How Earth Works: Dynamic Planet -- GS205-1999
Office Hours: 
1512 C.C. Little Building
Tue and Thu, 11am-12pm. To Registration Information.
Ben A. van der Pluijm (4534b C.C. Little Building)
just email me or see me after class for a convenient time
Earth Science Today, By Murphy and Nance, Brooks/Cole, 1999

Introduction (# lectures; reading; link) Hi, funny cartoons, great student response
The Universe (2; 16; Universe) Dimensions, distance, parallax, velocities, waveform (wavelength, amplitude, frequency), electromagnetic radiation ("light"), radiation laws (E=h.f and E=s.T4), Doppler effect, age of Universe
Stars and Elements (2; 16; Sun) atom (protons, neutron, electrons), elements and periodic table, atomic fusion, E=mc2, stellar evolution (red giant, white dwarf, supernova, neutron star, black hole), contraction vs. expansion (gravity vs. heat)
The Solar System (2;15; Solar system) shrinking and flattening of rotating mass and accretion of planets, rocky (inner) vs. gaseous (outer) planets, Kepler's 1st and 3rd law (and satellite orbits), tilt of earth's rotation axis and 26,000yr presession, climate cycles, tides (Moon-Earth(-Sun) attraction and Earth's rotation).
Earth's Features (1; 5.3; Topography) elevation hand-out; dimensions, continents and oceans, latitude and longitude, spherical to map projections, elevation distribution, histogram and cumulative frequency curve, mass and density
Early Earth (1; ) TBD
10/12 Exam 1
Atoms and Time (2; 2.1.1, 3; Clocks) early ideas, relative (older, younger) vs. absolute (numerical) dating, atoms, (radiogenic) isotopes, radioactive decay (a, b, g), half-life/decay constant, age of meteorites and Earth.
Volcanoes (2; 6;Earthquakes and Volcanoes) Volcano shape, SiO2-content in relation to shape and viscosity, basalt-andesite-rhyolite and intrusive equivalents, making melts, volcanoes and plate tectonic setting.
Earthquakes (2; 7; Earthquakes and Volcanoes) effects of earthquakes, elastic rebound theory, focus and epicenter, intensity scale, seismogram, magnitude scale, energy release, body (P and S) and surface waves, location of earthquake, global distrubution of earthquakes.
Properties of P and S, seismic velocity models of Earth (homogeneous, varying density, layered and varying density), shadow zones, gross structure of earth and layer characteristics.
Earth Structure and Plates (3; 4, 5, 7; Plate Tectonics) Global distribution of earthquakes, definition of plate, lithosphere (strong) vs. asthenosphere (weak), types of fault motion (normal, reverse, lateral) and seismic signal, focus of deep earthquakes, Earth's 8 major plates (and dozen smaller plates), types of plate boundaries (rift=divergent b., subduction zone= convergent b., transform=conservative b., compositional vs. rheologic layering.
TBA Exam 2
Earth's Magnetosphere (2; 4.2; Plate Tectonics) Principles of magnetism (dipolar field), origin of Earth magnetic field (inner/outer core interactions), inclination and declination, inclination and latitude (tan (inclination=2tan(latitude)), Curie point (magnetite).
Polarity reversal, duration of reversal interval, magnetic anomalies on ocean floor, sea-floor spreading, spreading rate (several cm/yr), age of ocean floor (<180Ma).
Paleodeclination and paleoinclination, moving continent vs. moving magnetic poles, apparent polar wander path, pre-200Ma reconstruction.
Plates in Collision (3; 4, 5, 6; Topography) continent-continent collision (India-Asia), isostasy experiment (floating blocks); Archimedes' Principle; elevation of floating icebergs, mountains from different thickness (rather than different densities), continentla crust vs. oceanic crust thickness
Engine and the Future (1; 5.5 ) convection experiment, whole-mantle vs. layered convection, seismilogical evidence for plume tectonics (tomography and slab imaging), modeling (heating from below and internally heated; vary viscosity structure), plate driving forces (ridge push, slab pull, mantle drag), future plate reconstructions.
Recitation: TBA
Final Exam: Wed, December 15, 1:30-3:30p

The exam pages are ordered by ID, with the first three digits removed.  The grade distribution is show as histogram and cumulative curve.
Exam 1: 25% exam grade. Click HERE to see scores
Exam 2: 25% exam grade. Click HERE to see scores
Final exam: 50% exam grade. Click HERE to see final grade or cumulative results thus far.