Historical Geology

Dr. Pamela J. W. Gore
Georgia Perimeter College

These web pages have been developed for the use of students and faculty in the University System of Georgia.

Copyright © Pamela J. W. Gore, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2010

Interactive Course Outline


Note: Some of the notes listed in this table are from the Historical Geology Online Lab Manual. Lecture students who are not taking lab are asked to read and be familiar with this material, even though they do not have to do the laboratory exercises.


Assignments and Tests Additional references
Chapters 1 - 2

  1. Introduction to Historical Geology
  2. Fundamentals of Relative Dating

Relative Dating Assignment

Uncovering Florida's Fossil Past - Determining Fossil Ages - worksheet
Lesson Plan

Interactive relative dating exercises (from Athro)

Unravelling geologic time - Columbia U.

Who's on First - A relative dating activity

Earth's Cycles - Columbia U.

Chapter 3

Geologic Time

  1. Age of the Earth
  2. Radiometric Dating
Radiometric Dating Assignment

Geologic Time Chart to know

Time Chart Test with automatic checking feature, courtesy of former student Jon Challen; updated 2009

Time Chart with correct answers

Blank Geologic Time Chart for test

2009 International Stratigraphic Chart and here
Quaternary reinstated
Hadean is listed as informal

2009 Geological Society of America time chart

2008 International Stratigraphic Chart - note - the definition of the Quaternary and revision of the Pleistocene are under discussion.  The base of the Pleistocene is at 1.81 Ma but may be extended to 2.58 Ma.  The historic term "Tertiary," comprising the Paleogene and Neogene, has no official rank.  Hadean (older than 4 billion years) is listed as "informal".

2003 International Stratigraphic Chart - note - the terms Tertiary and Quaternary have been removed!

Detailed info to support time chart

Detailed geologic time chart

Understanding Geologic Time

View Hutton's famous unconformity at Siccar Point

Indicators of an Old Earth Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance

Geologic Time exhibit - U. California, Berkeley

Radiometric dating- a Christian perspective

Radiocarbon Dating WEB-info from New Zealand

Radiocarbon Web Server, Arizona


Chapter 4

Earth Materials

Basic Information on Minerals and Rocks for Historical Geology Students

The notes in the section below are the notes from the Physical Geology class. They are MUCH more detailed than is required for Historical Geology. The notes should provide you with more than an adequate background on the material in Chapter 2 of Levin, but please do not think that you are responsible for knowing all of the details in these notes.

  1. Minerals
  2. Igneous Rocks
  3. Weathering and the origin of sediment
  4. Sedimentary Rocks
  5. Metamorphic Rocks




Chapter 5

Sedimentary Rocks

  1. Physical Geology Sedimentary Rocks Notes
  2. Introduction to Sedimentary Rocks
  3. Sedimentary Structures
  4. Depositional Sedimentary Environments
  5. Sandstone Interpretation
  6. Carbonate Rock Interpretation
  7. Facies, Transgressions, Regressions, and Walther's Law


The following movies are available at non-print media in the Clarkston library. Please see them and fill in the Movie Question Sheets:

Life From the Sea

Record of the Rocks

Bedforms and cross-bedding from the U.S. Geological Survey

Another page of bedforms from USGS

Ichnology (trace fossils)

Siliciclastic rocks, depositional environments

Carbonate rocks

Growth of the North American Continent

Chapter 6

The Fossil Record -

  1. Fossil Preservation
  2. Fossils
  3. Evolution

Uncovering Florida's Fossil Past - Cladistics
Cladistics lesson plan
Worksheet 1 - classifying coins
Worksheet 2 - classifying animals
Worksheet 3 - cladogram
Picture files

Uncovering Florida's Fossil Past - Naturally Selecting Insects lesson plan

NEW!! - Understanding Evolution - an evolution website for teachers - University of California, Berkeley, Museum of Paleontology

Fossil Links

The Virtual Fossil Museum

Getting Into the Fossil Record

Paleontology Links

World of Amber

Paleontology Portal - Georgia

Virtual Museum of Fossils - Valdosta

A key to the common genera of Neogene sharks teeth (Smithsonian)

