Offering comprehensive content for the historical geology course, HISTORICAL GEOLOGY provides students with an understanding of the principles of historical geology and how these principles are applied in unraveling Earth's history. Students will learn and understand the underlying causes of why things happened and the way they did, and how all of Earth's systems and subsystems are interrelated. Students will understand the relevancy of Earth's history as part of a dynamic and complex integrated system, not as a series of isolated and unrelated events
About the Author
Reed Wicander is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Central Michigan University, where he taught Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Prehistoric Life and Invertebrate Paleontology. Currently, he is an adjunct professor in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at The University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. Dr. Reed earned his B.S. degree in geology from San Diego State University and his Ph.D. from UCLA. His main research focuses on various aspects of Paleozoic palynology, specifically the study of acritarchs, a group of organic-walled microphytoplankton, on which he has published many papers. In addition, he has co-authored numerous geology textbooks with James S. Monroe. He is a past president of the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists - The Palynological Society and Commission Internationale de la Microflore du Paleozoïque as well as a former councillor of the International Federation of Palynological Societies.
James S. Monroe is Professor Emeritus of Geology at Central Michigan University, where he taught Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Prehistoric Life and Stratigraphy and Sedimentology beginning in 1975 and served as chair of the Geology Department. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Montana. The co-author of several textbooks with Reed Wicander, Dr. Monroe has interests in Cenozoic geology and geologic education. A resident of Chico, California, Dr. Monroe remains active in geology by teaching courses to a large group of retirees.
Table of Contents
1. THE DYNAMIC AND EVOLVING EARTH. Introduction. What Is Geology? Historical Geology and the Formulation of Theories. Origin of the Universe and Solar System, and Earth's Place in Them. Origin of the UniverseDid It Begin with a Big Bang? Our Solar SystemIts Origin and Evolution. EarthIts Place in Our Solar System. Perspective: Exoplanets. Why Is Earth a Dynamic and Evolving Planet? Plate Tectonic Theory. Organic Evolution and the History of Life. Geologic Time and Uniformitarianism. How Does the Study of Historical Geology Benefit Us? Summary. 2. MINERALS AND ROCKS. Introduction. Matter and Its Composition. Elements and Atoms. Bonding and Compounds. MineralsThe Building Blocks of Rocks. How Many Minerals Are There? Rock-Forming Minerals and the Rock Cycle. Igneous Rocks. Texture and Composition. Classifying Igneous Rocks. Sedimentary Rocks. Sediment Transport, Deposition, and Lithification. Classification of Sedimentary Rocks. Metamorphic Rocks. What Causes Metamorphism? Metamorphic Rock Classification. Plate Tectonics and the Rock Cycle. Summary. 3. PLATE TECTONICS: A UNIFYING THEORY. Introduction. Early Ideas About Continental Drift. Alfred Wegener and the Continental Drift Hypothesis . What Is the Evidence for Continental Drift? Continental Fit. Similarity of Rock Sequences and Mountain Ranges. Glacial Evidence. Fossil Evidence. Earth's Magnetic Field. Magnetic Reversals and Seafloor Spreading. Plate Tectonics: A Unifying Theory. The Three Types of Plate Boundaries. Divergent Boundaries. Perspective Plate Boundaries, Earthquakes, and Tsunami. An Example of Ancient Rifting. Convergent Boundaries . Recognizing Ancient Convergent Plate Boundaries. Transform Boundaries. Hot Spots and Mantle Plumes. How Are Plate Movement and Motion Determined? The Driving Mechanism of Plate Tectonics. Plate Tectonics and Mountain Building. Plate Tectonics and the Distribution of Life. Plate Tectonics and the Distribution of Natural Resources. Petroleum. Mineral Deposits. Summary. 4. GEOLOGIC TIME: CONCEPTS AND PRINCIPLES. Introduction. How Is Geologic Time Measured? Early Concepts of Geologic Time and Earth's Age. Perspective-The Anthropocene: A New Geologic Epoch? James Hutton and the Recognition of Geologic Time. Lord Kelvin and a Crisis in Geology. Modern View of Uniformitarianism. Relative Dating Methods. Fundamental Principles of Relative Dating. Numerical Dating Methods. Atoms, Elements, and Isotopes. Radioactive Decay and Half-Lives. Sources of Uncertainty. Long-Lived Radioactive Isotope Pairs. Other Radioactive Isotope Pairs. Fission-Track Dating. Radiocarbon and Tree-Ring Dating Methods. Geologic Time and Climate Change. Summary. 