Planet Earth | geology44 |

Stephen Marshak



Start: TBA

Workload: 8-10 hours/week
Physical & Earth Sciences


Planet Earth, an overview of geology, discusses how earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, floods, ice ages, evolution, climate, and plate tectonics have interacted over deep time to produce a our dynamic island in space, and its unique landscapes.


Earthquakes, volcanoes, mountain building, ice ages, landslides, floods, life evolution, plate motions—all of these phenomena have interacted over the vast expanses of deep time to sculpt the dynamic planet that we live on today. Planet Earth presents an overview of our home, from a geological perspective. We learn how the elements comprising the Earth formed in the guts of stars and supernovae, how Earth and its Solar System neighbors formed from a vast cloud of gas and dust over 4.5 billion years ago. And how the atmosphere, oceans, and rocks of our planet form and change. We will emphasize how plate tectonics—the grand unifying theory of geology—explains how the map of our planet's surface has changed radically over geologic time, and why as present-day geologic activity—including a variety of devastating natural disasters—occur where they do. We will also discuss the fascinating interactions and exchanges that take place among land, sea, air, and life, and how these interactions they result in the great variety of landscapes—from deserts to glaciers—that make our planet unique, and influence climate change in the past and, potentially the future. Finally, we will delve into the processes that produce the energy and mineral resources that modern society depends on, to help understand the context of the environment and sustainability challenges that we will face in the future.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald