GEOL 106 - Historical Geology
GEOL 106 examines Earth’s history from initial formation through to the present-day using evidence found in the geologic record; as well as the corollary development of geological thought and understanding in both Western and indigenous worldviews. The course covers three main themes in Earth history: 1) the concept of deep time; 2) the evolution of plate tectonics; and 3) the biological evolution of Earth using evidence from the fossil record. The growth of the continents, the opening and closing of ocean basins, episodes of large-scale erosion and deposition on the continents, and orogenic (mountain-building) episodes are fundamental geologic topics covered in this course. Students will develop competencies in measuring geologic time using the application of stratigraphic principles, paleontology and radioactive decay.
Life on Earth during the major geological time periods is discussed with a focus on significant evolutionary developments and mass extinctions. Plate tectonics, climate, and relative sea-level are examined as determinants of evolutionary change with particular reference to North America and Western Canada.
This course is designed to provide, in tandem with GEOL 105 (Physical Geology), the first-year geology courses required to enter the second year of a B.Sc. geology program at most institutions.