5. ROCKS, FOSSILS, AND TIME: MAKING SENSE OF THE GEOLOGIC RECORD. Introduction. Stratigraphy. Vertical Stratigraphic Relationships. Lateral RelationshipsFacies. Marine Transgressions and Regressions. Extent, Rates, and Causes of Marine Transgressions and Regressions. Fossils and Fossilization. How Do Fossils Form? Fossils and Telling Time. The Relative Geologic Time Scale. Stratigraphic Terminology. Stratigraphic Units Defined by Their Content. Stratigraphic Units Expressing or Related to Geologic Time. Correlation. Perspective: The Goblins of Goblin Valley State Park, Utah. Absolute Dates and the Relative Geologic Time Scale. Summary. 6. SEDIMENTARY ROCKS: THE ARCHIVES OF EARTH HISTORY. Introduction. Sedimentary Rock Properties. Composition and Texture. Sedimentary Structures. Geometry of Sedimentary Rocks. FossilsThe Biologic Content of Sedimentary Rocks. Depositional Environments. Continental Environments. Transitional Environments. Perspective: The Mississippi River DeltaPast and Present. Marine Environments. Interpreting Depositional Environments. Paleogeography. Summary. 7. EVOLUTION: THE THEORY AND ITS SUPPORTING EVIDENCE. Introduction. Evolution: What Does It Mean? Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck's Ideas About Evolution. Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace on Evolution. What Is the Significance of Natural Selection? Perspective: The Tragic Lysenko Affair. Mendel and the Birth of Genetics. Mendel's Experiments. Genes and Chromosomes. The Modern View of Evolution. What Brings About Variation? Speciation and the Rate of Evolution. Divergent, Convergent, and Parallel Evolution. Mosaic Evolution and Evolutionary Trends. Cladistics and Cladograms. Extinctions. What Kinds of Evidence Support Evolutionary Theory? ClassificationA Nested Pattern of Similarities. Biologic Evidence That Supports Evolution. Biogeography. Fossils: What Do We Learn From Them? Missing LinksAre They Really Missing? The EvidenceA Summary. Summary. 8. PRECAMBRIAN EARTH AND LIFE HISTORY: THE HADEAN AND THE ARCHEAN EON. Introduction. What Happened During the Hadean? Perspective: The Faint Young Sun ParadoxAn Unresolved Controversy. Archean Earth History. Shields, Platforms, and Cratons. Archean Rocks. Greenstone Belts. Evolution of Greenstone Belts. Archean Plate Tectonics and the Origin of Cratons. The Atmosphere and Hydrosphere. How Did the Atmosphere Form and Evolve? The HydrosphereEarth's Surface Waters. LifeIts Origin and Early History. The Origin of Life. Submarine Hydrothermal Vents and the Origin of Life. Earth's Oldest Known Organisms. Archean Mineral Resources. Summary. 9. PRECAMBRIAN EARTH AND LIFE HISTORY: THE PROTEROZOIC EON. Introduction. Proterozoic History of Laurentia. Laurentia During the Paleoproterozoic. Mesoproterozoic Accretion and Igneous Activity. Mesoproterozoic Orogeny and Rifting. Perspective: Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado. Meso- and Neoproterozoic Sedimentation. Proterozoic Supercontinents. Ancient Glaciers and Their Deposits. Paleoproterozoic Glaciers. Glaciers of the Neoproterozoic. The Evolving Atmosphere. Banded Iron Formations (BIFs). Continental Red Beds. Proterozoic Life. Eukaryotic Cells Evolve. Endosymbiosis and the Origin of Eukaryotic Cells. The Dawn of Multicelled Organisms. Neoproterozoic Animals. Proterozoic Mineral Resources. Summary. 10. EARLY PALEOZOIC EARTH HISTORY. Introduction. Continental Architecture: Cratons and Mobile Belts. Paleozoic Paleogeography. Early Paleozoic Global History . Early Paleozoic Evolution of North America. The Sauk Sequence. The Cambrian of the Grand Canyon Region: A Transgressive Facies Model. Perspective: The Grand CanyonA Geologist's Paradise. The Tippecanoe Sequence. Tippecanoe Reefs and Evaporites. The End of the Tippecanoe Sequence. The Appalachian Mobile Belt and the Taconic Orogeny. Early Paleozoic Mineral Resources. Summary. 11. LATE PALEOZOIC EARTH HISTORY. Introduction. Late Paleozoic Paleogeography. The Devonian Period . The Carboniferous Period. The Permian Period. Late Paleozoic Evolution of North America. The Kaskaskia Sequence. Reef Development in Western Canada. Black Shales. Perspective-Hydraulic Fracturing: Pros and Cons. The Late KaskaskiaA Return to Extensive Carbonate Deposition. The Absaroka Sequence. What Are Cyclothems and Why Are They Important? Cratonic UpliftThe Ancestral Rockies. The Middle AbsarokaMore Evaporite Deposits and Reefs. History of the Late Paleozoic Mobile Belts. Cordilleran Mobile Belt. Ouachita Mobile Belt. Appalachian Mobile Belt. What Role Did Microplates and Terranes Play in the Formation of Pangaea? Late Paleozoic Mineral Resources. Summary. 