Magnified photograph of a cross-section through a 3 mm-thick pedothem soil deposit from Wyoming. The line of dots are laser ablation sampling spots that are 0.1 mm in diameter. The innermost mineral material is about 150,000 years old, and becomes progressively younger towards the outside. (Photo by Erik Oerter)

When rainwater filters through the ground in arid regions, it dissolves calcium from soils, which can react with carbon dioxide to form the mineral calcite. This calcite precipitates on rocks ranging in size from pebbles to boulders, coating them with white growth-ring-like layers called pedothems[These provide evidence of climate changes.]


Earth Science 30 Saskatchewan Curriculum Resources


Earth Science 30

Final Exam ES30 2019W


Heliosphere Schematic

  1. Earth’s motion around the Sun, not as simple as I thought (9:27)
  2. Fiery Looping Rain on the Sun (4:16)
  3. Highlights From SDO’s 10 Years of Solar Observation (NASA, 5:12)
  4. Magnificent Eruption (2:10)
  5. Thermonuclear Art – The Sun In Ultra-HD (30:24)
  6. The Solar Cycle (NASA, 3:35)
  7. Space Weather and Earth’s Aurora (NASA, 4:48)
  8. Universe Size Comparison 3D (5:07)

Image result for silver surfer john buscema I travelled on.

The Silver Surfer (John Buscema, artist)

Harvard astronomer argues that alien vessel paid us a visit 

NASA’s DART mission will crash craft to redirect asteroid


Polar Coordinates (450x424)


Geodesy Lessons (NOAA)

  1. Looking Down a Well: A Brief History of Geodesy (NASA, 2:24)
  2. What are Geodetic Datums? (COMET, 4:30)
  3. 9 Impacts of Geodesy (UNAVCO, 5:02)
  4. Is Earth Actually Flat? (Vsauce, 10:30)
  5. How does land surveying work? (Practical Engineering, 6:25)


Impact Structures and Deposits of the World (Schmieder, 2019)


Geologic Time (Lauren Adams, #15)

    1. 240 million years ago to 250 million years in the future (CR Scotese, 12:24)
    2. A Brief History of Geologic Time (PBS Eons, 12:07)
    3. Ancient Oceans & Continents: Plate Tectonics 1.5Ba – Today (CR Scotese, 1:38)
    4. Collision of India & Tectonic Evolution of SE Asia – CR Scotese (3:15)
    5. Continental Drift (Mike Sammartano, 2018)
    6. Continental Flooding & Orography by CR Scotese (2:30)
    7. Divergent Boundary—Fast Spreading Ridge (IRIS, 1:09)
    8. Faces of Earth – Assembling America (43:37)
    9. Faces of the Earth — Shaping the Planet (43:35)
    10. History of Earth (1:31:51)
    11. History of the Earth Dashboard View (11:35)
    12. History of Earth in 9 Minutes (9:15)
    13. Massive Crater Discovered Under Greenland Ice (4:29)
    14. Petrified Wood – 15 million-year-old Petrified Tree (Nick Zentner, 3:30)
    15. Plate Tectonics 750Ma to Today by CR Scotese (3:00)
    16. Plate Tectonic Evolution of the North Atlantic: Scotese Animation (5:00)
    17. Plate Tectonic Evolution of the South Atlantic: Scotese Animation (5:00)
    18. Plate Tectonic Evolution of North America – Scotese Animation (5:00)
    19. Plate Tectonic Evolution of South America – Scotese Animation (5:00)
    20. Plate tectonics, Paleogeography, & Ice Ages (dual hemispheres) (CR Scotese, 6:30)
    21. PlateTectonics & Ice Ages – Scotese Animation 022116a (6:34)
    22. Plate Tectonics Basics 1:  Creation and Destruction of Oceanic Lithosphere (UT Dallas, 8:43)
    23. Plate Tectonics (Smithsonian, 4:28)
    24. Story of the Malay Peninsula (Archipelago) (CR Scotese, 2:44)
    25. Stratigraphic Cross Section—Interpreting the Geology (IRIS, 2:57)
    26. Tectonic Evolution of Africa – Scotese Animation (5:05)
    27. Tour of the Moon in 4K (NASA, 4:56)
    28. What caused the Cambrian explosion? (The Economist, 10:56)


