Skip to content
Origin, composition, and internal structure of the earth
- Process of the formation of the solar system.
- Accumulation, heating, and differentiation of the earth.
- Composition and characteristics of the core, mantle, and crust.
- Seismic wave characteristics of the core, mantle, and crust.
Geological time, relative dating and radiometric dating
- Age of the earth.
- Rates of geological processes.
- Relative dates based on cross-cutting relationships.
- General principles of radiometric techniques for dating rocks.
Evolution of the theory of Plate Tectonics
- Alfred Wegener’s theory and its reception in the early 20th century.
- Contributions of Hess, Vine-Matthews-Morely, and Wilson.
- Evidence in support of the theory, including mantle convection, magnetic. polar wandering, ocean floor bathymetry, sea-floor magnetic patterns, mantle plumes, and the Hawaiian Islands.
- Distribution and nature of the major plates and current plate motions.
- Geology of plate boundaries.
- Geological features and processes at spreading ridges.
- Geological features and processes at subduction zones.
- The origin and nature of transform faults.
- The plates of our region, their motion, and boundaries.
- What is a mineral? what is not a mineral?
- Types of bonding in minerals.
- Mineral groups and their characteristics.
- Arrangement of tetrahedra in silicate minerals.
- Ferromagnesian versus non-ferromagnesian silicates.
- Ways in which minerals can form.
The Rock Cycle
- How the rocks of the crust are continually being recycled through processes such as uplift, erosion, transportation, deposition, burial, lithification, metamorphosis, melting, and cooling.
Intrusive Igneous Rocks
- Magma sources (mantle at spreading ridges, subduction, partial melting of crustal rocks).
- Variations in magma compositions and evolution of magmas.
- Bowen’s reaction series (significance to magma crystallization and to partial melting).
- Types of plutonic bodies (dykes, sills, stocks, etc.).
- Emplacement of plutons.
Volcanoes and volcanic rocks
- Magma sources (mantle at spreading ridges, subduction, mantle plumes).
- Variations in magma characteristics (viscosity, gas content).
- Types of volcanism (spreading ridge, mantle plume, subduction zone).
- Types of volcanic rocks and deposits (lava, pyroclastic, lahar).
- The 1980 eruption at Mt. St. Helens.
- Volcanism in BC.
- Weathering, erosion transportation, deposition, lithification parts of the rock cycle.
- Clastic versus chemical sedimentary rocks.
- Continental versus marine sedimentary environments.
- Sedimentary structures (bedding, graded bedding, cross-bedding, ripples, etc.).
- The Nanaimo Group (timing, depositional environment, rock types, deformation).
- Agents of metamorphism (heat, pressure, water).
- Regional versus contact metamorphism.
- Metamorphic textures (slaty cleavage, schistose, gneissic, marble, etc).
- Effects of different metamorphic grades on different protoliths.
- Plate movement and elastic deformation.
- Earthquakes and plate tectonics.
- Richter magnitude and Mercalli intensity.
- Significance of harmonic amplification and liquefaction.
- Earthquakes in B.C.
- The 1700 Juan de Fuca earthquake