12. PALEOZOIC LIFE HISTORY: INVERTEBRATES. Introduction. What Was the Cambrian Explosion? The Emergence of a Shelly Fauna. The Present-Day Marine Ecosystem. Paleozoic Invertebrate Marine Life. Cambrian Marine Community. The Burgess Shale Biota. Perspective: TrilobitesPaleozoic Arthropods. Ordovician Marine Community. Silurian and Devonian Marine Communities. Carboniferous and Permian Marine Communities. Mass Extinctions. The Permian Mass Extinction. Summary. 13. PALEOZOIC LIFE HISTORY: VERTEBRATES AND PLANTS. Introduction. Vertebrate Evolution. Fish. AmphibiansVertebrates Invade the Land. Evolution of the ReptilesThe Land Is Conquered. Plant Evolution. Silurian and Devonian Floras. Late Carboniferous and Permian Floras. Perspective: Using Palynology to Address Geologic and Environmental Issues. Summary. 14. MESOZOIC EARTH HISTORY. Introduction. The Breakup of Pangaea. The Effects of the Breakup of Pangaea on Global Climates and Ocean. Circulation Patterns. Mesozoic History of North America. Continental Interior. Eastern Coastal Region. Gulf Coastal Region. Western Region. Mesozoic Tectonics. Mesozoic Sedimentation. Perspective: Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. What Role Did Accretion of Terranes Play in the Growth of Western North America? Mesozoic Mineral Resources. Summary. 15. LIFE OF THE MESOZOIC ERA. Introduction. Marine Invertebrates and Phytoplankton. Aquatic and Semiaquatic Vertebrates. Fishes. Amphibians. PlantsPrimary Producers on Land. The Diversification of Reptiles. Archosaurs and the Origin of Dinosaurs. Dinosaurs. Warm-Blooded Dinosaurs? Flying Reptiles. Mesozoic Marine Reptiles. Crocodiles, Turtles, Lizards, and Snakes. Perspective: Mary Anning and Her Contributions to Paleontology . From Reptiles to Birds. Origin and Evolution of Mammals. Cynodonts and the Origin of Mammals. Mesozoic Mammals. Mesozoic Climates and Paleobiogeography. Mass ExtinctionsA Crisis in Life History. Summary. 16. CENOZOIC EARTH HISTORY: THE PALEOGENE AND NEOGENE PERIODS. Introduction. Cenozoic Plate TectonicsAn Overview. Cenozoic Orogenic Belts. Alpine-Himalayan Orogenic Belt. Circum-Pacific Orogenic Belt. North American Cordillera. Laramide Orogeny. Cordilleran Igneous Activity. Basin and Range Province. Colorado Plateau. Rio Grande Rift. Pacific Coast. The Continental Interior. Cenozoic History of the Appalachian Mountains. Perspective: Geology Along the Oregon Trail in Nebraska. North America's Southern and Eastern Continental Margins. Gulf Coastal Plain. Atlantic Continental Margin. Paleogene and Neogene Mineral Resources. Summary. 17. CENOZOIC EARTH HISTORY: THE QUATERNARY PERIOD. Introduction. Pleistocene and Holocene Tectonism and Volcanism. Tectonism. Volcanism. Pleistocene Stratigraphy. Terrestrial Stratigraphy. Deep-Sea Stratigraphy. Onset of the Ice Age. Climates of the Pleistocene and Holocene. GlaciersHow Do They Form? Perspective: The Little Ice Age. Glaciation and Its Effects. Glacial Landforms. Changes in Sea Level. Glaciers and Isostasy. Pluvial and Proglacial Lakes. What Caused Pleistocene Glaciation? The Milankovitch Theory. Short-Term Climatic Events. Glaciers Today. Quaternary Mineral Resources. Summary. 18. LIFE OF THE CENOZOIC ERA. Introduction. Marine Invertebrates and Phytoplankton. Cenozoic Vegetation and Climate. Cenozoic Birds. The Age of Mammals Begins. Monotremes and Marsupial Mammals. Diversification of Placental Mammals. Paleogene and Neogene Mammals. Small MammalsInsectivores, Rodents, Rabbits, and Bats. A Brief History of the Primates. The Meat EatersCarnivorous Mammals. The Ungulates or Hoofed Mammals. Giant Land-Dwelling MammalsElephants. Giant Aquatic MammalsWhales. Pleistocene Faunas. Ice Age Mammals. Perspective: State Fossils. Pleistocene Extinctions. Intercontinental Migrations. Summary. 19. PRIMATE AND HUMAN EVOLUTION. Introduction. What Are Primates? Prosimians. Anthropoids. Hominids and Hominins. Australopithecines. The Human Lineage. Perspective: Discovery of a 1.8 Million-Year-Old Skull at Dmanisi, Georgia, Sheds New Light on Early Homo Evolution. Summary. EPILOGUE. Introduction. Acid Rain. Global Warming. A Final Word. Appendix A. English-Metric Conversion Chart. Appendix B. Classification of Organisms. Appendix C. Mineral Identification. Appendix D. A Refresher on Structural Geology. Glossary. Answers to Multiple-Choice Review Questions. Index.