Physical Geology Index Page

This is an index of web documents for the Spring 2017, Physical Geology Course (GEOL 1170) taught at University of Nebraska - Omaha by Harmon Maher.

Course 'handouts':


Outlines of lectures - Part I - The stuff the earth is made of - levels of structure, building blocks, and transformations:

Image to right is of a version of the rock cycle, which shows how the various rock types are related through transformation processes. The rock cycle is a very useful tool in understanding earth processes. Image source: http://www.usgs.gov/visitors/rocks_quiz.asp.


Outline of lectures - Part II - Historical geology (stories of the earth) and geomorphology (surface processes).

Image to right is of sand dunes in Death Valley, California. These are very dynamic land features of interest. Nebraska has the largest preserved dune complex in North America - the Sand Hills. At present they are inactive and covered with grass. When did they form and why are they presently inactive are questions of interest, especially given the role that climate change played. Image source: USGS site http://geomaps.wr.usgs.gov/parks/dune/.


Outline of lectures - Part III - The architecture of the earth, geophysics, tectonics and structures. Geologic resources and humanity.

Image to right is a model of the large scale structure of the earth (courtesy of USGS). How do we know what theinterior of the earth is made up of and how it behaves?


1997 field trip images

Shell canyon in the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming showing deformed sediment rocks. What was this area like when the different layers of sediment were being deposited? How did the environment change as time progressed and different sediments were deposited? Why are the rocks bent? Are there geologic resources here? Are there geologic hazards? Why does the canyon take the shape it does, and how long did it take to form? These are the types of questions that can be addressed in geology, and which this course can teach you to answer. This canyonis the site where many of UNO's geology majors have taken geologic field camp, a capstone courses.

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As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Harmon D. Maher Jr. reserves copyrights to the materials in this site. Material may be used for non-profit educational purposes as long as proper attribution is given. For permission for any other use please contact author. Thank you.