Map representing the trajectory of the magnetic north pole between 1590 and 2020. The magnetic north positions observed between 1831 and 2007 are shown as yellow squares. Modeled pole locations from 1590 to 2020 are shown as circles progressing from blue to yellow. Map:Courtesy of NOAA NCEI



Atmospheric Layers

Climate Change Essay Task

Atmosphere & Climate (Lauren Adams, #18)

  1. Mechanism of the Seasons (5:59)


CFC, UV, & Effect on Ozone


Ozone Layer Development & Destruction Essay Task

  1. Ozone Depletion 101 (National Geographic.  3:10)
  2. Ozone layer and eukaryotes show up in the Proterozoic eon (9:56)
  3. Ozone depletion explains global warming better than greenhouse gases (Peter L. Ward, 14:21)
  4. The Ozone Layer Overview Lecture (Open Yale Courses, 40:41)
  5. Ozone Watch (NASA)
  6. The Ozone Hole (Charles Welch)
  7. Ozone Layer (Ritchie & Roser, Our World in Data, 06.2018)


Sand storm happening on June 23, 2016 in Xinjiang, China (Credit:  Zhijun Sun)

Deserts (Lauren Adams, #19)

  1. Deserts 101 | National Geographic (3:52)
  2. David Attenborough Explains Desertification (3:40)
  3. Rain Shadow Effect (Zentner, 4:26)
  4. How Geography Turned the Sahara Green (15:16)
  5. Welcome to the Atacama Desert (Gonoretzky, 3:29)
  6. Ocean currents Atacama inversion (1:28)



This image shows that the ice along the western margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet has a dark band which grows each summer. Dark ice adsorbs more sunlight, and melts faster. (Jason Box, GEUS)


Glaciers & Ice Ages (Lauren Adams, #20)

    1. Glacial Lake Missoula (Nick Zentner, 18:51)
    2. Ice Age Floods, Lake Missoula, Bonneville Flood and the Columbia River Basalts (16:17)
    3. Lake Chelan — Battle of the Ice Sheets | Nick on the Rocks 




Permafrost & Thawing Effects Essay Task

Permafrost (Alfred-Wegener-Institut)


West Antarctic Peninsula (Drew Spacht)

Oceans and Coasts (Lauren Adams, #17)


Groundwater, Florida, Karst

Groundwater (Florida Karst Example)

Groundwater (Marshak)


Drainage Basins BC Coastal Mountains

Drainage Basins, BC Coastal Mountains

Rivers (Lauren Adams)

  1. What is a meander? (Nick Zentner, 3:01) 


Lauren Adams Attribution Info


Earth Relief Map Mountains & Valleys

Elevations (Above and Below Sea Level)

Mountain Building (Lauren Adams)

  1. Plate Tectonics—History of How it was Discovered (IRIS, 5:56)
  2. Plate Tectonics—What Drives the Plates? Overview. (IRIS 6:53)
  3. Plate Tectonics – How Mountains are Made (Brian Johnson, 3:00)
  4. Plate Tectonic Evolution of India (Christopher Scotese, 4:59)
  5. Why is Mount Everest so tall? – Michele Koppes (4:52)


Earthquake Seismic Waves (IRIS)


Earth Quakes & Seismic Waves

Earthquakes (Lauren Adams, #11)

