Search: The Present is Key to Past, 365 Topics in Historical Geology, by Hugh Rance (revised 2011):

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a00   Prologue a0

SCIENCE AND HISTORICAL GEOLOGY                
a01    Science and common sense a1
a02    The earth's age makes for an  historical geology a2
a03    The Gaia metaphor a3
a04    Fossils a4
a05    Fossil and living organisms are related a5
a06    Geology defined a6
a07    Physical geology and historical geology a7

MINERALS AND ROCKS
a08    Minerals and mineraloids a8
a09    Chemical bonds  a9

a10    Physical properties of common rock forming minerals  a10
a11    Rocks  a11
a12    Classification of igneous rocks  a12
a13    Classification of sedimentary rocks  a13
a14    Classification of metamorphic rocks  a14

UNIFORMITARIANISM
a15    Paradigm of the natural sciences  a15

GEOLOGICAL PROCESSES
a16    Emergence in physical systems  a16
a17    The rock cycle  a17
a18    Classification of geological processes  a18

GEOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES
a19    Three fundamental stratigraphical principles due to Steno  a19
a20    Unconformities interpreted by Steno  a20
a21    Two fundamental geological principles due to Hutton  a21
a22    Unconformities interpreted by Hutton  a22
a23    Powell (1875)   a23
a24    The work of rivers  a24
a25    Rates of bedrock incision by rivers  a25

FORMATIONS AND SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT
a26    What was neptunism?  a26
a27    What was plutonism?  a27
a28    Lyell's influence (legacy) beginning in 1830  a28
a29    Actualism   a29
a30    Percepts, precepts  a30
a31    Why we could forget Leonardo, as a geologist, but not Werner   a31
a32    A catch phrase definition for uniformitarianism  a32
 

    

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)


Formational mapping

Fossils are organic

Uniformitarianism

Processes

Principles

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

The great age of the earth

Gaia

Minerals and rocks

Hooke

Prospecting

Mining

Werner

Steno

Hutton

Siccar Point

The rock cycle

 

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THE GREAT ICE AGE Revolutions Related items

QUATERNARY GEOLOGY
b01    Historical time and prehistory  b1
b02    The Recent   b2
b03    The Little Ice Age and before b3
b04    Is the sun constant?  b4
b05    Volcanism and climate  b5
b06    Extinct Stone Age animals  b6

METHODOLOGY
b07    Agassiz of the Ice  b7
b08    The Quaternary subdivided into the Holocene and Pleistocene Epochs  b8
b09    Laws and principles  b9
b10    The Scientific Method  b10
b11    Theories and discovered facts  b11
b12    Occam’s razor  b12
b13    de Geer's test of the Great Ice Age  b13
b14    Post glacial uplift  b14
b15    The once four named Pleistocene Glacial Stages  b15
b16    Pleistocene climatic history recorded in marine sediments  b16    
b17    Lasting landscape features due to Pleistocene glaciation  b17
b18    Ice margin lakes  b18
b19    Channeled scablands of eastern Washington  b19
b20    Pluvial lakes   b20
b21    Periglacial loess and dune sand  b21
b22    Submarine valleys, submarine canyons  b22
b23    Pleistocene ice sheets in the hemispheres  b23
b24    Palinology   b24
b25    Oxygen isotopes measurements  b25
b26    Plankton as temperature indicators  b26
b27    Chronology of climatic change during the last deglaciation of the Ice Age  b27
b28    Greenland icecores and North Atlantic deepsea cores  b28
b29    The Eemian   b29
b30    Present concerns about the climate  b30
b31    Extinctions of the New World megafauna  b31
b32    Causes of the Ice Ages  b32
b33    The Milankovitch insolation hypothesis for climatic cycles  b33
b34    An orbital cycle  b34
b35    Historical geology is not physical geology  b35

THE EMERGENCE OF HUMANS
b36    Hominin classification  b36
b37    Cro-Magnon   b37
b38    Did Paleoamericans arrive by sea?  b38
b39    Homo sapiens neanderthalensis and archaic Homo sapiens  b39
b40    To grunt or chat  b40
b41    Homo erectus   b41
b42    The Oldowan industry  b42
b43    Tool makers  b43
b44    Australopithecenes  b44
b44b  Australopithecus ramidus
b45    Mediterranean evaporites  b45

