Changes in the Earth and its
atmosphere
Key words/ concepts
Core
Mantle
Crust
Atmosphere
Tectonic plates
Convection currents
Radioactive processes
Hydrocarbons
Al...
C1.7.1

The Earth’s crust

a) The Earth consists of a core, mantle and crust, and is
surrounded by the atmosphere.
b) The Earth’s crust and the upper part of the mantle
are cracked into a number of large pieces (tectonic
plates).
c) Convection
currents within
the Earth’s
mantle driven by
heat released by
natural
radioactive
processes cause
the plates...
d) The movements can be sudden and disastrous.
Earthquakes and/or volcanic eruptions occur at the
boundaries between tecto...
Alfred Wegener’s theory of
continental drift
•Similar fossils and plants on opposite
sides of the oceans
•Pieces fitted to...
•His idea: one large supercontinent, he called
Pangea.
•Broke into chunks and slowly drifted apart
Why wasn’t the theory of crustal movement
(continental drift) not generally accepted for many
years after it was proposed?...
C1.7.2

The Earth’s atmosphere

a) For 200 million years, the proportions of different gases in
the atmosphere have been m...
b) During the first billion years of the Earth’s existence
there was intense volcanic activity. This activity
released the...
• Some theories suggest that during this period, the
Earth’s atmosphere was mainly carbon dioxide and
there would have bee...
• Plants produced the oxygen that is now in the
atmosphere.
• Most of the carbon from the carbon dioxide in
the air gradually became locked up in
sedimentary rocks as carbonates and ...
• Nowadays the release of carbon dioxide by
burning fossil fuels increases the level of carbon
dioxide in the atmosphere
c) There are several theories about how the atmosphere
was formed.
One theory suggests that during this period the
Earth’s...
d) There are many theories as to
how life was formed billions of
years ago.
e) One theory as to how life was
formed involv...
f) Plants and algae produced the oxygen that is now in the
atmosphere.
g) Most of the carbon from the carbon dioxide in th...
j) Air is a mixture of gases with
different boiling points and can
be fractionally distilled to
provide a source of raw
ma...
• The Earth consists of a _______, _______ and _______.
• Scientists once thought that the features of the
Earth’s surface were the result of the shrinking of
the crust as the Ea...
• The Earth’s crust and the upper part of the mantle are
cracked into a number of large pieces (_________).
Convection cur...
Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift
•Similar _______ and ______ on opposite sides of the
oceans
•Pieces fitted to...
•His idea: one large __________, he called
________.
•Broke into _______ and slowly ___________ .
Why wasn’t the theory of crustal movement (continental
drift) not generally accepted for many years after it was
proposed?...
• The movements can be sudden and disastrous.
________ and/or __________occur at the boundaries
between __________.
• For _______years, the proportions of different gases in
the atmosphere have been much the same as they are
today:
− abou...
• During the first billion years of the Earth’s
existence there was intense _____ activity. This
activity released the gas...
• Some theories suggest that during this period, the
Earth’s atmosphere was mainly ________and there
would have been littl...
• Plants produced the ________ that is now in the
atmosphere.
• Most of the carbon from the _________in the
air gradually became locked up in sedimentary
______ as carbonates and _____...
• Nowadays the release of _________by burning
_________ increases the level of _________ in
the atmosphere
Changes in the earth and its atmosphere
Changes in the earth and its atmosphere
Changes in the earth and its atmosphere
Changes in the earth and its atmosphere
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Changes in the earth and its atmosphere

