Fundamentals of Shale Energy Development: Geology, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Environmental, Geopolitical and Socio-economic Impacts

Lesson 3: Overview of Geologic Principles

Lesson 3: Overview of Geologic Principles


Geology! The word brings to mind dinosaurs, earthquakes, volcanoes, and of course rocks. In simple terms, geology is the study of earth processes through time. According to astronomers, physicists, and geologists, the earth is 4.54 billion years old. The purpose of this lesson is to give you a general understanding of geologic principles as a foundation for further lessons in this course. How do we know what we know about the earth? How do people know where to drill for oil? Where do oil and gas come from? These are just a few of the questions we will answer in the next couple of lessons.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Comprehend the basic geological history of the area and the resulting natural resources.
  • Gain an appreciation for geologic scales like time, depth, and distance.

Lesson Roadmap

Lesson 3 Roadmap
To Read

To Do
  • Complete the Exercises and Thought Questions at the end of each of the above reading assignments to prepare for the Homework Quiz. 
  • Lesson 3 Homework Quiz