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

The Great Ice Age

Scientific method

Isotope geology

Milankovitch theory

Prehistoric humans

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Agassiz

de Geer

Gilbert

Multiple working hypotheses

Climatic indicators

Bretz

Eustacy

Post-glacial uplift

Insolation

Cro-Magnon

Neanderthals

H. erectus

Australopithecines

 

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MAKING SENSE OF THE ROCK RECORD Revolutions Related items

SEDIMENTARY ROCKS AS ENVIRONMENTAL INDICATORS
c01    Beds and strata as readable records c1
c02    Clast size and turbulence c2
c03    The origin of till,outwash, varved clay, and loess c3
c04    The origin of micrites and oolites c4
c05    Tidal flats and sabkhas c5
c06    The dolomite problem c6
c07    Organic reefs indicate a warm water marine environment c7
c08    Pelagic deposits c8
c09    Bedding-plane features c9
c10    Through going disturbance of beds c10
c11    Fossilization c11
c11b  “A phantom image of the animal"

THE GEOLOGICAL COLUMN
c12    Formations c12
c13    Stratigraphy c13
c14    Facies c14
c15    Walther’s principle c15
c16    Geologic systems c16
c17    William "Strata" Smith (1769-1839) c17
c18    Index fossils are few c18
c19    Unconformities c19
c20    The standard geologic column c20
c21    Darwin decides against becoming a geologist c21
c22    Eras and Eons c22
c23    Stratigraphic units and time c23
c24    Reading geological maps and sections

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Fossil succession

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Smith

The geologic column

 

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THE FAMILIAR WORLD DEVELOPS Revolutions Related items

PLATE TECTONICS
d01    Earth within d1
d02    Earth’s figure and weight d2
d03    Seismology d3
d04    Crust, mantle, and core d4
d05    Detailed upper mantle structure d5
d06    Lithosphere, asthenosphere, mesosphere d6
d07    Plate tectonic theory d7
d08    Divergent plate boundaries d8
d09    Rift valleys and triple junctions d9
d10    Convergent plate boundaries d10
d11    Transform-fault plate boundaries d11
d12    Oceanic-oceanic, oceanic-continental, and cont.-cont. d12

CENOZOIC GEOLOGY
d13    Recognition of Cenozoic sediments d13
d14    Cenozoic correlations d14
d15    Cenozoic epochs d15
d16    Cenozoic climatic proxies d16
d17    Cenozoic mammal fossils d17
d18    Grasses, Palms d18
d19    Subdivision of the Cenozoic into Neogene and Paleogene d19
d20    Cenozoic Sedimentary sequences d20

PHYSIOGRAPHIC PROVINCES
d21    Geomorphology d21
d22    Neotectonics d22
d23    The Neogene scenery of North America  d23
d24    Coast Ranges and Insular Mountains  d24
d25    Cascade Range d25
d26    Columbia River Plateau and Snake River Plain d26
d27    Sierra Nevada Mountains d27
d28    Basin and Range province d28
d29    Colorado Plateau d29
d30    Rocky Mountains d30
d31    Great Plains and Central Lowlands d31
d32    The Appalachian and Ouachita Mountains d32
d33    Atlantic and Gulf Coastal plains d33

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Davisian geomorphology

Plate tectonics (overview)

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Physiographic provinces

Origin of mountains

Subduction

Bowen's reaction series

 

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MAKING SENSE OF THE FOSSIL RECORD Revolutions Related items

LINNAEAN CLASSIFICATION
e01    The classification of organisms e1
e02    Fossil classification e2
e03    Relatedness of organisms e3
e04    Ecological Groups e4

PRINCIPLE OF PRIORITY
e05    The Plenary Power Rule e5

BUFFON
e06    Belief in the immutability of organisms e6

LAMARCK
e07    Life's ramifying evolution from inanimate starting places e7
e07a  The giraffe's neck
e08    Tests of   inheritance of acquired characteristics hypothesis e8

CUVIER
e09    Arguments from comparative anatomy e9
e09a  The dodo

DARWINIAN EVOLUTION
e10    Galpagos Islands e10
e11    Darwin's pigeons e11
e12    Artificial selection and natural selection e12
e13    Sexual selection e13
e14    Coevolution of unrelated species e14
e15    The reality of evolution and the rock record e15