  1. Changing the Magnitude of an Earthquake: Why downgrade/upgrade? (IRIS, 6:53)
  2. Crust vs. the Tectonic Plate (What’s the difference?) (IRIS, 1:57)
  3. Earth’s crust: tectonic plate movement, volcanoes, tsunami, earthquakes (Meneer Wiersma, 7:36)
  4. Earthquake Faults, Plate Boundaries, & Stress (IRIS, 2019, 8:44)
  5. Earthquakes & Tectonics of South America—2019 version (IRIS, 8:49)
  6. Earthquakes & Tectonics of Western South America (IRIS, 10:16)
  7. Earthquakes of the Caribbean: 1918 – 2019 (NOAA/NWS, 3:31)
  8. Earthquakes of Indonesia: 2004 – 2019 (NOAA/NWS, 3:00)
  9. Ghost Forests of the Pacific N.W.—Evidence for Cascadia’s Past Earthquakes (IRIS, 3:54)
  10. Great Alaska Earthquake, 1964—Magnitude 9.2 —Causes & Effects (IRIS, 6:42)
  11. Gulf of California Tectonic Setting—Earthquakes & the Spreading Ridge (IRIS, 3:11)
  12. Here’s how plate tectonics caused Puerto Rico’s recent earthquakes
  13. Himalayas—Tectonics, Earthquakes, and the 2015 Nepal Earthquake (IRIS, 6:35)
  14. Japan—Earthquakes & Tectonics (IRIS, 10:04)
  15. Japan earthquake of 2011 Time-scale distribution map (9:56)
  16. Layers of the Earth—What are they? How were they found? (IRIS, 6:20)
  17. Pacific Northwest Earthquakes—3 Types (IRIS, (8:05)
  18. Plate Tectonics—What Drives the Plates? (IRIS, 6:54)
  19. Regional Alaska Tectonics and Earthquakes (IRIS, 8:39)
  20. Seattle Earthquake Fault (Nick Zentner, 3:41)
  21. Solomon & Vanuatu Islands—Earthquakes & Tectonic Setting (IRIS, 4:16)
  22. Strike Slip Vs Subduction: Why no tsunami? (IRIS, 1:00)
  23. Subduction Zone Observatory Webinar – Cascadia and Alaska (IRIS, 1:22:38)
  24. Subduction Zone Observatory Webinar – Indonesia and Southeast Asia (IRIS, 1:08:42)
  25. Subduction Zone Observatory Webinar – Latin America (IRIS, 1:04:25)
  26. Sumatra—A Tale Of Two Earthquakes & A Tale of Two Upcoming Tectonic Plates (IRIS, 4:37)
  27. Tectonic Plates—What are the lithospheric plates? (IRIS, 6:40)
  28. Tsunamis Generated by Megathrust Earthquakes (IRIS, 5:43)
  29. Tsunami Animation: Sumatra 9.1 Earthquake, 2004 (NOAA/NWS, 1:45)


Volcano Hot Spot Yellowstone


Volcanic Eruptions (Lauren Adams, #10)

  1. How the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted and why it caused tsunami warnings (01.2022)
  2. Volcanoes 101 | National Geographic (4:58)
  3. Volcanoes Around the World (Nick Zentner, 4:09)
  4. What is a Volcanic Hotspot? (IRIS, 2:12)
  5. Volcanic evolution of the Pacific Northwest: 55 million year history (IRIS, 5:11)
  6. Mount Mazama Ash from Crater Lake volcano eruption 7,700 years ago (3:23)
  7. River of Lava | South Pacific | BBC Earth (4:10)
  8. Incredible Krakatoa volcano eruptions at night | anak krakatau 2018 (6:19)
  9. Largest Volcanoes in History – Mantle Plumes explained (16:29)
  10. Giant Lava Flows | Nick on the Rocks (5:05)
  11. Columnar Basalt – Geologist explains spectacular stone columns (2:30)
  12. Thorp Lahar (Nick Zentner, 9:49)
  13. Collecting Lava (Inside Planet Earth, 2009.  3:51)




Rock Cycle & Metamorphic Rocks Quiz Tasks

Rock Cycle & Metamorphic Rock (Lauren Adams, #9)


Runit Dome, nuclear waste dump, in the Marshall Islands, 1980

Concrete dome full of nuclear waste, threatened by rising sea levels in the Marshall Islands.

