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Marine Geology, Hydrology and Human Impact on Earth Essay

The bathymetry of the ocean seafloor and plate tectonics

Modern scientists have a great number of various tools at their disposal, which allow investigators to discover new dimensions and analyze things and factors unknown before. Furthermore, the evolution of various technical devices also conditioned the appearance of new information about various objects, places, and phenomena. Bathymetry could be considered one of the relatively new practices that became extremely important for the investigators of the seafloor. In general, the term refers to the oceans depth relative to sea level. However, the implementation of the new technologies and practices in the process of investigation of the sea depths resulted in the appearance of the new meaning. At the moment, the term means a sort of submarine topography or the depths and shapes of the underwater surface and terrain (“What is bathymetry?” para. 1).

Bathymetric measurements provide precise information about the ocean floor. They show how it is varied, complex, and ever-changing (“Ocean-Floor Bathymetry” para. 3) in its nature. Besides, this sort of map demonstrates the land and terrain of the underwater surface. The tiniest variations in sea-floor relief could show a number of important processes that might happen and impact the environment. For this reason, this very practice is also related to plate tectonics as it provides the possibility to determine the borders of various plates, their movement, and the slightest but meaningful changes in their location. The usage of the measurements obtained due to the bathymetric analysis provides the significant information needed to predict the further behavior of tectonic plates. Furthermore, this very data is crucial for scientists as it helps them to make certain conclusions about the sea level, earthquakes, changes in the shapes of the underwater terrain, etc.

The sides of ocean transform fault

The modern geology considers the movement of tectonic plates the main cause for numerous earthquakes and other processes that might impact the environment and initiate crucial changes. Yet, the movement of these plates presents a great interest for scientists as its investigation provides the information needed for the analysis. In general, transform faults could be considered one of the main forces that still shape the earth. The bigger part of these faults could be found in the ocean. The appearance of the new ocean transform fault is noticed by scientists as it might cause a strong earthquake and trigger a number of other significant processes. Traditionally, the strongest part of an ocean transform fault is in the middle. The effect of any fault is to relieve the strain that might appear due to compression, extension, etc. (Alden para. 5).

In this regard, the strain is transported between the ridges. The sides of the transform fault move in different directions to reveal the strain and prevent the further development of compression. This process conditions the movement of tectonic plates that have to change their location under the pressure of the transform fault. Furthermore, the sides between the spreading segments are rubbing together (Alden para. 5), but as far as the seafloor becomes stable, these two sides travel abreast (“Oceanic Transform Faults and Fracture Zones” para. 3). For this reason, even the smallest fault will become bigger because of the movement of the sides and other processes initiated by the appearance of this very fault. Altogether, the analysis of the given phenomenon is crucial for a better understanding of the nature of various events and the prediction of the possible earthquakes that might impact the environment greatly. Yet, scientists devote great efforts to the investigation of this very issue.

Charles Darwin’s theory on the geology of the Galapagos Islands

Charles Darwin was one of the most outstanding scientists who impacted the world greatly. Being an experienced investigator, he visited a number of various places to find clear and credible evidence for the majority of his theories. Besides, in his journey on the Beagle in 1830 he also visited Galapagos Islands. This visit became very important as it initiated numerous debates related to the character of the given place and perspectives that awaited it. The fact is that Charles Darwin suggested a theory that stated that the islands were sinking. The scientist also suggested several facts that might evidence this theory. It rests on the apparent progression of coral reefs that surrounded the islands.

Darwin could not explain why the islands were sinking. However, every stage of this process could be proved by the state of the coral reef built up in the surrounding areas (Sulloway para. 5). Various types of coral reefs show the stages of the great geological change that happened to the islands. Darwin was not able to prove his suggestion using the theory of plate tectonics as it was still unknown. However, he was sure that there was some sort of forces that contributed to the creation of coral (Wanucha para. 4). One realizes the fact that Darwin was not able to use the latest bathymetric showings and the data obtained with the help of the precise analysis of the seafloor. However, his personal observations and the knowledge of the peculiarities of the environment contributed to the creation of the hypothesis that could be proved nowadays with the help of the newest technologies and measurements. Darwin managed to foresee the further evolution of the given are and determine the existence of certain forces that might impact the land.

