Discipline of Geology - Department of Physical Sciences - College of Science - University of the Philippines, Baguio

UP Baguio | College of Science | Department of Physical Sciences | Discipline of Geology

Recommended Readings

Interesting eBooks

Posted by arleneteng on January 13, 2010 at 10:33 PM

IUGS Special Publication 273 - Myth and Geology

This book is the first peer-reviewed collection of papers focusing on the potential of myth storylines to yield data and lessons that are of value to the geological sciences. Building on the nascent discipline of geomythology, scientists and scholars from a variety of disciplines have contributed to this volume. The geological hazards (such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and cosmic impacts) that have given rise to myths are considered, as are the sacred and cultural values associated with rocks, fossils, geological formations and landscapes. There are also discussions about the historical and literary perspectives of geomythology. Regional coverage includes Europe and the Mediterranean, Afghanistan, Cameroon, India, Australia, Japan, Pacific islands, South America and North America. Myth and Geology challenges the widespread notion that myths are fictitious or otherwise lacking in the value for the physical sciences.

Click this link to download the PDF file (14 Mb)

IUGS Special Publication 310 - Geology and Religion: A History of Harmony and Hostility 


For thousands of years, religious ideas have shaped the thoughts and actions of human beings. Many of the early geological concepts were initially developed within this context. The long-standing relationship between geology and religious thought, which has been sometimes indifferent, sometimes fruitful and sometimes full of conflict, is discussed from a historical point of view. This relationship continues into the present. Although Christian fundamentalists attack evolution and related palaeontological findings as well as the geological evidence for the age of the Earth, mainstream theologians strive for a fruitful dialogue between science and religion. Much of what is written and discussed today can only be understood within the historical perspective.


This book considers the development of geology from mythological approaches towards the European Enlightenment, biblical or geological Flood and the age of the Earth, geology within ‘religious’ organizations, biographical case studies of geological clerics and religious geologists, religion and evolution, and historical aspects of creationism and its motives.

Click this link to download the PDF file (7.9 Mb)



A prehistoric lahar-dammed lake and eruption of Mount Pinatubo described in a Philippine aborigine legend

Posted by arleneteng on August 7, 2009 at 12:06 AM

by Kelvin S. Rodolfo and Jesse V. Umbal

Abstract. The prehistoric eruptions of Mount Pinatubo have followed a cycle: centuries of repose terminated by a caldera-forming eruption with large pyroclastic flows; a post-eruption aftermath of rain-triggered lahars in surrounding drainages and dome-building that fills the caldera; and then another long quiescent period. During and after the eruptions lahars descending along volcano channels may block tributaries from watersheds beyond Pinatubo, generating natural lakes. Since the 1991 eruption, the Mapanuepe River valley in the southwestern sector of the volcano has been the site of a large lahar-dammed lake. Geologic evidence indicates that similar lakes have occupied this site at least twice before. An Ayta legend collected decades before Mount Pinatubo was recognized as a volcano describes what is probably the younger of these lakes, and the caldera-forming eruption that destroyed it.


Article (PDF format) 1.3 Mb

Plate tectonics started over 4 billion years ago, geochemists report

Posted by arleneteng on July 14, 2009 at 6:43 AM

by Stuart Wolpert

A new picture of the early Earth is emerging, including the surprising finding that plate tectonics may have started more than 4 billion years ago -- much earlier than scientists had believed, according to new research by UCLA geochemists reported Nov. 27 in the journal Nature.

"We are proposing that there was plate-tectonic activity in the first 500 million years of Earth's history," said geochemistry professor Mark Harrison, director of UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and co-author of the Nature paper. "We are reporting the first evidence of this phenomenon."

"Unlike the longstanding myth of a hellish, dry, desolate early Earth with no continents, it looks like as soon as the Earth formed, it fell into the same dynamic regime that continues today," Harrison said. "Plate tectonics was inevitable, life was inevitable. In the early Earth, there appear to have been oceans; there could have been life ? completely contradictory to the cartoonish story we had been telling ourselves."

Article (PDF format) 58.5 Kb

A new picture of the early Earth

Posted by arleneteng on July 14, 2009 at 6:41 AM

by Kenneth Chang

The first 700 million years of Earth’s 4.5-billion-year existence are known as the Hadean period, after Hades, or, to

shed the ancient Greek name, Hell.

That name seemed to fit with the common perception that the young Earth was a hot, dry, desolate landscape interspersed with seas of magma and inhospitable for life. Even if some organism had somehow popped into existence, the old story went, surely it would soon have been extinguished in the firestorm of one of the giant meteorites that slammed into the Earth when the young solar system was still crowded with debris.

Scars on the surface of the Moon record a hail of impacts during what is called the Late Heavy Bombardment. The

Earth would have received an even more intense bombardment, and the common thinking until recently was that life could not have emerged on Earth until the bombardment eased about 3.85 billion years ago.

Article (PDF format) 105.7 Kb

Are we now living in the Anthropocene?

