Geology 10 (Physical Geology)

California State University, Sacramento

Week 1: Introduction to Physical Geology

Atoms and elements


Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Discuss the types of work that geologists do

  • Describe how the heat engine works on planet Earth

  • Define the layers of the earth

  • Describe the features of different types of plate boundaries:  convergent, divergent, transform

  • Define the meaning of deep time

  • Describe how protons, neutrons and electrons make up atoms

  • Tell the difference between a compound, and atom, an element, and a mineral

  • Define an isotope

  • Discuss simple types of chemical bonding

  • List the main groups of minerals, and describe the chemical makeup of each

  • List the properties that a geologist would use to identify a mineral

Reading Assignments

From Plummer, Carlson and Hammersley, Physical Geology, 13th edition

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Appendix C

Appendix D


Powerpoint graphics used during lectures


Week 1 graphics