A general introduction to the study of the dynamic Earth and its geology, including Earth structure and plate tectonics, volcanic activity, crystal processes and the nature of minerals and rocks. The development and diversity of life on Earth, the forces controlling Earth history and the geological structure and development of Estonia.
Brief description of the course
This course is designed to give a broad understanding of basic geological principles and to introduce processes in Earth and life history that occur on the scale of millions of years.
The course aims to give a broad general knowledge of the origin, history, composition, and structure of the Earth. Selected topics include structure and composition of the Earth, the lithosphere, the mantle and the core. An overview of the origin and nature of magmas,their intrusive and extrusive phenomena.The origin of continents, ocean basins and large scale structures is presented by applying the concepts of plate tectonics.
This course will familiarize students with the nature of tectonic forces in the Earth’s crust and their effects on most geological processes. Topics are explored within the general context of plate tectonic theory and include: earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, oceans, and landforms.
The course will cover the development and structure of the geologic time scale, which represents the scaffolding for understanding events in Earth's history and the principles of stratigraphy and significance of fossils. The course offers students the opportunity to better understand and appreciate the evolution and internal functions of the Earth through geological time. This course provides an overview of the tools by which Earth scientists interpret physical and life history,
the depth of geologic time. An additional goal is to provide an overview of the geology and stratigraphic development of the Estonia
An introduction to mineral sciences, which includes appearance, structure, physical properties and occurrence of minerals.
Chemical composition and cycling of elements in the Earth. An overview of minerals and rocks is followed by discussion of internal processes
The Earth's surface is continuously changing as tectonic, climatic, geomorphic, hydrologic and biological processes constantly operate. This course will examine the nature of these processes.
Learning outcomes in the course
Upon completing the course the student:
- has basic knowledge and understanding of the content of modern geology;
- is able to explain the nature of tectonic forces in the Earth’s crust and their effects on most geological processes;
- understands and is able to explain geologic time and fossil record;
- understands and is able to explain the basic physical and chemical attributes of Earth’s minerals and rocks;
- has basic knowledge of the geological structure and development of Estonia.