EVOLUTIONARY PALEONTOLOGISTS
e16    Missing links and gradualism e16
e17    Darwinian thinking e17
e17a  Evolution of sight
e18    So-called laws of evolutionary biology e18
e19    Post-Darwinian thinking e19

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Comparative anatomy

Extinctions

Darwinian evolution

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Lamarck

Cuvier

Artificial and natural selection

 

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THE AGE OF MAMMALS Revolutions Related items

CENOZOIC HERBIVORES AND CARNIVORES
f01    Living mammals are placentals (eutheria), marsupials, and monotremes f1
f01b  A land bridge hypothesis
f02    "Terror" birds f2
f03    Gliding and flying animals f3
f04    Modern carnivores, fissipedes, and creodonts f4
f05    Herbivorous mammals f5
f06    Perissodactyls f6
f07    Why not look a gift horse in the mouth? f7
f08    Artiodactyls f8
f09    What advantage accrues to a cud-chewer? f9
f10    Whales f10
f11    Early large ungulates f11
f12    Elephants, mammoths, and ancestral mastodons f12
f13    The marsupials f13

THE SYNTHETIC THEORY OF EVOLUTION
f14    Genes, alleles f14
f15    Mitosis, meiosis and mutations f15
f16    So what is evolving? f16
f17    Divergent evolution and speciation f17
f18    Asexual and sexual organisms f18
f19    The perpetuation of sex f19
f20    Uncoordinated evolution f20
f21    Iterative evolution f21
f22    Parallel and convergent evolution f22
f23    Tree analysis method of genetic variation in a species f23
f23b  Molecular clocks
f24    Out-of-Africa and multiregional hypotheses f24
f25    The genetic test of species relationships f25
f26    Phyletic gradualism f26
f27    Cyclical evolution of developmental stages f27
f28    Punctuated evolution f28
f29    Spatial or distributional elements in speciation f29
f30    Wallace’s Line f30
f31    Biogeography f31
f32    Land bridges f32
f32b  Mesic tundra
f32c  Are we, by origin, Panamanian?
f33    Biodiversity within a species f33
f34    Emergence in evolution f34
f35    Cladistics f35
f36    Phenetics slips from prominence f36
f37    Hennig terminology f37
f38    The effect of including fossils in cladograms f38

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

The synthetic theory of evolution

Cladistics

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Evolution of the mammals

Hennig

 

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PANGEA RECONSTRUCTED Revolutions Related items

SEAFLOOR SPREADING AND OCEAN BASINS
g01    Jigsaw puzzle fit of the continents g1
g02    Hess' hypothesis of seafloor spreading g2
g03    Oceanic sediments and seafloor spreading g3
g04    Remanent magnetization polarity reversals g4
g05    Magnetic anomalies parallel to and mirrored across oceanic ridges g5
g06    Aseismic ridge and hot spot test of the seafloor spreading hypothesis g6
g06b  Aseismic island chain
g07    Lynn Sykes' proof of seafloor spreading g7

PLATE TECTONICS
g08    Kinematic theory of plate tectonics g8
g09    Slope of oceanic rises, atolls and guyots g9
g10    Plate rotations g10
g11    Direct measurement of plate movement g11
g12    Unraveling the prehistory of Western America g12
g13    Continental roots g13
g14    Dynamic theory of plate tectonics g14

MESOZOIC GEOLOGY
g15    Mesozoic Erathem and Era subdivisions g15
g16    Cretaceous inundation g16
g17    Laramide and Sevier orogenies g17
g18    Nevadan orogeny g18
g19    Sonoma orogeny g19
g20    Reversing Atlantic ocean seafloor spreading g20
g21    Tertiary salt domes of Late Jurassic salt g21
g22    Newark supergroup g22
g23    Reversing sea-floor spreading for the whole earth g23
g24    Aulacogens g24

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Seafloor spreading

Hotspots

Magnetic reversals

Deepsea drilling

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Hess

Wilson

Vine

Atolls

Reconstruction of Pangea

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THE AGE OF REPTILES Revolutions Related items

