Happy the man whose lot it is to know
The secrets of the earth. He hastens not
To work his fellows' hurt by unjust deeds
But with rapt admiration contemplate
Immortal Nature's ageless harmony,
and how and when her order came to be
Such spirits have no place for thoughts of shame.

- Euripides (484-406 B.C.)

Syllabus: Gey 112 (Physical Geology), Summer, 2010:
Lecture & Lab 1:00-4:45 MW, Folsom 103 "Rock lab"


Essentials of Geology, by Lutgens and Tarbuck (10th edition, 9th also fine)

Lab Text: Lab Manual for Physical Geology, by K. McCartney

Instructor: Kevin McCartney (office: 302 Folsom: TTh 1:30-3:00, many other times)

office phone 768-9482; home phone 492-4766

No make-up exams unless a valid excuse is given before the missed test.
(lecture; 420 pnts, 3/4 of total credit) (lab; 140 pnts, 1/4 of total credit) grades
Test 1 125 pnts Mineral Quiz 20 pnts A = 90% (504 pnts)
Test 2 125 pnts Lab Midterm 50 pnts B = 80% (448 pnts)
Map Quiz 20 pnts C = 70% (392 pnts)
Final (cumulative) 170 pnts Map Final 50 pnts D = 60% (336 pnts)
Total Lecture 420 pnts Total Lab 140 pnts F 59.9% (335 pnts)

A steady improvement in test scores may be used in revising grade upwards. Otherwise, grades will not be curved. Attendance can be taken into account in the case of borderline grades.

If you have a disability and need an accomodation or assistance in this course, please make an appointment to talk with me. If you prefer, you may contact Myrna McGaffin in Student Support Services, South Hall.

These are examples of questions asked in previous versions of this course (beginning with point value). Note that questions can be phrased in a variety of ways, and that a detailed answer is often required in order to obtain full credit. A complete answer would need to include most or all of the underlined terms and concepts.

5) How has science determined that the universe is EXPANDING?

8) News Flash! VOLCANO ERUPTS IN IOWA. Little information is yet available, but you as a geology student should be able to describe the volcano, including its shape, size, characteristics and specific rock associated with it.

2) What is the most common element in the universe?

5) Discuss the composition, structure and occurrence of diamond:


1st question - DOPPLER EFFECT: We can tell from analysis of the spectrum of light that we get from distant objects whether those objects are moving towards us or away from us. We find by examining the light of other galaxies that there is a shift towards the red end of the spectrum, showing that they are moving away from us.

2nd question - Since Iowa is in the middle of a continent, the volcano will be pyroclastic, with a silica-rich magma. The composition of the magma will result in a small volcano with steep sides and light-colored rocks (primarily rhyolite). The volcano will be highly explosive, and tourists should be kept away.

3rd question - Hydrogen

4th question - Diamond is pure carbon (formula C) with the atoms arranged with a tetrahedral pattern so that all bonds are of equal strength (thus giving diamond its exceptional hardness). It is found in kimberlites, which are volcanic structures that bring material from great depths.

Below is a tentative schedule of Physical Geology lectures and labs (L)
(Summer, 2010)

Click lecture for day´s quote
Assignments should be read before class.
# lab # date lecture/lab title reading:
10th ed. 9th ed.
1 M, 5/24 Introduction, What is Geology? 1:1-11 1:1-13
2 A short history of the universe and solar system 1:19-23 1:16-18
3 Early History and Development of the Earth ditto 19:442-444
4 W, 5/27 Minerals 2:36-45 2:33-40
L1 Rock-forming mineral identification L1-15
5 F, 5/29 Igneous Rocks and Volcanism 3:60-70
6 Intrusive Rocks, ores, hotsprings 4:96-102
L2 Ore-forming mineral identification L1-15
M, 5/31 Memorial Day (no class)
7 W, 6/2 Weathering and production of soils 5:114-133 5:116-129
8 Sedimentary Rocks; the deposition of strata 6:138-151 6:138-150
Time to review minerals
9 F, 6/4 Metamorphic Rocks; building materials 7:164-177 7: 164-177
L3 Minerals Quiz; Igneous & Metamorphic Rocks L17-19, L21-22
10 M, 6/7 Downslope Movement 8:182-196 8:185-198
11 Test I (on material to and including 6/4
Review rocks/minerals after test
12 W, 6/9 Stream Dynamics and floods 9:198-219 9:202-220
13 Streams from mountain to beach 9:198-219 9:202-220
L4 Sedimentary Rocks; review of rocks and minerals L23-25
14 F, 6/11 Groundwater 10:224-241 10:224-233
15 What is (and what is not) science? 1:9-11 1:6-7
Review rocks/minerals.
16 M, 6/14 Glaciers I (Glacial Erosion) 11:246-156 11:244-257
17 Glaciers II (Glacial Deposition) 11:257-267 11:257-263
L5 Lab Midterm, Minerals and Rocks L27-35
18 W, 6/16 Winds, deserts; mountains, unanswered questions 12:276-284
19 History of Geology and the interpretation of strata 1:4-6
20 Structural Geology (What does a geologist do?) 17:396-403 17:392-402
L6 F, 6/18 Introduction to maps L27-35
21 M, 6/21 Test II (on material to and including 6/16)
22 Earthquakes 14:all 14:all
23 W, 6/23 A scientific revolution 16:331-343 15:336-342
24 Plate tectonics; forces upon the earth 15:344-359 15:342-360
L7 F, 6/25 quiz on maps; topography L37-41
25 M, 6/28 Evolution
26 Human History
27 W, 6/30 Geology of Oil and Gas 6:156-158 6:156-158
28 The Future
L8 Lab Final, on maps and mapping
29 F, 7/2 FINAL EXAM (On material through 6/30)

Final Exam: .

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