Terra Forming (Engineered Alterations of the Earth)


Maps & Atlases

World Robinson Projection (Bruce Jones Design Inc. 2009)


Pollen Stratigraphy

Tree Species pollen concentrations stratified in lake bed over 18,000 years.



Carswell Asteroid Impact Structure

Carswell structure – Interior (pink) = GRANITE; Inner ring (yellow) = DISTURBED ATHABASCA FORMATION; Outer ring (green) = CARSWELL FORMATION (dolomite) – (Sawatzky).   …   The Athabasca basin, a historical shallow tropical sea basin filled with sediments from the Hudsonian mountains. The Athabasca basin was formed during the Statherian or Paleohelikian 1.7 to 1.6 billion years ago….   …   The Carswell crater is the largest known impact crater in Saskatchewan and 4th-largest in Canada.  [It is believed to be roughly 115 million years old.]   …   …   At the contact between the crystalline rocks of the core and upturned sediments, uranium deposits are mined.  [Cluff Lake Mine]   …   …   The Carswell impact structure is therefore older and larger than previously estimated.  … [this] would suggest a crater size in the basement of 118 to 125 km wide.

Out of a Clear Grey Sky    …   THE METEORITE FELL on Carancas (Peru) on September 15th 2007, at 11:40:14 precisely. Unlike most, it did not break up in the atmosphere, but landed with an impact one scientist has equated to 3,000kg of explosives, enough to destroy a city block. It sent up a mushroom of smoke that could be seen five miles away, in Desaguadero, on the border with Bolivia.  ….  As soon as the fireball landed, the skies turned dark with a toxic cloud that killed cattle, put many of the villagers in hospital, and left 600 people, including many of the emergency services, with nausea and headaches. One man told me that the cloud made the village smell “like hell must smell—of sulphur and rotten eggs”. The sky rained down with stones hurled up by the meteorite’s landing. The only glass windows in the hamlet, at the health centre, all shattered.  ….  In this case, the residual heat and impact of the meteorite combusted with the water, which the villagers had been drinking for years. Local health officials now realised the water contained traces of arsenic and that, over the long term, this had caused the liver problems and early mortality in Carancas which had always been put down to the hardship of the villagers’ lives. The meteorite had sent up such a concentrated dose of this arsenic that it finally became apparent; some geologists think that this may have combined with the troilite already present in the meteorite to form a dangerous cocktail.

Araguainha Crater 

Small But Deadly  …   The biggest extinction in history was probably caused by a space rock that changed the climate.

…most people think [the] Araguainha [crater] is too small to be the culprit. It is a mere 40km (25 miles) across. The Chicxulub crater in Mexico, which did for the dinosaurs, is 180km in diameter, and it may have been paired with an even bigger impact in the Indian Ocean. … 

After an extensive geological survey, [Dr. Tohver] and his team discovered that a sizeable amount of this rock is oil shale. Any hydrocarbons in the crater would certainly have been vaporised. More intriguingly, the researchers calculate that the impact would have generated thousands of earthquakes of up to magnitude 9.9 (significantly more powerful than the largest recorded by modern seismologists) for hundreds of kilometres around. In effect, it would have been the biggest fracking operation in history, releasing oil and gas from the shattered rock in prodigious quantities.

 The upshot, Dr Tohver believes, would have been a huge burp of methane into the atmosphere. Since methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, that burp would have resulted in instant global warming, making things too hot for much of the planet’s animal life. Presto! The Permian mass extinction is explained.  

World’s Biggest Tsunami
The largest recorded tsunami was a wave 1720 feet (524m) tall in Lituya Bay, Alaska.  July 9, 1958.

