Prior to answering the following questions make sure you read the assignments in your “Physical Geology, 2nd ed” online textbook from Chapter 8 (Measuring Geologic Time).  Also, you may need to review Chapter 6 (Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks) and Chapter 5 (Weathering and Soil) from the previous week that will be helpful.  You are expected to research outside scientific sources from my course Webliography (Content tab) and the Internet.


This project will concentrate on two geologic topics: (1) “sedimentary rocks” (esp. stratigraphy a sub-science of geology), and (2) “fossils” (paleontology a sub-science of geology).  It will require you to engage in some geological research on your local area (also in preparation for the final exam).  It is recommended that you support your answers with graphics (e.g., photographs, maps, graphs, diagrams, cross-sections, geologic time charts, etc.), if they help with explanations or descriptions and are directly related to the answer.  Citations in APA-style required for graphic sources.


(NOTE: You will need to go to your state or national geological survey/natural resources department to get this information – see my course Webliography under American Association of State Geologists (AASG) for all the state geological websites.



1) Define the geological terms “bedrock” and “outcrop”.  What types of surface material may be covering many bedrock areas, and what geological processes created or deposited it above the bedrock?  Define and describe “soil”, how it forms, and why it is such an essential resource.


2) What type of bedrock is in your local area?  Identify the rock type and its geological age (Period and Ma)?  What other types of bedrock are in your region?  Describe the location and area distribution (use a state geologic map to show this).  Does the change in bedrock also change the topography (elevation and terrain) of your state or region?


3) Define the geological term “fossil”.  What is “fossilization” and how does it occur?  Why are fossils almost exclusively discovered in sedimentary rocks?  Give examples of the various types of fossils with their geologic discovery location.  What do fossils indicate to geologists about Earth’s geologic history?


4) Are there any fossils in your region (state or nation)?  If so, what fossils are found there and what type of rock are they found in?  What is the geologic period and age range (Ma) that these fossils were formed in?  Describe one specific fossil type found there (photos recommended).  If there are any national or state parks with fossils in your region you may use these locations.  If there are no local or state fossil sites, use one of the US national parks, such as:

Dinosaur NP (Utah), Petrified Forest NP (Arizona), or Badlands NP (South Dakota).


5) In a couple of paragraphs, explain how paleontology evidence and faunal succession supports:


(a) The “Theory of Evolution”


(b) The “Theory of Plate Tectonics



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