Class Schedule


Fall, 2007

Instructor: Art Chadwick


PHYSICAL GEOLOGY is the study of materials and processes that comprise the solid and liquid parts of the earth. These materials include rocks, minerals, and fluids on any scale, from microscopic through the planet as a whole. We will learn to identify rocks and minerals, to recognize their composition, how they formed, and how they weather. We will consider various landform and landscape features such as waterfalls, mesas, buttes, etc. We will consider the kinds of forms we find in rocks, including various sedimentary and tectonic structures. We will also consider the discovery and uses of geological resources, including fossil fuels, building stone, ores, non-metallic mineral resources, soils, water, geothermal energy, etc. We will extend our understanding of geologic processes to encompass earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mountain building, flooding, landslides, erosion, land subsidence, stream processes, shoreline processes, glaciation, wave action, tidal effects, wind action, dune and cave formation. And finally we will take a look at the geology of the planets, a subject for which the database is rapidly expanding.

Geology vitally impacts the lives of virtually every inhabitant of the earth. We will seek understanding of the roles that geological materials and processes will continue to play in our future. Because geology is a deductive science (rather than inductive) it does not generally lend itself to experimental investigation. Thus our laboratory exercises will focus on developing observational, investigative and interpretive skills. Since geology is best understood in the outcrop, field observation will be an essential part of this class.

Class time: on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00 to 10:30. The lab will be Monday at 4:00. Field trips will be as scheduled.

Required Text: Physical Geology by R. D. Dallmeyer, Kendall/Hunt Publishing.



Day         LECTURE                                                 Laboratory                                                      Reading


Sep. 4 -  Introduction to Physical Geology                                                                                                   

Sep. 6 – Our Planet                                                    

Sep. 11 - Tectonics                                                Introduction to Minerals    

Sep. 13 - Tectonics                                                     

Sep. 18 – Mineralogy                                            Mineral Identification                  

Sep. 20 – Igneous Rocks I                                     Study of Rocks

Sep. 25 – Igneous Rocks II                                    Igneous Rocks

Sep. 27 – Volcanoes                                              Volcanoes

Oct. 2 – Weathering                                               Weathering

Oct..4 – Exam I  

Oct. 9 – Sedimentary Rocks I                                 Sedimentary Rocks

Oct. 11 – Sedimentary Rocks II 

Oct. 16 – Metamorphic Rocks                                Igneous Rocks

Oct. 18 -  Geologic time                                          Geologic Time

Oct. 23 –Rock Deformation                                     Topographic maps

Oct. 25 – Rock Deformation                                    Stream Patterns

Oct. 30 – Earthquakes                                               Erosion and Deposition                    

Nov. 1 - Exam II                                                        Evolution of landscapes - humid         

Nov. 6 – Mass Movement                                          Evolution of landscapes - arid

Nov. 8 – Rivers and Streams                                      Ground Water

Nov. 13 –Groundwater Systems                                 Eolian Landforms

Nov. 15 – Glaciers and glaciation                               Glacial Landforms                        

Nov. 20 – Deserts and Eolian Landforms                   Shoreline Processes      

Nov. 22 - Exam III                                                      Structural Geology

Nov. 27 – Geologic Hazards                                       Interpretation of Structure

Nov. 29 – Thanksgiving Break                                   Interpretation of Structure 

 Dec. 4 - Environmental Geology                                Geologic Hazards

Dec. 6 – Forensic Geology                                          Environmental Geology

Dec. 7 - Subsurface Geology and Fossil Fuels            Plate Tectonics   

Dec. 9 – Summary and Review                        

Final Exam as Scheduled

































Internet sites for further exploration:

Duke University

University of British Columbia

University of Houston

Black Hawk College

Texas A&M

Winona State University


a) Exams: Three unit exams and a comprehensive final will be given. These exams cover the factual material presented in class and assigned readings over that unit. Conceptual material is by its nature cumulative and some questions of this sort will require integration of conceptual material covered in previous units. Three unit tests (15% each) and a final (20%) will be given. Exams will cover the material in lecture and in lab.

Exams - 65%

b) Field trips: Two required field trips will be scheduled on Sundays. These trips must be accomplished by all students taking this course. Failure to complete either of the required field components will lower your grade by one letter.

c) Labs: The laboratory component will include exercises that will be graded separately. These exercises will comprise 25% of your grade. Failure to complete lab exercises on time will result in a deduction of 10% per day.

Labs - 25%

d) Quizzes: Each class period will include a quiz over the assigned reading material. There will not be a quiz on the first day of class, nor on days when exams are being given. All other days, expect quizzes over the material assigned opposite that day. For example, on  Sep. 31, the quiz will cover the material on pages 129 - 142, etc.

Quizzes - 10%

e) Letter Grades:          A=90% and above       B=80% and above       C=70% and above       D=55% and above             F=below 55%

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