The formation of continental mountain ranges

Our planet is formed by a number of various forces that impacted its creation and evolution. Besides, the majority of landscapes we see today appear due to the combination of various forces and powers that impacted the world and introduced new shapes and terrains. The process is not finished yet as our planet is constantly changing and obtains new forms and landscapes. Continental mountain ranges could be considered the highest and greatest mountains of the Earth. These peaks have been created by the great forces that appeared due to the collision of continents (“When Continents Collide” para. 5). The process is simple and complex at the same time. Numerous continental plates move together and initiate significant changes of the terrain. Besides, much heavier oceanic plate between these continental plates subducts.

This process could not but impact the ocean. Being placed between two continents, ocean comes to the end of its life cycle (“Evolution of Continents and Oceans” para. 4). The fact is that these ranges play a crucial role in the life cycle of an ocean. Oceanic waters move closer together and cause a number of significant processes that are the part of the oceans lifecycle. Furthermore, the continents collision results in the great stress and pressure on all continental plates. Yet, these plates never subduct and form the new mountains. The given cycle is crucial for the evolution of the planet as it renews oceans waters and guarantees the continuity of the formation of continental mountains that act as the important force which helps an ocean to renew. Altogether, the formation of these mountains should be considered the significant part of our planet that contributes to its further evolution and development.

Geologic mechanisms explaining the existence of ocean fossils within crustal rocks in the middle of the continent

Investigation of the history of our planet is a complex and long-term process that could provide a number of facts and mysteries that could hardly be answered at the current stage of the evolution of science. However, numerous researchers tend to find answers related to the Earths geologic history. The fact is that there are various ocean fossils within crustal rocks in the middle of the continents. The discovery of these elements impacted the whole scientific world as it means that this territory used to be under the water. However, there is clear and logic explanation for this question. According to numerous credible sources (“How Old is the Earth?” para.4 ) Earth had one massive continent Pangaea about 300 million years ago.

The continent was surrounded by a great ocean. However, due to significant geologic processes in the Early Jurassic era the continent started to split (“Plate Tectonics” para. 5). This event resulted in numerous consequences. The sea floors rose and took part in the formation of various mountains. Yet, the long-term character of this process resulted in the replacement of ocean fossils up to mountain peaks. Altogether, crustal rocks in the middle of the continent used to be under the water and this fact conditioned the appearance of numerous fossils there. Besides, to understand this process better it is crucial to analyze the Earth geologic history. As stated above, its surface changed and obtained new shapes and features. Once used to be a single continent, it then split into several ones and formed a number of new landscapes. Furthermore, the existence of various eras might help to understand the process of the earths evolution better.

Scientific prediction of natural disasters

The blistering evolution of science and various technologies gave rise to a number of concerns and impacted a all spheres of human activity. The implementation of innovations resulted in the appearance of the new ways to perform traditional activities and obtain perfect results. The sphere of science could be considered those which altered under the impact of new technologies most of all. The fact is that it is crucial to use the new approaches to guarantee the evolution of society and science. For this reason, the majority of new inventions are used for various scientific purposes. For instance, the rapid evolution of geology and the main means of geological exploration combined with the data obtained from the bathymetric measurements help scientists to predict the appearance and development of earthquakes (Harris and Kiger para. 5).

This practice is crucial for the modern world as the majority of the population live in densely populated city and the natural disaster like the earthquake might result in millions of victims. Furthermore, the ability to predict the appearance of this natural phenomenon also helps to obtain the unique and significant data needed for its precise analysis and investigation. The same deals with tsunami which results from earthquakes. Furthermore, the detailed analysis of tectonic plates and other peculiarities of the Earths crust might help to predict the eruption and warn people about it. Finally, there are numerous meteorological probes and stations that help researchers to collect the needed data and foresee the development of typhoon, hurricane, etc. (Passary para. 6). It is obvious, that the further evolution of these technical devices will help scientists to become more successful and obtain even more data needed for the precise analysis and credible conclusions.

The path a water molecule takes as it travels through the hydrologic cycle

The Hydrologic Cycle is the continuous circulation of water in the atmosphere of our planter. During this very process a water molecule changes its physical state several times (“The Hydrologic Cycle” para. 7). Yet, there are some important stages of the given process. The first one is evaporation. Under the impact of warmth, sun rays, and wind water evaporates from various surfaces. Then it accumulates in clouds until the next rain or storm. It might fall onto various surfaces again and condense out of mist or fog. it is the example which describes the movement of a water molecule within the cycle. However, one should realize the fact that there are some other ways in which a molecule goes through all these stages.