Fossil sharks teeth, NC

Evolution Links

National Science Teachers Association Position Statement on the Teaching of Evolution

National Association of Biology Teachers Position Statement on Teaching Evolution

Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (National Academy of Sciences)

Harvard Biology Links - Evolution

Evolution - Theory and History - U. California Berkeley

Evolution vs. Creation Science
Ontario Centre for Religious Tolerance

Evolution - Talk-Origins Archive

Frequently asked questions on evolution from Talk-Origins Archive

Evolution lecture notes - Columbia U.

The Paluxy River track controversy - human tracks in the geologic record?

Chapter 7

Earth Structure and Plate Tectonics

  1. Earthquakes and Seismic Waves
  2. Earth's Interior
  3. Faults
  4. Folds and Crustal Deformation
  5. Plate Tectonics



World Seafloor Map - NOAA, Marine Geology and Geophysics Division

Click here to see complete map

Volcano World

Maps of Ancient Earth


Overview of the Earth

Chapter 8 and 9

Origin of the Earth


The following movie is available at non-print media on Clarkston Campus. Please see it and fill in the Movie Question Sheet:

The Big Bang and Beyond


Earth's First 3.7 Billion Years - Columbia U.

Origin of Life on Earth (RNA)

Origin of Life

Archean Uranium deposits and the origin of life

General information on the Vendian

Vendian Fossils

Chapters 10 - 12


  1. Invertebrate Macrofossils

  2. Cambrian

  3. Fossils of the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale

  4. Ordovician

  5. Silurian

  6. Devonian

  7. Carboniferous (Mississippian and Pennsylvanian)

  8. Permian

Fernbank Field Trip Assignment

Paleomap Project by Scotese

Paleogeographic Maps

Regional paleogeographic views of Earth History

The Search for Life's Origins - National Academy of Sciences

Burgess Shale Fossils

Origin of Tetrapods - Columbia U.

The Permian Reef Complex (Delaware Basin) of West Texas

Lithologic, paleogeographic and paleocurrent maps of the World

Plant fossils

Mazon Creek Fossils from the Pennsylvanian of Illinois - Plants and Animals

A history of Paleozoic forests

Plant fossils of West Virginia

Chapters 13 - 14

"The Age of Dinosaurs"

  1. Early Mesozoic (Triassic-Jurassic)

  2. Dinosaurs

  3. Cretaceous


Jurassic Reef Park

Oceans of Kansas - Fossils from the Western Interior Sea (Mosasaurs and other Cretaceous fossils)

The Real Jurassic Park - Morrison Fm etc. - Columbia U.

Solnhofen Ls and Birds - Columbia U.

Dinosaur references

Syllabus from Dinosaurs and the History of Life - Columbia U.

The Triassic World and the Origin of Dinosaurs - Columbia U.

Triassic dinosaur assemblages - part 1, part 2

Alabama Dinosaurs

Dinosauria Online

Dinosaur Dictionary

Dinosaurs - Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology

University of California, Berkeley - Exhihbition of Fossil Life

Dinosaurs - Hot-blooded or Cold-blooded?

Dinosaur Trace Fossils

Museum of the Rockies (lots of dinosaurs)

Yucatan Peninsula impact crater which has been linked to the extinction of the dinosaurs more than 65 million years ago.

Dinosaurs and the History of Life
Lab Syllabus


Chapters 15 -17



Ice Ages - Illinois State Museum

The Midwest 16,000 years ago - Illinois State Museum

Human Origins and Evolution in Africa

Discover Magazine articles on Human Origins

Becoming Human

Aquatic Ape Theory

Aquatic Ape Theory

Pliocene Pussycat Theory

Return to Georgia Geoscience Online

This page created by Pamela J. W. Gore
Georgia Perimeter College, Georgia

Updated May 31, 2008
Updated August 15, 2009
Updated September 19, 2010; October 3, 2010