GEOL 108 - Earth Through Time

GEOL 108 examines Earth’s history from initial formation through to the present-day using evidence found in the geologic record; as well as the corollary development of geological thought and understanding in both Western and indigenous worldviews. The course covers three main themes in Earth history: 1) the concept of deep time; 2) the evolution of plate tectonics; and 3) the biological evolution of Earth using evidence from the fossil record. The growth of the continents, the opening and closing of ocean basins, episodes of large-scale erosion and deposition on the continents, and orogenic (mountain-building) episodes are fundamental geologic topics covered in this course. Students will develop competencies in measuring geologic time using the application of stratigraphic principles, paleontology and radioactive decay.

Life on Earth during the major geological time periods is discussed with a focus on significant evolutionary developments and mass extinctions. Plate tectonics, climate, and relative sea-level are examined as determinants of evolutionary change with particular reference to North America and Western Canada.

This course is designed to run concurrently with GEOL 106 (Historical Geology). Students in GEOL 108 will share lectures with students in GEOL 106 (Historical Geology), but will not complete a lab component. This course serves as an option for students to satisfy programs requiring a 3-credit science course without a lab. Students may not take GEOL 108 for credit towards the Earth Sciences diploma.

GEOL 108
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