Ch 4: Understanding Earth's Formation & Development

About This Chapter

Use this chapter on Earth's formation and development to catch up after missing class or study for an upcoming exam. These engaging video lessons make topics like Earth's atmosphere and evolution easy to comprehend.

Understanding Earth's Formation & Development - Chapter Summary

In this self-paced chapter, our expert instructors outline the Earth's development and formation. You'll study theories of geological evolution, the geologic time scale and different kinds of geological dating. Once you watch all of the video lessons in this chapter, you should be able to complete these objectives:

  • Discuss different theories about the formation of the Earth
  • Detail the composition of Earth's atmosphere
  • Identify the major eras, periods, epochs and eons of the geologic time scale
  • Differentiate between the geological evolution theories of catastrophism and uniformitarianism
  • Outline the history of life on Earth
  • Explain relative and numerical geological dating
  • Describe the use of index fossils as indicators of time

Our mobile-friendly learning tools ensure you're able to study when and where it's convenient. If you don't want to watch an entire video lesson, simply navigate to the section you'd like to see using the timeline feature. Our printable lesson transcripts make handy study guides for offline use.

7 Lessons in Chapter 4: Understanding Earth's Formation & Development
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Formation of the Earth: Theories

1. Formation of the Earth: Theories

In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.

The Atmosphere on Earth

2. The Atmosphere on Earth

This lesson describes the evolution of the Earth's atmosphere, from its ancient past to the present day to how it's being changed by humans today. You'll learn about how outgassing, photosynthesis, and oceans all played a role in its formation, what air is composed of, and the real effect of human pollution on our changing atmosphere.

Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs

3. Geologic Time Scale: Major Eons, Eras, Periods and Epochs

The geologic time scale is an essential tool for understanding the history of Earth and the evolution of life. In this lesson, explore the principal eons, eras, periods, and epochs that help us track major events in geologic history.

Theories of Geological Evolution: Catastrophism vs Uniformitarianism

4. Theories of Geological Evolution: Catastrophism vs Uniformitarianism

Geologists haven't always agreed about the history of our planet. They have debated between catastrophism and uniformitarianism over the last few hundred years! Learn about the two main theories of geologic evolution and how scientists came to resolve the dispute.

The History of Life on Earth: Timeline and Characteristics of Major Eras

5. The History of Life on Earth: Timeline and Characteristics of Major Eras

The Earth is over 4.6 billion years old. Ever wonder what happened during certain time periods in that large amount of time? We will look at the major eons and eras of Earth's history along with important characteristics of each.

Numerical and Relative Geological Dating

6. Numerical and Relative Geological Dating

Don't worry, this lesson isn't about how to take a stone out to dinner. Instead, it is about how geologists and archaeologists use different techniques to figure out how old rocks and other artifacts are.

Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time

7. Relative Dating with Fossils: Index Fossils as Indicators of Time

You may already know how to date a fossil with a rock. But did you know that we can also date a rock with a fossil? Watch this video to find out how we use index fossils to establish the relative ages of rocks.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Support