Geologic systems from an environmental perspective.

Today's lecture takes a systems approach, where the system is definied by place, or more specifically by type of terrane. The below is not an exhaustive list of systems. Listed are some characteristic traits and environmental considerations.

Mountain systems from an environmental perspective:

Arid systems from an environmental perspective:

Photo of Death Valley Salt Flats

Karst systems from an environmental perspective:

Above: Large spring (blue hole) in northern Florida - an outlet for a Cave system.

Right: Photo of deposits and fossils in sinkhole deposit at Hot Springs, South Dakota. We will visit this site on our Black Hills field trip this spring.

Coastal systems from an environmental perspective:


False color satellite image of North Carolina portion of U.S. east coast, showing well developed barrier island complexes.

Glacial systems from an environmental perspective:

Calving glacier from Hornsund, Spitsbergen.

Biologic systems and the Gaia hypothesis:

From the Moab, Utah desert. Surrounding the cactus is a dark lumpy and leathery surface deposit known as a cryptobiotic crust. This turns out to be formed by a complex assemblage of microbes, a symbiotic community. This cryptobiotic crust is a recently recognized, very important component of the desert ecosystem.

Examples of human endeavors where geoscience knowledge is used:

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