GG101 Dynamic Earth

Fall 2016


Instructor:  Garrett Apuzen-Ito

POST 810,

Lectures: MWF, 10:30-11:20am, POST 723


Why take a class in Earth science?

1.      To understand the world in which you live

2.      To become an informed voter & better steward of your environment

3.      To improve your critical thinking skills

4.     To enter a profession that serves today’s & tomorrow’s communities

General learning objectives

1.      You will be able to explain some basic facts about the Earth:  how it has evolved, its basic composition and structure, important dynamic processes, and how humans interact with Earth

2.      You will be able using facts and data to make logical, objective inferences and decisions

3.     You will be good at planning your time and using it optimally to meet your goals

4.     You will be effective at communicating your knowledge and ideas to peers and instructors


Grading and Activities:  

40% Four exams (12.5% each): closed book but you are allowed one page of notes per chapter.

40% Homework:

·         Done on Laulima (GG-101-003 FA16). 

·         Assignments close at the start of class on the due date.

·         Don’t shoot yourself in the leg; Don’t get a zero.  Do something for each assignment on time.

20% In-class exercises using Reef Education and attendance.

Extra credit opportunities will be available. 


Course Syllabus


Reading assignments. Links to lectures &


Homework due at 10:30a.m.


Part I: Planet Earth & Its Interior Processes

8/22 & 8/24


8/24 & 8/26


Chapter 1  Intro to Earth Science

A world of solutions ;  Mantle convection


Chapter 2 Solar System

Formation of Solar System;  Moon forming event;

Solar flares;  Solar Wind;  Extrasolar planets


Register at, read Ch 1


8/29 & 8/31


8/31 & 9/2

Chapter 2 Review

Chapter 3 Plate Tectonics

Convergent,    Divergent, &  Transform plate boundaries


Chapter 4 Minerals

Earth’s elements & silicates;  Most beautiful minerals

Mining in Mindanao

Ch1 Hw due M 8/29

Ch2 Hw due W 8/31


Ch3 Hw due F 9/2



9/7 & 9/9

Labor Day

Chapter 5 Igneous Rocks

Hiking Half Dome; Naming Igneous Rocks

Ch4 Hw due W 9/7


9/12 & 9/14





Chapter 6 Volcanoes

Hawaiian eruption;   Indonesian volcanic eruption

Viscosity & eruption type;   Classifying Volcanoes

Mt. St. Helens Landslide;  Lahar risks of Mt. Rainer


Review Lecture REVIEW

EXAM 1 Ch 1-6: Fri. 9/16

Ch5 Hw due M 9/12





Ch6 Hw due Thu. 9/15


Part 2: Earth’s Active Surface


9/19 & 9/21




9/21 & 9/23

Chapter 7 Weathering

Arches National Park;  Sinkholes in Hawaii

Cleopatra’s Needles


Chapter 8 Sedimentary Rock

Overview of Sedimentary Rocks; Grand Canyon

Fracking sedimentary rock;  Sediments on Mars


Ch7 Hw due F 9/23


9/26 & 9/28






9/28 & 9/30

Chapter 9 Metamorphic Rock

Summary of metamorphic rocks

Visualizing tectonic processes & metamorphism

We Will Rock You!

Hydrothermal metamorphism: gold & silver


Chapter 10 Mountain Building

Classifications of Faults

Creation of the Rocky Mountains

Formation of the Basin and Range

Formation of the Himalayas

Ch8 Hw due W 9/28






Ch9 Hw due F 9/30










Mountain Building (continued)

Chapter 11 Part 1 Earthquakes

San Andreas Movie—Can it happen?

Earthquakes & Elastic Rebound (USGS)

Sumatra Tsunami

San Andreas Fault

Focal Mechanisms Explained


Chapter 11 Part 2 Earthquakes


Ch10 Hw due W 10/5






In-class assignment 1 (extra credits for a high score)






Chapter 11 Part 3 Earthquakes & seismology


Review of Ch 7-11

EXAM 2 Ch 1-11: Fri. 10/14

In-class assignment 2 (extra credits for a high score)

Ch11 Hw due W 10/12


Part 3:  Earth’s Evolution & Its State Today


10/17 & 10/19




10/19 & 10/21

Chapter 12 Geologic Time

How long is Geologic time?

Relative dates of a series of geologic events

Candy and Radioactive Decay


Chapter 13 Earth’s History

Key Events in Earth’s History

Earth’s History As Distance Across the U.S.

When did life begin on Earth?

Ch12 Hw due F 10/21


10/24 & 10/26




10/26 & 10/28

Chapter 14 Climate Change Part I

Climate change is now & getting faster

The Greenhouse Effect

A year in the life of CO2 in the atmosphere

Chapter 14 Climate Change Part 2

World Population 0 to 2050 A.D.

Global temperatures 1980-2015

Why don’t people believe in climate change

Our Future by Morgan Freeman


Ch13 Hw due W 10/26






Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash

Powerpoint and video

For a more optimistic few see the documentary “Power Surge


Peak Oil:

Ch14 Hw due W 11/2







Review, Ch 12-14 & Peak Oil


EXAM 3, Wed 11/9


Veteran’s Day

Peak Oil Hw due M 11/7

Ch-1-14 & Peak Oil



Part 4:  Land, Water, & Wind


11/14 & 11/16





11/16 & 11/18

Chapter 16 Mass Wasting

Rock Falls in Yosemite Valley

Addressing rock falls in New Zealand

Debris flow Himalayas

Debris flow in the French Alps


Chapter 17 Surface Water

Water Cycle Rap, Why do rivers curve?