Tsunamis in Lake Geneva    A millennium-and-a-half ago, Geneva was destroyed by a giant wave. Recent research suggests it could happen again.
…   The tsunami of 563 started at the opposite end of the lake from Geneva, at the point where it is fed by glacial meltwater carried into it by the Rhône.  …accounts say the wave began with a massive rockfall on what was then called Mount Tauredunum…
…    Dr Kremer thinks that the rocks crashed down onto soft sediments which had accumulated at the river mouth because of the slowing of the river’s flow when it enters the lake. These sediments form an underwater delta that has several canyon-like channels. When the falling rocks hit the delta they destabilised the sediments and caused the canyons to collapse. It was this collapse that created the tsunami.
…    Her discovery is a bed of what is known geologically as turbidite. This is sediment that, because it is laid down by rapid water movements, is not sorted by grain size. The turbidite Dr Kremer found is a mixture of sand and silt roughly 10km (6 miles) long and 5km wide. On average, it is 5 metres deep, and it seems to have formed in a single event. By carbon-dating leaves and other organic material trapped within it, she has shown that it is about the same age as the Tauredunum event.
…    … Dr Kremer’s pinger shows evidence of four layers deeper in the lake bed which also look like turbidite. The formation of these might or might not have triggered tsunamis. But they are a worrying sign.
Though the basin in which Lake Geneva sits is ancient, the modern lake is a product of the end of the last Ice Age. Exactly when it formed is unclear. The whole area was still buried under ice 19,000 years ago. By 13,000 years ago the glaciers had retreated at least as far east as Lausanne. But the age of the current delta is still unknown. That five layers of turbidite may have formed in this time gives a rough sense of how frequently tsunamis might happen. The details will remain obscure, though, until the older beds are examined closely, and core samples taken from them.
…    Dr Kremer’s work also raises the question of whether other lakes are at risk of generating tsunamis. Some might be. In 1806, for example, a landslide into Lake Lauerz, farther east in Switzerland, triggered a tsunami 20 metres high.

Ultra-thin fault caused gravity-distorting Japan quake   …   The results … revealed a significant presence of smectite, a slippery clay largely responsible for many major landslides in Europe….  Temperature measurements confirmed the fault had a coefficient of friction of only 0.1, making it very likely to shift. Most rocks slip at about 0.5 or 0.6….   …the fault zone was found to be less than 5 metres thick, tens of times thinner than at other subduction zones.    … It seems that subduction zones with particularly thin fault zones and a lot of smectite can produce slips of more than 50 metres….

The Tohoku slip was so big that the infrasound waves generated by the quake propagated more than 200 kilometres through the atmosphere. That disturbed the orbit of the European Space Agency’s GOCE satellite….

Coefficient of Friction    …   Essentially, the coefficient of friction tell us how much sideways force is required to move a given object across a surface.  So, if a 100 kilogram object can be moved by 40 kilograms of force, the coefficient of friction would be 40/100.  This ratio converts to .40/1.00, and is usually written as a simple decimal number .40, or just .4.

Coefficient of Friction (Table of Materials)   …   Teflon has a coefficient of friction of .04, which is only 2.5x more slippery than smectite.

Slippery Floors versus Smectite    …   “Polishes and other floor maintenance coatings having a static coefficient of friction of not less than 0.5 … have been recognized as providing nonhazardous walkways.”   …   Smectite is about 5x more slippery than the accepted safety standard for floors.

Smectite Clay Products Teaching Materials (Audrey C. Rule)   …   Sodium Bentonite is a form of Smectite.  Bentonite is commonly used as a drilling “mud.”  It is also used for cat litter boxes.  [Note to Self:  Do NOT use clay cat litter on icy sidewalks, or under car tires when stuck in snow.]

Canadian Minerals Yearbook:  Clays    …   The most important commercial clays mined in Saskatchewan include kaolinite, montmorillorite (i.e., bentonite), and illite clays   …   Canadian Clay Products Inc. quarries sodium bentonite near Truax, 60 km southwest of Regina….

Smectite in the treatment of acute diarrhea   …   Geology for the average (human).

