Welcome

Banner showing some stromatolites in cross-sectional view, and the title of the text: HISTORICAL GEOLOGY, a free online text"book"

Welcome to the OpenGeology.org Historical Geology textbook, a work in progress!

In fall 2020, this free, online textbook is being actively constructed by Callan Bentley, Karen Layou, Russ Kohrs, Shelley Jaye, Matt Affolter, and Brian Ricketts.

Chapters:

What is Historical Geology?

A Brief History of Earth

Earth as a System

Earth Materials – The Rock Forming Minerals

Earth Materials – Rocks

Geologic time

Evolution Part I: The Theory

          Taphonomy: The Science of Death and Decay

Plate Tectonics as applied to Historical Geology

Innovations of Life Through Time: Life Finds a Way

Stratigraphy – The Pages of Earth’s Past

          Paleoclimatology

Case studies:

Nebular theory and the formation of the solar system

Earth’s oldest rocks

Snowball Earth glaciations

The Taconian Orogeny

The Acadian Orogeny

The Alleghanian Orogeny

California’s Coast Ranges: a Mesozoic accretionary wedge complex

The mixed-up quartzites of Cape Agulhas

Palimpsest outcrops

Big Bang

Crust formation & evolution & differentiation

Moon forming impact

Ocean formation & evolution

Atmosphere formation & evolution, oxygenation

Origin of life

Photosynthesis: Carbon cycle, oxygen

Endosymbiosis

Diversity in the marine fossil record

Reptile radiation

The end-Permian extinction

          Dinosaur classification

The end-Cretaceous extinction

Mass extinctions (brief summaries of all the others, themes, implications for evol. tragectories)

Epicontinental seas – Pz, Mz, Cz

Carboniferous coal & natural gas – cyclothems

PETM

San Andreas Fault & Basin and Range

Pleistocene

Evolution of humans- intelligence

Quaternary Quandaries: Defining the Geologic “Now” and Explorations of the Anthropocene.

Sauk/early Paleozoic transgression

Tippecanoe Sequence: A Sequence Stratigraphic View

Flood basalts

Channeled Scablands

Tools of the trade:

Earth Materials – Mineral Identification

Evolution Part II: Paleontological applications

Sequence stratigraphy

Geologic Structures

Geologic maps

Way-up structures

Virtual field experiences (VFEs):

Fossil correlation

Glaciers, glaciated landscapes, and glacial sediments

Glacier National Park, Montana

          The Geodetic Hills Fossil Forests: Unraveling a Paleoclimate Puzzle

Massanutten Synclinorium, Virginia

The Moho (crust/mantle boundary)

A Plate Boundary Odyssey

Siccar Point, Scotland

Wind River Canyon, Wyoming

Stromatolite diversity in the Belcher Islands

Virtual sample sets (VSSs):

Minerals

Igneous rocks

Sedimentary rocks

Metamorphic rocks

3D rock samples, set 1

Primary sedimentary structures

Sediment samples

Relative dating

Tectonic structures

Fossils

Funding for this project was provided by VIVA, the Virginia Library Consortium and the Northern Virginia Community College Presidential Sabbatical Award.

Please inform us of any feedback or technical issues: cbentley@pvcc.edu

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