Historical Geology Lab Manual
May 2014, ©2013
This lab manual is accessible to science and nonscience majors and also provides a strong background for geology and other science majors. Concepts carry over from one lab to the next and are reinforced so that at the end of the semester, the students have experience at interpreting the rock record and an understanding of how the process of science works.
Lab 1: Relative Dating
Lab 2: Rocks and Minerals
Lab 3: Weathering of Rocks and the Formation of Sediment
Lab 4: Sedimentary Rocks
Lab 5: Sedimentary Structures
Lab 6: Depositional Sedimentary Environments
Lab 7: Stratigraphy and Lithologic Correlation
Lab 8: Fossils on the Internet
Lab 9: Microfossils and Introduction to the Tree of Life
Lab 10: Invertebrate Macrofossils and Classification of Organisms
Lab 11: Fossil Preservation and Trace Fossils
Lab 12: The Evolution of the Vertebrates
Background History and Acknowledgments
- The chapter on Relative Dating gives the student experience with using basic geologic principles for determining the sequence of geologic events, a topic that is typically presented in the first few chapters of historical geology lecture textbooks.
- The chapter on Rocks and Minerals provides a quick introduction to the minerals and rocks most commonly encountered in a first geology course, as well as a quick review for students who have previously completed physical geology lab.
- Subsequent labs deal with Rock Weathering and Interpretation of Sediments, Sedimentary Rocks, and Sedimentary Structures.
- Students learn to interpret processes acting in the depositional basin, and then they interpret Depositional Sedimentary Environments based on rock types and sedimentary structures.
- Students also learn Stratigraphy and Lithologic Correlation and how to interpret sea-level change in the rock record.
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