Canadian Geoscience Education Network

Earthquakes in Canada

Flint and Chert    Flint and chert are dense, cryptocrystalline varieties of quartz, slightly translucent to almost opaque. Firestone, Hornstone, and Silex are other names for flint and chert….    …Flint freshly removed from chalk contains a few percent of water. After a couple of years they have mostly dried out and get more brittle. Flint will crack in fire because of the water in it, sometimes so badly that small flint chips fly around.  [Flint that has been heated to about 300 degrees Celsius is easier to knap.]    …Flint is easy to spot in a gravel pit: often it is covered by a thin white layer, and – in contrast to the other pebbles – it has an irregular shape.    …We know from findings in the Olduvai Gorge in Kenia (where the remains of “Lucy”, a female Australopithecus, have been discovered) and many other classic locations of anthropology, that flint, along with obsidian and crystalline quartz has been used as a raw material for tools as early as 1.5 million years ago.   

Flint Genesis      The exact mode of formation of flint is not yet clear but it is thought that it occurs as a result of chemical changes in compressed sedimentary rock formations, during the process of diagenesis. One hypothesis is that a gelatinous material fills cavities in the sediment, such as holes bored by crustaceans or molluscs and that this becomes silicified. This theory certainly explains the complex shapes of flint nodules that are found. The source of dissolved silica in the porous media could arise from the spicules of silicious sponges. Certain types of flint, such as that from the south coast of England, contain trapped fossilised marine flora. Pieces of coral and vegetation have been found preserved like amber inside the flint. Thin slices of the stone often reveal this effect.       

Fort Qu’Appelle Geolog Tour   …   The geology of Saskatchewan, in simple terms.  One of several parts.  

Manufacturing metals:  A tantalising prospect    ALUMINIUM was once more costly than gold. Napoleon III, emperor of France, reserved cutlery made from it for his most favoured guests, and the Washington monument, in America’s capital, was capped with it not because the builders were cheapskates but because they wanted to show off. How times change. And in aluminium’s case they changed because, in the late 1880s, Charles Hall and Paul Héroult worked out how to separate the stuff from its oxide using electricity rather than chemical reducing agents. Now, the founders of Metalysis, a small British firm, hope to do much the same with tantalum, titanium and a host of other recherché and expensive metallic elements including neodymium, tungsten and vanadium.

The effect could be profound. Tantalum is an ingredient of the best electronic capacitors. At the moment it is so expensive ($500-2,000 a kilogram) that it is worth using only in things where size and weight matter a lot, such as mobile phones….
…    The company’s first product is tantalum. Its factory is not much bigger than a house, but has enough capacity to supply 3-4% of the 2,500 tonnes of this metal that are used around the world each year….

Measure of Global Warming  …  AT NOON on May 4th the carbon-dioxide concentration in the atmosphere around the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii hit 400 parts per million (ppm). The average for the day was 399.73 and researchers at the observatory expect this figure, too, to exceed 400 in the next few days. The last time such values prevailed on Earth was in the Pliocene epoch, 4m years ago, when jungles covered northern Canada.    

Sunstone, Iceland Spar, or Calcite  Navigation:  Crystal gazing
THIS may look like a nondescript lump of rock, but it is, in fact, a sunstone. That, at least, is the opinion of Guy Ropars of Rennes University, in France, and his colleagues. Sunstones are legendary items supposed to have been used by Viking sailors in the days before magnetic compasses. Looking at the sky through one, it is said, would reveal the sun’s direction even on a cloudy day or when that fiery orb was below the horizon.

Dr Ropars thinks sunstones were real, and were actually crystals of Iceland spar, a form of calcite that polarises light (and therefore reacts to polarised light). Light from the sky is polarised and, as he discovered in 2011, looking through a piece of Iceland spar reveals the direction of polarisation, and thus the direction of the sun, to within 5°   …    He also did further experiments….  He and his colleagues found they could locate the direction of the sun even more accurately than before: to within 1°.

Rocks and Minerals Magazine  …  For Everyone Interested in Minerals, Rocks & Fossils

Great Diamond Hoax of 1872   …   How a Kentucky grifter and his partner pulled off one of the era’s most spectacular scams…

Machu Picchu: Ancient Incan sanctuary intentionally built on faults