NOVA COLLEGE-WIDE COURSE CONTENT SUMMARY
GOL 105 - PHYSICAL GEOLOGY (4 CR.)

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Introduces the composition and structure of the earth and modifying agents and processes. Investigates the formation of minerals and rocks, weathering, erosion, earthquakes, and crustal deformation. Lecture 3 hours per week. Laboratory 3 hours per week. Total 6 hours per week.

GENERAL COURSE PURPOSE

This is an introductory course in geology that is intended to meet the needs of the student pursuing a career in earth or natural sciences or a student working to fulfill a science requirement for other majors. The course deals in a fundamental way with the processes of the distribution on the surface and in the interior of the earth.

ENTRY LEVEL COMPETENCY

The student is assumed to have had not other college science courses but posses some proficiency in high school science and math.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:

    1. know on sight several minerals and rocks that commonly occur on the earth's surface
    2. distinguish the major classes of rocks and explain their origin
    3. understand the various processes of physical and chemical weathering and be able to recognize them in the field
    4. explain the different agents of erosion and recognize the landforms they leave on the earth's surface
    5. write an essay on one of the major theories of the cause of glaciation
    6. distinguish the major categories of faults and folds that define the earth's surface and interior
    7. diagram the earth's interior zones and discuss the mineral and rock composition of each zone
    8. list the most common elements found in sea water and describe the tidal and wave motion of sea water
    9. explain how oil and coal are formed, where they are, and how they are extracted
    10. understand the theories of continental drift, sea floor spreading, and plate tectonics and the relationships between them
MAJOR TOPICS TO BE COVERED
    1. Earth materials (minerals, rocks)
    2. Weathering
    3. Mass wasting
    4. Streams
    5. Groundwater
    6. Deserts
    7. Glaciers
    8. Oceans and shorelines
    9. Earthquakes
    10. Structure of continents
    11. Continental drift, sea floor spreading, plate tectonics
OPTIONAL TOPICS

None

Revised 2/93


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