2019 Introduction to History of the Earth

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Earth and Planetary Sciences
Ueno Yuichiro  Yokoyama Tetsuya  Ohta Kenji  Ishikawa Akira  Gilbert Alexis Romai 
Class Format
Media-enhanced courses
Day/Period(Room No.)
Tue7-8(I2-318, Ishikawadai Bldg. 2, 318 room)  Fri7-8(I2-318, Ishikawadai Bldg. 2, 318 room)  
Course number
Academic year
Offered quarter
Syllabus updated
Lecture notes updated
Language used
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Course description and aims

This course will examine the history of the Earth and life. In the chapter "Hadean", origin of the planet and the formation of the atmosphere and ocean will be examined. In the chapter "Archean", record of Earth's early biological activities and basics of geology and tectonics will be examined. In the chapter "Proterozoic" onset of oxygenic photosynthesis, redox evolution, and continental growth will be examined. In the chapter "Phanerozoic", appearance of metazoan, mass extinction and climate change will be examined.

Student learning outcomes

Understand the history of the Earth from the planet formation to present. Learn basic concepts of various geosciences for decoding Earth's history. Understand what is the evidence for several key hypothesis. Also, this course will provide information for choosing further specific research field in geosciences.


History of the Earth and Life

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Student should submit attendance report every time as well as final report at the end of this course.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction: Geologic Time Scale Understanding phenomena occurred in various geologic time scale.
Class 2 Hadean 1 - Planet Formation and Differentiation Understanding how the Earth formed and chemically differentiated into modern state.
Class 3 Hadean 2 - Primitive Atmosphere and Ocean Understand the initial state of the Earth's atmosphere and ocean.
Class 4 Hadean 3 - The Origin of Life Problems to understand origin of life on Earth.
Class 5 Archean 1 - The Oldest Rock Record Geology of the Earth's oldest rocks
Class 6 Archean 2 - Basics of Plate Tectonics Understanding the geological phenomena occurred at the three types of plate boundaries.
Class 7 Archean 3 - Early Earth's Environment Understand chemistry of atmosphere and ocean in the Archean.
Class 8 Archean 4 - Earth's Early Life Understand how to decode biological activities in the Archean based on geological record.
Class 9 Proterozoic 1 - Emergence of Photosynthesis and Eukaryote Learn when and how oxygenic photosynthesis and eukaryote emerged.
Class 10 Proterozoic 2 - Redox Evolution of Earth's Atmosphere and Oceans Learn how the atmosphere and ocean oxygenated.
Class 11 Proterozoic 3 - Continental Growth Understand solid Earth evolution.
Class 12 Proterozoic 4 - Snowball Earth Learn global scale change in environment.
Class 13 Phanerozoic 1 - Emergence of Metazoan Understand the biological evolution through Proterozoic/Phanerozoic transition.
Class 14 Phanerozoic 2 - Mass Extinctions Learn "Big Five" extinction events in Phanerozoic.
Class 15 Phanerozoic 3 - Climate Change Understanding the cause of climate change in Phanerozoic.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Geochemistry, Sadao Matsuo

Assessment criteria and methods

Student performance will be assessed by attendance report every time (50%) and by final report (50%).

Related courses

  • EPS.A334 : Biogeoscience
  • EPS.A202 : Introduction to Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • EPS.A201 : Introduction to Material Sciences of Earth and Planet

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)


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