Spring 2023 - EASC 101 D100

Dynamic Earth (3)

Class Number: 1880

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Jan 4 – Apr 11, 2023: Mon, Wed, 11:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 17, 2023
    Mon, 8:30–11:30 a.m.



Dynamic Earth offers an introduction to minerals, rocks, geologic resources and processes. Plate tectonics is the unifying theory of geology and is the focus as we learn how the Earth changes over geologic time and results in the formation of volcanoes and mountain belts, faults, folds and earthquakes. Breadth-Science.


This course introduces Earth the planet we live on: how it formed, how it has changed over time, the processes involved, and how we humans engage with it. EASC 101 is designed both as a foundation course for Earth Science majors and as a breadth course for those in other disciplines. Classes will include inquiry-based activities and discussion, and laboratory sessions focus on "hands on" exercises emphasizing Earth processes, structure and materials.  

Course Topics:

With successful completion of EASC 101, a student will be knowledgeable about:

  1. Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics
  • Layered structure of the Earth; development of plate tectonic theory; and global and local examples of tectonic settings.
  1. Geologic Processes (Mountain Building, Earthquakes)
  • Stress and strain; joint, faults and folds; analyzing and interpreting geologic structures based on strike and dip info on geologic maps; and orogenesis.
  • Earthquake hazards; measuring earthquakes; and seismology.
  1. Earth Materials (Minerals, Rocks, Sediments, Economic Resources) and the relationship between Earth Materials and Plate Tectonics
  • Minerals and rock identification and classification; magma; the rock cycle; and geologic resources (with a focus on Canadian resources).
  1. Geologic Time and Earth History
  • How the planet has changed through time (e.g. climate change and evolution of life); relative and absolute dating; and application of stratigraphic principles to determination of the sequence of geologic events.
  1. Earth Sciences and the Environment (Mass Wasting, Surface Water, Glaciers, Groundwater, Deserts)
  • Types and causes of mass wasting and their mitigation; surface environments and processes (erosion / deposition), and our groundwater resources.
  1. Coastlines and Marine Geology
  • Coastal and marine sediments; active versus passive continental margins; our local plate tectonic setting and that of North America at large.

Course Organization:

·  Two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour lab per week. Lab attendance is mandatory.  Students are expected to attend all lectures and do the assigned chapter readings that correspond to the day’s lecture prior to coming to lecture.


Students successfully completing this course will be able to:

  • Understand and describe the layered Earth.
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of plate tectonic theory.
  • Understand our local plate tectonic setting, volcanism, and seismic risk and hazard.
  • Identify minerals and rocks in hand specimen based upon their diagnostic properties (minerals), and composition / texture (rocks).
  • Demonstrate an ability to work with geologic cross-sections and maps.
  • Know the geologic time scale.
  • Demonstrate knowledge about geologic resources.


  • Laboratory Participation and Completion of assignments
  • Quizzes and Assignments
  • Two Lab Exams
  • Midterm Exam
  • Final Exam
  • Total 100%



In addition to the purchased lab manual, please bring a pencil, eraser, and ruler to each lab. Other materials are supplied, including pencil crayons and protractors in the second half of the term.


Course Text:
“Introduction to Physical Geology, Canadian Edition”; Fletcher, C., Gibson, D., Ansdell, K. 2013; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



ISBN: 978-111830082-4


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html