Geology is often thought of as simply the study of rocks. In reality, geology is the study of our planet on all scales, from microscopic to planet-wide, and ranging in time from almost instantaneous events, like earthquakes, to the glacially slow motion of the tectonic plates. Everything we know about our world from a geologic perspective is based on information locked into the rock record and the job of a geologist is to tease out that story through a wide variety of observations. This insightful course explores a range of topics that help to tell the story of Earth and to explain the discipline of Geology and the role of the geologist.
Individual lectures explore subjects such as minerals, the three different rock types and how they relate through the rock cycle, as well as how the interior of the earth is divided and the processes that occur there. Further lectures explore geologic time and how we sort out the history of any given sequence of rocks, how rocks deform and how plate tectonics works, and many processes related to surface water and groundwater. Geology has grown to become a very broad field with numerous areas of specialization, but this course provides a substantial overview of some of the most important features and processes that affect us as we interact with our planet and as it interacts with us.