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Origin and Evolution of Earth Research Questions for a Changing Planet

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LSGI1D03: Living on a Dynamic Earth

with English Writing Requirements

Wu Chen and George Liu

Final Submission:

Book Review of 

Origin and evolution of earth research questions for a changing planet

Word count:  [2534] words

Student Name:

Lai Cheuk Wang

Student ID:



16th July 2017


The book review is about the studying and research on exploring grand Earth science and book title is Origin and Evolution of Earth: Research Questions for a Changing Planet. The book is categorized into 4 areas including Earth’s origin, interior, habitability, and hazards and resources. In the following, this book review is divided into two parts. In Part 1, we have further discussion in 10 research questions mentioned in this book and their contents. In Part 2, we have a review of the research discussed in the book and update some new research contents made since 2008, comparison of those research is included in the end of this book review.

Our Earth is a unique planet including atmosphere, animals and human being in the Solar System, it is a dynamic, power place to have nature of life since 3 billion years ago.  Scientists keep looking for understanding the reason, background and other relevant information for life of the Earth, the origin and evolution of Earth are another concern under their studying from the 17th century.

The objective of this book is to let the public to have further understood about Earth science through this book report and the public can learn science via 10 research questions and explanations based on those 10 research questions in this book. Therefore, the most challenge problem is in selecting 10 most worthy questions from many topics and questions. The committee concludes those 10 questions and seeks for comments and suggestions from different scientists. Some of the questions advance real challenges and it may not be fully understood by the human for past decades.

Part 1 - 10 research questions

  1. Area: Earth’s origin

Question 1: How did Earth and other planets form?

The formation of our planets around stars are one of the most disputed topics and it is about the solar system. Scientists have conducted lots of study and investigation on the formation of planets in multiple aspects such as compound extracted from meteorites and conducting the analysis of chemical compositions of grounds for the formation studying of our planet by Scientists. In order to solve the misunderstandings for our knowledge, it is necessary to make clear to our minds in the remaining Research Questions as the planet’s formation are based on the subsequent evolution of the Earth.

Question 2: What happened during Earth’s “dark age” (the first 500 million years)?

Some mysterious geological activities occurred in the Hadean Eon can still not be explained. Transformation works on the environment of the Earth such as the development of oceans, formation of Earth’s metallic core and the earliest crust are being studied in strengthen the area. Scientists believe that rocks contain significant evidence and information of the history of the Earth. Most of the rocks are damaged during the Hadean Eon and only parts of them remain as caused limitation in the evidence shown from the rocks. Huge enhancement in other areas of the Earth Science like the origin of the Earth and internal operation can be attended when the above research question can be answered, meanwhile, it can provide a new approach for other research question.

Question 3: How did life begin?

The origin of life has investigated and divided into two methods, it is namely top-down and bottom up. Life is the most glamorous creations in our planet, whether from inorganic to organic or from simple to complex life structures. In the past of the Earth, life interacted with their surroundings can affect some of the major evolutions. It is important for human to understand how Earth has configuration on life via Life forms which include the Earth’s history. Sightseeing of how life begins will provide a major contribution in life determination aspects, it shows especially important in the golden age of space exploration.

  1. Area: Earth’s Interior

Question 4: How does Earth’s interior work, and how does it affect the surface?

Surface features of the Earth cause the consequences to interior activities as there is a close relationship between the surface of Earth and deep of Earth. Earth is a habitable planet due to three of the crucial elements,

1. Formation of Earth’s inner core,

2. Mantle convection and

3. Evolution of Earth’s magnetic field

Internal part and surface of the Earth are in the link, scientists can summarize a completed view in explanation of Earth’s origin and evolution by interpreting the relationships between the surface and the interior of Earth.

Question 5: Why does Earth have plate tectonics and continents?

Scientific technicians incorporate the plate tectonic theory fully to explain many features of Earth’s surface. There is a close relationship between near-surface features and deep-Earth processes. Nevertheless, some principal and basic questions persist which can have a better understanding on solving other research questions to increase our knowledge. For instance, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions etc. catastrophic natural matters are the aftereffect of synergy between continent plates and processes inside the Earth and the above activities cause hazards to our life and property. This question is necessary to answer as it can afford new viewpoints and another side of views for some predictions on natural Earth activities like an earthquake and volcanic eruption.

Question 6: How are Earth processes controlled by material properties?

Most of the internal processes inside the Earth are controlled by its material properties which control Earth’s evolution procedure. Some of the material properties compounds of Earth’s interior like mineral compositions from under physical behaviors of rocks with high pressure and interaction between fluids and minerals.

Establishment of experiments in laboratories is common practice to research the behaviors of a matter. There are some difficulties in constructing a fully understanding of materials due to a multi-scale of simulating large-domain and extreme slow processes across geological time. This research question is crucial because we can elaborate new aspect of the information on other research areas.



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