Posted by arleneteng on May 14, 2009 at 6:21 AM

by Jan Zalasiewicz, Mark Williams, Alan Smith, Tiffany L. Barry, Angela L. Coe, Paul R. Bown, Patrick Brenchley, David Cantrill, Andrew Gale, Philip Gibbard, F. John Gregory, Mark W. Hounslow, Andrew C. Kerr, Paul Pearson, Robert Knox, John Powell, Colin Waters, John Marshall, Michael Oates, Peter Rawson, and Philip Stone

Abstract.The term Anthropocene, proposed and increasingly employed to denote the current interval of anthropogenic global environmental change, may be discussed on stratigraphic grounds. A case can be made for its consideration as a formal epoch in that, since the start of the Industrial Revolution, Earth has endured changes sufficient to leave a global stratigraphic signature distinct from that of the Holocene or of previous Pleistocene inter-

glacial phases, encompassing novel biotic, sedimentary, and geochemical change. These changes, although likely only in their initial phases, are sufficiently distinct and robustly established for suggestions of a Holocene-Anthropocene boundary in the recent historical past to be geologically reasonable. The boundary may be defined either via Global Stratigraphic Section and Point ("golden spike") locations or by adopting a numerical date. Formal adoption of this term in the near future will largely depend on its utility, particularly to earth scientists working on late Holocene successions. This datum, from the perspective of the far future, will most probably approximate a distinctive stratigraphic boundary.

Article (PDF format) 530 Kb

Book chapters (Wicander & Monroe)

Posted by dog-upb on April 13, 2009 at 9:49 AM


01 The dynamic and evolving earth (PDF format, 1 Mb)

  • Earth is a complex, dynamic planet that has continually evolved since its origin some 4.6 billion years ago.
  • To help understand Earth?s complexity and history, it can be viewed as an integrated system of interconnected components that interact and affect each other in various ways.
  • Theories are based on the scientific method and can be tested by observation or experiment.
  • The universe is thought to have originated about 15 billion years ago with a Big Bang, and the solar system and planets evolved from a turbulent, rotating cloud of material surrounding the embryonic Sun.
  • Earth consists of three concentric layers -- core, mantle, and crust -- and this orderly division resulted during Earth's early history.
  • Plate tectonics is the unifying theory of geology.
  • An appreciation of geologic time and the principle of uniformitarianism is central to understanding the evolutionary history of Earth and its biota.
  • Geology is an integral part of our lives.
02 Minerals and Rocks (PDF format, 3.56 Mb)
  • Chemical elements are composed of atoms, all of the same kind, whereas compounds form when different atoms bond together. Most minerals are compounds, which are characterized as naturally occurring, inorganic, crystalline solids.
  • Of the 3500 or so minerals known, only a few, perhaps two dozen, are common in rocks, but many others are found in small quantities in rocks and some are important natural resources.
  • Cooling and crystallization of magma or lava and the consolidation of pyroclastic materials account for the origin of igneous rocks.
  • Geologists use mineral content (composition) and textures to classify plutonic rocks (intrusive igneous rocks) and volcanic rocks (extrusive igneous rocks).
  • Mechanical and chemical weathering of rocks yields sediment that is transported, deposited, and then lithified to form detrital and chemical sedimentary rocks.
  • Texture and composition are the criteria geologists use to classify sedimentary rocks.
  • Any type of rock may be altered by heat, pressure, fluids or any combination of these, to form metamorphic rocks.
  • One feature used to classify metamorphic rocks is foliation -- that is, a platy or layered aspect, but some lack this feature and are said to be nonfoliated.
  • The fact that Earth materials are continually recycled and that the three families of rocks are interrelated is summarized in the rock cycle.
03 Plate tectonics: a unifying theory (PDF format, 7.4 Mb)
  • Plate tectonics is the unifying theory of geology and has revolutionized geology.
  • The hypothesis of continental drift was based on considerable geologic, paleontologic, and climatologic evidence.
  • The hypothesis of seafloor spreading accounts for continental movement and the idea that thermal convection cells provide a mechanism for plate movement.
  • The three types of plate boundaries are divergent, convergent, and transform. Along these boundaries new plates are formed, consumed, or slide past one another.
  • Interaction along plate boundaries accounts for most of Earth's earthquake and volcanic activity.
04 Geologic time: concepts and principles (PDF format, 3.2 Mb)
  • The concept of geologic time and its measurements have changed throughout human history.
  • The principle of uniformitarianism is fundamental to geology.
  • Relative dating -- placing geologic events in a sequential order -- provides a means to interpret geologic history.
  • The three types of unconformities -- disconformities, angular unconformities, and nonconformities -- are erosional surfaces separating younger from older rocks and represent significant intervals of geologic time for which we have no record at a particular location.
  • Time equivalency of rock units can be demonstrated by various correlation techniques.
  • Absolute dating methods are used to date geologic events in terms of years before present.



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Bush, M. Ecology of a Changing Planet.
Dott, R. and Prothero, D. Evolution of Earth.
Keller, E. and Botkin, D. Environmental Geology.
Kump et al. The Earth System.
McGeary, D. and Plummer, C. Earth Revealed.
Mintz, L. The Science of a Dynamic Earth.
Murck, B.W. and Skinner B.J. Geology Today: Understanding Our Planet.
Odum, E. Fundamentals of Ecology.
Skinner, B. et al. The Blue Planet: An Introduction to Earth System Science.
Tarbuck, E. and Lutgens, K. Earth Science.
Wicander, R. and Monroe, J.S. Historical Geology.
Woodhead, J. The Earth’s Surface and History.