Earth History Study Guide

  1. Explain how the principle of catastrophism is applied to our modern understanding of historical geology.
  2. Explain how the principle of uniformitarianism is applied to our modern understanding of historical geology. geologic cross section
  3. Draw and label a geologic cross-section illustrating the law of original horizontality.
  4. Draw and label a geologic cross-section illustrating the law of superposition.
  5. Draw and label a geologic cross-section illustrating the principle of cross-cutting relationships.
  6. Use the principles stated above to describe this geologic cross-section.
  7. Explain the significance of unconformities in geologic cross-sections.
  8. What can relative dating not provide us?
  9. Explain why absolute dating can not be used to date the lithification of a sandstone.
  10. Why is the half-life of a radioactive isotope important when selecting an isotope to date a particular material?
  11. Develop a general understanding of how geologists divide up Earth history into eras, periods, and epochs based on extinctions and new life forms.
  12. What is the age of the Earth?
  13. How many years were trilobites on the Earth?
  14. How many years were dinosaurs on the Earth?
  15. How many years have primates been on the Earth?
  16. If you picked a random time to visit in Earth's history what dominant organism would you most likely find?
  17. Which came first?
    1. trilobites or dinosaurs?
    2. Pangaea or dinosaurs
    3. mammals or dinosaurs
    4. birds or dinosaurs
    5. the Cascade mountains or dinosaurs
    6. primates or dinosaurs?
  18. Glossopteris was an important index fossil for piecing together Pangaean plate tectonics. What two characteristics of index fossils does Glossopteris have?
  19. Describe the two major types of fossil preservation.
  20. Describe an important fossil from the time interval you described in your Geologic Time Travel Brochure.
  21. Ask someone else in the room to describe an important fossil from the time interval they did. Write down what they shared.
  22. Explain the relationship between the penny activity we did and the process of radioactive decay.
  23. If a sample of wood had 25% of its 14C left, how old would it be?