- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 201
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
Eligible for Certificate:
Certificates show that you have completed the course. They do not provide credit.
Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1The Main Branches of Geology
Course SummaryEarn a Physical Geology certificate in as little as two weeks with this interactive course. Use this certificate to boost your resume or online job profile and highlight your interest and knowledge in this field.
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Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
- Detailed video explanations for wrong answers
About This Course
The video lessons and quizzes included in this Physical Geology Certificate course can be completed in as little as two weeks. Use them to learn how the Earth's features are formed and explore the interactions between each of its four spheres.
Who's This For?
Teachers, park service employees or any other individuals with an interest in geology can benefit from this course.
There are no prerequisites for this course, which means you can begin your physical geology studies right away.
Benefits of the Certificate
Whether you're employed in a field that requires a working knowledge of Earth science and geology or just want to explore ways you can make environmentally conscious decisions, this certificate can be used to:
- Demonstrate your knowledge in the area of geology
- Enhance your resume or LinkedIn profile
- Show your commitment to continuing education
Physical Geology Program Breakdown
The 27 chapters included in this course are designed to introduce you to the Earth systems, processes and materials making up our environment. They can also help you explore some of the issues associated with resource use and sustainable consumption.
Introduction to Geology
Explore the main branches of geology and review steps in the scientific method. Identify Earth's four major geological subsystems and their interactions.
Learn how water, soil, minerals and other Earth materials sustain the lives of plants and animals.
Mineral Types, Properties and Uses
Examine the environmental and economic impacts of mineral extraction and consumption. Survey mineral properties, such as strength and density. Study the differences between silicate and non-silicate minerals.
Earth and Celestial Rocks
Find out what differentiates minerals from rocks. Study stages in the rock cycle and identify the three different types of rocks.
Examine the origins of magma and the characteristics of volcanic and plutonic igneous rock. Study Bowen's reaction series and learn how igneous rocks are classified.
Sedimentary Rocks: A Deeper Look
Take a look at sediment types and examine the differences between detrial and chemical sedentary rock. Discover the processes involved in lithification. Find out which features are used to determine a sedimentary rock's origin.
Metamorphic Rocks: A Deeper Look
Identify factors affecting both regional and contact metamorphism. Learn how texture and parent rocks are used to classify metamorphic rocks.
Rock Deformation and Mountain Building
Examine the types of stress causing rock deformation. Survey the varieties of geological folds and faults and discover the processes involved in mountain building.
Weathering and Erosion
Get examples of chemical and mechanical weathering processes. Study the effects of erosion and pinpoint causes of mass wasting.
Explore the characteristics of drainage basins, stream valleys, bedrock channels and alluvial channels. Learn how to read a landform diagram.
Identify factors affecting the movement of groundwater. Learn how springs, wells, caverns and sinkholes are formed.
Trace the processes involved in glacial formation, movement, erosion and deposition. Find out how Ice Age glaciers formed pluvial lakes.
Explore the ridge systems, basins and continental margins making up the ocean floor. Study patterns of ocean circulation, the types of waves and the effects of tides.
Deserts and Wind
Pinpoint the locations of Earth's deserts. Describe characteristics and structures of those located in the Southwestern United States. Learn about the types of deserts created by human activity.
Trace the steps in the water cycle. Take a closer look at the effect of solar power on the hydrologic cycle.
Examine evidence for the Big Bang theory. Study galaxy types alongside the life cycles of stars and black holes. Review characteristics of the solar system's inner, outer and dwarf planets.
Compare the two theories used to explain geological evolution. Peruse relative and radiometric dating methods and identify conditions for fossil preservation.
Earth's Spheres and Internal Structure
Get examples of interactions occurring between the Earth's four spheres. Discover characteristics of the crust, mantle and core. Find out how geologists study these layers.
Recognize factors that affect atmospheric cycles and determine a region's climate. Examine causes of global warming and take a look at stages in the nitrogen and carbon cycles.
Investigate some of the destruction caused by earthquakes. Learn how geologists use seismic waves to measure and study them.
Discover evidence supporting continental drift and plate tectonics theories. Identify the types of plate boundaries and the causes of tectonic plate movement.
Survey examples of chemical, radiant and thermal energy, among other energy types. Familiarize yourself with the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
Renewable & Nonrenewable Resources
Examine the pros and cons of various renewable energy sources, such as wind energy and hydropower. Assess the environmental impacts of using fossil fuels or nuclear power. Learn how to conserve energy at home.
Economic Geology & Mineral Resources
Find out how mineral deposits develop and study their relation to plate tectonics.
Human Impact on the Environment
Consider the environmental impacts of industry and agriculture. Identify human causes of eutrophication and pollution. Discover the uses of the IPAT equation.
Examine some of the complexities associated with sustainable consumption and development. Get some examples of voluntary simplicity.
Environmental Risk Analysis
Discover methods used to assess threats to environmental health. Learn to recognize different types of cancer- and disease-causing agents.
Ethical and Political Processes of the Environment
Explore conflicting environmental worldviews and learn how they impact our understanding of sustainability issues. Assess the effectiveness of legislation and world trade policies used to protect the environment.
Earning College Credit
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