The scope and scale of geologic history

Terminology[ change change source ] The largest defined unit of time is the supereon composed of Eons. Eons are divided into Eraswhich are in turn divided into PeriodsEpochs and Stages. At the same time paleontologists define a system of faunal stages, of varying lengths, based on the kinds of animal fossils found there.

The scope and scale of geologic history

The first people who needed to understand the geological relationships of different rock units were miners. By noting the relationships of different rock units, Nicolaus Steno in described two basic geologic principles.

The scope and scale of geologic history

The first stated that sedimentary rocks are laid down in a horizontal manner, and the second stated that younger rock units were deposited on top of older rock units.

To envision this latter principle think of the layers of paint on a wall. The oldest layer was put on first and is at the bottom, while the newest layer is at the top.

The EarthScope Speaker Series is part of the larger EarthScope Education and Outreach program and seeks to present the scientific results of EarthScope researchers to faculty and students in departmental seminars at colleges and monstermanfilm.comrs are selected based on their outstanding research accomplishments involving EarthScope as well as their abilities to engage a variety of audiences. Unit 4: Geologic History and Evolution of Life Unit Overview: Geologic History & Evolution of Life Unit Plan The Earth's geologic history tells a story about the inception of life and the rise and fall of species, showing life is fragile in the face of gradual and sudden changes to the environment. Home» Geologic Time. Geologic Time Scale A Time Line for the Geological Sciences. Dividing Earth History into Time Intervals. Detailed geologic time scale: The United States Geological Survey has published "Divisions of Geologic Time: Major Chronostratigraphic and Geochronologic Units." It is a much more detailed time scale .

An additional concept was introduced by James Hutton inand later emphasized by Charles Lyell in the early s. This was the idea that natural geologic processes were uniform in frequency and magnitude throughout time, an idea known as the "principle of uniformitarianism".

However, because rocks were locally described by the color, texture, or even smell, comparisons between rock sequences of different areas were often not possible. Fossils provided the opportunity for workers to correlate between geographically distinct areas.

For the next major contribution to the geologic time scale we turn to William Smitha surveyor, canal builder, and amateur geologist from England. In Smith produced a geologic map of England in which he successfully demonstrated the validity of the principle of faunal succession.

This principle simply stated that fossils are found in rocks in a very definite order. This principle led others that followed to use fossils to define increments within a relative time scale. What do the divisions of the geologic time scale signify?

The history of the earth is broken up into a hierarchical set of divisions for describing geologic time. As increasingly smaller units of time, the generally accepted divisions are eon, era, period, epoch, age. In the time scale shown at left, only the two highest levels of this hierarchy are represented.

The Phanerozoic Eon is shown along the top left side of this figure and represents the time during which the majority of macroscopic organisms, algal, fungal, plant and animallived.

When first proposed as a division of geologic time, the beginning of the Phanerozoic approximately million years ago was thought to coincide with the beginning of life. In reality, this eon coincides with the appearance of animals that evolved external skeletons, like shells, and the somewhat later animals that formed internal skeletons, such as the bony elements of vertebrates.

The time before the Phanerozoic is usually referred to as the Precambrian, and exactly what qualifies as an "eon" or "era" varies somewhat depending on whom you talk to. In any case, the Precambrian is usually divided into the three "eras" shown.

The Phanerozoic also consists of three major divisions The "zoic" part of the word comes from the root "zoo", which means animal.

This is the same root as in the words Zoology and Zoological Park or Zoo. These divisions reflect major changes in the composition of ancient faunas, each era being recognized by its domination by a particular group of animals.

This is an overly simplified view, which has some value for the newcomer but can be a bit misleading. For instance, other groups of animals lived during the Mesozoic.

In addition to the dinosaurs, animals such as mammals, turtles, crocodiles, frogs, and countless varieties of insects also lived on land. Additionally, there were many kinds of plants living in the past that no longer live today.

The scope and scale of geologic history

Ancient floras went through great changes too, and not always at the same times that the animal groups changed. As you explore exhibits in tthe Geology Wing, you can often find out more about how the about divisions of the time scale were defined and named by clicking on the "Stratigraphy" button.

For a good example, go to the Cenozoic Era stratigraphy page. Further reading on this topic:This site offers a virtual field trip to the classic Permian reef complex and other geologic features of the Guadalupe Mountains.

It contains an introduction plus several roadlogs with diagrams, photographs, and movies, as well as an extensive bibliography in order to provide a balanced presentation for a geology student audience.

Earth’s recorded history is divided into eon, era, period, epoch and age, with the age being the smallest unit of geologic time. with defining the . History and Chronology of Manufactured Gas. Manufactured gas was one of the great industrial enterprises of the 19th century.

Its active history spanned about years, extending past the half-way mark of the Twentieth century. Because the time span of Earth's past is so great, geologists use the geologic time scale to show Earth's History. The geologic time scale is a record of the life forms and geologic events in Earth's History.

To describe geologic evidence that many Earth processes occurring today (e.g., erosion, s. The Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth's geology and ecosystems, including, but not limited to, anthropogenic climate change..

As of August , neither the International Commission on Stratigraphy nor the International Union of Geological Sciences has yet officially approved the term as a recognized subdivision of geological. Geoheritage and geoconservation - History, definition, scope and scale.

the scope and scale of what constitutes Geology, such as its .

Anthropocene - Wikipedia