  1. 1. Changes in the Earth and its atmosphere
  2. 2. Key words/ concepts Core Mantle Crust Atmosphere Tectonic plates Convection currents Radioactive processes Hydrocarbons Algae Photosynthesis Sedimentary rocks Carbonates Reservoir Marine environment Fossil fuels Chemicals Nitrogen Oxygen Carbon dioxide Noble gases Methane Ammonia Oxygen
  3. 3. C1.7.1 The Earth’s crust a) The Earth consists of a core, mantle and crust, and is surrounded by the atmosphere.
  4. 4. b) The Earth’s crust and the upper part of the mantle are cracked into a number of large pieces (tectonic plates).
  5. 5. c) Convection currents within the Earth’s mantle driven by heat released by natural radioactive processes cause the plates to move at relative speeds of a few centimetres per year. The mantle is mostly solid, but it is able to move slowly.
  6. 6. d) The movements can be sudden and disastrous. Earthquakes and/or volcanic eruptions occur at the boundaries between tectonic plates.
  7. 7. Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift •Similar fossils and plants on opposite sides of the oceans •Pieces fitted together like jigsaw •Matching layers in the rocks of the different continents •Fossils of tropical animals in arctic regions
  8. 8. •His idea: one large supercontinent, he called Pangea. •Broke into chunks and slowly drifted apart
  9. 9. Why wasn’t the theory of crustal movement (continental drift) not generally accepted for many years after it was proposed? •The idea of ‘drifting’ wasn’t very convincing •Wegener thought the continents were ploughing through the ocean causing tidal forces – other geologists said this was impossible •Wegener used inaccurate data in his calculations – some of his predictions were rather wild •In the 1950s ocean floor investigations found evidence to support Wegener’s theory. •By the 1960s geologists were convinced – though Wegener wasn’t right about everything!
  10. 10. C1.7.2 The Earth’s atmosphere a) For 200 million years, the proportions of different gases in the atmosphere have been much the same as they are today: • about four-fifths (80%) nitrogen • about one-fifth (20%) oxygen • small proportions of various other gases, including carbon dioxide, water vapour and noble gases.
  11. 11. b) During the first billion years of the Earth’s existence there was intense volcanic activity. This activity released the gases that formed the early atmosphere and water vapour that condensed to form the oceans.
  12. 12. • Some theories suggest that during this period, the Earth’s atmosphere was mainly carbon dioxide and there would have been little or no oxygen gas (like the atmospheres of Mars and Venus today). There may also have been water vapour and small proportions of methane and ammonia.
  13. 13. • Plants produced the oxygen that is now in the atmosphere.
  14. 14. • Most of the carbon from the carbon dioxide in the air gradually became locked up in sedimentary rocks as carbonates and fossil fuels.
  15. 15. • Nowadays the release of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
  16. 16. c) There are several theories about how the atmosphere was formed. One theory suggests that during this period the Earth’s atmosphere was mainly carbon dioxide and there would have been little or no oxygen gas (like the atmospheres of Mars and Venus today). There may also have been water vapour and small proportions of methane and ammonia.
  17. 17. d) There are many theories as to how life was formed billions of years ago. e) One theory as to how life was formed involves the interaction between hydrocarbons, ammonia and lightning.
  18. 18. f) Plants and algae produced the oxygen that is now in the atmosphere. g) Most of the carbon from the carbon dioxide in the air gradually became locked up in sedimentary rocks as carbonates and fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide dissolves in the oceans and that limestone was formed from the shells and skeletons of marine organisms. Fossil fuels contain carbon and hydrocarbons that are the remains of plants and animals. h) The oceans also act as a reservoir for carbon dioxide but increased amounts of carbon dioxide absorbed by the oceans has an impact on the marine environment. i) Nowadays the release of carbon dioxide by burning fossil fuels increases the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
  19. 19. j) Air is a mixture of gases with different boiling points and can be fractionally distilled to provide a source of raw materials used in a variety of industrial processes.
  20. 20. • The Earth consists of a _______, _______ and _______.
  21. 21. • Scientists once thought that the features of the Earth’s surface were the result of the shrinking of the crust as the Earth cooled down following its formation.
  22. 22. • The Earth’s crust and the upper part of the mantle are cracked into a number of large pieces (_________). Convection currents within the Earth’s mantle, driven by heat released by natural radioactive processes, cause the plates to move at relative speeds of a few _________ per ________.
  23. 23. Alfred Wegener’s theory of continental drift •Similar _______ and ______ on opposite sides of the oceans •Pieces fitted together like ________ •Matching ________ in the rocks of the different _________ •________ of _______ animals in arctic regions
  24. 24. •His idea: one large __________, he called ________. •Broke into _______ and slowly ___________ .
  25. 25. Why wasn’t the theory of crustal movement (continental drift) not generally accepted for many years after it was proposed? •The idea of ‘________’ wasn’t very convincing •Wegener thought the continents were ploughing through the ocean causing ________– other geologists said this was ________ •Wegener used ___________in his calculations – some of his predictions were rather wild •In the 1950s __________________found evidence to support Wegener’s theory. •By the _______ geologists were convinced – though Wegener wasn’t right about everything!
  26. 26. • The movements can be sudden and disastrous. ________ and/or __________occur at the boundaries between __________.
  27. 27. • For _______years, the proportions of different gases in the atmosphere have been much the same as they are today: − about ________ (____%) nitrogen − about _________(____%) oxygen − small proportions of various other gases, including ___________, _________ and ______ gases.
  28. 28. • During the first billion years of the Earth’s existence there was intense _____ activity. This activity released the gases that formed the early atmosphere and water vapour that condensed to form the ________.
  29. 29. • Some theories suggest that during this period, the Earth’s atmosphere was mainly ________and there would have been little or no _______ gas (like the atmospheres of Mars and Venus today). There may also have been ________and small proportions of ________ and ________ .
  30. 30. • Plants produced the ________ that is now in the atmosphere.
  31. 31. • Most of the carbon from the _________in the air gradually became locked up in sedimentary ______ as carbonates and ________.
  32. 32. • Nowadays the release of _________by burning _________ increases the level of _________ in the atmosphere
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