Assignment on Geologic and Historic Aspects of a Physiographic Province

Required: Write a 3 page, typed, single-spaced research report about the particular Physiographic province you selected (Southern Rockies). Your report will focus on the following three broad aspects about the area of the US you have selected:

1. its geologic origins and rock formations,
2. development and resources, including the specific geology of a major city in that Physiographic Province,
3. geologic hazards that are present, and the problems these cause, and that civil engineers must design to accommodate.
1. The geologic origin of the bedrocks of the province. Physiographic provinces are delineated by the similarities of geologic control factors of; structure, process and stage. This means that in a certain province, a. the initial geologic framework (the kind of rock units and their arrangement), b. the gradational processes that have produced the current assemblage of land forms, and c. the characteristics of these landforms as relate to the length of time the gradational processes have been at work. All of these have combined to make the ground within each physiographic province unique from its neighboring provinces. So the first part of your research report is to describe the geologic evolution of your selected physiographic province. o How were the bedrock strata formed? o When (in MYA) was each major geologic event? o When was there sedimentation? and what types of environments were present? o Was there tectonic activity, what igneous rocks formed and when? o Has there been metamorphosis, and how did it change the rocks that had been present? o What has been the action of water and gravity on shaping the topography? o How long were the factors of landscape modification active? (and for how long have the current factors of landscape modification been active?) o Was the area of your province subjected to glaciation? o When and how has the glaciation affected the landscape? Your discussion of the geologic origins of your selected province should take up about 65 % of your report. 2. What has been the human development of your physiographic province? Why did people originally settle in your province? Are there particular natural resources in the province that attracted people? What has been done to exploit the natural resources? Is there good Farming? (remember that water is needed to farm, so you must address where the water comes from). Minerals and Mining? (current or past, and why no longer mined) Rivers? Perhaps as means of transportation? What makes your province unique from its neighboring provinces in these regards? AND – What is the major city in this province and what are the two major problems with soil conditions and foundation design in this city? 3. What are the particular and many geologic hazards in your province? List and describe all major geologic hazards. Do these hazards exist throughout your province, or just in a part of it? Why? What geologic units cause the problems, and how has man been able to deal with these geologic problems? Be sure to list the references you use on a final, extra sheet, also attached to your report. You must list at least 6 references, and 4 of these must be hard copy books. One of your references must be the book “Regional Geomorphology of the United States”, by Thornbury, which is on reserve in the library. This should be your starting point in your research. There are several other geomorphology references in the library. Note that in Thornbury’s book, you will find listed in the chapter on the province you selected a listing of several references, but you will likely have to go the Boston Public Library to find many of these. Your report must be typed in Times Roman font text, size 12. Single space between lines of text. Page margins are to be one inch on all sides. Your first paragraph should be a short summary of the paper, and should “tell the reader what you are about to tell them”. No paragraph should be more than three to four finger widths in page length (about 2 to 2.5 inches). If you paraphrase a short passage from a reference, then you need to list that statement with an end-note citation, similar to how you should have learned in English I in the freshman year. Your endnotes should be listed on the third page of your report, after the text. Finally, you need to include a brief summary, conclusions paragraph that “tells the reader what you told them” in your report. What lasting pieces of knowledge about your rock formation do you want the reader to take with them after reading your report?
SUBJECT SELECTED: Southern Rocky Mountains

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