The course is an introduction to physics of the solid Earth intended for students with substantial background in physics and mathematics including calculus. The course will provide an overview of the structure and evolution of the Earth as a dynamic planet within our solar system. Physical principles will be applied to the following topics: theory of elasticity and elastic wave propagation; modern global seismology as a probe of the Earth's internal structure; earthquakes and the description of seismic sources; a simple but fundamental theory of thermal convection; the distinctive rheological behaviour of the upper mantle and its top layer, controlled by significant changes in the mechanical properties of the material, will then be explored to arrive at a comprehensive description of what forces drive and resist global plate motions.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:On satisfying the requirements of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the theoretical basis for modern global seismology and of the application of methods based on such theory to understand earthquake phenomena and the seismological probing of earth structure.
2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the structure and governing dynamics of the mantle and the lithosphere.
3. Demonstrate an advanced ability in written and oral scientific communication.
Indicative AssessmentAssessment will be based on:
20% homework assignments (LO1-3)
20% lab assignments (LO1-3)
20% oral presentations (LO1-3)
20% selected topic literature review and presentation (LO1-3)
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Workload32 lectures, 12 tutorials, four 3-hour lab sessions.
Requisite and Incompatibility
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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