Tectonics and Sedimentation (April 23 & 25)

“Tectonics and Sedimentation” is a broad topic with few direct web references; we’ll start with a review on Tuesday. You may want to revisit Plate Tectonic theory with this primer on plate tectonics. An excellent (and very useful) website is that of Ron Blakey at Northern Arizona University. It contains superb maps for each period and excellent discussions of issues in tectonic sedimentology. Here is an excellent website from James Madison University on the Wilson Cycle (love that name). This will be useful when we discuss sediments produced under particular tectonic conditions. James Madison University also has a good summary site on sedimentary rocks.

We will also cover general stratigraphy, which will be in part a review. There is no better resource for sequence stratigraphy than the excellent on-line guide written by my colleague Steve Holland at the University of Georgia Stratigraphy Laboratory. The extensive sequence stratigraphy webpages at the University of South Carolina are also very good for our work next week. They include animations and exercises. Who needs professors these days?

Swan Peak Quartzite (Ordovician) exposed near Tony Grove Lake, Cache County, Utah. (Click to enlarge.)

Geology in the News –

Geological time scale showdown! This month it may be “officially” decided whether we’re now in a new geological time interval: the Anthropocene. The levels of controversy are delicious, from when the Anthropocene would start to whether we need a new term at all. Right now there is progress towards making 1950 the boundary year.

Was a fireball meteor which struck Earth in 2014 actually from outside our Solar System? This was not even thought a possibility a few years ago.

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