May 18, 2021
GEOL 4660 - Geodynamics: The Earth’s Interior
The application of gravitational, magnetic, seismological, and heat flow measurements to defining the geophysics of the solid earth, including its internal structure, dynamics, and evolution of Earth’s core, mantle, and crust. Students synthesize the evidence during a series of technical writing assignments whose summaries and critiques of scientific papers combine to form an integrated term paper.
Requisites: GEOL 3201
Credit Hours: 3
General Education Code: 1JE
Repeat/Retake Information: May be retaken two times excluding withdrawals, but only last course taken counts.
Lecture/Lab Hours: 3.0 lecture
Grades: Eligible Grades: A-F,WP,WF,WN,FN,AU,I
- Briefly describe Phanerozoic geology, tectonics and biology in the context of the 4.5 billion year history of the Earth.
- Compose critical analyses of selected scientific papers using the fundamentals of technical and scientific writing.
- Compose written syntheses of selected scientific papers.
- Conceptually describe the rheology of mantle lithologies and the convective upward heat transport through sub-lithospheric mantle.
- Describe mantle heterogeneity of radioactive isotopes and its implications for mantle convection styles and the growth of continents over geologic time.
- Describe the growth of continents at Andean type convergence zones via magmatic underplating and terrane accretion.
- Describe the thickening of continental lithosphere in zones of Alpine-Himalayan type convergence and the resulting uplift, intracrustal melting and extensional relaxation.
- Describe the thinning of continental lithosphere during periods of extension and its role in the production of flood basalts and the initiation of rifting or the eventual strain-hardening of the lithosphere.
- Know the layering and composition of average continental crust.
- Understand the composition, state and processes operating within the core and current dynamo theories for the geomagnetic field.
- Understand the mechanical properties of continental lithosphere and its strength in compression and extension as a function of temperature.
- Understand the relationship between global seismology and the spherical layering of the planet.
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