The timeline of major geologic events is superimposed onto the year for a condensed view of Earth's evolution.
A relationship between this timeline and that of life on Earth is established, with fossils and radiocarbon dating playing a major role in the discovery. Evolution Through Time The fossil record reveals much about the diversity and development of species.
The program covers convergent boundaries, subduction, hotspots, and the debate over what drives plate motion. Mountain Building This program erodes the myth of the mountain as a solid, permanent structure.
Animations are used to illustrate the process of orogeny (mountain building) through accretion and erosion, as well as the role of plate tectonics, the rock cycle, and how different types of rock are formed in the course of mountain building. Earth's Structures A visit to the Grand Canyon lays the foundation for this exploration of rock layers and deformation.
Once again, plate tectonics is shown to be involved in the process. Weathering and Soils The Cleopatra's Needle obelisk in New York City's Central Park is severely weathered after only 75 years, whereas the dry climate of Egypt has preserved similar structures in that country for millennia. Mass Wasting Anyone undertaking a building project must understand mass wasting the downslope movement of earth under the influence of gravity.
This program shows how weather, climate, chemicals, temperature, and type of substrate factor into rock and soil erosion. Various factors in mass wasting, including the rock's effective strength and pore spaces, are discussed, as are different types of mass wasting such as creep, slump, and landslides.
The relationship of metamorphic rock to plate tectonics is also covered. Running Water I: Rivers, Erosion and Deposition Rivers are the most common land feature on Earth and play a vital role in the sculpting of land. Running Water II: Landscape Evolution The Colorado River is a powerful geologic agent powerful enough to have carved the Grand Canyon.
This program shows landscapes formed by rivers, the various types of rivers, the basic parts of a river, and how characteristics of rivers their slope, channel, and discharge erode and build the surrounding terrain. This program focuses on how such carving takes place over time, looking at erosion and deposition processes as they relate to river characteristics and type of rock.
The program covers sedimentation, major structures, the methods used to examine them, and how petroleum may be trapped inside them.
It also looks at tectonic force and the different types of stress involved in the formation of geologic structures. Earthquakes Showing actual footage of earthquakes and their aftermath, this program discusses the forces that fuel these massive events.
The evolution of rivers is covered, along with efforts to prevent harmful consequences to humans. Groundwater Approximately three-quarters of Earth's surface is covered by water. Topics of this program include aquifers, rock porosity and permeability, artesian wells, the water table, cave formation, sinkholes, and how groundwater may become contaminated. Wind, Dust and Deserts Land in arid climates is shaped in particular ways.
This program shows how deserts are defined by infrequent precipitation and how desertification relates to proximity to the equator, proximity to mountains, and ultimately plate tectonics.
This program examines the traces left by early plants, animals, and single-celled organisms and follows the progression of life forms over time.