LIFE OF THE MESOZOIC ERA
h01    The Age of Reptiles and mobility in the marine realm h1
h02    Angiosperms appear h2
h03    Classification of the flowering plants h3
h04    How does pollen differ from spore? h4
h05    Mesozoic marine protists h5
h05b  Dinoflagellates
h06    Mesozoic reefs h6
h07    Mesozoic echinoids h7
h08    Mesozoic cephalopods h8
h09    Rapidly evolving fish h9
h10    Salamanders and frogs h10
h11    Mesozoic aquatic reptiles h11
h12    Archosauria h12
h13    Ornithischia h13
h14    Saurischia h14
h15    Were dinosaurs ectotherms (cold-) or endotherms (warm-blooded)? h15
h16    The T. rex Sue h16
h17    The descent of birds h17
h18    Pterosaurs (flying reptiles) h18
h19    The descent of mammals h19
h20    Cuvier’s identification of a marsupial in France h20
h21    Triassic mammals replace cynodonts h21

THE E-K BOUNDARY
h22    Extinction of the dinosaurs h22
h23    The iridium anomaly h23
h24    The Chicxulub bolide crater h24
h25    Land animal survivors of the end-Cretaceous mass extinctions h25
h26    Deccan traps volcanism and E-K boundary extinctions h26
h27    Taphonomy h27
h28    Trace fossils of dermistid beetles h28
h29    Extraordinary preservation of DNA h29
h29b  Extraordinary preservation of land vertebrates just before the T-K boundary h29b

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

K/T iridium anomaly

DNA in amber

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Dinosaurs

Taphonomy

 

 

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PANGEA Revolutions Related items

WEGENER AND CONTINENTAL DRIFT
i01    Evidence that continents float i1
i02    Explanations of ocean basins i2
i03    Continental drift i3
i04    Explanations of geotecture i4
i05    Wegener’s geological evidence for Pangea i5
i06    Mountain belts of Pangea that cut off at the coast of the present Atlantic i6
i07    Mammal-like reptiles of Pangea i7
i08    The coals of southern Pangea i8
i09    Carboniferous tillites i9

GONDWANA
i10    Wegener’s mechanism for continental drift i10
i11    du Toit i11
i12    The Karroo System i12
i13    Drift versus land bridges i13
i14    Tillite compositions are evidence of continental drift i14

SOUTHERN LAURASIA
i15    The Permian i15
i16    Pangean intracontinental mountains i16
i17    Permian flora of Southern Laurasia i17
i18    Early Permian pelocosaurs i18
i19    Permo-Carboniferous coals of Southern Laurasia i19
i20    The first reptiles i20
i21    The amniote egg i21
i22    Which came first the chicken or the egg? i22

END PERMIAN EXTINCTIONS
i23    Life’s greatest crisis i23

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Continental Drift theory (history of)

Isostasy

Paleoclimatology

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Wegener

duToit

Mesosaurus

Glacial striations

Hypsometric curve

Gravity anomalies

Tillites

Glossopteris

Cyclothems

Pelycosaurs

Mammal-like reptiles

 

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PALEOCONTINENTS Revolutions Related items

J01    Before Pangea j1
J02    Remanent magnetizations in igneous and sedimentary rocks  j2

APPARENT PALEOMAGNETIC POLAR WANDERING
J03    The paleomagnetic pole j3

OLD RED SANDSTONE PALEOCONTINENT
J04    Mississippian geology of the ORS paleocontinent j4
J05    Devonian geology of the ORS paleocontinent j5
J06    Antler, Acadian and Caladonian orogenies j6
J07    End Devonian marine extinctions j7

FROM SEA TO LAND
              PLANTS

J08    Late Devonian Gilboa forest j8
J09    Late Devonian vegetated hillslopes j9
J10    The diplobionic life cycle of spore-shedding higher plants j10
J10b  Fossil record of the spore shedding higher plants
J11    The first land plants j11
              LAND ARTHROPODS
J12    Life style of the first land arthropods j12
J12b  The first chitinous animals in plant debris
              FISH
J13    The Age of Fishes j13
J14    Varieties of fishes j14
J15    The first bony fish  j15
J16    Fish with lungs j16
              AMPHIBIANS
J17    Did labyrinthodonts evolve from lung fish or crossopterygians? j17