Floodplains; Cedar Rapids 2008 flood

How levies fail & how to fix them

Dam Removal




Ch16 Hw due F 11/18






11/21 & 11/23

11/23 & 11/25


Chapter 17  Surface Water


Chapter 18 Groundwater

Groundwater Aquifers

Porosity and Permeability

Submarine groundwater discharge

Red Hill fuel leak in Honolulu

Red Hill fuel leak risk to Honolulu aquifer

USGS article on ground water in Hawaii









Ch17 Hw due M 11/28




11/30 & 12/2

Chapter 18 Groundwater


Chapter 20, Coastal Geology

How does a wave break?

How to escape a rip current.

Dr. Beach: Rip currents

Hurricanes and Global Warming

Surf at Queen’s Beach




Ch18 Hw due F 12/2





Review of Ch 1-14

Review of Ch 16-20

10 Fascinating Facts about Earth

Ch20 Hw due W 12/7


Exam 4 is on Friday 12/16, 9:45-11:45 a.m.


eTextbook: Physical Geology: The Science of Earth”, 2nd Edition, 2014, Fletcher, C.

REQUIRED: Purchase eText online and register for WileyPlus Learning Space at (search for the course offered by “Garrett Apuzen-Ito” at “University of Hawaii Manoa”)

OPTIONAL: you may purchase a paperback copy of the textbook from the bookstore.  It comes with a code for you to sign up for all the online Wiley Plus content

(Additional info on how to register


You will succeed in this class if you...

1. Attend class. This is an interactive and supportive learning environment with regular exercises to help you learn.  

2. Do all the assigned homework. Each homework has a due date and once the date has passed the homework will be closed.  Missing a single homework drags your grade down dramatically.

3. Read the book. All in-class discussions and exercises, homework, and exam questions are based on material in the book

4. Take notes. Take notes when you read and during class.  For exams, you are allowed to bring one page of notes per chapter.

5. Do extra-credit. Extra credit assignment will be available during the semester.



The Department of Geology and Geophysics has established the following undergraduate student learning objectives.

GG101 emphasizes objectives 1, 3, and 5.

1.      Students can explain the relevance of geology and geophysics to human needs, including those appropriate to Hawaii, and be able to discuss issues related to geology and its impact on society and planet Earth.

2.      Students can apply technical knowledge of relevant computer applications, laboratory methods, and field methods to solve real-world problems in geology and geophysics.

3.      Students use the scientific method to define, critically analyze, and solve a problem in earth science.

4.      Students can reconstruct, clearly and ethically, geological knowledge in both oral presentations and written reports.

5.      Students can evaluate, interpret, and summarize the basic principles of geology and geophysics, including the fundamental tenets of the sub-disciplines, and their context in relationship to other core sciences, to explain complex phenomena in geology and geophysics.

Geology and You

This course will provide you with a new view of the world. For the rest of your life you will carry a special perspective that only an understanding of geology can provide. A geology course can make you a better member of your community because you will understand your home planet, you will know how to avoid natural hazards, you will know how to sustain natural resources, you will understand that global warming is real, you will become an informed voter, and you will improve your critical thinking skills.

Earth is the product of billions of years during which geologic processes have carved the land, mixed the seas and air, and shifted the continents—and continue to do so.

All life on Earth is the product of natural selection. Preserving biodiversity and natural habitats is critical to the continuation of Earth’s natural resources. Natural resources are geologically renewed but humans use resources faster than they can be naturally renewed. Today humans use 1.5 Earths; that is, the resources we use in 1 year, will take 1.5 years to replace. In the U.S. we use 5 Earths. This is not sustainable.

To ensure that heavily used resources are still here for future generations means that we must ultimately find alternative resources, augment the rate of natural renewal, or reduce our rate of consumption (or all the above).  This is can lead to sustainability.

Regardless of your lifework, the science of geology can provide you with a level of awareness that will serve you in your career, your personal life, and your role as a community member of planet Earth. Here are 5 “Enduring Understandings” of geology that serve as semester-long learning goals.

1. The study of Earth encompasses a vast range of time and space. Geologists study nature from the length of the Solar System (trillions of kilometers) to the bonding of atoms (0.00000001 centimeters). We stretch our minds to understand the megascopic to the microscopic. Massive planets are constructed of the smallest minerals. Eons of time consist of long periods of slow and gradual change punctuated by short intervals of sudden violent convulsions in nature (i.e., earthquakes, floods, landslides). This immense span of time and space is one of the fundamental characteristics of the geological sciences.

2. Plate tectonics controls the geology of Earth’s surface. The theory of plate tectonics has far reaching implications for the organization of the planet and its history. As plates move they perpetually change the way our planet looks. Mountain ranges rise when plates collide only to be worn by erosion down to the sea. Ocean basins open and close as continents rift and collide again. Nearly every aspect of geology is related to how plates interact and change through time.

3. Geologic systems are the product of interactions between solid Earth, oceans, atmosphere, and living organisms. Earth is organized into overlapping geologic systems that influence and react to each other. Geologic systems consist of interdependent materials (such as rocks, sediments, organic compounds, and water) that interact with natural physical and chemical processes. In a broad sense, these interactions occur because solar energy, geothermal energy, and gravitational energy are at work mixing the air, ocean, and solid Earth.

4. Change is ever present and accumulates over vast time. Humans are powerful agents of change. You live upon an ancient and restless landscape that is changing under your feet. All forms of life have evolved partially in response to geologic change over time. Today’s Earth is the product of both gradual and instantaneous change accumulating over 4.6 billion years. Hence, our planet looked very different in the past and it will look different in the future.

5. Rocks and sediments are pages in the book of Earth history. Geologists read the story of Earth history in the crust. Earth history teaches us that Earth is very old, that evolution is responsible for life’s incredible diversity that ever-present change is a characteristic of geologic systems, and that geologic processes operate on an immense stage of time and space.