• Offered by Research School of Earth Sciences
  • ANU College ANU Joint Colleges of Science
  • Course subject Earth and Marine Science
  • Areas of interest Earth and Marine Sciences
  • Academic career Undergraduate
  • Course convener
    • Dr Paul Tregoning
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course EMSC6032
  • Offered in First Semester 2018
    See Future Offerings

Changes in Earth's temperature cause changes in the size of the polar ice caps, with corresponding changes in global sea levels as water moves between the oceans and the continental ice sheets. Sea levels are currently rising as a result of present-day increases in global mean temperature and some claim that West Antarctica and Greenland glaciers are melting rapidly.  But how are changes in ice and ocean volumes estimated?

Observations of the motions of close-earth satellites and measurements from these satellites to the surface of the Earth enable these changes to be measured and they provide important constraints on the physical properties of the planet and on the physical processes occurring on and within it. Students will learn about several Earth-observing satellite missions and how to derive and interpret results in terms of physical changes on Earth. 

Undergraduate students attend joint classes with graduate students but will be assessed separately.

Learning Outcomes

On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Understand the Earth's gravity field and the geophysical interpretation of temporal gravity changes;

2. Explain the measurement of sea level variations from tide gauges and satellite altimetry;

3. Compute mass balance estimates of polar regions;

4. Relate the theory and observation of the motion of satellites to the determination of positions on the Earth from satellite tracking data; and

5. Communicate efficiently to a general and expert audience about the science of sea level change

 

PG Requirements,

1. Understand the Earth's gravity field and the geophysical interpretation of temporal gravity changes;

2. Explain the measurement of sea level variations from tide gauges and satellite altimetry;

3. Compute mass balance estimates of polar regions;

4. Relate the theory and observation of the motion of satellites to the determination of positions on the Earth from satellite tracking data;

5. Communicate efficiently to a general and expert audience about the science of sea level change; and

6. Evaluate gravimetric datasets systematically and interpret results in the context of trends related to regional and global climate change


Indicative Assessment

Assessment will be based on theory exams and practicals.

• Theory exam composed of essay questions to be held at a negotiated time before the mid-semester break (30% LO 1-4).

• Theory exam composed of essay questions to be held at the end of the semester  (30% LO 1-4).

• One computer-based assignment involving data analysis (30% LO 1-4).

• One oral presentation to provide a critique of a scientific journal article (10% LO 1-5).

 

PG Assessment will be based on theory exams and practicals.

• Theory exam composed of essay questions to be held at a negotiated time before the mid-semester break (30% LO 1-4).

• Theory exam composed of essay questions to be held at the end of the semester  (30% LO 1-4).

• One computer-based assignment involving data analysis (30% LO 1-4).

• One oral presentation to provide a critique of a scientific journal article (10% LO 1-5).

Additional/different tasks will be included in graduate assignments and examinations, thus distinguishing the undergraduate and graduate assessment.


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Workload

A maximum of 39 hours of lectures and 26 hours of laboratory classes including tutorials


Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed MATH1013 or MATH1115 or PHYS1101. You are unable to enrol in this course if you have completed EMSC6032.

Fees

Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Band 2
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

Units EFTSL
6.00 0.12500
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings and Dates

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery
3591 19 Feb 2018 26 Feb 2018 31 Mar 2018 25 May 2018 In Person

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