Rains deliver water to earth and it enters the soil, lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. Moreover, the combination of temperature and other climate conditions might result in snowfalls. All water which enters the soil in these ways could be either evaporated or transported by plants roots (“A Summary of the Hydrologic Cycle” para. 8). In general, the given phenomenon is crucial for numerous processes and lifecycle. A water molecule changes its physical state several times and impacts various aspects of the nature. Furthermore, the hydrologic cycle is extremely vital for the existence of life on the earth as it guarantees the stable water supply to plants and animals. In these regards, the basic knowledge of the main peculiarities of the given process is crucial for the better understanding of our world.

Major ocean current systems and their impact on climate

First of all, one should accept the fact that the ocean plays a fundamental role in shaping the climate zones of the Earth and determining the weather. Even lands that do not have the direct access to the ocean and are situated millions of miles from its waters are still impacted by the ocean and respond to its slightest changes. The fact is that the ocean is significant for distribution of heat across the planet (“Weather and Climate” para. 5). Covering the bigger part of the planet, it absorbs the heat and radiation that comes with the sunlight and acts as a great heater that distributes warmth to various parts of our planet. The fact is that when water molecules are heated they initiate the process of evaporation and move freely in the atmosphere, increasing the temperature and guaranteeing the stable source of warmth.

However ,there is also another mechanism that is used to deliver heat to the needed place and maintain the needed temperature. The fact is that ocean current system is crucial for the existence of life on our planet as the majority of weather patterns are driven by these very currents. In general, these are the movements of the ocean water caused by winds, oscillations in temperature, Earth rotation and tides (“Ocean Currents and Climate” para. 7). These currents play a significant role in the existence of our planet and heat exchange. They transport heat and warm masses of water to the poles and take cold waters back to the tropics. They also impact the world climate as currents help to distribute heat and solar radiation in the most appropriate way. They also guarantee the existence of comfortable temperatures that could promote the comfortable existence of numerous species.

The layers of the atmosphere and effects on weather

Our atmosphere is the unique system that protects the surface of our planet from radiation, absorbs heat and water and delivers it to various places. Moreover, the unique character of the given phenomenon conditions the great complexity of its functions. The atmosphere consists of 5 layers and they all have their own unique peculiarities. Exosphere is its highest layer. It is situated about 10000km above the Earth. It is extremely thin and it is the place where the atmosphere merges into outer space (Sharp para. 2) and let molecules and atoms escape there. Then comes thermosphere which is often referred as the upper atmosphere (Sharp para. 4). It still remains thin, however, the gases that could be found there become more dense. A number of molecules and atoms start to absorb radiation and heat that come with the sun rays and guarantee the increase of the temperature. The mesosphere starts from about 50 km above the Earth’s surface.

The given layer is characterized by the increased density of such gases as oxygen, and high temperatures. Yet, it is already thick enough to slow the majority of meteorites that come to the Earth. Stratosphere is the next layer of the atmosphere. It holds 19% of atmosphere gases but very little vapor (“Layers of the Atmosphere” para. 7) which makes it extremely vital for the heat and gases exchange. Finally, troposphere is the lowest layer of the given system. It is known as lower atmosphere and has the greatest impact on the weather. Yet, one should realize the fact that the given system has the great impact on our climate. It is responsible for distribution of water across the planet as the water molecules are accumulated there. Moreover, the atmosphere protects the earth from the direct sun rays guaranteeing the comfortable temperature and protecting us from sun radiation.

Erosion, mass wasting, streams, oceans and glaciers shaping the land

Our planet is still developing and there are certain forces that impact its evolution. Besides, erosion is the process characterized by the transportation of rocks and soil by such powers as wind and water (“Weathering, Erosion, and Deposition” para. 6). Numerous rains might take the tiniest particles of soil away into rivers or other reservoirs. The long-term character of the given process result in the formation of new landscapes or changing the shape of rivers. There is also such phenomenon as wind erosion characterized by the great winds impact on certain surfaces. It could also promote the appearance of new landscapes. Yet, erosion could also be caused by “gravity, glaciers, and water in the form of ocean currents, streams, and ground water” (“Landslide and other gravity movements” para. 6)

Mass wasting is the another force that impacts landscapes and result in the formation of new terrains. It transports rocks, sediments and soil with the help of gravitation. Numerous cracks and cavities that appear due to this process might be filled with water which will freeze, causing another cracks.