LAURENTIA
J18    Laurentia j18
J19    Generalized concept of a craton j19
J20    Geosynclinal theory j20
J21    Silurian j21
J22    Continental margins, cratons, orogenic belts in terms of plate tectonics j22
J23    The Wilson cycle j23
J24    Cycles of sedimentation j24
J25    Ordovician Laurentia: Tippecanoe inundation and Taconic orogeny j25
J26    The vagaries of evolution j26
J27    Ordovician life does not move onto the land j27
J27b  A rootless plant with subterranean root-like leaves
J28    Cambrian Laurentia j28
J29    The first wave of Paleozoic fauna j29
J30    The Age of Marine Invertebrates j30
J31    Conodont zones j31
J32    The importance of the Burgess Shale j32
J33    Fossil Lagersttten j33
J34    The Cambrian explosion j34
J34b  The Tommotian fauna
J35     Emergence of the vertebrates j35
J36     Oil and gas j36

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Apparent polar wandering

Remote sensing via satellites

Time-transgressive formations

Facies

Sequence stratigraphy

Zittel's handbook of paleontology

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Runcorn

G.P.S

Absolute motions of the plates

Hall

Walther

Sloss

Life's move from sea to land.

 

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PROTOCONTINENTS Revolutions Related items

RADIOMETRIC DATING
k01    Precambrian time k1
k02    Absolute geologic time k2
k03    Rearrangements of the Periodic Table k3
k04    Radioactive and stable Isotopes k4
k05    Radiometric absolute age calculation k5
k06    Kelvin’s criticism of geology is negated k6
k07    Pioneer radioactive dating methods k7
k07b  The approximate radioactive decay formula
k08    The special case of Carbon-14 dating k8
k09    The geological column is transformed into a geological time scale k9
k10    Units of absolute geologic time k10
k11    Subdivisions of Precambrian time k11
k12    The Proterozoic Eon k12

LATE PROTEROZOIC ERA
k13    The snowball earth hypothesis k13
k14    Ediacaran fossils k14
k15    Stromatolite heyday k15
k16    The pre-Phanerozoic metazoans k16
k17    Acritarchs k17

MIDDLE PROTEROZOIC ERA
k18    Beltian sediments k18
k19    The Mid-Continent Rift k19
k20    The Grenville orogenic belt k20
k21    Proterozoic anorthosites k21
k22    The roots of Phanerozoic metazoans k22
k23    Proterozoic microfossils k23
k24    The origin of eukaryotes k24
k25    Stability favors obligatory symbiosis k25

EARLY PROTEROZOIC ERA
k26    Superior-type banded iron formation k26
k27    Huronian series k27
k28    The hydrogen hypothesis for the first eukaryote k28

STRUCTURAL PROVINCES
k29    The Canadian Shield k29
k30    Geochronology by radiometric decay k30
k31    Great Lakes isotopic age provinces k31
k32    Radiometric subdivision of the Proterozoic in North America k32
k33    Evidence of protocontinents k33
k34    Evidence of supercontinents k34
k35    The supercontinent cycle k35
k36    Calculation of durations between the existence of supercontinents k36

PLATE TECTONICS AND OCCURRENCE OF ORES
k37    Metallogenic epochs k37
k38    Metallogenic provinces k38

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Radiometric dating

Geochemistry

Microfossils in chert

Phosphatization

Symbiosis

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Geologic time scale

Sedimentary ores

Barghoorn

Mller

Eukaryotes

L
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ARCHEAN AND HADEAN EONS Revolutions Related items

THE ARCHEAN
L01    Andrew Lawson’s great discovery L1
L02    Archean terrains L2
L03    Archean structural provinces L3
L04    Subdivision of the Archean L4
L05    Late Archean plate tectonics L5
L06    Early Archean plate tectonics L6
L07    The oldest rocks of the Archean L7

ARCHEAN LIFE
L08    Archean fossils L8
L09    Chemofossils L9

THE HADEAN
L10    The first half-billion years record L10
L11    The selenologic column and time scale L11
L12    The “Eagle” has landed L12
L13    The maria L13
L14    The terrae L14
L15    Great meteorite bombardment L15
L16    Impact origin of the moon L16
L17    Meteorites L17
L18    Meteorite samples of Mars L18
L19    The uniqueness of Earth’s plate tectonics L19
L20    Early Hadean L20

HADEAN LIFE
L21    Whence bacteria? L21
L22    The ‘RNA world’ hypothesis L22
L23    Miller's 1950s experiment L23
L24    Wchtershuser’s hypothesis L24

finis

(philosophical,
procedural,
technical)

Planetology and Moon landings

Genetic engineering

Geothermal vent life

(discuss,
illustrate,
demonstrate)

Acidic oceans

Rare quartz sandstones

Pyrite pebbles

Prokaryotes

Miller