updated: 11 / 17

Rogue Community College

Geology 101, 102, and 103: Lectures and class notes

Mike Strickler, Instructor



Information for the included class notes was obtained from a variety of geologic sources. Before investing too many grains of salt in any of the following information, please bear in mind Strickler's 1st Law of GeoFantasy, and the reality that Geology is a rapidly evolving science. The majority of the quotes are from "the book" - any one of several dozen quite reputable geologic sources (it's the stuff without quotes which is mine and therefore highly suspect).


Geology 101: Fall term

Orientation and Introduction to the Earth and Time


Introduction to the earth

Introduction to Geologic Time

The age of the earth

Geologic Time and the Relative Time Scale

Fossils and the geologic record

Timeline Lab

Beginnings - overview of reality and the origin of the universe

General Statements (C.Y.A.)


Solar System lab exercise

Mechanics of the universe

Origin and formation of the Universe

Future of the Universe

Formation of the Solar System: the Nebular Hypothesis

The Earth - an overview concerning the origins of its structure, gasses, water, and life


Accumulation and differentiation of the earth

Origin & evolution of the crust

Origin of the atmosphere and hydrosphere

The Ocean

The Atmosphere

The beginnings of life

How does God fit into all this? (Divine vs. Natural processes)

Continental Drift and Plate Tectonics


Continental Drift: Introduction

Evidence and Support

Plate Tectonics: Introduction

Plate Tectonics: a local view

Divergent Plate Boundaries (from GPHS notes)

Convergent Plate Boundaries (from GPHS notes)

Mechanism of Plate Tectonics

Evolution and Morphology of the Seafloor


Plate Tectonics and the Seafloor

The Seafloor: an Introduction

The Transition from Continental to Oceanic Crust

The Abyss: Deep Oceanic Crust

Coral Atolls

Seafloor Sediments

Economic Geology of the Seafloor

Earthquakes and the Earth's Interior


Case Histories

The United States



Europe and the Middle East

South America

Occurrence and Causes of Earthquakes

Measurements of Seismic Waves

Intensity vs. Magnitude

Seismic Waves and the Earth's Interior

People and Earthquakes

Prediction & Control of Earthquakes

The Cascadia Subduction Zone : a group activity

Matter and Minerals


Summary of physical reality

The surface of the Earth


Crystalline solids

Chemical properties of minerals

Mineral classes

Mineral Identification

Click here for online mineral and rock ID charts

Magma and Igneous Rocks


Magma composition


Put it all together: Classification

Igneous structures

Click here for online mineral and rock ID charts



Global Distribution

Classification of Volcanoes

Mafic eruptions

Intermediate eruptions

Felsic eruptions

Volcano lyrics (Jimmy Buffett)

Structural Geology


Introduction to crustal stress

Directed stress and crustal deformation

Geologic structures

Joints and fractures



Directed stress and plate tectonics

Plate Tectonics, Volcanoes, and Pluton


Factors affecting magma generation

Spreading Center magmas

Subduction Zone magmas

Continental magmas

Formation of granitic magma

A new thought...

Click here for more on elements and minerals common to the major magma types

Click here for more on magma and igneous rocks

Click here for a summary of plate boundaries


Geology 102: Winter term

Sedimentary Processes and Rocks


Origin of Sedimentary Materials

Environments of Deposition

Continental Deposition

Marine Deposition

Transitional Environments

Conversion into Rock

Features of Sedimentary Rocks

Which Way is Up?

Facies Changes


Classification of sedimentary rocks

Clastics - true secondary rocks

Chemical sedimentary rocks

Organic sedimentary rocks

Click here for online mineral and rock ID charts

Metamorphic Processes and Rocks


Factors involved in the metamorphic process

Metamorphic environments and rocks

Metamorphic terrains of limited extent

Regional metamorphism: an overview

The Rocks

Non-foliated metamorphic rocks

Foliated metamorphic rocks

Migmatites and the Formation of Granitic Magmas

The realms of dynamo-thermal metamorphism

Click here for online mineral and rock ID charts

Introduction to Water and Surface Processes

Water and Magic

Origins of Water

The Hydrologic Cycle

Water and Life

Water in the Atmosphere and the Transfer of Thermal Energy

Regional weather patterns - Pacific Northwest

Water and the Environment

Weathering of Rock at the Surface of the Earth


Soil Development and Loss

Weathering: an Overview

Mechanical Weathering

Chemical Weathering

Biological Weathering

Inter-relationships Between Weathering Types

Relative Rates of Weathering



Factors that Affect Erosion

Classification of Mass Movements




Complex Movements



Conditions Contributing to Mass Wasting

Stabilizing Slopes to Minimize Mass Wasting

Streams and Stream Dynamics


The Hydrologic Cycle

Streams and Energy

Velocity, Channel Morphology, and Discharge

Transportation of Sediments

Deposition of Sediments

Graded Streams

Evolution of Drainage Systems

Linkage to Groundwater

Humans and the Rational Use of Streams

Click here for a list of vocabulary associated with this topic



Origin of Groundwater

Occurrence and Movement of Groundwater



Water Table

Vadose Zone

Groundwater and Stream Flow

Aquifers and wells

Groundwater Contamination

Sukalot: a group activity

...and the Gods wept: the Love Canal

Prospecting for Groundwater

Geological Role of Groundwater

Click here for a list of vocabulary associated with this topic


Geology 103: Spring term



Development of the Glacial Theory

Distribution of Glaciers

Formation of Glacial Ice

Glacial Budget

Glacial Movement

Alpine Glaciers

Continental Ice Sheets

Miscellaneous features

Arid Lands


What causes a desert

Moisture and the desert

Wind and the desert

A closing note...


Economic Geology

Introduction to Historical Geology

Introduction to Paleontology

Evolution and natural selection

Evolution and Geologic Time

Relative Age Dating

Stratigraphic Columns

Stratigraphic Correlation

Pre-Cambrian History

Banded Iron Formation


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