Physical Geology

Written by: Steven Earle (Thompson Rivers University)

This is another great open source textbook from the B.C. Open Textbook Project. It is a collaboration created by the faculty from Earth Science Departments at a number of Universities and Colleges. Like many of the textbooks by this group, there is a particular emphasis on western Canada and British Columbia, however, this comprehensive, introductory physical geology textbook has plenty to offer all students.

Students will find plenty of review questions and exercises. The authors have provided a complete answer key for both; making this a great self-study physical geology textbook too.

This 2014 open physical geology textbook is offered in the following formats: EPUB, PDF, PDF (designed for printing), MOBI, XHTML, WXR, WXR (designed for printing) and ODT.

Table of Contents for Physical Geography Open Textbook

Chapter 1 Introduction to Geology
1.1 What Is Geology?
1.2 Why Study Earth?
1.3 What Do Geologists Do?
1.4 Minerals and Rocks
1.5 Fundamentals of Plate Tectonics
1.6 Geological Time
Chapter 1 Summary
Chapter 2 Minerals
2.1 Electrons, Protons, Neutrons, and Atoms
2.2 Bonding and Lattices
2.3 Mineral Groups
2.4 Silicate Minerals
2.5 Formation of Minerals
2.6 Mineral Properties
Chapter 2 Summary
Chapter 3 Intrusive Igneous Rocks
3.1 The Rock Cycle
3.2 Magma and Magma Formation
3.3 Crystallization of Magma
3.4 Classification of Igneous Rocks
3.5 Intrusive Igneous Bodies
Chapter 3 Summary
Chapter 4 Volcanism
4.1 Plate Tectonics and Volcanism
4.2 Magma Composition and Eruption Style
4.3 Types of Volcanoes
4.4 Volcanic Hazards
4.5 Monitoring Volcanoes and Predicting Eruptions
4.6 Volcanoes in British Columbia
Chapter 4 Summary
Chapter 5 Weathering and Soil
5.1 Mechanical Weathering
5.2 Chemical Weathering
5.3 The Products of Weathering and Erosion
5.4 Weathering and the Formation of Soil
5.5 The Soils of Canada
5.6 Weathering and Climate Change
Chapter 5 Summary
Chapter 6 Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks
6.1 Clastic Sedimentary Rocks
6.2 Chemical Sedimentary Rocks
6.3 Depositional Environments and Sedimentary Basins
6.4 Sedimentary Structures and Fossils
6.5 Groups, Formations, and Members
Chapter 6 Summary
Chapter 7 Metamorphism and Metamorphic Rocks
7.1 Controls over Metamorphic Processes
7.2 Classification of Metamorphic Rocks
7.3 Plate Tectonics and Metamorphism
7.4 Regional Metamorphism
7.5 Contact Metamorphism and Hydrothermal Processes
Chapter 7 Summary
Chapter 8 Measuring Geological Time
8.1 The Geological Time Scale
8.2 Relative Dating Methods
8.3 Dating Rocks Using Fossils
8.4 Isotopic Dating Methods
8.5 Other Dating Methods
8.6 Understanding Geological Time

Chapter 8 Summary

Chapter 9 Earth’s Interior
9.1 Understanding Earth through Seismology
9.2 The Temperature of Earth’s Interior
9.3 Earth’s Magnetic Field
9.4 Isostasy
Chapter 9 Summary
Chapter 10 Plate Tectonics
10.1 Alfred Wegener — the Father of Plate Tectonics
10.2 Global Geological Models of the Early 20th Century
10.3 Geological Renaissance of the Mid-20th Century
10.4 Plates, Plate Motions, and Plate-Boundary Processes
10.5 Mechanisms for Plate Motion
Chapter 10 Summary
Chapter 11 Earthquakes
11.1 What Is an Earthquake?
11.2 Earthquakes and Plate Tectonics
11.3 Measuring Earthquakes
11.4 The Impacts of Earthquakes
11.5 Forecasting Earthquakes and Minimizing Damage and Casualties

Chapter 11 Summary

Chapter 12 Geological structures
12.1 Stress and Strain
12.2 Folding
12.3 Fracturing and Faulting
12.4 Measuring Geological Structures
Chapter 12 Summary
Chapter 13 Streams and Floods
13.1 The Hydrological Cycle
13.2 Drainage Basins
13.3 Stream Erosion and Deposition
13.4 Stream Types
13.5 Flooding
Chapter 13 Summary
Chapter 14 Groundwater
14.1 Groundwater and Aquifers
14.2 Groundwater Flow
14.3 Groundwater Extraction
14.4 Groundwater Quality
Chapter 14 Summary
Chapter 15 Mass Wasting
15.1 Factors That Control Slope Stability
15.2 Classification of Mass Wasting
15.3 Preventing, Delaying, Monitoring, and Mitigating Mass Wasting
Chapter 15 Summary
Chapter 16 Glaciation
16.1 Glacial Periods in Earth’s History
16.2 How Glaciers Work
16.3 Glacial Erosion
16.4 Glacial Deposition
Chapter 16 Summary
Chapter 17 Shorelines
17.1 Waves
17.2 Landforms of Coastal Erosion
17.3 Landforms of Coastal Deposition
17.4 Sea-Level Change
17.5 Human Interference with Shorelines
Chapter 17 Summary
Chapter 18 Geology of the Oceans
18.1 The Topography of the Sea Floor
18.2 The Geology of the Oceanic Crust
18.3 Sea-Floor Sediments
18.4 Ocean Water
Chapter 18 Summary
Chapter 19 Climate Change
19.1 What Makes the Climate Change?
19.2 Anthropogenic Climate Change
19.3 Implications of Climate Change
Chapter 19 Summary
Chapter 20 Geological Resources
20.1 Metal Deposits
20.2 Industrial Minerals
20.3 Fossil Fuels
20.4 Diamonds
Chapter 20 Summary
Chapter 21 Geological History of Western Canada
21.1 Geological History of Canada
21.2 Western Canada during the Precambrian
21.3 Western Canada during the Paleozoic
21.4 Western Canada during the Mesozoic
21.5 Western Canada during the Cenozoic
Chapter 21 Summary
Chapter 22 The Origin of Earth and the Solar System
22.1 Starting with a Big Bang
22.2 Forming Planets from the Remnants of Exploding Stars
22.3 How to Build a Solar System
22.4 Earth’s First 2 Billion Years
22.5 Are There Other Earths?
Chapter 22 Summary
Glossary
About the Author
Appendix 1 List of Geologically Important elements and the Periodic Table
Appendix 2 Answers to Review Questions
Appendix 3 Answers to Exercises

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