Glaciers could be considered the extreme masses of ice that might result in the significant alteration of the local landscape when moving. Their movement is slow but powerful. It might impact rocks and replace masses of soil and sand to new places.

Finally, oceans and streams also play a great role in the process of shaping the land. Being the great natural powers, they might destroy existing terrains and contribute to the formation of new ones.

Altogether all these forces are extremely vital for the evolution of our planet as they guarantee the continuous process of the creation of new lands.

The processes of plate tectonics making metals and minerals

The human society depends on mineral resources greatly. One could hardly imagine the modern world without things made from metal or other important minerals. For this reason, minerals prospecting is crucial for the further evolution of our society. It is also vital to understand what processes make metals and minerals usable for us. Besides, a number of processes of plate tectonics are responsible for the formation of various deposits. The fact is that there are three types of plate boundaries which are convergent, divergent, and transform. Yet, each type of these boundaries has a certain set of mineral deposits needed for humanity (“Physical Geography: Plate Tectonics” para. 5). That is why their movements are extremely important. For instance, divergent boundaries move in different directions. Moving away from each other they create the low pressure zone and magma obtains the possibility to move to the surface. It contains a number of minerals that could be extracted by people. Moreover, contacting with water, magma initiates reaction and produces black smokers on the sea floor (“Plate Tectonics and people” para. 7). These are also rich in various mineral resources that could be used by people. Moreover, there are many other similar processes that result from the movement of tectonic plates and boundaries. In general, they all make minerals and metals usable for us by moving them from the unreachable places to the surface.

Ways humans have altered the planet

One realizes the fact that hundreds years of human activity have changed the Earth greatly. Besides, in the last several decades the humans influence became extremely significant. The rapid growth of technologies and science resulted in the blistering development of industry. Being considered one of the greatest achievements of the modern age, these processes also give rise to a number of concerns related to the state of environment. The fact is that humanity has never had such need for mineral resources it has nowadays. That is why numerous lands are given to extraction industries. Moreover, there is the great problem related to deforestation. Wood is used in a number of industries. According to statistics, about half of the world’s tropical forests have been cleared (Bradford para. 5).

It could not but impact the environment as trees play a significant role in thermoregulation and other processes crucial for the existence of life. Furthermore, the creation of new plants and factories resulted in the significant water, soil, and air pollution. A number of harmful gases change the structure of the atmosphere and introduce the problem of greenhouse effect which causes global warming and other significant climate changes. Additionally, peoples attempts to alter the landscape and create beneficial conditions needed for the evolution of a certain industry or creation of a settlement also impact the environment and destroys the balance peculiar to the region (Green para. 5). That is why a number of species are at the edge of extinction nowadays. The given facts evidence the way human beings change the image of the planet and contribute to its destruction.

The composition of the solar system, discussing similarities and differences between planets

Our solar system is organized according to the same principles millions of systems in the Universe function (“Solar System Formation” para. 2). Sun is the star which is the center of the whole system. It is the main source of heat, energy, and radiation. It also impacts all other planets and objects in the system. There are eight comparatively distant planets. The four smaller inner planets are Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Earth. They are composed primary of rocks and located at different distances from the Sun. The four other planets are much bigger. Saturn and Jupiter are gas giants which consist mainly of hydrogen and helium. Jupiter is the greatest planet in the system and it contains the most of the mass remaining for planets. Yet, Neptune and Uranus could be considered giant ice planets that are composed of elements with comparatively high melting points (“Difference between the inner and outer planets” para. 7). Besides, all planets have circular orbits and are placed within the ecliptic. It has already been stated, that the differences between planets are significant. They are conditioned by the planets structure and their distance to sun (“Difference between the inner and outer planets” para. 8) The Earth could be taken as the unique one as the combination of various these factors resulted in the germ of life and its evolution. Altogether, the Solar system’s structure is not unique and there are many other systems that have the same pattern and could be investigated to discover some signs of living beings.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Marine Geology, Hydrology and Human Impact on Earth." August 14, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/marine-geology-hydrology-and-human-impact-on-earth/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Marine Geology, Hydrology and Human Impact on Earth'. 14 August.

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