. Know Earth's Absolute Age
  4. Know Event Stratigraphy

Chapter 7 - Evolution and the Fossil Record
This chapter gives you the foundations for the understaning of Evolution, and you should know the whole chapter, but with the following distinctions:

  1. Know the Introduction
  2. Know Adaptations
  3. Know Charles Darwin's Contribution (there will be questions on Charles Darwin)
  4. Read, in order to better understand the ideas behind the chapter, the section "Genes, DNA and Chromosomes" (there will be no direct questions on this short paragraph)
  5. Read, in order to better understand this chapter, the section "Populations, Species and Speciations". Know what a speciation is.
  6. Read, in order to better understand this chapter, the section "Rates of Origination". Know what evolutionary radiations and adaptive breakthroughs are.
  7. Know the Molecular Clock and Evolutionary Convergence
  8. Know Extinction and Evolutionary Trends

Chapter 8 - The Theory of Plate Tectonics
Know the whole chapter; expect many questions to come out of this chapter (whose materials have already been discussed at least three times between lecture and lab)

  1. Know the History of Alfred Wegener's continental drift theory
  2. Know about the rise of Plate Tectonics
  3. Know about paleomagnetism
  4. Know faults and folds (folds are mentioned in Chapter 9 on the textbook but you should have in-depth notes on both faults and folds, including materials on their classification, on strike and dip, on the hanging wall and the foot wall, etc.)
  5. Know about faulting and volcanism (seismic and volcanic activity) along Plate Boundaries
  6. Know about Plate Movements, including measuring the movement, hot spots, thermal plumes, etc.

Chapter 9 - Continental Tectonics and Mountain Chains
Know the whole chapter; expect many questions to come out of this chapter too (it has also been discussed, as the previous one, at least three times between lecture and lab)

  1. Know about the Rifting of Continents
  2. Know about Mountain Building, including examples
  3. Know about Suturing of Small Landmasses to Continents (exotic terranes)
  4. Know about the Tectonics of Continental Interiors

Chapter 10 - Major Chemical Cycles
Know the whole chapter

  1. Know the Introduction, what the greenhouse effect is, what greenhouse gases are
  2. Know about Chemical Reservoirs
  3. Know about Carbon Dioxide, Oxygen and Biological Processes
  4. Know how Carbon isotopes are used
  5. Know the Phanerozoic Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (of course you are supposed to know what the Phanerozoic is from the lab lecture - see below for lab study guide)
  6. Know the Feedbacks in the Carbon Cycle
  7. Know Oxygen isotopes, Climate and the Water Cycle
  8. Know ocean Chemistry and Skeletal Mineralogy
  9. Know about Chalk, Ca/Mg ions in the oceans, calcite and aragonite seas

Study Guide: part 2 - LABLast Updated  •  March 31, 2008

Chapter 6 - Sea-Floor Spreading and Plate Tectonics
(this chapter needs to be integrated with materials and notes from the lecture)
This chapter goes along with chapters 8 and 9 on the lecture textbook; be sure you know the basic math on how to relate distance of the oceanic crust from the ridge, its age, and the rate of spreading of the plate in exam

  1. Know the whole chapter
  2. Know names and location of the main plates
  3. Know what paleomagnetism is
  4. Be able to solve any problem in this chapter

Chapter 7 - Age Relations and Unconformity
This and the next two chapters are fundamental in the study of Historical Geology. Be sure to know everything we covered on these chapters. These materials have already been covered during lecture for the first exam, so you might want to review your old notes

  1. Know the whole chapter
  2. Know the difference, again, between absolute and relative time
  3. Know all of Steno's principles, plus cross-cutting and inclusions
  4. Know what unconformities are, what they mean, and all the kinds we encountered

Chapter 8 - Rock Units and Time-Rock Units

  1. Know the difference between rock units (Formations, etc.), time-rock units (Systems, etc.) and time units (Periods, etc.)
  2. Know what a fossil is and what indicates (age, environment, etc.) and its utility for correlation
  3. Know what the Standard Geologic Column is
  4. Know all the Eons/Eonothems; Eras/Erathems; Periods/Systems: names, rank (for instance, the Cretaceous is part of the Mesozoic, which is part of the Phanerozoic) and relateive age order
  5. Know the numerical ages (number) of Eons and Eras boundaries (use values indicated above in part 1, Chapter 6, with the link to published Geologic Time Scale)
  6. Know what a geological section and a type section are
  7. Know the difference between relative and absolute age
  8. Know the basics of absolute age determination: I will NOT ask you to determine an age, but rather how to do that
  9. Know the main couples of parent/daughter isotopes and their utility (for instance, can they be used on rocks or not? which rocks? why? why is Carbon 14 different from the others?)
  10. Be prepared to solve a puzzle like that of Fig. 8.5, that you have already practiced in class
  11. I will NOT ask you specific questions on the Colorado Plateau or Capitol reef National Monument, except fo generic questions on unconformities (see previous chapter) or which rock types form more resistant cliffs (question 6, page 83)

Chapter 9 - Ancient Shorelines

  1. Know what paleogegraphy is, and how it is possible to reconstruct is with the aid of isopach maps; what isopach lines are; how an isopach map is different from a facies map
  2. Know what a facies is
  3. Be sure to understand how a map such as that of fig. 9.1 page 85 works and to know the answer to, among others, question 2 on the same page
  4. Know what transgression and regression are
  5. Know what Walther's Law says
  6. Know what formations and groups are (rock units, or lithostratigraphic units; see also lab manual chapter 8 and your textbook)


Copyright © 1994-2008, Alessandro Grippo, All Rights Reserved.
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