- Code EMSC6032
- Unit Value 6 units
- 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, Climate
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.
Graduate students attend joint classes with undergraduates but will be assessed separately.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Understand the Earth's gravity field and the geophysical interpretation of temporal gravity changes;
- Explain the measurement of sea level variations from tide gauges and satellite altimetry;
- Compute mass balance estimates of polar regions;
- Relate the theory and observation of the motion of satellites to the determination of positions on the Earth from satellite tracking data;
- Communicate efficiently to a general and expert audience about the science of sea level change; and
- Evaluate gravimetric datasets systematically and interpret results in the context of trends related to regional and global climate change.
- Computer programming assignments (4) (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
- Written critique of a scientific paper (10) [LO 5]
- Oral critique of a journal paper (10) [LO 5]
- Final exam (40) [LO 1,2,3,4,5,6]
- Additional/different tasks will be included in graduate assignments and examinations, thus distinguishing the undergraduate and graduate assessment. (null) [LO null]
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The expected workload will consist of approximately 130 hours throughout the semester including:
- Face-to face component which may consist of 2 x 1 hour lectures, 1 x 2 hour computer lab plus 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week.
- Approximately 70 hours of self-study which will include preparation for lectures, practicals and other assessment tasks.
Current statement: A maximum of 39 hours of lectures and 26 hours of laboratory classes including tutorials
To be determined
Requisite and Incompatibility
Bachelor degree, including mathematics and/or physics.
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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